Planning your Holiday
Surprisingly for the South Pacific, Vanuatu beach holidays are somewhat limited with few beaches living up to the archetypal South Pacific beach with powdery white sand, swaying palm trees and a placid turquoise lagoon. Like almost everything else in Vanuatu, the best beaches have more an element of raw beauty than serenity. Probably the best beach in Vanuatu is Champagne Beach on the east coast of Espiritu Santo with a beautiful curve beach backed by tropical forest and great snorkelling lagoon, although there are few accommodations nearby. The majority of Vanuatu beach resorts are on Efate Island and whilst this island has the most concentrated selection of good beaches, most Port Vila resorts are a let-down in the quality of their beaches. To marvel at an unusual volcanic black sand beach, head to the west coast of Tanna or north coast of Santo.
Efate & Port Vila
Efate Island takes no more than three hours to circumnavigate by car making it a great day tour and there are several picturesque beaches to visit along the way. Eton Beach on the east coast is the most popular to visit and has showers and BBQ facilities, but there are equally good beaches on the south coast near Crystal Blue Lagoon which has some of the islands best snorkelling. The north coast has two pretty locations, Sara Beach and Takara Beach, both with small cafes. Port Vila Town is set on a lagoon and there are small tidal beaches here and there. The large beach resorts of Le Lagon and Holiday Inn have man-made beaches whilst Iririki Resort has only a tiny point of sand. The best Port Villa beaches are on the southern peninsula or at Erakor Island, although this beach too is quite restricted in size and tidal.
Eratap Beach Resort, Efate Island
A$ 560 - 690
The Havannah, Port Vila
A$ 470 - 720
Tamanu on the Beach, Efate Island
A$ 330 - 380
Breakas Beach Resort, Efate
A$ 280 - 370
Erakor Island Resort, Port Vila
A$ 295 - 365
Apart from stunning Champagne Beach on the remote northern section of the east coast, and nearby Lannoc Beach, the main island of Espiritu Santo has few decent beaches to visit. There's a small semi-coarse sand beach on the western outskirts of Luganville Town fronted by the budget Beachfront Resort or you can take the five minute boat ride across the Channel to Aore Island where there's a pretty small beach and good snorkelling lagoon. Several offshore islands have beautiful stretches of beach where your footprints will most likely be the only ones present, including the private island of Bokissa.
Bokissa Private Island Resort, Santo
A$ 560 - 890
Aore Island Resort, Santo
A$ 240 - 345
Beachfront Resort, Luganville, Santo
A$ 120 - 210
Much of Tanna's coastline is rugged and wild - there are a few pretty cove beaches on the west coast but here the limestone rocks and fringing reef make swimming difficult. The beaches on the east coast are influenced by the nearby volcanic activity with several black sand beaches. Port Resolution has a white sand beach with good snorkelling and a little further south there's a pretty stretch of sand and snorkelling lagoon at Turtle Bay.
Sunrise Bungalows, Tanna Island
A$ 50 - 60