To meet the most official kings in France, you have to push to the islands of Wallis and Futuna, the furthest part of the metropolis in the heart of the Pacific Ocean! An extraordinary trip to one of the most secret places in the world. Between volcanic lands dotted with crater lakes, colorful churches and old Tonga forts and turquoise waters of the lagoons, to be cruised by sail or pirogue, immediate boarding for the most unusual land of French Polynesia!
The must-see sites for your trip to the Wallis and Futuna Islands
Although not a geographically speaking archipelago, Wallis and Futuna is made up of two groups of volcanic islands, themselves divided into three traditional kingdoms: the Wallis Islands, with their lagoon surrounded by coral islands, and islands Futuna.
In Wallis, one can see the King's Palace in Mata Utu, the capital, a beautiful colonial architecture building in front of which are held traditional festivals, including the impressive dance competitions, and the Cathedral of Mata Utu, an imposing stone building. The cradle of evangelization on the island is located in Mala'efo'ou, famous for its St. Joseph's Church, a colorful interior dating back to 1859.
To understand the history of Wallis and Futuna, once dominated by the kingdom of Tonga, do not miss the visit of the site of Talietumu and its basalt stone remains of an old fort of the fifteenth century, or the one from Tonga Toto whose ancient fortress overlooks the sea.
The sanctuary of St. Peter Chanel in Poi recalls the difficult beginnings of evangelization: it is dedicated to one of the first missionaries of the Pacific, killed by King Niuliki in 1841 and became the patron saint of Oceania.
Admire all the landscapes of Wallis and Futuna
To savor the wild beauty of the islands, at Futuna, the steepest, take the coastal road that winds between the steep slopes of the cliffs and the sea. On the way, we stop at the tip of La Pyramide to enjoy the panorama and to Vaisai to see a typical "fale fono", the traditional hut where locals gather to enjoy kava, a traditional herbal drink. It is also the starting point for a nice hike to Mount Puke (522 meters), where the goddess protector of Futuna would reside.
On the island of Wallis, if you want to reach the summit, the altitude difference is more modest: Mount Lulu Fakahega rises to 151 meters, but the ascent and descent allow to enjoy magnificent panorama. In the south-west we dream of diving into the salt water of a crater: Lalolalo Lake spreads its blue waters over 400 meters in diameter (and 80 meters deep!) In the middle of an ocean of greenery ... C ' is the largest of the five crater lakes on the island.
But in Wallis, you must also enjoy the sumptuous lagoon and its crown of atolls. We sail or va'a, the traditional outrigger canoe to the islands like Nukuteatea, or the islets of Nukuhione and Nukuhifala. With their white sandy beaches fringed with coconut trees, they love swimming and diving. To enjoy the wild beaches, you can also take the boat to the island of Alofi, 2 kilometers south of Futuna, a corner of paradise totally uninhabited.
Memories of Wallis and Futuna
Of Wallis and Futuna, we necessarily bring back colorful memories, starting with the taste of typical dishes.
The stewed pig in the Polynesian oven is an institution, especially during traditional festivals where they serve as an offering. We also enjoy pork bami, a dish of New Caledonia, and among the fish, we enjoy the barracuda. As in the rest of French Polynesia, yams are also widely used in recipes.
And we slip into his luggage some souvenirs illustrating the originality of the local crafts: necklaces of shells, objects made of cloth of tapa (bark of tropical mulberry tree), mats in woven pandanus leaves, sculptures in wood and ta'ovala, the traditional loincloth of ceremonies, made from bourao bark, a species of hibiscus!