Everything you wanted to know about French Polynesia

French Polynesia. Even the name sounds like some kind of magical, mythical land. And it’s no coincidence that the places classed as French Polynesia rank among the most beautiful in the world. With stunning geography, gorgeous beaches, glistening lagoons, and some of the greatest natural beauty the world has seen, this is most certainly the promised land for many travelers.

But, though we hear all the time about the beauty of French Polynesia, many of us know so little about it, and that’s a shame. If this is somewhere that interest you when it comes to travel and tourism, it will help to understand more about it. So, here are some of the things you always wanted to know about French Polynesia but never did.

It’s made up of loads of islands

You’ve heard of a few of the places in French Polynesia, like Bora Bora, but it’s about much more than this. In fact, French Polynesia as a place is made up of close to 120 different islands, and 5 archipelagos. Collectively, we like to refer to this group of islands as Tahiti, but that is actually only one of the islands. So, the next time this comes up in a pub quiz, you’ll be right on the money.

They created the overwater bungalow

We’ve all seen those stunning shots of overwater bungalows with thatched roofs, and there are so many of these across the world now. But, we bet you weren’t aware that they were created in French Polynesia! The first ever one was created on the French Polynesian island of Moorea in the 1960s. These bungalows have become such an iconic part of this place, and offer something unique and stunning for travelers as well.

The word tattoo comes from Tahiti

Yes, really! Believe it or not, the origins of the word ‘tattoo’ can be traced back to the island of Tahiti. Specifically, to the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ which is translated to mean appropriate or fitting. So, in a sense, this actually makes it kind of a mixed bag when it comes to tattoos – some of them are anything but appropriate! Tattoos have been a crucial part of Polynesian life and culture for centuries.

It belongs to France

As you might have gathered from the name, French Polynesia is a part of the country of France. If you have ever been to France, you’ll know how diverse it is, but you certainly won’t have associated it with the epic beauty of French Polynesia. The islands were their own kingdom before they were annexed by the French in 1880, and it is now a semi-autonomous region of France.

These are just a few of the things we reckon you never knew about French Polynesia, and they will certainly give you more of an insight into this stunning place. If you’ve never visited, we absolutely recommend that you go next year, and do as much as you can to experience the whole of this place.