Each of the Vanuatu islands offers a unique insight into the region’s history, culture and traditions, along with stunning scenery to enjoy. While Vanuatu has 83 islands on the archipelago, some are more popular with tourists than others.
Efate, and Espiritu Santo are perhaps the best known due to their easy accessibility and water-based activities. However, the island of Tanna also attracts visitors to witness the wonder of its volcano, and Malekula Island draws tourists seeking authentic tribal culture.
A number of smaller islands are also easily accessed from these points, including some that are almost untouched by modern life.
With an active volcano and some of the best snorkelling reefs the South Pacific has to offer, Tanna Island is a combination of nature’s fury and seduction.
Just a quick flight from Port Vila, it’s home to traditional village life, untouched rainforests, and secluded beaches. All this sits in the shadow of the world’s most accessible active volcano - the rumbling, fuming, and fabulous, Mt Yasur.
Far from the busy tourist enclaves, Pentecost Island offers an insight into traditional village life amid pristine surrounds. Many travel here for the diving, but this small island also boasts cascading waterfalls, stunning snorkelling opportunities, and the chance to swim with dolphins.
For the more adventurous, the jungle and Mt Vetmar are an alluring combination, taking just a half-day of trekking to explore.
Located just off Espiritu Santo, Aore Island is a haven for divers seeking access to world-class wrecks. These fascinating relics are testament to Vanuatu’s wartime history and include vast supply ships, fighter planes, and surplus war materials.
Aore also boasts fantastic fishing all year round. The island is serviced by a range of up-scale resorts, or is a quick ferry ride from Luganville.
Home to a turtle sanctuary and a popular destination for diving, Moso Island offers a low-key insight into island life. The island is accessible by boat from Havannah Harbour near Port Vila, and attracts day trippers and holiday makers alike. Activities include snorkelling, fishing and swimming, while kayaks are also available at the small number of resorts.
As the second largest of Vanuatu’s Islands, Malekula Island is mountainous, rugged and swathed in dense rainforest. It is known for its highland trekking, but also home to cannibal sites, cascading waterfalls, and protected marine environments. The cultural heritage of Malekula is as rich as the environment, and still features tribal living, authentic custom, and linguistic diversity.
Famed for its spectacular beaches and sensational dive sites, Espiritu Santo Island is the largest on the archipelago of Vanuatu. Snorkelling, diving, kayaking, and swimming are just some of the attractions of this island, but its beauty extends inland far beyond the sea. Enjoy horseback riding, trekking, or taking a dip in secluded waterholes, then explore local markets, and the history of Vanuatu’s involvement in World War II.