Follow us on
Theme holidays

Cultural tourism



Discovering Polynesian artists

Tahiti's galleries have paintings, sculptures, photographs and various other works by major contemporary artists on exhibit: Gotz, Detloff, Deloffre, Bousquet, Mancarelli, to name only a few. Collective contemporary art exhibits are also regularly organised at the Museum of Tahiti and the Islands. Authentic artists' haunts can be found on other islands, such as Moorea, Huahine and the Marquesas, and a number of painters and sculptors will gladly admit you into their workshops. Just as the islanders to send you in their way.

The Centre des métiers d'art (Artists’ Centre), located in Pape'ete (the Mamao District), regularly opens its doors to let the public discover Fenua's up-and-coming young talent. Each year, the centre brings artists together from all around the Pacific for a Pûtahi (gathering), usually in July or August.

To immerse yourself in the heart of Polynesian culture , visit the Museum of Tahiti page !

Museums of Tahiti

Artistic handicrafts

Due to their dexterity and avant-garde vision, some artisans are able to raise handicrafts to the level of art. Throughout the year, fairs and exhibitions (Made in Fenua, the Marquesas Exhibition, the Austral Islands Exhibition and the Tuamotus Exhibition) give them the opportunity to put their works crafted from wood, stone, bone, pearls, plant fibres, mother-of-pearl, etc. on display. All year long: Pearl Museum (Paofai, Pape'ete)

Museum of Tahiti and the Islands

Immerse yourself in the history, geology and settlement of the islands through permanent and temporary exhibitions (retrospectives, contemporary art, photography, etc.) in a picture-perfect setting: Fisherman's Point, Punaauia.

Maison de la Culture: culture for all

Films, children's stories, craft workshops (weaving, applied arts, etc.) every Wednesday and Friday and during school holidays, shows and plays...there is always something happening at this cultural centre! View the schedule of events at

A tour of the island as you retrace history

Marae, monuments and monoliths: the past is everywhere on the island of Tahiti. Marae, some of which have been painstakingly restored, are primarily found in valleys. There are several dozen marae, most of which are hidden in out-of-the-way places. The Maroto Valley holds as vast archaeological complex bearing witness to human settlements at the heart of Tahiti long before the arrival of missionaries.
The arrival of the missionaries, Polynesian royalty, and the history of the last three centuries have left behind many monuments and sites to explore.

  • Marea Ārahurahu
  • Point Venus and its lighthouse
  • The tomb of King Pōmare V in ‘Ārue
  • The Queen's Pool (Gardens of the Assembly of French Polynesia)
  • Pape'ete Cathedral

The Monoi Trail

An itinerary with 20 stops all around Tahiti to help you unlock the secrets behind this typical Polynesian product.
More information is available at


Raiatea is considered to be the cradle of Polynesia civilisation as evident from its large archaeological complexes and marae , including the world renowned Taputapuatea marae.


WWII history buffs will find traces of the American military presence (fortifications, guns) from 1942 to 1946 on this advanced base for US troops in the Pacific, after the United States went to war against Japan (bombing of Pearl Harbour). You can also visit the small Marine Museum while there.


A cruise to discover the culture of the “Land of Men”

The mixed cargo/passenger vessel, the Aranui, offers 15-day cruises throughout all the islands where you can discover craftspeople, dancers and musicians. Guided tours of archaeological sites and specialist lectures (archaeologists, historians, ethnologists, etc.) make this cruise a cultural holiday no one should miss.

Marquesas Art Festival: the place to go!

Since 1987, this major art festival has been welcoming representatives every four years from all six islands of the archipelago as well as participants from other islands in French Polynesia and in the Pacific. Three days of dance, handicraft exhibits and traditional Polynesian games are held at locations that will take your breath away.
The next festival will be held on Hiva Oa in December 2015.

Following in the footsteps of the greats

Painter Paul Gauguin and singer-songwriter Jacques Brel are both buried in Hiva Oa. The memory of them lingers over the island and old-timers still have some stories to tell about these two men, who spent their last days in the “Land of Men”. Two cultural centres, one dedicated to Paul Gauguin and the other dedicated to Jacques Brel, bring them back to life during a fascinating interactive tour.


The Paumotu Art Festival, Anaa

Every 3 to 4 four years, this history-filled island brings together representatives from the four corners of the Tuamotus for a week-long festival. A relatively unknown event that is worth the trip... The next festival will be held in December 2015

Following in the footsteps of the missionaries, Gambier Islands

Very few tourists make it as far as the distant Gambier Islands (1,650 km from Tahiti). The main island, Mangareva, rich in historic remnants testifying to the activities of Catholic missionaries in the mid-19th century, is the centre of Tahiti's cultured pearl industry.


Tubuai, the island of the mutineers of the HMS Bounty

One month after the mutiny aboard the British vessel, HMS Bounty, on 28 April 1789, the mutineers made a stop in Tubuai on their way back to Tahiti but received a decidedly inhospitable reception from the inhabitants. The bay where the Bounty lay at anchor on the northwest side of the island opposite the pass is still known as Baie Sanglante (Bloody Bay). The mutineers stayed only a few months and spent most of their time on the motu.

Other themed holidays

Following in the footsteps of the greats

Many famous writers, singers, artists, poets and yachtsmen, all lovers of our islands, made the choice to spend some time with us. Some of them even died in Tahiti. They are part of the Polynesia's historic heritage and most have left traces and testimonies of their island life.
See the section on Famous people with a connection to Tahiti and its islands

Famous film locations

Enthusiasts of the seventh art will find several locations on the five archipelagos where some famous (and not so famous) films were made with Polynesia as the backdrop.
See the section on Tahiti and Film