In this Article by South Pacific travel expert Ian Osborn
Port Vila Holidays Overview — Port Vila Travel Details
Port Vila is the capital of Vanuatu, located in a protected bay on the south east coast on Efate Island, roughly the central island of the Vanuatu group. Efate Island is a small volcanic island just 900 sq-km in size with high tropical mountains inland. About 50,000 people live on the island, more than half of these in Port Vila.
Port Vila is the most popular holiday destination in Vanuatu with a good selection of boutique resorts and hotels and the town has several excellent sightseeing tours for exploring the island, including tours for cultural interaction. However, there is nothing really exceptional that jumps out making Port Vila a must-see destination, just a good relaxing holiday break, somewhere for a change of scenery from Fiji or Bali.
Port Vila Map
Reasons to Visit Port Vila
Port Vila Holidays Overview
Although without a beach, Port Vila is an attractive seaside town built in the heart of a large bay backed by mountains which makes it ideal for visiting overseas cruise ships. The downtown area has some lively waterfront restaurants and bars, although its shops are shabby and uninspiring - the best place to browse is the flea market adjacent to the huge 24-hr fresh produce market which is one of the attractive in the South Pacific.
A few sites worth considering are a visit to the museum, close to parliament house on the hillside, and for those looking for a cultural kick, a visit to the Ekasup Cultural Village on the outskirts of Port Vila. But if you're into culture, and interaction, you might be better seeking out one of Port Vila's kava bars. Dingy in appearance, these bars are very safe to visit and you can sample some of the strongest kava in the South Pacific - three bowls is enough to make your head spin!
Ten minutes by road across the hill from downtown is Erakor Lagoon, location of Port Vila's large holiday resorts which appeal to families and casino lovers. Further along the peninsula about 15 minutes drive from town are several smaller boutique resorts fronting pretty beaches and with decent snorkelling reefs.
Port Vila Hotels
Port Vila has the majority of the country's accommodation, with several large brand hotels, plenty of small boutique resorts and some decent affordable guesthouses in the downtown area. There are several good beach resorts on the outskirts of Port Vila and two island resorts, both with good snorkelling. Please view our recommended Efate and Port Vila hotels from the links below for detailed information including room interior photos and independent reviews.
Port Vila Travel Information
The international airport at Bauerfield is 15-minutes by road from downtown Port Vila. Port Vila is a great place to get around by public transport with plenty of local buses plying around town - you simply have to ask the driver to take you somewhere and off they go, just like a taxi. but at a much cheaper rate. Taxis, by contrast, are quite expensive.