society islands polynesia

Set sail to Society Islands, a dream destination

Also known as "Society Islands", in French "îles de la Société", these islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and are made up of the Windward Islands (or Wind Islands) to the east and the Leeward Islands to the west. Discovered in 1767 by Samuel Wallis, British navigator and explorer of the eighteenth century, the islands of the Society owe its name to James Cook, who in 1769 gave his name to the archipelago because of the proximity of the 14 islands, which in his opinion constituted a "society". Today, the Society's islands are the most important in French Polynesia from an economic and demographic point of view, but they are also the main tourist destination for those visiting French Polynesia. By hiring a catamaran in French Polynesia and sailing in Society islands, you will discover the legendary hospitality of Polynesians, a rich culture with millenary traditions, fascinating seabeds, local cuisine and lagoons with "fifty shades of blue"! 

Windward Islands 

Located in the southeast of the archipelago, the Windward Islands are the largest islands in French Polynesia and comprise four islands and an atoll. Among them you can find: 

  • Tahiti: the largest island of French Polynesia. Tahiti is often considered as the "transit" island for visitors visiting the surrounding islands, especially since the international airport is located on this island. However, hiring a boat in Tahiti you can have many surprises: the kindness and hospitality of the inhabitants, breathtaking scenery, sumptuous archaeological sites, delicious local specialties and beaches renowned for surfing.

  • Moorea: located 30 nautical miles from its "sister" Tahiti, Moorea is the perfect destination if you are looking for authenticity and tranquility. The seabed is a real treasure here and the beaches are worthy of the most beautiful picture-postcard landscapes. The island owes its fame to its two bays: Cook Bay and Opunohu Bay. Cook Bay is considered one of the most beautiful landscapes in the Pacific! So don't wait any longer and opt for hiring a catamaran in Moorea

  • Tetiaroa: known as "the island of birds", Tetiaroa is an atoll located 50 kilometers north of Tahiti. It is particularly known for its luxurious eco-hotel The Brando, but it is also an island classified as a nature reserve and home to one of the most important colonies of birds in Polynesia. 

  • Maiao: located about 70 nautical miles from Tahiti, Maiao is known as "the forbidden island" or "the forgotten island". With a population of about 300 inhabitants, the island has maintained a policy that consist in not hosting foreigners, i.e. people who do not come from the island. Today the island is opening up more and more to visitors but the theme is still delicate and the island of Maiao continues to keep its mystery.
  • Mehetia: it is a now uninhabited volcanic island whose access is regulated by its still active volcano. 

society islands

Leeward Islands

Located in the north-western part of the archipelago, the Leeward Islands are the second jewel of the Society Islands. Geologically older than the Windward Islands, they are distinguished by their larger lagoons. Among them you can find:

  • Bora Bora: considered one of the most paradisiacal destinations on the planet, Bora Bora will seduce you with its beautiful lagoon, its rich tropical fauna and flora, its delicious scents of Tiaré, its breathtaking seabed. Like Tahiti, the inhabitants will welcome you with their legendary kindness. So why not hire a boat in Bora Bora

  • Raiatea: called "the sacred island", Raoatea is considered the cradle of Polynesian culture. It is said that it was on this island that the first inhabitants landed by canoe before leaving to discover the other islands of the archipelago. A mecca for pleasure boating, Raiatea is the starting base for numerous cruises in the Leeward Islands, in the heart of a shimmering sea.

  • Tahaa: Tahaa is the island where one of the best varieties of vanilla in the world is harvested. The island of Tahaa is ideal for those who are looking for peace, enjoy walking and meeting the local population. In fact, the island has remained relatively "wild" and has maintained its authentic side thanks to the control of tourism. Tahaa is also a perfect destination if you go sailing!

  • Huahine: this is one of the best kept secrets of Tahiti and its surroundings. The first European to set foot there in 1769 was Captain Cook, who discovered two islands set in the same lagoon, separated by an isthmus about ten meters long. You will immediately feel the charm of this preserved paradise: lush forests, picturesque villages with friendly inhabitants, magnificent bays and white sandy beaches.

  • Maupiti: this small island and its few thousand inhabitants refuse to be invaded by hotels and here you will find only bed and breakfast or family pensions. Rather isolated from the other islands of the archipelago, the atmosphere is warm and it is the ideal destination for those looking for contact and sharing with the local population.
  • Manuae: Manuae is an atoll of the Leeward Islands. The island is populated by about twenty people and the patriarch is described as authoritarian and anarchist. The largest coral atoll on the Society Islands, Manuae has been a nature reserve since 1992 and is known as an important breeding ground for sea turtles.

  • Maupihaa: Maupihaa is an atoll of the Society Islands, part of the Leeward Islands group. It is part of the municipality of Maupiti, to which it is connected every week by a ship that stays there for two days. The atoll is inhabited by about fifteen inhabitants who live from the collection of pearl oysters and copra. The best way to explore this island is by sailboat or catamaran.

  • Motu One: in Tahitian it means "sand island". This atoll is not permanently inhabited, but it is common for groups of Polynesians to settle there temporarily.

  • Tupai: the atoll is part of the municipality of Bora-Bora and has been uninhabited since 2012. 

society islands

Visiting French Polynesia, at the other end of the world, makes everyone dream... So why don't you start dreaming too? The Society Islands are the ideal destination for a total change of scenery in authentic Polynesia and the most beautiful lagoon in the world! 

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