Gambier Islands
Gambier Islands
Archipelago in French Polynesia
Pacific Ocean
27.8 km² (10.7 sq mi)
1,431 (as of 2017)
The Gambier Islands are an archipelago in French Polynesia, located at the southeast terminus of the Tuamotu archipelago. They cover an area of 27.8 km2 and are made up of the Mangareva Islands, a group of high volcanic islands remnants of a caldera, and the uninhabited Temoe atoll. The main island is Mangareva, which had a population of 1,431 at the 2017 census. The Gambier Islands are considered separate from the Tuamotu archipelago due to their volcanic origin, distinct Mangarevan culture and language closely related to the Marquesas Islands.

Key Points

  • Volcanic archipelago in French Polynesia, southeast of the Tuamotu atolls
  • Consists of the high Mangareva Islands and Temoe atoll
  • Main island is Mangareva, population 1,431 in 2017
  • Distinct Mangarevan culture and language related to Marquesas
  • Known for Saint Michael's Cathedral in Rikitea village on Mangareva
  • Pearls are an important industry and export
  • Remote and isolated, reached by Air Tahiti flights from Tahiti
The Gambier Islands offer a unique cultural experience with their Mangarevan heritage, historic churches like Saint Michael's Cathedral, and traditional activities like pearl farming and weaving. Their isolation and volcanic landscapes provide a tranquil, off-the-beaten-path destination in French Polynesia.
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