Really enjoyed our 10 nights in Port Vila and wished we could have stayed longer. There is a lot to see and do, including Mele Cascades, Eton Beach, Blue Hole, Sunset Cruise, Coongoola Day Cruise, Hideaway Island, Erakor Island, Iririki Island, Vanuatu Helicopters, Eratap Beach, the Fire Show at the Beach Bar on a Friday night is out of this world and a must see.
The people are so friendly, life is relaxed and easy going and the food and restaurants eg The Havannah, Eratap Beach Resort, Villa Chaumiers, Watermark at Iririki and the restaurant at Erakor are some of the best restauarants I have ever eaten at. I can totally recommend Port Vila as a relaxing and fun filled holiday destination, with beautiful beaches and gourmet food.
There were two major memories I have of Port Vila, the first is the friendliness of the people, they are a revelation if you come from a modern stress ridden city, so open and natural and at no point did we feel unsafe, even at night.
The second is that Port Vila could be described as a "work in progress", the pavements are a constant threat with sudden 1/2 meter drops, inexplicable joining of different eras of work with its attendant traps for the unwary. The roads are less road than a continuous pothole joined with the remains of a "used to be"" road. The buses, taxis and other transport constantly weave all over the road to avoid the potholes and any pedestrian foolish enough to assume right of way had better make sure their affairs are in order. No haggling or tipping in Vanuatu, not customary and the shopping and markets are well worth a day or so, more if you are a shopaholic. Maybe its not for everyone but we really enjoyed our stay in Port Vila, we found it to be a real "drink of water in the desert" and will be returning in the near future.
Port Vila is a delightful town which is not "touristy" at all. There are only four hotels and the rest of the accommodation is in small resorts with chalets or bungalows.
There is no need for a car as the local buses are everywhere and will take you anywhere in the town for $1.50. You can really feel that you are part of another culture as there are more locals on the streets than tourists
Was very easy to get around the area and cheap. Food was great the restaurants were very good. Some of the sights around Port Vila were unforgettable and so peaceful.
Would Highly recommend Port Vila to all.
It is a great small city with a lot of French influence. There is also Asian and European influence, that makes the city great for all tastes.
It is a very safe city compared to the other cities within Melanesia.
Mele Cascades Water fall is fantastic that your dont want to miss. For close to town option, snorkeling is the best in hideaway island.
We stayed 5 nights on hideaway island then went onto Tanna island for 5 nights and 5 nights at poppys at the Lagoon.
All food is quite expensive I know they say they're Aussie prices but all meals worked out about (3 per day)about $25+ each. We enjoyed the experience and down to earth people it was like going back in time when things were not so rushed-back to basics