Colonial splendour set in a Pacific paradise. What's not to like after getting off cheap flights to Vanuatu? Not much, is the simple answer. A beach lover's and diver's paradise, this is an archipelago of more than 80 islands that was curiously once known as the New Hebrides though it is hard to conjure a comparison less apt.
Most flights to Vanuatu arrive at the capital Port Vila on the island of Efate, which is worth checking out before moving on to one of the other islands. Before long, a pattern of the local architecture begins to become apparent. Major structures tend to feature triangular formations jutting out from the housed area, giving many buildings a futuristic, or, at the very least ultra-modern, feel. Another instant impression brings to mind the artistic bent of the locals. Massive murals depicting local scenes can be seen around the city with smaller displays probably characterised as graffiti also evident throughout.
But it is probably the natural setting of many of these islands that attracts most visitors. And after you've had your fill of diving, snorkelling and lazing along the countless beaches, head to Tanna Island to check out Mount Yasur, one of the world's most accessible active volcanos.