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Tahiti Tourisme Network :
The islands at the end of the world
You are here : Complete Guide to the Islands > Gambier Islands
Lying over 1,600 km South east of Tahiti, the Gambier archipelago comprises 14 small rugged islands, the largest and most populated of which is Mangareva. This group of islands was the cradle of Catholicism in Polynesia in the 18th century, and has over a hundred stone edifices, all built at that time: churches, convents, teaching establishments, weaving workshops, bread ovens and watch towers. The natural habitat is very diverse with thickets of tropical fruits such as mango, breadfruit and rolling hills.
Mangareva is far away from everything, you will experience tranquility and enjoy the undeveloped nature of the island. The lagoons of Mangareva used to be exploited for their abundance of pearl oysters. This activity continues today, and the pearl farms of the most well-know companies are present here, and represent the archipelago's main resource. The lagoons are reputed to be well-suited to the production of cultured pearls.
In the principal village of Rikitea, stands the impressive Saint-Michel cathedral, dating from 1848. the altar is richly decorated with pearls and nacres, and is a real masterpiece. This small village has a number of monumental ruins. There are five shops, a post office, a chemist and police station.
These agents are certified by the Tahiti Tourisme Office and all have excellent knowledge of the destination. They will give you the best tailor-made advice to suit your personal holiday requirements whatever they may be.