Pango Bay, Port Vila – Image courtesy of Ramada Resort Breakas Beach Vanuatu
Once known as the New Hebrides Islands, Vanuatu is spread across 83 islands, 68 of which are uninhabited.
The islands of Tanna, Espiritu Santo, Pentecost and Efate boasts a good choice of luxury 5-star accommodation for honeymoon couples, as well as secluded resorts located on small, idyllic coral atolls surrounded by stunning aquamarine waters.
Here, you can either laze on the beach just a short walk away from a range of creature comforts dedicated to spoil honeymoon couples or choose from a variety of outdoor activities.
Espiritu Santo Island, Vanuatu
The lush island of Espiritu Santo – Spanish for ‘the Holy Spirit’ and more commonly known as Santo – offers the adventurous honeymoon couple a playground of hiking, swimming, world-class diving and snorkelling.
Step into the past at Santo’s tribal kastom villages; hike into the pristine lowland forests of the Loru and the Vatthe Conservation Area; dive the magnificent WWII wreck of the USS President Coolidge; swim in a crystal-clear ‘blue hole’; admire the stalactites and stalagmites at Millenium Cave; and climb Mt Tabwemasana, one of Vanuatu’s highest peaks.
Or relax on one of many picture-perfect, palm-fringed white-sand beaches that fringe Vanuatu’s largest island that is home to numerous honeymoon resorts.
Efate Island, Vanuatu
Discover a rich Melanesian culture and relaxed tropical island lifestyle along with multicultural cuisine, world-class diving and awesome game fishing; as well as a choice of secluded beaches and idyllic offshore islands boasting romantic honeymoon resorts.
Sunbathe on the beach, swim, snorkel or dive, jet-ski or kayak the tranquil lagoon, try abseiling and parasailing; hike to the beautiful Mele Cascades, or sip a cool drink in bustling Port Vila while people-watching the friendly locals.
Vanuatu’s hilly capital (above photo) rises from a horseshoe-shaped bay and hosts an array of quaint little back streets crowded with restaurants, museums and shops where you can easily pick up an interesting memento of your honeymoon.
Stroll around the waterfront to admire moored yachts, watch tropical fish right off the town’s seawall and follow winding paths up the hillside for great views across the picturesque natural harbour to Iririki and Ifira islands.
Climb to the top of Klems Hill for views over Mele Bay and Hideaway Island, then wander through the faded French grandeur of downtown Vila before relaxing with a cold drink in a charming café or at the lively Nambawan Market & Café in one of the South Pacific’s most attractive towns.
Underwater post office
Buy special waterproof postcards at the gift shop on shore, then mail them to family and friends at home while you’re diving or snorkelling at the world’s only underwater post office, located just off the beach at Hideaway Island.
National Museum of Vanuatu
Admire a treasure trove of traditional artefacts including tamtam (slit-drums), ceremonial headdresses, pottery and a massive outrigger canoe. Check out the photographic displays and videos on traditional ceremonies and legends of Vanuatu.
Tanna Island, Vanuatu
This beautiful island is renowned for its lush, unspoiled rainforests, traditional villages, ancient ceremonies, a giant banyan tree (the world’s largest living organism) and fuming Mt Yasur (photo) – the world’s most accessible active volcano.
Here you can horseback ride or hike across grassy plains and through pristine rainforest, stand under tumbling cascades, plunge into deep blue swimming holes, surf large waves, snorkel or dive rich coral reefs.
Watch ancient festivals and meet kastom villagers wearing only nambas (penis sheaths) and grass skirts – just perfect for the adventurous and active honeymoon couple.
Or just laze on a pristine, palm-fringed white-sand beach and watch the sunset while sipping your favourite cocktail.
Mount Yasur Volcano
Depending on the level of activity, watch nature’s very own fireworks display light up the night sky or visit during the day to marvel at the eruption of fiery magma rock exploding into the air.
Low-level activity means you may be able to walk right up to the edge of 400m-wide crater and peer down into the cauldron of bubbling lava. Mount Yasar (361m) is located on the coast near Sulphur Bay.
Local authorities advise when it is safe to visit and how close you can safely approach the active volcano, which has been erupting off-and-on for centuries.
Pentecost Island, Vanuatu
Pentecost is world famous for the extraordinary land diving ceremony – the death-defying naghol (a ritual leap).
Watch as men and boys leap from a 30m-high tower, falling head first with nothing but vines tied to their ankles. The naghol (a ritual leap) is traditionally made to ensure a bountiful yam harvest between April and June.
Performed in April and May, the once private ceremony is now open to the public for a small fee, which goes towards local projects.
Best beaches in Vanuatu
The islands of Vanuatu are fringed with a mix of creamy white, golden and coral-white sand beaches gently shelving into turquoise waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Most, but not all, of the best beaches in Vanuatu are also home to a beachfront resort where you can usually find a range of creature comforts and watersport activities, including…
(Espiritu Santo) – Discover one of the best beaches in the South Pacific, an idyllic, palm-fringed white-sand beach that sits on the northeast coast of Espiritu Santo – just a short boat ride across the bay from popular Hog Harbour Village.
Sunbathe on the gorgeous creamy white sand, swim in the clean warm waters and enjoy a tasty seafood snack at one of the beachside cafes manned by friendly locals.
There are no resorts on Champagne Beach (above photo), just a relaxed secluded environment.
(Erakor Island) – Dip your toes into the velvety white sand of this gorgeous beach that fringes a tiny atoll lapped by the calm turquoise waters of Erakor Lagoon.
Erakor is located off Port Vila’s east shore and just minutes away by ferry from the main island of Santos. Come on a day trip or be pampered at the beachside Erakor Island Resort.
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(Bokissa Island) – Experience this gorgeous palm-fringed white-sand beach that shelves gently into a stunning turquoise lagoon, ideal for swimming and snorkelling.
Relax in style at the luxury Bokissa Private Island Resort, which offers a range of creature comforts and watersports facilities including PADI scuba diving courses. Bokissa Island is located off the southern tip of Santo.
(Efate Island) – Relax on this stunning crescent of soft white sand on the tree-fringed Pango peninsula, just ten minutes drive from downtown Port Vila. Come on a day trip or unwind in comfort at the beachfront adults-only Breakas Beach Resort.
(Efate Island) – Make your own footprints on this long, palm and tree-fringed golden-sand beach, ideal for swimming, snorkelling or surfing in places.
Enjoy a range of creature comforts at the beachfront Eratap Beach Resort, an upmarket boutique hotel located along the southern coastline of Efate, just 20-minutes drive from Port Vila.
Paradise Cove Beach
(Efate Island) – Dig your toes into the white sand of the gorgeous beach, with safe swimming and snorkelling in a calm turquoise lagoon just metres away from a small beachside boutique resort of the same name.
Here, surrounded by a manicured tropical garden you can be pampered with a range of creature comforts. Paradise Cove Beach is located on the peninsula south of Port Vila.
(Efate Island) – Discover this long crescent of white sand shelving into a picture-perfect blue lagoon on the southeast coast of Efate Island, just 20-minutes drive from Port Vila.
The nearby Tamanu Beach Resort provides a range of creature comforts just a short walk from the lagoon.
(Efate Island) – Discover a small, crunchy-white coral sand beach that shelves dramatically into a deep blue lagoon in front of the luxury Hideaway Island Resort.
Here, be spoilt with a range of creature comforts and enjoy watersports activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and scuba diving from the on-site PADI dive centre. Hideaway Beach is located on Efate’s southern coast.
(Aore Island) – Relax on this pristine white-coral beach which sits in front of the Aore Island Resort on the northern shore of Aore Island, a 10-minute boat ride across the bay from Luganville Town.
Sunbathe on the beach, swim and snorkel the reef and enjoy a range of creature comforts at the upmarket resort.
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What to do in Vanuatu
For newlyweds who want to do more than just laze on the beach, Vanuatu offers a range of active pursuits including diving, snorkelling, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, hiking, horseback riding and cycling.
Kayak the calm lagoon, go deep sea fishing for blue marlin, dive on one of the world’s most famous wrecks, marvel at the volcanic display of Mount Yasur, watch ancient tribal festivals and meet kastom villagers wearing only nambas (penis sheaths) and grass skirts – for a rather different honeymoon experience.
Dive through crystal-clear waters to explore underwater cliffs, wrecks, grottoes, caves and interconnecting underwater tunnels; and see a range of coral gardens, sea fans and sponges that are home to thousands of colourful reef fish.
For some of the best coral reefs and drop-offs, head to the offshore islands of Tukutuku, Hat Island Turtle Reef, Paul’s Reef and Moso Island in the waters off northern Efate Island. Here you can dive some of the deepest offshore canyons in the world.
Numerous World War II shipwrecks lie scattered around the islands including the SS President Coolidge, one of the world's finest wreck dives. The former cruise-liner rests in just 20m of water a few metres off the beach on Espiritu Santo.
Nearby, off Malo Island, lies the wreck of the destroyer USS Tucker. Or dive Million Dollar Point, where military equipment was dumped at the end of the war.
Pango Point offers good waves, but you’ll need to bring your own surf board.
Head to Breakas Beach and Mele Bay on Hideaway Island for the best wind and wave conditions.
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Everywhere is good around Port Vila; the reef around Hideaway Island and behind Iririki Island offers excellent coral reefs teeming with numerous tropical fish.
The waters around Vanuatu are perfect for sailing with a variety of cruising options: relax on a sunset cruise, choose between half- or full-day cruises or longer sailing from Port Vila on Efate and Luganville on Santo.
Hook up a charter for a few hours or longer to chase down sailfish, black, blue and striped marlin, mahi mahi, wahoo, albacore or big eye tuna. A range of boats keep the action going year round including multiple day and live-aboard trips to some of the more remote fishing locations.
Vanuatu is a hiker’s paradise with trails leading through a variety of scenic landscapes, many of which are relatively untouched by western influences.
Follow tracks through kauri and cloud forests filled with colourful orchids and tropical birds on Espiritu Santos; hike to the beautiful Mele Cascades on Efate Island to see a series of waterfalls that tumble into a wide, clear pool, just 12km from Port Vila; and wander across the ash plain on Ambrym Island to visit active volcanos.
Or hike to Siri Falls and the orange-tinged Lake Letas, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the Pacific on Gaua Island.
Vanuatu offers a great mix of road and off-road trails that wind through rainforest and coconut plantations, alongside rivers and cattle farmland and along scenic coastal roads.
Around Port Vila, it’s easy to rent a bike and discover great hilltop views over the harbour as well as gorgeous beaches just a short bike ride away.
Saddle up for a horseback ride through picturesque hills, along rainforest trails and to golden beaches, where you can even go swimming on horseback.
Escape the main islands by hiring a seaplane for a day of romantic solitude on the pristine white sands of a secluded atoll. Bring a hamper of your favourite foods and a couple of bottles of champagne – your pilot will return whenever you ask.
Woven and wood handicrafts make the best buys.
Where to stay in Vanuatu
Vanuatu offers an excellent choice of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following 5- and 4-star resorts…
Location: Efate Island
Prices: from AUD615 per room
Description: Situated on a private white sand beach, this boutique adult-only retreat features a lagoon-style swimming pool overlooking the ocean. Guests can indulge themselves at the resort’s luxury day spa. Each of these luxurious, air-conditioned villas at The Havannah Vanuatu features king-size beds, flat-screen TV, DVD player and an iPod docking station. Some villas have a private plunge pool, while others have direct access to the lagoon pool or private gardens. Free access to snorkelling equipment, kayaks and tennis courts are provided. The Point Restaurant offers international cuisine and a variety of French, Australian and New Zealand wines. Guests can dine on the beach, over the water, on the jetty or on their own private veranda. There is free daily shuttle service to Port Vila city centre, 30 minutes’ drive away. The tour desk can arrange trips to the World Heritage Site at Chief Roimata's Domain, which is 30 minutes’ away by boat.
Eratap Beach Resort
Location: Efate Island
Prices: from AUD600 per room
Description: Boasting beachfront villas with stunning ocean views, Eratap Beach Resort offers free Wi-Fi, free breakfast and free use of water sports equipment. Enjoy a day spa, restaurant, lounge bar and outdoor pool. Relax with a massage, manicure and pedicure or body scrub in the day spa. The tour desk books fishing trips, scuba diving and visits to local islands. Enjoy free access to motorised boats with an on-board driver. The restaurant offers beautiful ocean views and serves Vanuatu’s famous organic beef, fresh lobster and the unique deep sea “poulet fish”. You can also relax with a cocktail in the lounge bar. Each luxurious villa features a private terrace with lounge chairs and ocean views. All include a flat-screen TV, DVD player and iPod docking station. Some feature a private plunge pool. Guests at Eratap Beachfront Resort receive free airport transfers on request. The property is located 20 minutes’ drive from Port Vila city centre.
Hidden Cove Eco Retreat
Location: Champagne Coast, Luganville
Prices: from AUD495 per room
Description: Hidden Cove Eco Retreat offers a small, private accommodation on the waterfront featuring luxury tents designed for couples. Guests enjoy exclusive use of a plunge pool and marble bathroom with a French bathtub for two. The spacious tent villa features a romantic four-poster bed and a tropical garden shower. Offering direct access to the beach, it opens out to a large patio deck with stunning water views, outdoor furniture and BBQ facilities. The fully equipped kitchen is stocked with self-catering facilities. Breakfast provisions of freshly baked bread, cereal, fresh fruit and yoghurt are delivered daily. Gourmet in-room meals and picnics can be arranged. Guests have free use of electric bicycles and kayaks. Hidden Cove Eco Retreat also offers board games, a DVD library with DVD player, a flat-screen TV and an iPod docking station. Massages, local island tours and cultural activity arrangements can also be made. Situated on Espiritu Santo Island, Hidden Cove Retreat is 15 km from both Luganville and Pekoa International Airport. Restaurants, a bar and a day spa are all within 5 minutes’ drive.
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Ratua Private Island
Prices: from AUD348 per room
Description: Set on 146 acres of tropical gardens and sandy beaches, this resort offers a day spa, live entertainment, kava tasting and island roasts. The Indonesian-style villas were built from 200-year-old teak wood and offer a private patio with garden and sea views. All villas feature rustic décor and have a refrigerator, wardrobe and an en suite bathroom with bathrobes, toiletries and towels provided. Guest enjoy free use of snorkelling gear, bicycles and canoes. Set over the water, the Sunny Spa offers treatments using organic products. Relax with a cocktail at the Yacht Club which serves dishes using local produce and offers a games room. The property also features a ranch with more than 20 horses, and guests can enjoy horse rides and swimming with horses. Free WiFi is provided at the Yacht Club. Ratua Private Island is a 30-minute boat trip from the mainland to the Ratua Private Island jetty or a 50-minute flight from Port-Vila. A private 700 m air-strip is located on-site.
Iririki Island Resort & Spa
Location: Iririki Island, Port Vila, Efate
Prices: from AUD280 per room
Description: Located in the heart of Port Vila and surrounded by native gardens, Iririki Island Resort & Spa boasts an outdoor swimming pool, a private beach and a luxurious spa and wellness centre. The tropical rooms boast panoramic sea or swimming pool views. Each features a private balcony and tea/coffee making facilities. The resort has 3 restaurants that serve a range of European, Middle Eastern and Asian cuisines. The Bali Hai Cafe and Bar offers light snacks and exotic cocktails. The Sunset Bar and Cafe is an ideal place for enjoying drinks and clear ocean views. Guests enjoy free use of all non-motorised watersports equipment. Local markets, shops and restaurants can be found in the town of Port Vila, just a 10-minute ferry ride from the hotel.
Paradise Cove Resort
Location: Port Vila, Efate
Prices: from AUD272 per room
Description: Located on a private beach facing some of Port Vila Bay’s best snorkelling and dive sites, Paradise Cove Resort offers self-contained bungalows in tropical gardens. Continental breakfast is included. All bungalows have a private shaded veranda with deck chairs and hammock. Each bungalow includes a kitchenette, tea/coffee making facilities, refrigerator and gas stove. Ceiling fans, large living spaces and bathrooms with shower are provided. Guests can relax by the outdoor pool or with an in-room massage. Free kayaks and snorkelling equipment are provided. Free Wi-Fi access is available in all public areas. Just a few steps from the beach, Nakamal Bar & Restaurant offers traditional and international cuisine using fresh seasonal produce, including the local daily catch from the sea. Port Vila city centre is only a 10-minute drive from Paradise Cove Resort Vanuatu.
Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu
Location: Pango Bay, Efate Island
Prices: from AUD254 per room
Description: Surrounded by swaying palm trees, on a 500 m private beach, Breakas Beach Resort offers a relaxed, tropical retreat. Guests enjoy a 22 m infinity edge pool, a day spa and free continental breakfast. All rooms come with a private balcony. The rooms come with en suite bathrooms and tea and coffee making facilities. Some rooms come with a private pool and beautiful ocean views. Guests can indulge in a massage or relax with a cocktail on the beach. The concierge desk can arrange guided reef tours and snorkelling equipment rental. The beachfront restaurant offers magnificent ocean views and an extensive à la carte menu featuring seafood, steak and fresh local produce. There is free live entertainment every night including cultural performers, and fire dancers. Breakas Beach Resort Vanuatu is a 5-minute drive from the shops, restaurants and bars in Port Vila town centre. Port Vila Airport and Evergreen Cascades Waterfall are each just 15 minutes’ drive away.
Warwick Le Lagon Resort Vanuatu
Location: Erakor Lagoon, Port Vila, Efate
Prices: from AUD250 per room
Description: Situated on 75 acres of tropical gardens on the edge of Erakor Lagoon, this luxury resort features 3 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 swimming pools, plus a 12-hole golf course and a day spa. Each of the air-conditioned rooms and bungalows at Warwick Le Lagon Resort & Spa Vanuatu features a furnished patio or balcony with views across the Pacific Ocean and beyond. Guests have access to 2 tennis courts and a fully equipped fitness centre. Activities at Warwick Le Lagon Vanuatu include snorkelling, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking. Wild Ginger restaurant offers Asian cuisine with views of the landscaped gardens and Erakor Lagoon. Pool Grill & Bar serves light meals and drinks by the poolside. The "Reef Lady" glass-bottom boat offers daily tours and coral viewing trips around the lagoon. Massages on the beach are available. Port Vila Bauerfield Airport is 8 km away.
Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travellers have to say about resort accommodation in Vanuatu at TripAdvisor.
Best time to honeymoon in Vanuatu
The best time to visit Vanuatu is during the dry season from May to October when the islands average 23°C (73°F), with an average high of 26°C (79°F).
The cool season lasts from June to September – probably not the best time to visit if you’re hoping to laze around on a beach, but great for hiking through the rainforest. Winter nights in Port Vila can drop to 19°C (66°F).
The summer wet season runs from November through April, with an average temperature of 28°C (82°F) and a high of 30°C (86°F) in January, when you can also expect heavy rains. December to March is cyclone time.
For more climate info: Vanuatu Weather Guide…
The Vanuatu Islands are located in the South Pacific Ocean some 1750km east of Australia, and are easily accessible by air with direct flights from Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
From Australia, Air Vanuatu flies direct to Port Vila from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney, while Virgin Australia Airlines flies direct from Brisbane to Port Vila.
More about how to get to Vanuatu…
Latest update Vanuatu honeymoon destination:
16 June, 2017
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