Vanuatu Islands, Oceania: where they are, when to go and what to see

Who I am
Joel Fulleda

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Vanuatu is an island state, that is, completely made up of islands and with no territory on the mainland. This has helped to preserve a certain "tranquility" with an almost absent nightlife, except for Port Vila, the state capital. But the beauty of Vanuatu is given precisely by this. The limited relations with the rest of the world meant that folklore, villages and natural paradises remained unaltered, stuck in a timeless history, valued by the inhabitants themselves who put it within the tourist's reach. Let's see some together useful information for organizing a holiday.


  1. Travel informed: useful information
  2. Where are
  3. When to go? Info on climate and best time
  4. Which island to go to?
  5. What to see and what to do: beaches and places of interest
  6. How much does a vacation in Vanuatu cost? Prices, offers and advice
  7. User questions and comments

Travel informed: useful information

  • Inhabitants: about 250.000
  • Capital: Port Vila
  • Languages: English, French, pidgin and more than 100 local languages
  • Local currency: Vatu (VUV). (€ 1,00 = 128,20 Vatu)
  • Weather: halfway between tropical and equatorial. There are also substantial differences between the mountainous and flat territories of the islands.
  • vaccinations: No vaccination required
  • Entry requirements: Electronic Passport. The visa is only necessary if the stay exceeds 90 days.
  • Travel / health insurance: recommended.

    Where are

    The 83 islands of Vanuatu are an island state in the southwestern Pacific, located north of New Zealand and east of Australia and includes 83 islands. Vanuatu is a parliamentary republic.

    How to reach us

    • From Milan or Rome: The international airports of the islands are located in: Port Vila (Efate Island), Luganville (Espiritu Santo) and on the island of Tanna. A trip to Vanatu from Europe always involves at least 2 changes (the stopovers are generally Dubai, Brisbane, Sydney or Bangkok). The journey takes around 40 hours in all, including stopovers. From the international airports, getting to the different islands is quite easy. These can be reached by sea with boats departing from the ports of Port Vila (Efate) and Luganville (Espiritu Santo).
      Flights to Port Vila starting from € 1.968,00
    • From the main European capitals: There are no direct flights connecting the Vanuatu Islands to cities like Paris, Berlin or London. To reach the islands from one of these European capitals you will have to face a similar journey (in duration and number of stopovers) to the one departing from Rome or Milan.

    When to go? Info on climate and best time

    • Weather: In Vanuatu the climate varies considerably from one area to another: in the northern islands touched by the trade winds (eg Espiritu Santu) it is equatorial hot and rainy all year round, in the central and southern islands (eg Efate and Tanna) it is tropical , hot and rainy from December to March, and cool and with less rain from May to October. The table above shows the climatic data regarding the capital Port Vila.
    • Best time: in the months of June, July, August, September and October corresponding to the austral winter. During this period, temperatures are at their annual lows and rains are rarer.
    • Period to avoid: from November to May, the rains are uninterrupted and there is the risk of running into some cyclones (especially between the end of December and the beginning of April).
    • Advice: pack light clothes for the day, a scarf for the breeze, a sweatshirt for the evening. Don't forget a light raincoat or umbrella, snorkel gear, aquatic or rubber-soled shoes for the reef.

    Which island to go to?

    1. Espiritu Santo is the largest island in Vanatu. Here is the Tabwemasana, one of the highest volcanoes in the area while, the eastern part of the island is flat, and is used for grazing. To the southeast we meet Luganville the second largest city of the archipelago also equipped with a regional airport and the Vathhe Conversation Area national park: the first national park in the country, with above all rare orchids. The island is famous for the presence of underwater wrecks off its coasts, for the countless unique species of birds and for the kauri trees, the tallest in the whole Pacific.
    2. Efate: most populated island of Vanatu, Efate is home to the capital of Port Vila, the hub of tourism on the islands, and the only city that comes closest to the western meaning of the term. Given the influence of both the British and French populations, it will be easy to find restaurants focusing on both cuisines on the streets of the capital. Outside the walls of Vila, life on the island is more "rustic" and characteristic, with people still engaged in a traditional way of life, made of farming and swimming in the crystal clear waters.
    3. The Tanna Island it is among the most visited in Vanatu. Most of its population still live exactly like their ancestors, and still believe they can bring Americans back loaded with products, as they did during World War II, by praying and practicing specific ritual ceremonies. The main attraction of the island is the Yassur volcano, which can be reached in an hour along a well-made path. From the crater you can enjoy a wonderful view of the desert and a unique spectacle, especially at night when, every two minutes, it expels sulfur, ashes and lava.

    What to see and what to do: beaches and places of interest

    1. Port Vila: the capital of the country is located on the island of Efate, around the homonymous bay. Among the most important attractions are the National Museum of Vanuatu, which houses a collection of local artifacts, Independence Park and the Parliament Building.
    2. The Mele-Maat Cascades they are located a few kilometers away from Port Vila, on the island of Efate. Immersed in the tropical forest, the houses of crystal clear water are bordered by the Secret Gardens: a reserve where twenty hundreds of exotic animals live.
    3. White Sands Beach is a white sand beach, located east of Port Vila, lined with pandanus, ideal for snorkeling, diving or just swimming.
    4. L'Eton Blue Hole is a body of water located near Eton, on the island of Efate, reachable by continuing along the coast towards the west. Here it is possible to admire, in absolute tranquility, the beauty of nature.
    5. Il Takara Lake, located on the island of Efate, is perpetually swept by winds, even strong ones, which make it a paradise for surfing and kitesurfing.
    6. L'island of Nguna it is located off the coast of Efate, and is the seat of the village of Taloa, organized to give tourists a taste of island life, while not giving up on comforts.
    7. Epi it is an island not far from Efate, on which Lamen Bay is located: the place where sea turtles and sea drugongos live. Sports lovers can rent kayaks, canoes and even compete with a reef fishing experience.
    8. South of the island of Epi we find Valesdir, which includes the homonymous plantation. Here are the historical remains of an ancient palace, an airstrip and an enchanting bay.
    9. Tanna is the most important center of the island of Epi, located within a lush tropical forest. Near the town there is Mount Yasur, one of the most accessible volcanoes in the world, where it is possible to go on outings. To the east of the same village is Sulfur Bay, where a hot spring pours onto a black sand beach.
    10. Malekula is the famous dog-shaped island which, in its northern part, is home to the cannibal site of the Big Nambas, one of the island's tribes. In the eastern part instead is located Aop Beach, characterized by splendid palm trees and turquoise waters.
    11. The small islands of Uripiv and Uri they are located a short distance from Malekula, and host a reserve set up to protect the coral reef and mangroves.
    12. Ambryum, owes its nickname "Black Island" to the dark soil given by the presence of two twin volcanoes: the Marum and the Benbow, both still active. The island is the center of the practice of witchcraft, believed to be stronger in the presence of volcanoes.
    13. Pentecost is the island famous for its grandiose views and the naghol rite, during which men dive from high towers to curry favor with the gods. The island is also the site of many "parties", with magicians calling for rain, and Penama Day, which is held on September 15th.
    14. The island of Gaua it hosts the only monoliths in the country, places of ancient ritual dances. Furthermore, on the island there are the Siri waterfall, characterized by frozen water and the Letas lake, suitable for swimming, among the largest freshwater lakes in the Pacific.

    How much does a vacation in Vanuatu cost? Prices, offers and advice

    The Vanuatu islands are acquiring an increasing importance from a tourist point of view: therefore the prices are around the Italian standards. In fact, we see that the average cost of a one-star accommodation is around € 37,00 while, for a meal for 2 people in a middle-class restaurant (three dishes) you spend from € 28,00 to € 47,00, 1,20. An international driving license is required to drive, and car rental is only possible on Efate and Santo Espiritu: on the other islands the minibus and taxi are the only solution for getting around (base rate € 1,20; plus an additional € , for each kilometer traveled).

    • Hotel and b & b starting from € 19,00 per room -
    • starting from € 1.883 -

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