The Pacific’s last kingdom is a paradise for seekers of pure peace. Its beautiful islands, divided into four groups, are scattered like pearls across 700,000 square kilometres of ocean. There is no shortage of deserted beaches and pristine anchorages here, and the swimming, snorkelling and diving are exceptional.
The main island, Tongatapu, is home to the capital, Nuku’alofa, and to most of the kingdom’s resorts. Many of these are family-owned and personal, because Tonga likes to welcome its visitors in low-key style – this is a place for simpler living and genuine encounters with the local people. Tongans know that what they can offer visitors doesn’t need dressing up. It’s already perfect!
If possible, do try to see more during your stay – head out to the scenic archipelagos of Vava’u and Ha’apai. Tonga’s tropical waters are renowned for their abundant marine life, including large schools of humpback whales which breed around Vava’u in winter. If you want to see these magnificent creatures, be sure to book your visit for some time between July and October. It’s even possible to swim with them: a truly unforgettable experience. Vava’u is also a sailor’s dream destination, with beautiful natural harbours and sheltered coves. The best known of these is the deep-water Port of Refuge, where you’ll find Tonga’s most picturesque town, tiny Neiafu. And of course, the opportunities for relaxation – right throughout Vava’u – are endless. Even more remote and completely unspoiled is the Ha’apai group, with its coral atolls, glistening lagoons, pure white beaches and just a handful of inhabited islands. The way of life here really is timeless, and while it can’t offer any luxury resorts, Ha’apai is ideal for adventure and brilliant for kayaking – paddle up to a near-deserted shore, stay at beachside fale and tuck into a traditional feast with the friendly islanders!
(Image: ©Tonga Tourism)