It was a term first used for the region of the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, and Vanuatu because it was thought that the people here were of a different race.

Over time, however, Melanesia was recognized as being culturally different from the remainder of Oceania.

That means the islands of Melanesia have an ancestry that is quite distinct. DNA studies have found that the people in this region do not have much in common with Micronesians or Polynesians. Because of that difference, exploring the cultural festivals, celebrations, and activities on these islands can be an incredible holiday.

There are many theories as to how life started in Melanesia, but few ideas have been confirmed. What you will find here in this region are turquoise waters, blue skies, and comfortable accommodations.

You’ll also find stunning beaches on these islands, many of them fully accessible. Some have resorts and hotels associated with them, while others are quiet and secluded, away from the normal traffic route. Diving and snorkeling options are abundant, for beginners or experts, and there are hiking, cycling, and many other outdoor activities to enjoy.

In the past, Melanesia was a term that was almost used in a way that seemed to be condescending. The islands of this region today have taken up the term because they view it as a way of self-empowerment. It is that attitude which can also empower visitors to enjoy one of the best holidays they’ve ever experienced. Which of these destination options can best meet your needs today?

Below you find a list of countries belonging to the region known as Melanesia.

The Island nations of the South Pacific are as picturesque and relaxing of an island paradise as you will ever experience. South Pacific holidays are all about lazing on bone white sandy beaches and diving into crystal clear waters amongst vivid multi-coloured sea life. Spend your time sipping Pinna Coladas at beach bar or venture in to the many mountainous islands and explore cool rainforests. Days roll by unnoticeably as you island hop to ever more beautiful and postcard perfect settings. This is paradise.

Stay on one of the 15 Cook Islands, the largest being the mountainous Raratonga. Hop though Denauruau Island of Fiji and snorkel above the mesmerising coral reefs.Pamper your self on your South Pacific holiday in French Polynesia on the lush island of Bora Bora at one of their luxury resort spas. Or, find a touch of French class in the cosmopolitan capital of New Caledonia, Noumea. Dive to a shipwrecked luxury cruise liner in the crystal clear waters of Vanuatu.

Travel to the South Pacific from May to October and catch the dry season. The weather is dryer but still perfectly warm. November through April will see the humidity rise and chance for rain increases though it rarely lasts long and is often followed by periods of intense sunshine. Cyclones are a possible hazard in the wet season, but are usually traveling fast enough that visitors only experience some heavier winds and rain storms. No matter what time of year you visit the South Pacific you are guaranteed to enjoy some warm weather and perfect sunny days.

Enjoy the isolated Cook Islands and visit the mountainous Raratonga. If you feel like a break from paradise you can venture in to the jungle rich mountains and see the stunning waterfalls.

Find two main islands surrounded by smaller clusters in Fiji. Embark on Island hoping boat cruises or spend time on the main islands in the Coral Coast, Nadi or Suva. Suva, the nations capital city, boasts pumping nightlife.

If being pampered is your idea of the perfect getaway then look no further than the islands of French Polynesia. The most well known being Tahiti, these islands promote gorgeous beaches and luxury spa resorts where your every whim will be more than satisfied.

Find French influenced island life in New Caledonia and enjoy the finer things in cosmopolitan capital, Noumea. Dine out and shop in Noumea’s fine establishments and venture inland to find lush river valleys and rainforests. Find here the world’s largest enclosed lagoon.

If you make a trip to Vanuatu you must visit Port Villa, the tourist hub and capital on the island Efate. The people here are gorgeous and are not interested in the tourist dollar so no pesky hawkers.

A trip to the South Pacific is a trip to paradise. Perfect white beaches and crystal clear water characterise this one of a kind island utopia.