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Page: Vanuatu Islands - Best Known Islands in Vanuatu Island Archipelago

Vanuatu Islands

Visitor guide to popular islands of Vanuatu

Vanuatu island archipelago consists of some 83 islands. The main island is Efate island, where Port Vila is located, as well as the Bauerfield International Airport and the domestic airport, which offers flights to other Vanuatu islands in the archipelago.

  Most Popular Vanuatu Islands

Island Hopping

Moving from island to island during your stay in Vanuatu, gives you access to the widest range of activities and exploration possible. It is one of the best ways to explore the islands on your holiday in Vanuatu.


Popular Islands

Each of Vanuatu islands is a beautiful, tropical paradise waiting to be experienced. While most of the islands are uninhabited, there are several islands that are very popular with visitors to Vanuatu.


Ambae Island

Previously known as Aoba island, Ambae island is best known as the inspiration for James Michener's magical island paradise 'Bali Hai', from his Pulitzer winning book "Tales of the South Pacific".


Ambrym Island

This volcanic island has long been one of the star islands in Vanuatu archipelago. The island is famous for sorcery and magic, where visitors can witness native Rom dance, local ceremonies and wood carvings.


Aneityum Island

Located at the southernmost end of Vanuatu islands archipelago, this island is rich in volcanic soil, tahnks to its two volcanos, which are no longer active. It's popular with snorkelers because of its coral reefs.


Bokissa Island

One of reasons for wanting to holiday in Vanuatu would be to spend your time in natural surrounds, in places largely untouched by human activity. Bokissa private island resort is one of such island paradises.


Efate Island

Being the gateway to Vanuatu, Efate island is the best known of Vanuatu islands, where most visitors tend to spend their Vanuatu holiday. All international flights to Vanuatu come to Port Vila's international airport.


Emae Island

Located in the middle of the Shepherds Islands, Emae is the largest island in the group, although seldom visited. It's ideal for those who enjoy peace and quiet. This is an island paradise with long beaches and clear waters.


Epi Island

This quiet, lush garden island is the perfect holiday spot for families, hikers and backpackers. There are wonderful beaches around the island. Travel from Port Vila and combine with a visit to nearby Emae island (above).


Erromango Island

Once home of large sandalwood forests, Erromango suffered from deforestation. Nowadays it's an adventure come true, offering to its visitors a number of walking and hiking trails, as well as caves to be explored.


Espiritu Santo Island

The largest of Vanuatu islands, Santo is especially known for its great diving sites, which are WWII abandoned and sunken planes and ships. It's home to 2nd largest town of Luganville and features some amazing beaches.


Inyeug Island

Known as the Mystery island, Inyeug can be reache via mystery island flights and cruises from Port Vila, via Tanna. Its small airfield serves as a small airport for its large neighbour, Anatom island.


Lelepa Island

One of the best places to visit is Lelepa Island. It doesn't have any holiday accommodation, but it gest visitors via Lelepa Island Day Tour. It features 3000 years old Fels Cave, where you can see ancient man hand paintings.


Malekula Island

If you are seeking unspoiled natural beauty, a pristine environment and an increadible array of history and culture, this island is the best place to visit. Malekula island teems with beauty and attractions.


Nguna Island

Located in Undine Bay, between Pele and Moso islands, Nguna is classed as one of outer islands in Vanuatu. The island has 13 village settlements, two extinct volcanos, and the nearby Pele-Nguna Marine Protected Area.


Pentecost Island

One of Vanuatu's best known tourist attractions that has been featured around the world is land diving or Naghol ceremony. It is held annually on Pentecost island, where residents survive through farming and cash crops.


Tanna Island

This small island is one of the most popular destinations for visitors coming to Vanuatu. It features one of the most accessible volcanos, Mt. Yasur, as well as many other attractions and bungalow accommodations.

Best Known Islands

The largest is Espiritu Santo island, also known as just Santo island. Other better known and more popular islands are Tanna, Pentecost, Epi, Ambae, Erromango and Malekula islands. Below is brief info on some of those islands, that are best known or most popular islands in the archipelago with visitors.

For those looking to invest in Vanuatu, best real estate properties can be found in Port Vila and other parts of Efate island, as well as in Bouganvile on Santo island.

Many of the islands present names come from the Captain James Cook, who sailed through in 1774, from north to south. He named the archipelago the New Hebrides, after the islands off Scotland, and chartered most of the islands on the map. In 1980 Vanuatu gained its independence from combined French-British Condominium and got its present name of Vanuatu – meaning ‘our land forever’.

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