French Polynesia consists of 118 islands and atolls, spread out over a vast area approximately the size of Europe, in the continent of Oceania. Most of the islands are volcanic in origin, and are fringed by impressive coral reefs. An overseas territory of France; the islands are divided into 5 sub-groups - the Austral, Gambier, Marquesas, Society and Tuamotu archipelagos. Of these, the Society archipelago is undoubtedly the most famous, as it is home to the stunning tropical islands of Bora Bora and Tahiti.
Capital city: Pape'ete Highest Point: Mont Orohena (7352ft / 2241m) Lowest Point: Pacific Ocean (0ft / 0m) Land Area: 3827 sq. mi (9911 sq. km) Water Area: 340 sq. mi (880 sq. km) Total Area: 4167 sq. mi (10,792 sq. km) Coastline: 2525 miles (4063 km)Prior to European settlement in the early 16th century, the island group was inhabited by Polynesians, and was organised into loose chieftainships. In 1889, the archipelago become a French protectorate. However, it was not until 1957 that the name of the region was changed to Polynésie Française (French Polynesia).