There are few bucket list destinations in the world where they can easily be categorized as honeymoon locales and Fiji is one of them. But with new players in the game, Fiji is reinventing itself. With the horrific Cyclone Winston consuming most in its path in 2016, Fiji turned to recovery mode and decided to carve out a new hospitality niche–and let’s just say, it’s working. Tourism is up and there’s reason to consider this destination, whether you’re a honeymooner, adventure-seeker or something else entirely.
A tropical oasis awaits you.
Did you know?
Fiji is made up of 333 tropical islands with 110 being inhabited. Viti Levu is Fiji’s largest island inhabiting over 800,000 people.
Here’s a small guide to Fiji where you can explore, stay and indulge.
13Decompress on Viti Levu
Nadi International Airport is your gateway into the largest island in Fiji – Viti Levu. You can stick around in Nadi for a bit, check out some shops, music and the local scene. Nadi makes a good base to check out many parts of Fiji.
Check-in into Fiji Orchid Resort to make most out of the city. Here you can stay in one of six elegant bures (traditionally a Fijian word for huts made of wood and straw but now represent Fijian style-bungalows), each with glass walls and a tent-like roof. You’re only 15 minutes from downtown Nadi but you can escape here into that feeling of remoteness.
Suva, the biggest city on Viti Levu also happens to be the capital of the Republic of Fiji. Like any capital city, it has the highest population and plenty of amenities, so hop in here for a visit and you won’t be at a loss as to what to do in this bustling city.
12Sigatoka River Safari
Sigatoka River Safari is one of the best ways to go outside the typical tourist hubs of Fiji and explore. Touted as an eco-cultural-adventure, travellers are transported on a safari jet boat into a Fijian village and experience half a day in the “heart and soul” of Fiji. To top it off, part of your ticket for this tour directly helps the villages you visit with their interior projects, including creating clean water sources. How’s that for sustainable tourism?
One would be remiss to visit Fiji and not witness the otherworldly reefs below the sea. PJ’s Snorkel Tour is the perfect way to snorkel without having to worry about a huge charter boat full of people–tours max out at 30 people. After snorkelling, you’ll head to a private island where you’ll get to relax on the beach and enjoy a true Fijian meal for lunch. This is a perfect way to see Fiji and its hidden, lesser-known corners.
10Go Diving and also See Fire-Walking on Beqa
Another recommendation is giving scuba diving a chance. Those already PADI certified will not need any nudging. For first-timers here’s why you must try scuba diving at least once in your life.
Beqa Island and the surrounding Beqa Lagoon is home to more than 100 dives sites, some hardly take 5 or 20 minutes by boat from the shore. You can also see here why Fiji is considered the soft coral capital of the world as you feast your eyes on a variety of marine creatures from ghost pipefish to blue ribbon eels, pelagics to seahorses, and more — most at depths above 50 feet. But it’s not just about underwater sightseeing.
Beqa Island is home to the Sawau tribe, who originated the traditional art of fire-walking.
9Hike the Falls of Taveuni
More than 80 percent of the falls is protected within the Bouma National Heritage Park, and the park is home to prehistoric tree ferns, rare orchids, tumbling waterfalls and natural water slides. The Tavoro waterfalls is a 60-foot horsetail of white water which cascades an emerald pool.
8Overwater It on Malolo
Likuliku Lagoon Resort is the home to Fiji’s only overwater huts. Take bath overwater. Read book overwater. Brush your teeth overwater. Here, everyday tasks seem new and exciting. At every turn, the glass floors and glass counters let Fiji’s blues radiate throughout your living space. The hut has a full bath and shower, and a living space that trumps most overwater offerings in space and style. Stay one night or nine weeks. Leave only if you must.
Indulge in Fiji
Very important on any trip: Find a place where the coffee is strong. To top it off, this place has fresh food and large servings. Don’t miss their caramelized Vuda pork belly if you’re there for lunch.
6Nadina Authentic Fiji Restaurant
Dinner al fresco is almost a requirement in Fiji. Celebrating homegrown and foraged ingredients, this local cuisine is some of the best you’ll try. Don’t miss their ceviche, or kokoda, Fiji’s version of the dish, which is balanced with coconut milk.
This joint Italian-Fijian enterprise doesn’t disappoint. Eco café faces the beach, with an open-fronted, wood-and-bamboo decor and a mellow beach bar vibe. What’s not to love about a beach facing bar?
4Beach Bar and Grill
Known as Le Café earlier, the Beach Bar and Grill is popular with those wanting to eat outside their resorts. It’s a simple thatched outfit, but has an impressive menu, with lots of excellent local seafood.
With a quaint bamboo thatched kitchen out back and massive windows in the seating area where you can watch the world go by as you dig into something delicious, this perennial Levuka favourite is a charming little place.
The fish and chips are a classic, but look out for local river prawn which will be a delicious treat.
Stay in Fiji
If you’re looking for a no-expenses-spared type of trip where money is no object, opt to stay on Laucala’s private island. Every indulgence is met, where the property, service, activities (ahem, submarine ride anyone?) and grounds (including an airstrip) exude luxurious perfection.
With only 25 villas, this billionaire’s playground is exclusive and over-the-top in a way that only travel dreams and extreme FOMO can create and sustain.
Five restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, a 240-acre farm
And a range of activities that are crazy enough just to work, Laucala is a dream stay with a hefty price tag. Let us know if you go here and send pictures, please.
While it sits on 10-acres, Nanuku is actually a boutique property, assuming its position on Beqa Lagoon as its own private utopian base. Fit with villas, incredible service and a full-service spa that’s redefining wellness, this Auberge Resort boasts an all-over experience that is setting new benchmarks in the Southern Hemisphere.
If you’re looking to escape off-property, Nanuku is a short trip from Pacific Harbor, Fiji’s adventure capital, where you can spend the day white water rafting or zip-lining.
Thus, give it a try to escape into serenity and find solitude!
For Fiji food, culture and climate information, read here.