19 JUNE 2007

French Polynesia has long attracted its fair share of pleasure-seekers and romantics keen to savour the delights of its pristine beaches and crystal clear waters. Today the islands are still the exotic destination of choice for a jet-set crowd drawn by the air of exclusivity. Locals like to boast that the archipelago receives as many visitors in one year as Hawaii does in ten days.

The AC Milan player took his pretty girlfriend to Bora Bora, the most famous of the 118 isles, which was also the honeymoon destination for Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban. When they visited last year the Hollywood power pair stayed closeted in their super-elegant accommodation in one of the isle's sumptuous resorts.

The main attraction for any holidaymakers who do manage to make it out of their suite is a lagoon three times the size of the land mass, which offers an amazing range of blue and turquoise hues.

To the south east of the island is the Coral Garden, a natural underwater park where brightly coloured fish and graceful manta rays congregate. On land there's also plenty to explore in the way of lush tropical slopes and valleys full of hibiscus blossom.

Photo: Rex
The Brazilian striker was clearly in the mood for romance after an uber-luxurious break in the South Pacific
Photo: Rex
Pictured about to board a plane for New York, Ronaldo and his girlfriend Maria Beatriz had been been enjoying the charms of Bora Bora
Visitors are drawn to French Polynesia for the chance it offers to forget the cares of the modern world