French Polynesia: useful information


Useful information about French Polynesia, all the things to know before leaving for a trip or vacation, including required documents, best times to go and how to get there.

French Polynesia in a nutshell

  • Capital: Papeete (on the island of Tahiti)
  • Area in sq km: 4,167
  • Population: 262,752 (2007)
  • Religion: 50% Protestant and 35% Catholic while the remainder is made up of Mormons, Adventists, Buddhists and other religions.

Where is it

French Polynesia flag French Polynesia, the overseas collectivity of France, is made up of 5 archipelagos divided into 118 islands, located in a vast area of ​​the south-east Pacific Ocean, in an area between the equator and the Tropic of Capricorn.

These islands, of volcanic origin and therefore mountainous, or flat of coral nature, are divided as follows: Austral Islands, Society Islands (Wind and Leeward Islands), Tuamotu Archipelago, Gambier Archipelago, Marquesas Islands.

In the Society Archipelago there are the most well-known islands of Tahiti and Bora Bora, as well as Moorea, Maiao, Mehetia, Maupiti, Raiatea, Tupuai and the Huahine group.


The islands of French Polynesia, located as latitude in the intertropical belt, have a tropical climate, with a rainy season in the southern summer.

The average annual temperature is approx. 27 ° C and that of the water is approx. 26 ° C. The islands of the Southern and Gambier archipelagos are located further south and have a cooler climate than the islands closest to the equator.

December to March is the rainy season, while the months from April to November correspond to the dry season.


The population is made up mostly of Polynesians and minorities of Chinese and Europeans.

Time zone

In French Polynesia, the time difference is 11 hours less than in Italy. (-12 when daylight saving time is in effect in Italy).

Spoken language

The official languages ​​are French and Tahitian.


The Polynesian economy benefits from financial aid from France, and is mainly oriented towards tourism (an important source of currency entry), fishing, the cultivation and export of pearls (typical product) and coprah (oil that is extracted from coconut).

Recommended readings
  • Papeete (French Polynesia): what to see in the capital
  • French Polynesia: useful information

In addition to crafts, the limited manufacturing sector is dedicated to products such as cotton, vanilla, tropical fruits, livestock, dairy products, shark meat.

When to go

The best time to visit French Polynesia corresponds to our summer, from May to November (their winter), since the other months are characterized by humid heat and cyclone risk.

Necessary documents

To enter Polynesia, Italian citizens need a passport with a residual validity of at least 6 months from the date of arrival and a return or onward travel ticket. A visa is not required for up to three months of stay.


- The international code for calling from Italy to French Polynesia is: 00689

- The international prefix for calling from French Polynesia to Italy is: 0039

Calls are quite expensive, so it is better to use public telephones, where you can call with prepaid cards.

For the use of our dual band GSM mobile phones, a temporary subscription with the local service must be purchased at the airport, which includes a sim card and a temporary telephone number.

In addition, you can purchase a local sim card only to receive calls.

The service covers the hotel area of ​​the Society Islands, where there are also internet points.


The electric current is at 127/220 V 60 Hz.


The official currency of French Polynesia is the Central Pacific Franc (CFP).

The euro is also quite common. In Tahiti and in the main islands there are banks where you can exchange currency and any travelers checks.

The main credit cards can be used in the premises of the most tourist areas, but are not needed in the most isolated locations.

How to get

International flights arrive at Papeete's Tahiti Faa'a (PPT) airport on the island of Tahiti.

From Italy, it is possible to reach French Polynesia with Air Tahiti Nui, the Polynesian flag carrier, which operates multiple flights per week via Paris - Los Angeles - Papeete.

In collaboration with Delta American Airlines and Eurofly it is possible to stop in New York and then directly reach French Polynesia with Air Tahiti Nui.

Air France also operates on the Paris-Los Angeles-Papeete route.

The Air New Zealand airline flies from Milan and Rome to coincide with Alitalia and British Airways via London - Los Angeles.


To visit French Polynesia no vaccination is mandatory.

Vaccination against yellow fever is required only from those who come from the countries where this disease is present.

It is advisable to take out a health insurance before departure that covers, in case of need, medical expenses and possible repatriation.

How to speak Tahitian! (July 2022)

Tags: French Polynesia