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        Tahiti - French Polynesia is an Outre-Mer [overseas France Territory]
La Orana is the traditional Tahitian greeting, meaning 'Hello' and Maeva meaning 'Welcome' to the Outre Mer overseas territory of
 France - French Polynesia more commonly known as Tahiti.  For more detailed info about French Polynesian Territories See Below
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Tahiti - the French Polynesian Islands lie in the Pacific Ocean south of the equator, in the same time zone as Hawaii. A mere 8 hours by air from Los Angeles, to these islands in paradise. These extraordinary islands are for those seeking a special
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 French Overseas Territories Index:

  More On Tahiti and French Polynesia

  French Antarctic Territories - Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises [French Antarctic Territories] - Australasia

  French Antilles Information - France overseas territories in the Caribbean that include the following territories:

  Guadeloupe Map + Guadeloupe Official Tourist Info

  Martinique Map + Martinique Official Tourist Info

Saint Barthelemy Map + Saint Barthelemy Official Tourist Info

  Saint-Martin Information - Saint Maarten Official Tourist Office

  Tahiti French Polynesia Map + French Polynesia Info - more commonly known as Tahiti.  The following islands are some
  of the more well known and are part of the Society Islands, and all these islands have 'nicknames' if you will.  Most of the
  major islands are listed:      Bora Bora |
Moorea | Papeete | Tahiti

  Lesser known Society Islands, Austral Islands, Gambier islands, Marquesa Islands and Tuamotu Islands in order:
  Huahine  Raiatea  Tahaa  | Rurutu | Mangareva  | Nuku HIva + Hiva Oa | Fakarava  Manihi  Rangiroa Tikehau

  French Guiana  - Guyane Map + Guyane Info        

  Loyalty Island Information                                 

  Mayotte Map + Mayotte Information

  New Caledonia Map + New Caledonia Info

  Reunion Map + Reunion Information

  Saint-Pierre et Miquelon Map + Information

  Wallis et Futuna Map + Wallis & Futuna Info

  Introduction to French Polynesia: CIA Factbook for French Polynesia for Geography with a multitude of info regarding the
  islands that make up French Polynesia, the people demographics, government and   the economy.

  Visit Tahiti French Polynesia's Official Tourist Office

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French Antilles
General information on the Antilles [Language: French]
Serveur du Conseil régional

Guadeloupe Location
Basse-Terre and Grande-Terre are the two main islands in the eastern Caribbean that with small dependencies are a French overseas department. A long-dormant volcano forms   the highest peak and is the origin of Basse-Terre. Almost all the other islands of   Guadeloupe are limestone. Tropical rain forests cover Basse-Terre where the rainfall has been as high as 393 inches (9,982 mm) in a year. Temperatures range from an average of the high 80°s F (26 C.) in lower areas to the low 70°s F (21 C.) in higher elevations. Fine
beaches attract many tourists.

Outre Mer Map
A map of the France outlying territories of the L'Outre Mer.

Food and drink

Bananas and sugar are the two main exports, but vegetables, pineapples, coffee, coconuts and rum are grown 

Christopher Columbus discovered Guadeloupe in 1493, but the first European settlers, the French, arrived in 1635. The native Carib Indians were eliminated and then slaves from Africa were imported. Guadeloupe was one of France's most valuable possessions while sugar was an important crop during the 17th century. In the 18th century the British seized Guadeloupe, but returned it to France at the end of the Seven Years' War. Again during the French Revolution, the British gained control.

People, Religion, Ethnic background, Language
Blacks and mulattoes predominate. French is the official language.   

After World War II, Guadeloupe was made a French department and is represented in Paris in the National Assembly. French aid and imports are required to support the economy of Guadeloupe. Serveur du Conseil régional
General Guadeloupe information [Language: French]
All about Guadeloupe - Geography, Deographics and History and Map.
CIA World Factbook: Guadeloupe [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information. 
Guadeloupe Fact Sheet [Language: English] Information on everything from geography to hotels
Guadeloupe Tourist Bureau Travel information

Click for More Info

France Outre-Mer
Overseas Territories)

For Travel to Tahiti Call:


Outre Mer Maps:
The Outre Mer
Guiana / Guyane
New Caledonia
St-Pierre et Miquelon
Wallis et Futuna


 Visit French Polynesia

 Visit Island of Tahiti

Visit Bora Bora

Visit Moorea

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Practical Information for Guadeloupe.
List of towns and villages, their populations, basic information and tourist offices
Tourism Map of Guadeloupe

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Saint- Barthelemy is one of the dependencies of the Department of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. It is a small, rocky island, surrounded by reefs.
Presentation for Saint Barthelemy [French]
Territorial du Tourisme Saint- Barthelemy [French]

Food and drink
Bananas, sassafras, and vegetables, much destined for export, are grown in the fertile soil. Fishing is also important to the economy.

The French have occupied Saint- Barthélemy since 1648, except for the period 1784-1877 when it was ceded to Sweden.
The history of Saint Barthelemy

People, Languages, Religions
About 5,000 people live on Saint- Barthélemy which is only 11 miles long and 2.5 miles wide.
Photogallery of Saint Bathelemy

Part of the Guadeloupe overseas department. 
Saint Barthelemy tourism [Languages:  French & English]
Saint Barthelemy general information [Language: French]
Additional Information [French]

An overseas department of France, Martinique is one of the Lesser Antilles in the eastern Caribbean. Steep cliffs on the north coast and lower cliffs in the south form this mountainous island. There are many coves and inlets
along the rugged coast. Trade winds bring heavy rainfall especially to the tropical forest region in the northern mountains. In 1902 Mt. Pelee erupted destroying the capital, St. Pierre. Temperatures are consistent
with a daily average around 78° F.

Food and Drink
Sugarcane, including rum distilling, bananas, pineapples, tomatoes, eggplant, cabbage, tobacco, avocados, cassava and fish are major industries as the economy is mostly agricultural. Most exports go to France although imports are three times the exports.

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People, Languages, Religions
A small minority of the population are white descendants of French settlers who speak French, the official language. But Creole is spoken by the majority of the people who are black or mulatto. Most of the people are Roman Catholic. The majority of people are literate as school attendance is required through the primary grades. Unemployment is a persistent problem and many islanders emigrate to France for work.

Large subsidies are required from France to support the island. A prefect heads the government. A popularly elected General Council forms the legislature. Three deputies are seated in the French National Assembly and two senators from Martinique are in the Senate. The French formed an agreement with Cuba in 1980 to develop the Cuban economy if Cuba would desist from subversive activities in the French Antilles.

Within site map of Martinique
Official tourism information for Martinique
Discover Martinique to prepare your stay on the island.
CIA World Factbook: Martinique [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, and governmental and economic information 

List of towns and villages, their populations, basic information and tourist offices 
Map of Martinique

Saint Martin - Saint Maarten

The northern part of the island, St. Martin, is French while the southern part is Dutch, a part of the Netherlands Antilles. St. Martin is one of the dependencies, along with St.-Barthélemy, of Guadeloupe, that forms the French West Indies, one of the Leeward Islands. The trade winds relieve the heat of hilly Saint Martin to make it a popular destination for cruise ships. The increase in tourism has resulted in many resort hotels.

Food and drink
Fishing and rum are mainstays of the island's economy. The loss of labor to other islands ended the production of sugar cane and sea salt which flourished in earlier times.

The Spaniards took over Saint Martin from the Dutch in 1633, just two years after it was settled by the Dutch. In 1648 the French and Dutch divided Saint Martin between themselves after successfully defeating the Spanish for control of the islands now known as the Netherlands Antilles. The British held the islands, at times, during the Napoleonic Wars, but they were back in the hands of the Dutch in 1816.

People, Languages, Religions
The people, descendants of Africans and Europeans, are blacks who speak English and are mostly Roman Catholic.

Saint Martin is administered by the Guadeloupe overseas department.
Official Tourist Office Saint Martin Tourism  - Languages spoken: French & English
Saint Martin CIA Factbook

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French Polynesia [Society Islands: Bora Bora, Moorea, Papeete, Tahiti]

The principal groups of islands in French Polynesia are the Gambier, Society, Tubuai, Tuamotu, and Marquesas. They cover a land area of 1,550 square miles over 1.5 million square miles in the Pacific between Australia and South America. Tahiti, in the Society group, like many islands of French Polynesia are volcanic in origin. Tropical forests cover the volcanic islands, while other islands are coral reefs, some uninhabited, have palms and shrubs. Temperatures average about 80° F (27° C) with a tempering trade wind. Tourism is a main industry with Tahiti, Moorea and Bora-Bora.

Food and drink
Breadfruit, coconuts, taro, yams and bananas, pigs, cattle, goats and poultry are raised. When phosphate mining ceased in 1966, copra became the main export. Mother-of-pearl and vanilla are also exported.

Magellan discovered Tuamotu in 1521 and Tahiti was discovered in 1767 by Samuel Wallis and claimed for Britain. But the following year France also claimed it. James Cook named the islands the Society Islands when he made a scientific expedition to them in 1769. The islands were called French Oceania until it became an overseas territory in 1946. People, Religion, Ethnic background, Language

People, Languages, Religions
Three quarters of the nearly 200,000 inhabitants live in the Society islands, half of whom live on Tahiti. There are some Chinese and Europeans living on the islands, but the people are predominantly Polynesian. French is mainly spoken with native dialects on some of the outer islands. The people are Christians, mostly Protestants.

A five-member council and a governor are appointed. The thirty-member legislature is elected with a deputy and senator sitting in the French parliament.

Bora Bora Information Links
Bora Bora Official Tourist Office
Bora Bora things to do & lodging - Language spoken: French and English
PDF with activities for Bora Bora

French Polynesia Related Links
Map of French Polynesia and the five archipelagos that make up French Polynesia are: The Society Islands, comprised of of the Windward Islands and the Leeward Islands; The Tuamotu Archipelago; The Gambier Islands; The Austral Islands; and The Marquesas Islands.
French Polynesia general information [Language: French]
Pictures of Polynesia from Trek Earth
CIA World Factbook: French Polynesia [Language: English]  source for demographical, governmental and economic information.

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Moorea Information Links
Moorea things to see and do [Language: English]

Tahiti Information Links
Tahiti Tourism [Languages: French & English]
The Tahiti Traveler - the travel guide for visitors to Tahiti.  Whether it's a business trip, a romantic getaway or honeymoon, you'll find cultural and useful information for activities, food and accommodations and much more.
General information on Tahiti [Languages: French & English]
Tahiti things to do & lodging [Language: English]
The Tahiti Investment Promotion Board [Languages: French & English] 

La Guyane Française [French Guiana]

French Guiana is the smallest country of South America and has a small population, most people living along the coast. Covered by jungle and forest, it offers a tropical climate that is humid with heavy rainfalls during April through July and December and January. There is little temperature variation, averaging around 80° F (27° C). There are almost no roads or means of communication except several rivers which serve as transportation routes.

Food and drink
Rum for export is produced from sugarcane raised in Guiana. Agricultural production does not meet the needs of the population as farming is considered a demeaning occupation but bananas, pineapple, corn, cassava and rice are raised. Nevertheless large amounts of food are imported. France is the predominant trading partner and French subsidies are the prime source of income for Guiana.

Trading companies were given monopolies as early as the 17th century as a means of controlling Guiana. The Dutch and British seized control at various times, as did a Portuguese force. Fewer than 1000 of the 12,000 French who came to colonize the country survived the first three years after arriving in 1762. The emancipation of slaves in 1848 resulted in the failure of the sugar plantations due to the loss of free labor. Gold was discovered in 1853 but the location and strength of the deposits could not sustain the initial gold rush. Isolated during its early history, it was used as a penal colony from the middle of the 19th century until after the end of the second world war. Disease was a main cause of death for the convicts sent to Guiana.

People, Religion, Ethnic background, Language
Creoles, natives with some European blood, predominate, while there are minorities of Indians, descendants of escaped slaves, and Europeans and Chinese. A French patois with words from European languages mixed in is spoken, while French remains the official language. Most people are Roman Catholic. Education is free through the secondary level. Reductions in tropical diseases have resulted from the efforts of the Institut Pasteur in Cayenne, the capitol of Guiana.

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A prefect is the French government representative in Guiana. A fifteen-member General Council controls the budget and administers local affairs.

Within site map of Guyane
Official tourism information for Guyane 
General information [Language: French]
List of towns and villages, their populations, basic information and tourist offices 
Map of French Guiana 

Loyalty Islands

Part of the dependency of New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands are in the southwest Pacific Ocean. Uvéa, Lifou and Maré are coral islands with many coral reefs around them. They lie about 60 miles northeast of New Caledonia. Temperatures vary little in the tropical climate that is cooled by trade winds. 

The French took possession in 1866. 

People, Languages, Religions
The people are mainly Melanesian, with some of Polynesian descent on Uvéa, one of the islands making up the Loyalty Islands.
Loyalty Islands tourism [Languages: French, Japanese & English]

Mayotte is northwest of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean, one of the ComoroIslands.  There is a coral reef forming a lagoon.

Food and drink
Oil for perfumes, vanilla, copra and coffee are exports.  

In 1843 Mayotte became a French Possession and in 1914 was administered by France.  The Mahorais gained independence from France in 1974 but Mayotte chose to remain a part of France.

People, Languages, Religions
It is also called Mahore and the Mahorais people are Arab, African and Malagasy.  They are Muslim and Roman Catholic.  

Dzaoudzi is the capital of this French administered island.
Within site map of Mayotte

General information [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: Mayotte [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information 

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New Caledonia
Part of Melanesia, New Caledonia is a large island and archipelago in the Southwest Pacific east of Australia. The interior valleys and plateaus and highlands give way to a coastline with coral reefs. The capital is Nouméa. The temperature varies little from the average of 73° F (23° C). Trade winds and rainfall between 40 to 80 inches results in a pleasant tropical climate. Pine forests, vines and flowering plants thrive. There are many birds in New Caledonia, one , the white-crested kagu can be domesticated as it cannot fly.

Food and drink:
Coconuts, saltwater fish and crustaceans are plentiful, as are bananas.

Melanesians came to New Caledonia before 1000 B.C., followed by Polynesians later. The first European contact that was recorded was by Capt. Cook in 1774. Escaped convicts from Australia, Protestant missionaries and Roman Catholic Marists arrived in the 19th century. The people served with the Pacific Battalion in France during World War I and with the Free French during World War II.

People, Religion, Ethnic background, Language
French is the official language but several dialects of Melanesian are spoken. The people are Melanesian, European, Polynesian, Indonesian and Vietnamese living in outlying areas rather than in cities. Nearly 150 tribes, each with its own dialect, cling to their land and customs. They are mainly Christians, Roman Catholics outnumbering Protestants, three to one. The Melanesians keep their native customs. Nickel, the leading export, is only one of many mineral deposits, others being iron, cobalt, and chrome.

From 1853 to 1885 there was a military government. It has been a French overseas territory since 1946. Forty percent of the population are Melanesians who are a strong political force in trying to regain their independence from France.

Within site map of New Caledonia
Official Site for New Caledonia (Nouvelle Caledonie) [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: New Caledonia [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information 
General information [Language: French]
New Caledonien tourism [Languages: French & English]
New Caledonia-Noumea tourism [Languages: French, Japanese & English]
Caledonien Phone Book [Languages:  French & English]
Yahoue - Search engine for New Calidonia [Languages: French & English]
Air Caledonie airline [Languages: French & English]
Les Nouvelles Caledoniennes newspaper Language: French]

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An island in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, Reunion is an overseas department of France. A mountainous island formed by a volcano, it sill has an active volcano in the southeast. The southwestern side of the island remains dry while the eastern coast gets rainfall brought by trade winds. The temperatures are hot in the coastal areas where it is also humid, while it is more temperate in higher elevations.

Food and Drink
Sugar comprises 80% of the exports. Rum, molasses, vanilla, tapioca, tobacco and cement, iron and steel are other exports. Most exports go to France and Madagascar.

The Portuguese navigator, Pedro de Mascarenhas discovered the island in the 16th century. Although the French claimed it in 1638, they didn't establish a settlement until 1665 for the French East India Company. It was named Reunion during the French Revolution in 1793. It was returned to France in 1814 after Britain had held it for four years. Called Bourbon after the French Revolution until 1848 it was then named Reunion.

People, Languages, Religions
The population is Creole, with descendants of Malaguay and Kaffir from southern Africa, and immigrants from Indian, Indochina, China and East Africa. Many were indentured servants brought to work in the sugar fields and on coffee plantations.

Reunion sends three deputies and two senators to the French National Assembly. A prefect and a thirty-six member elected general council govern the island. It was made an overseas department in 1947.

Within site map of Reunion
General information [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: Reunion [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information
List of towns and villages, their populations, basic information and tourist offices. 
Map of Reunion

Saint-Pierre et Miquelon
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon are two small islands southwest of Newfoundland. A narrow sandbar connects Grande Miquelon and Langlade, or Petite Miquelon. Although the islands are cold and foggy, the Gulf Stream keeps the harbor free of ice.

Food and drink
The food is typically French, mostly subsidized and imported from France. Fishing and the industries associated with commercial fishing, such as canning, freezing and drying, were the main commerce. However, since the decline of fishing on the Grand Banks, the French government has encouraged tourism to the islands.

Jacques Cartier claimed the islands for the French in 1535 but the British held them at times until 1816, since that time they have always been French possessions. France claimed large areas of North America at one time, but these two small islands are what remains. And it is to these islands that the French populations came when the British expelled them from Canada.

People, Languages, Religions
St. Pierre, the capital, is on the island of St. Pierre where most of the people reside. French descendants, they speak French and are Roman Catholic.

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The islands were a French colony to 1946. In 1976 the French Senate made St. Pierre and Miquelon a French Department after the population voted to remain a territory of France in 1958. The islands are represented by a deputy and a senator in the French Parliament.

Within site map of Saint-Pierre & Miquelon
General information [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: Saint-Pierre & Miquelon [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information 
List of towns and villages, their populations, basic information and tourist offices. 
Map of Sant-Pierre et Miquelon  

Wallis et Futuna
These two island groups that form a French overseas territory are found in the Southwest Pacific. Their land area is 106 square miles and the climate is hot and humid. Samuel Wallis discovered the islands in 1767 when he discovered Tahiti. The population is less than 20,000 inhabitants.

Food and drink
Taro, yams, copra, fruit and fish are the agricultural products.

First attached to Tahiti and later to New Caledonia, they became a protectorate in 1887 and later colonial status. The islands voted to become a French overseas territory in 1959.

People, Religion, Ethnic background, Language
Polynesians form the population and are Roman Catholics.

A French administrator and a twenty-member Assembly govern the territory.
Within site map of Wallis & Futuna
General information [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: Wallis & Futuna [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information 
Wallis and Futuna Tourism [Languages: French & English] Web site with general information

Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises [French Antarctic Territories] Australasia - see more below:
Three hundred islands and islets in the Indian Ocean and Adelie Land form
the French Antarctic territories. Ile Amsterdam, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen
Islands and Ile St. Paul are all of volcanic origin and mostly unpopulated.
Research stations and a meteorological station are on the islands. The
French claim Adelie Land in the Antarctic and was discovered by Jules
Dumont d'Urville in 1840. General information [Language: French]
CIA World Factbook: French Southern and Antartic Lands [Language: English] Outstanding source for demographical, governmental and economic information

  Australia - Oceania

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© Copyright 1999 - 2012 by Sharon Atchley.  All rights reserved.  Updated:  01/01/2016