The remote Mangareva & the Gambier Islands lie just a little more than 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) southeast of Tahiti. Polynesian mythology tells of Mangareva being lifted from the ocean floor by the demi-god Maui. The mountains of Mangareva rise over the surrounding islands and the luminous lagoon like a great cathedral. Although once the center for Catholicism in French Polynesia, the people of Mangareva have returned to a more traditional Polynesian lifestyle. The Gambier Islands are an important supply source for the Tahitian cultured pearl industry.
These are the most secluded and least populated islands within French Polynesia.
The main island of Mangareva is located within a large coral reef. The largest village on the island, Rikitea, is the chief town of the Gambier Islands. Several other islands share the lagoon, most are uninhabited.
Daily air service from Papeete to GMR Totegegie Airport, the only airport in the region.
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page updated: December 2020
images courtesy: The Islands of Tahiti Tourisme