Smiling locals, swaying palm trees and shimmering white beaches

Set on a gorgeous harbour, Port Vila is a lively hub. Drop into the markets where traditional clothing is worn by the stall holders and stock up on souvenirs, fresh fruit or flowers. While waves of 19th-century French and English colonisers here have left their mark on language, food and culture, a modern-day influx of visitors means Port Vila is quite a melting pot. You'll also find Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Melanesian and Mediterranean cuisine.

Port Vila: Buggy Fun AdventuresBuggy Fun Adventures | by Flight Centre's Christine Wei

Of course, a holiday in Port Vila is about much more than food. Eaton Beach and Crystal Blue Lagoon Beach are a 45-minute drive from town but are worth the trip. Waterfalls abound in the hinterlands and there are ample tours to take you to the perfect spot for a cascade dip. You could also hop on a cruise to the nearby islands of Hat, Pele, Moso, Nguna, Lelepa and Kakula. Where to stay isn't a worry – Port Vila, and more broadly across the island of Efate – has top-end to budget covered. Just bring your own smile to return to the locals.

Port Vila: Mele CascadesMele Cascades | by Flight Centre's Christine Wei

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