The physical embodiment of the tropical island dream
To see the home territory of flawless black pearls and hardy residents, a trip to the Tuamotu Islands is in order; just watch for sharks! The far-flung Austral Islands can be chillier than their palm-fringed beaches might suggest so just remember to pack a jumper...and French Polynesia's Gambier Archipelago is one to put on your exploration list if you're a National Geographic fan.
This Europe-sized patch of the Pacific blends Polynesian culture with French verve and a holiday in French Polynesia gives you the chance to be as active or relaxed as you choose. There's no shortage of aquatic playgrounds and terrestrial treats. It's about halfway between Australia and South America – just far enough for a real getaway.