Wallis and Futuna Flag

Wallis and Futuna Guide

Church of Pierre Chanel
The Church of Pierre Chanel
on the northeast side of Futuna.

Futuna Sights

A 35-km road circles Futuna with concrete paving from Poi to Ono, Leava, and Toloke via the south coast (the rest is a rough coral road). Both Ono and Nuku have old Catholic churches. The fale fono at Vaisei has a traditional fiber-bound ceiling.

At Point Oneliki a small chapel stands above the spot where a black lava flow once reached the sea. The blue hole just below the chapel is a great place to swim. A small black sand beach is just east of Point Oneliki at Tuatafa.

Futuna's most famous sight is the Church of Pierre Chanel at Poi on the northeast coast, a peculiar church with a stepped tower erected to honor Polynesia's first and only Catholic saint (canonized 1954). Chanel's relics were returned from France in 1976 and they're now kept in a smaller octagonal chapel next to the main church. His bones are held in a glass showcase near the entrance, and an adjacent silver casket contains the saint's skull. A stone set in the chapel's floor marks the precise spot where Chanel was killed, and two of the war clubs used to kill him are on display. King Niuliki, who feared the missionary was usurping his position, had Chanel martyred on 28 April, 1841, four years after his arrival on the island. A small museum room behind the showcase contains other mementos.

The nicest place on Futuna to swim is off the white beach next to Vele Airport, but beware of the currents, because there's no lagoon.

With the help of a guide, it's possible to climb Mt. Puke (524 meters) from Taoa in about five hours return.