A Comprehensive Guide to the
Top Attractive Sights in Wallis And Futuna Island
The views at the Wallis and Futuna islands are nothing short of magical! From the unique and remarkable landscapes to its lagoons, Wallis and Futuna have a unique combination of traditional lifestyle, rich history, pleasant beaches, original cuisine and special spirit of life. This guide should help you grasp a little of each of these flavors and get the essentials of these undiscovered islands. Go ahead and enjoy!
Wallis and Futuna are two immensely beautiful islands which lie a little above 200km away from each other. These volcanic specks are both financed by the french and lie in the center of Polynesia / Melanesia, and are connected through French governance, but this is where the connection ceases. Wallis has its ancestry linked to Tonga, while the origins of Futuna tracesare traced to Samoa. This is noticeable in their languages, which are mutually comprehensible but different. The two islands remain competitive, but Wallis is more populated (about 10,750 residents) and holds the upper hand as the center of government.
Wallis and Futuna are far from the beaten track and still unnoticed by visitors. According to official numbers from the department of culture, just about one hundred tourists visit the islands yearly. The number of boats docking every year can remain less than five. Wallis & Futuna are a timeless island with a fascinating, ancient Polynesian community still alive today.
History of the Wallis and Futuna Islands
While the Dutch and British were the discoverers of the islands in the 17th and 18th centuries, it was the French who were the first Europeans to arrive in the region, with the arrival of French missionaries in 1837, who converted the population into Roman Catholicism. The first missionary to Futuna, one Pierre Chanel, was martyred for four years in his evangelical journey. Nevertheless, his work had been accomplished: the first Oceanian nation to martyrize a missionary had become a devoutly religious country, where church buildings sprung up in almost every corner. These beautiful churches now provide one of the highlights of Wallis and Futuna.
Wallis is named after Samuel Wallis, the British explorer. The islands were put under the jurisdiction of the French colony of New Caledonia and In 1959, the inhabitants of the islands voted to become a French overseas territory, effective in 1961, thereby putting an end to their subordination to New Caledonia.
What is Wallis and Futuna Famous For?
Wallis is blessed with one of the most magnificent lagoons in the world, this natural beauty remains untouched by the pressure of tourism. The lagoon is dotted with 13 fairytale islets, all totally uninhabited. In just ten minutes you can enter a paradise of beautiful, secluded beaches, shimmering azure waters, and swim in the underwater wonderland.
Wallis is famed as one of the world’s top kitesurfing spots with attractions like scuba diving, fishing and sea kayaking. Futuna is also a dream destination for all water sports, and a spot enjoyed by surfing fans. In Futuna, water taro crops are grown on terraces that give a spectacular view of the magnificent landscape. Experienced hikers, accompanied by a guide, can hike on Mount Puke and walk through the lush tropical vegetation and enchanting landscapes for a memorable experience.
Locating the Islands of Wallis and Futuna
Despite not being so popular, these islands are quite easy to locate and get to. Wallis and Futuna are situated in the north of Fiji, where tourists rarely visit, and locals frequently abandon in search of work. In fact, if French Polynesia had not already taken the word, you might call it a slice of France in the Pacific. It’s the second-forgotten-slice, one of traditional Pacific and Aqua beauties.
Getting to Wallis and Futuna can be by plane or with a boat. The only point of entry by plane is the Hihifo airport on Wallis island , which is linked to Nouméa and Nadi. There is a domestic flight from Hihifo to Pointe Vele airport in Futuna. All commercial flights to and from Wallis Futuna are operated by Aircalin. The port of Mata-Utu in Uvea is in Futuna. A handful of cruise ships dock every year at Wallis & Futuna, including ships owned by the Ponant cruise line registered at Wallis & Futuna. It’s easy to anchor at Wallis and Futuna, Gahi Bay or Alofi. You can explore these islands and get around easily with a motorcycle or car, as Uvea has 120 km of roads, a lot of them well paved.
Places to Visit You Cannot Miss in Wallis and Futuna
Wallis and Futuna offer a variety of delightful sights for visitors, and we have listed places you should definitely visit in Wallis and Futuna below:
Talietumu and Tonga Toto
To learn more about the history of Wallis and Futuna, head to Talietumu, located just 9 kilometers (5.6 miles) from the capital of Mata Utu. You can visit the magnificent fortress of the 15th century, built at the time of Tongan rule. This is the location of the ruins of the last stronghold of the famous king whose feet never touched the dirt. Now in ruins, Takitumu is thought to have been the last holdout of the Tongan Empire, which ended iwith the murder of King Takalaua while he was in the lagoon of Mu’a, Tonga’s ancient capital in 1535.
The stone walls surround the ceremonial center stage, restored in the 1990s by the French archeologists Daniel Frimigacci, Jean-Pierre Siorat and Maurice Hardy. The elevated walkways surrounding the site were for use only by the King, who could not, in his exalted state, reach the ground like lesser mortals.Tonga Toto is also home to the remains of another fortress from the same period overlooking the sea.
The two-street fishing village of Corossol is often called the “straw village” along the western shores of the island, owing to the women of existing island families who make straw hats and crafts from palm fronds.
One of the major attractions at Corossol is the “Inter Oceans Museum” composed of over 9,000 shells. Corossol Beach’s tranquil waters mark a port of call for local fishermen.
Mountain Lulu Fakahega
This 145-metre (476-foot) hill is the highest point in Wallis, riddled with lakes and craters. There is a small chapel at the top of Mount Lulu Fakahega, on a clear day you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the sea.
The Church of St. Joseph
Your time in Wallis and Futuna can’t be complete if you do not visit the churches. Mala’efo’ou is a village in Wallis and Futuna, capital of the Mu’a district of Wallis. The population is only 175—but the place is famous for its church, dating back to 1859, which marked the beginning of Christian evangelization on the island. You can also visit the Shrine of St. Pierre Chanel in Poi,Killed by King Niulik, Pierre Chanel, a missionary, was canonized in 1954 and elected Patriarch.
Valais Coastal Path
Although this coastline is not famous for swimming because of the muddy water, its landscape can thrill even the most hesitant visitor. This 35-kilometer (21.7-mile) circuit passes through the crater lake of Lalolalo, surrounded by spectacular cliffs, as well as Vailala, a fishing village on the northern tip of the island.
Isle of Alofi
Swimming enthusiasts can go by boat to Alofi Island, 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) south of Futuna, from Sigave. The location is idyllic — the island is uninhabited, and the beach is stunning. You can enjoy water rides and bask in the sun at the beach on the island.
Fun Things to Do in Wallis and Futuna
Immerse Yourself in the Crater Lake of Lalolalo
Five crater lakes are found in the southwest of the island, arising from the collapse of the ancient volcano’s mouths. The largest is Lalolalo Lake (400 meters or 1,312 feet in diameter and 80 meters in height). Lake Lalolalo is the most impressive crater lake in the Wallis. The eerie lake is an almost complete circle with rocky cliffs falling 30 m (98 ft) down to the inky, 80 m (262 ft) deep waters. The crater lake Northeast of Futuna, stretches over 77.6 km2 (30 miles2) and reaches its highest point at Mount Lulu (151 meters or 495 feet above sea level).
This small volcanic lake is indeed a great sight, and you can get good photos from the top of the viewing platform. However if you take the steep trail down to the lakeside, the view gets a little better. Tropical birds are often seen gliding effortlessly over the air, and jungle hunting is prohibited here,making this one of the best protected areas on the island.
Focus on your Biceps While Canoeing on the Island of Nukuteatea
The easiest way to visit the small islands facing the main islands is by a traditional sailing canoe. You will only be allowed to use and operate the paddle if the sea is calm!
Hunt for Treasure in the Serene Loka Cave
You ‘re going to have to walk between an hour and a half and two hours from Alofi to reach the loka cave. Visit the Loka cave in Alofi on a quest for lost treasure and take a stroll along the sandy beaches surrounded by turquoise waters that are a safe haven for an abundance of underwater wildlife; an enchanting environment for passengers who can also travel along the coast path.
Drink a Kava at Dusk With the Locals
Derived from the roots of a local shrub, kava is a drink that is used to toast at a political or religious ceremony. Ten minutes after ingestion, your heart rate and your breathing slow down, your thoughts become evident and your sense of well-being settles down (note that kava is banned in metropolitan France).
Vibrate With the Rhythm of Soamako
During the traditional soamako, families assemble to share songs and dances, including Niutao, Kailoa, Saomako and Kava dance, the synchronized movements of which are of great cultural significance. Such dances echo the tribal wars of the past, the sound of drums and lali, the Valaisian percussion instrument. It’s a different experience from any other.
Delight in the Local Cuisines
Despite its shared Polynesian and Samoan heritage, the incredible isolation of Wallis and Futuna, allowed the country to retain its degree of independence and ensured the survival of the island’s monarchy in the 21st century. This has also left it with a legacy of simple dishes, influenced by the rich diversity of ingredients that the South Pacific climate allows to cultivate – such as chicken, coconuts, figs, mangoes, pork, and cherries to name just some.
You get to eat stuffed bananas and an array of dishes locally prepared in a traditional Umu oven created by digging a hole in the ground in which wood and stones will be carefully placed and covered with plantain leaves.Kava, as it is all over the South Pacific, is the finest beverage on both islands. Brewed in a wooden barrel known as a tana and used in many of the country’s traditional rituals.
However, in the modern-day Wallis and Futuna, imported beer from Australia and New Zealand has become common. Local cuisine is French-inspired, but there are also Pacific specialities such as marinated cod, taro chicken or ginger and coconut pork. Many restaurants sell a decent wine selection, but beer is drunk most frequently. Here some restaurants you can dine at in Wallis and Futuna.
This restaurant serves various dishes, mainly the local ones. The seafood dishes are top notch and the service here is somewhat traditional yet exquisite.
This European Cafe is bound to give you the best of Wallis on a plate. They also serve famous dishes from nearby European countries.
This is a top spot for the pizza lovers. They also serve breakfast dishes as well pastries for snack lovers.
Where to Stay in Wallis and Futuna
Like Wallis & Futuna itself, the accommodation provided is small and comfortable. Grandiose 5-star hotels and noisy resorts are unknown, so there is no crowd of visitors to spoil the lagoon. Wallis offers small but comfortable family-run hotels and guesthouses to visitors. There is a catering service at every hotel, and the island also has restaurants and snack bars. Here are some of our favorite picks for visitors. These hotels are quite close to the main sites in the capital.
Best Time to Visit the Wallis and Futuna Islands
With an equatorial climate, there are two main seasons: the hot and humid season, which lasts for 8 months from October to April, with an average temperature of a little above 30 degrees celcuis, and the likelihood of cyclones. The drier and sunnier season, which is much more pleasant from March is much more conducive to the exploration of this area. No matter when you choose to visit, you are bound to have a whole lot of fun, from the beaches to the food and the warm people.