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 is Efate’s most upmarket boutique hotel fronting a secluded and picturesque beachfront setting 20- minutes drive from Port Vila along the southern coastline of Efate. With eleven villas, this is a great choice for couples as well as families looking for a quiet retreat.
The Havannah Resort is a boutique beach resort set on the secluded north coast of Efate Island in a beautiful lagoon surrounded by offshore islands. With just 16 bungalows with traditionally influenced exteriors but modern and contemporary interiors, this is a great retreat for couples only to enjoy a relaxing and pampered beach holiday.
Tamanu on the Beach is a boutique beach resort on the south east coast of Efate Island, 20-minutes drive from Port Vila. With just six white washed bungalows overlooking a long stretch of wild beachfront, this is a romantic spot for holidaymakers looking for peace and solitude.
Breakas Beach Resort is primarily a romantic retreat for couples on the breezy Pango Peninsula on Efate Island. With 36 studio style bungalows set amongst sandy gardens and facing the ocean, Breakas is a quiet beach resort with a no child policy and just ten minutes drive from downtown Port Vila.
Erakor Island Resort is a boutique island resort with a distinct holiday atmosphere yet just five minutes drive from downtown Port Vila, Erakor offers 22 bungalows and is popular with both families and couples wanting to relax by the beach, do a little sightseeing and have easy access to Port Vila’s nightlife and shopping.
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 is a secluded private island resort off the southern tip of Santo with a delightful white sandy beachfront, fabulous snorkelling lagoon and laid back atmosphere. With just sixteen bungalows Bokissa makes an ideal honeymoon beach retreat offers a private PADI scuba diving set up for the Coolidge and reef dives.
Moyyan Villas is an intimate property with just four contemporary styled villas hidden under giant 300-year old tropical trees beside a fine white-sand cove beach. With good swimming and snorkelling, and offshore islands to explore by kayak, Moyyan is ideal for couples and honeymooners.
Aore Island Resort is beach front property on a peaceful offshore island, ten minutes by boat from Luganville Town. With a pretty beachside setting and good snorkelling, Aore is a great value holiday resort for couples and families or a comfortable island base for scuba diving the Coolidge Wreck and other nearby dive sites.
Beachfront Resort is located on a coarse sand beach just 3-km to the west of Luganville Town and offers a variety of budget style accommodations with spacious lawn areas, a restaurant and an outlook overlooking the yacht-filled bay and Aore Island. Good base for discerning travellers on a budget looking to dive and explore.
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 offers traditional thatch and bamboo bungalows in a stunning tropical cliff-side setting. The hand crafted bungalows are just a 15-minute drive to the active volcano of Mt Yasur and it's a 10-minute walk down the hill to the long sweeping white sand beach alongside Turtle Bay.