The Islands of Wallis and Futuna: what to do, what to see…

The last overseas territories to join the French republic, the Islands of Wallis and Futuna await you between New Caledonia and French Polynesia in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. This amazing destination isn’t on most people’s radar, so be one of the first to explore these volcanic paradise Islands.

WHAT TO SEE

• The Talietumu and Tonga Toto sites

To learn about the history of Wallis and Futuna, go to the Talietumu site, located just 5,6 miles from the capital Mata Utu. You can visit a beautiful fortress of the 15th century, at the time of the Tongan domination. Tonga Toto is also worth visiting with the remains of another fortress of the same period overlooking the sea.

• Mount Lulu Fakahega

This hill of 145 meters is the highest point of Wallis and it is dotted with lakes and craters. A small chapel is at the top of Mount Lulu Fakahega and on a clear day you can enjoy beautiful panoramas walking down to the sea.

• Mount Puke

Surrounded on the west by the Kafua and Kolofutafuta mountains, Mount Puke is the highest peak on the island of Futuna, with an altitude of 522 meters. Mount Puke would be the refuge of the goddess Finelasi, protector of the island of Futuna ...

• The coastal road of Wallis

This circuit of about 21,7 miles allows to discover the crater lake Lalolalo, surrounded by impressive cliffs, as well as Vailala, a fishing village on the northern tip of the island.

• Alofi Island

Swimming enthusiasts will go by boat to Alofi Island, 1,2 miles south of Futuna. The departure is from Sigave. The place is idyllic because the island is uninhabited and the beach is simply beautiful.

• The Futuna Coastal Route

No beach along the coastal road of Futuna along a vertiginous rocky coastline for 20 miles. Arrived at the Pyramid, we enjoy the panorama. On the way, the stop is recommended to the village of Vaisei which has preserved its "fale fono" (traditional hut) where gather the inhabitants for the kava ceremony.

• Saint Joseph's Church

Mala'efo'ou is a village in Wallis and Futuna, capital of Mu'a District, Wallis Island. Its population is only 175 inhabitants ... The place is famous for its church dating from 1859 that marked the beginnings of evangelization in the island.

• The sanctuary of St. Peter Chanel in Poi

Killed by King Niuliki, the missionary Pierre Chanel was canonized in 1954 and named patron saint of Oceania. A sanctuary is built in his honor in Futuna. Note that the island's population is now entirely Catholic.

• Mata Utu Cathedral

Mata Utu is a village in Wallis with a Roman Catholic cathedral built face to the sea. It is the headquarters of the Diocese of Wallis and Futuna.

WHAT TO DO

• Diving in the saltwater of Lalolalo crater lake

Northeast of Futuna, the island of Uvea has as highest point the Mount Lulu (151 meters above sea level). Five crater lakes, resulting from the collapse of ancient calderas are located in the southwest of the island. The largest is Lalolalo Lake (400 meters in diameter, and 80 meters deep).

• Work on his biceps on canoe trips to Nukuteatea Island

If you do not have a boat to discover one of the islets facing the main islands, it is quite possible to be taken in traditional pirogue with the wind. Passengers can be put to use and handle the paddle if the sea is calm !

• Serenely gather in Loka Cave

It takes a boat to reach Alofi, an island paradise facing Futuna. You have to walk between an hour and a half and two hours to reach the Loka cave, without forgetting to bring water and food for this excursion.

• Drink a kava with the locals at dusk

Derived from the root of a shrub, Kava is a drink that is drunk at a political or religious ceremony. Ten minutes after the absorption, the heart rate and breathing slow down, the ideas seem clear, well being settles down. For a few hours, the drinkers are serene and contemplative. Note that kava is banned in metropolitan France ...

• Vibrate to the rhythm of soamako

During the traditional soamako, families gather to exchange songs and dances, including Niutao, Kailoa, Saomako and kava dance, whose synchronized gestures are of great importance! These dances mimic the tribal conflicts of yesteryear, to the sound of drums and lali, a Wallisian instrument of percussion. Total change of scenery guaranteed ...

• Take part in a katoaga ceremony

During customary ceremonies, the population conducts all the local chieftaincy. In Wallis, these "katoagas" are deeply rooted in the local culture. They take place at a religious holiday, a family event or secular festivals such as July 14th.

• Magic diving and relaxation on the deserted beaches of Nukuhione and Nukuhifala

Nukuhione and Nukuhifala are two islets of the lagoon of Wallis and Futuna where it is possible to dive. You will see very few large predators, but the coral reefs are beautiful and are worth the trip alone! There are also pretty beaches to do nothing ...

• Take a good look while sailing in the lagoon

Of course, you can rent a sailboat to tour Wallis and Futuna and visit the neighboring islets. But the best is still to do it in Va'a for 6 people, kind of canoe with a pendulum to keep the balance. We paddle and it's the helmsman who directs the navigation ...

• Observe the thousands of colors of the Wallis lagoon in microlight

For an exceptional discovery of the archipelago, one can opt for a small tour in ultra light aircraft over the lagoon. Starting on a good niche at low tide, we are amazed by the shades of blue offered by nature!

• Play petanque (lipulu) with the children of Futuna

One can be surprised by the popularity of this activity in Wallis and Futuna, because the archipelago is full of petanque players. There are lands everywhere, by the lagoon or inland. Throwing challenges is very well received by the population ... however, it is better not to bet!

Getting to Wallis and Futuna