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


Wallis & Futuna Islands

L'eau cristalline d'une plage de Wallis-et-Futuna
© baoquang / Istockphoto - L'eau cristalline d'une plage de Wallis-et-Futuna

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 8 September 2023, updated on 30 April 2024

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.

Visits you cannot miss in the islands of Wallis and Futuna

Site archéologique de Talietumu, sur les îles de Wallis-et-Futuna.
© Dmitry - AdobeStock - Site archéologique de Talietumu, sur les îles de Wallis-et-Futuna.

• The Talietumu and Tonga Toto sites To learn more about the history of Wallis and Futuna , visit the Talietumu site, located just 9 kilometers 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 (island of 80 km²), 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 35 kilometers allows you 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 can go by boat to Alofi Island, 2 kilometers 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 There is no beach along the coastal road of Futuna along a vertiginous rocky coastline for 33 kilometers. Arriving at the Pyramid, you can enjoy the panorama. On the way, the stop is recommended to the village of Vaisei which has preserved its "fale fono" (traditional hut) where the inhabitants gather 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 opposite the sea. It is the seat of the Diocese of Wallis and Futuna.

Essential visits in the islands of Wallis and Futuna

Pour les amoureux de plongée, ne manquez pas le lac de cratère de Lalolalo, sur les Îles de Wallis-et-Futuna, le plus grand de l'île avec 400 mètres de diamètres et 80 mètres de profondeur...
© Dmitry - AdobeStock - Pour les amoureux de plongée, ne manquez pas le lac de cratère de Lalolalo, sur les Îles de Wallis-et-Futuna, le plus grand de l'île avec 400 mètres de diamètres et 80 mètres de profondeur...

• Diving in the saltwater of Lalolalo crater lake Northeast of Futuna, the island of Uvea covers 77.6 km², and its highest point is 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 your 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 in case of a dead 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 is established. 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 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 proceeds to 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 where you can simply 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, a 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 ULM 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. Land is everywhere, by the lagoon or inland. Throwing these kind of challenges is very well received by the population ... however, it is better not to bet!

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