They are only spoken of in enthusiastic categories. This archipelago does not fit into the standard story "X reasons to visit" - no matter how many reasons you choose, there will always be another one that is no less important. An emerald necklace of islands scattered across the turquoise surface of the ocean is what French Polynesia looks like. Man always strives to learn more. Actually, this property is largely and [...]
They are only spoken of in enthusiastic categories. This archipelago does not fit into the standard story "X reasons to visit" - no matter how many reasons you choose, there will always be another one that is no less important. An emerald necklace of islands scattered across the turquoise surface of the ocean is what French Polynesia looks like.
Man always strives to learn more. Actually, this property in many ways makes us human. And the one who is in love with the sea is such a "superman": he will not rest until he reaches the limits. We started from the Ionian Islands, then discovered the Canary Islands, from there we went to the Azores, from the Azores to the Caribbean ... Further, further - as if an inner call tells us.
Next is French polynesia... Probably, almost every one of us thought that once ... And, just in case, checked charter offers somewhere in Tahiti or Bora Bora - just in case. This article is for those who dream of sending where there is no big land. Where volcanoes and atolls rise from the ocean, and palm trees descend to the water. But first…
A little dry - nevertheless necessary! - statistics
French polynesia - French overseas community in the South Pacific. Yes, this is France, but a biometric passport does not work there. FP is definitely not a Schengen area and to visit it need a visa (issued at the consular section of the French Embassy). The procedure is about the same dreary as the Schengen area we have already forgotten - questionnaires, certificates, confirmation of finances, etc. Visa cost for adults 75 euros, for children and pensioners - 35 each. Negotiations on the abolition of visas to the overseas territories of European countries were initiated after the introduction of visa-free travel, but now, for obvious reasons, their prospects are not clear. You will not need a visa if you have an annual Schengen or multi-visa issued by the French consulate (only for them, not for other Schengen countries). It is better to clarify all the details by the contacts of the embassy itself.
To be precise, French Polynesia is a group of archipelagos: Society Islands, Tuamotu, Tubuai, Gambier and Marquesas. The capital is the city of Papeete in Tahiti. There are a total of 118 islands and atolls, stretching for 1200 miles, 67 of which are inhabited.
Average annual temperatures - 22-26 degrees with minor fluctuations by months. The idyll is somewhat spoiled by what happens there hurricanes and tropical cyclones (mainly in January).
High season is from May to October. Tours for the New Year holidays are also in demand. The low season lasts from November to April when it rains on the islands, interspersed with sunny days. Currency - French Pacific franc, 1 euro is equal to about 120 francs. Euros are usually also accepted in hotels.
According to Frommer's authoritative guide, yachting center, where charter companies are mainly based is the islands of Tahiti, Bora Bora, Raiatea, Tahaa, Huahine (Society Islands). It is worth noting that the last three islands in English-speaking sources are often also called Leeward Islands - so as not to be confused by this phrase when booking a boat and not to confuse them with the Leeward Islands in other parts of the world.
A barrel of honey
The question "what to do in French Polynesia in your free time from sailing?" has a variety of answers.
Firstly, it is really very beautiful there. AND yachtsmen have that undeniable advantagethat they are not tied to one place, but can "parachute" anywhere - as long as the vacation is enough. On Huahine you can enjoy the lagoons in the middle of the reefs; Raiatea good for kayaking, snorkeling, and walking; Tahaa will delight you with plantations of vanilla and pearls; on Bora Bora hiking and pearl production are flourishing; a Tahiti good for its concentration of local culture (yes, the very picture where beautiful indigenous girls in wreaths of flowers and leaves offer you fresh coconuts, and men dance with burning torches to the accompaniment of live music). And: safari tours, diving, kitesurfing, windsurfing, paragliding and fishing - everywhere. And of course Museum of the famous artist Paul Gauguin in Tahiti.
The underwater world of Polynesia described as "awesome". Yes, there are sharks. The good news is that there are no reports of shark attacks on bathers on the Society Islands.
French polynesia - place of high standardsset by metropolis France. Here in the evening strangers will not approach you with a knife and offer to walk with your credit card to the nearest ATM. Pesky sellers will not try to pair you with an exotic animal tooth as a universal amulet. Even the jungle is generally safe here.
They say that in FP distinctive local culture has not yet turned into a "tourist attraction", as has happened in many other countries. And the locals really live as you see - and do not build "Potemkin villages" for tourists, where they reproduce the popular local life for show. Although the impact of globalization is certainly felt, especially on the "central" islands like Tahiti and Bora Bora. And it's also clean here. Very clean.
Here, the high quality of the services provided. This means that the cars are mostly new, the equipment is tested, safety is a priority. Medicine - God forbid it will be needed - also on top. And the Polynesians themselves are pleasant and open people.
A spoon of tar
Good is rarely cheap. This is fully true for French Polynesia. It's expensive here in due time Paul Gauguin fled from France to Tahiti from disorder and poverty - today he probably would have to flee back.
Simple hut will cost $ 80 for two per night, hotel with conveniences from 100; tent can be rented for 15. Romantic bungalowsstanding on stilts in sea water - about $ 400 per night in low season. It is good that yachtsmen usually do not need accommodation. As a last resort, experienced ones advise to look for offers on Airbnb.
Tourism resources, having calculated the reviews of different tourists, they estimate minimum daily budget on the islands at 130-150 dollars per person. These are food, drinks, transportation expenses.
And, of course, the cost - and the complexity! - air travel. One way flight will definitely take more than a day (from 30+ hours), will include 2-4 transfers, and will cost at least $ 600 +. international Airport located in Tahiti, you can get to the rest of the islands by local airlines. Almost all flights fly through the United States (San Francisco or Los Angeles) - and this requires an American visa. Some fly via Japan, a visa is also required.
Where can I get a boat?
There are also two options here: charter company and "with hands"... Boats on the islands offer, for example, Dream yacht charter and Boat bureau (there is a Russian-language version of the sites) or beloved by the British SunSail. Frommer writes that most charters allow a boat to be taken on the island. Raiatea and put it after a cruise on Huahine or Bora Bora. Each island is about 20-25 miles away.
Many travelers who have visited French Polynesia say that this is one of the most idyllic - and, perhaps, the most! - places on earth (or rather on the water). The objective difficulties that come with those who decide to get to this end of the world are more than compensated for by the amazing impressions that the traveler receives in return. After all, how can the fullness of our life be measured if not by new experience?
All information provided in the material is for informational purposes only and is relevant at the beginning of November 2019. Please check the details, especially the visa part, when planning your trip.
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