Top tip: Snorkel with full sun screen
Tahiti is located in the heart of French Polynesia, set amongst some of the Pacific’s most attractive islands. French Polynesia comprises 130 islands split up into five archipelagos. The Society Islands Archipelago including Leeward and Windward Islands, is mountainous with coastal plains. Tahiti is the largest of the Windward group, dominated by Mount Orohena (2236 mts or 7337 ft) and Mount Aorai (2068 mts or 6786 ft). The smaller island of Moorea lies off the west coast of Tahiti, a picturesque volcanic island with superb white sandy beaches.
The Leeward Islands are lower in altitude. Of these, Raiatea and Bora-Bora are the largest. Tuamotu Archipelago comprises 80 coral atolls, 185 miles east of Tahiti. The Marquesas Islands, 930 miles Northeast of Tahiti, are volcanic. The grass-covered Austral Islands to the south are scattered from east to west over 310 miles. The capital of Tahiti is Papeete, to the west of which you will find Venus Point, overlooked by Mount Orohena, where the first Europeans set foot on the island in 1767.
The climate is temperate, but cooled by sea breezes. There are two main seasons: humid (hot and wet) from November to March, cool and dry from April to October.
Facts and Figures
|Area||4167 sq km (1609 sq miles).|
|Population||178,133 (2007 estimate)|
|Capital||Papeete (largest city on Tahiti Island). – population 26,017 (2007)|
|Language||The official language is French. Tahitian and other Polynesian languages are spoken by the indigenous people. English is widely understood, mainly by islanders accustomed to dealing with foreign visitors|
|Religion||Protestant 55 per cent, Catholic 34 per cent.|
|Time||GMT – 9 Gambier Islands; GMT – 9.5 Marquesas Islands; GMT – 10 Society Archipelago, Tubuai Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago (expect Gambier Islands), Tahiti|
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