Leeward Islands, French Polynesia

Leeward Islands are the group of islands on the western part of the Society Islands. They are part of French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity of France. Leeward Islands cover 396 sq km (152.5 sq mi) and has a population of 33,000 people (2012 estimate). They include some of the most famous islands in French Polynesia such as Bora Bora.

More on Leeward Islands

The Leeward Islands are to the north of the

Austral Islands. To the west are the Cook Islands while to the north are the Line Islands of Kiribati.

Leeward Islands compose of islands and atolls. To the west are Manuae and Motu One atoll. To the sooutheast is the Maupihaa atoll. To the east are the island cluster comprising Tupai atoll,

Bora Bora, Taha’a and Raiatea. And to the easternmost part of Leeward Islands is Huahine.

The first European to arrive in the Leeward Islands was James Cook, in 1769. It was he who named the Society Islands, after the Royal Society. They islands consist mostly of volcanic rock. The vegetation includes coconut trees, pandanus and breadfruit. Today the economy of the Leeward Islands is supported mainly by tourism, along with copra, sugar, rum, mother-of-pearl and vanilla.

Visiting Leeward Islands

There are regular flights to various Leeward Islands with hubs being Raiatea and Bora Bora.

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