The Society Islands, considered "Paradise on Earth" by savvy travelers, were explored by Captains Cook and Bligh, but they were made truly famous by the paintings of the artist, Paul Gauguin, and by the words of author, James A. Michener.
Divided into the Windward Islands (Iles du Vent), and the Leeward Islands (Iles Sous le Vent) they were given their stylish name by Captain James Cook in 1769, when he named them after England's Royal Society- and Royalislands they certainly are.
Most of these rugged islands are volcanic in origin, with a few small coral atolls mixed in. Of these, the most recognizable names are the legendary islands of Bora Bora, Huahine, Moorea and Tahiti.
For additional info about the islands of French Polynesia, and their most interesting history, go here.
Facts and Figures
- Official Name Society Islands (an island group within French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France, originally claimed in 1843)
- Population 221,000
- Capital City Papeete (27,000), with an estimated (151,500) on the island of Tahiti
- Flag here
- Languages French (official), Tahitian (official)
- Official Currency Comptoirs Francais du Pacifique franc
- Currency Converter here
- Religions Protestant, Catholic, others
- Land Area 1,680 sq km (650 sq miles)
- Latitude/Longitude 17º 52S, 149º 56W
- Highest Point Mt. Orohena at 7,350 ft. (2,241 m)
- Society Islands Large Color Map here
- Society Islands Outline Map here
- Bora Bora Maps here
- Huahine locator Map here
- Tahiti Maps here
- French Polynesia Large Color Map here
- French Polynesia Map CIA version here
- French Polynesia Outline Map here
- French Polynesia Maps at UT here
- Oceania Maps here
- Bora Bora website here
- Huahine website here
- Moorea website here
- Tahiti tourism website here
- French Polynesia website here
- French Polynesia photos here
- Climate The summer months (November - April) are hot and humid, with many sunny days. The balance of the year is slightly cooler and drier.
Cooling trade winds buffet the islands throughout the year, and the months of June, July, August and October are widely considered to be ideal times to visit.
Frankly, there's never a bad time to travel to paradise.