Fiji has topped my bucket checklist for so long as I can keep in mind. White sand seashores. Swaying palms. Pumping surf. Reefs wealthy in biodiversity. It’s a watersports- and ocean-lover’s paradise.
I first visited Fiji in 2020, on the cusp of the COVID pandemic — my journey ended abruptly when the island nation had its first case of the virus. I’ve been itching to return ever since and when Fiji reopened its borders, I knew it was time to plan a visit.
In Could 2022, my boyfriend and I boarded a aircraft for a 2-week journey in paradise. We spent the primary few days browsing after which boarded a cruise ship the place we spent every week island-hopping.
Our closing days have been spent on Fiji’s mainland, immersing ourselves within the tradition and doing a few enjoyable day journeys. It was a visit I will likely be speaking about for years to return.
An Adventurer’s Information to Fiji
Attending to Fiji is fairly simple. You fly into Fiji’s worldwide airport in Nadi and from there, there are a few completely different choices to get to your closing vacation spot.
For those who’re staying on the mainland, a cab or shuttle is your finest wager. For those who’re heading to the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands, probably the most inexpensive possibility is to hop on the ferry from Port Denarau. Some resorts provide their very own transportation, so get in contact forward of time to finalize your plan.
Another choice is to get to your resort by way of helicopter, which is an expertise in itself. For those who’re heading to Vanua Levu, you’ll have to hop on a puddle hopper to Savusavu and take floor transportation from there.
The place to Go to
Viti Levu, Fiji’s Mainland
When visiting Fiji, most individuals spend an evening or two on the mainland earlier than heading to the outer islands. Motels on the mainland are an excellent stopping level earlier than venturing to your subsequent vacation spot or a enjoyable spot to submit up for just a few days to get pleasure from some cultural experiences and excursions.
If you wish to keep someplace near the airport, Nadi has lots of choices. Port Denarau appeared to be the preferred spot amongst vacationers: it’s house to numerous chain resorts, outlets, eating places, and a free shuttle.
We stayed on the Sheraton and whereas it was a pleasant place to remain for an evening, I used to be glad I wasn’t staying for the majority of my journey. One other standard mainland vacation spot is the Coral Coast — I spent an evening there on a earlier journey to Fiji, and it was undoubtedly a enjoyable spot to spend just a few nights.
The Yasawa & Mamanuca Islands
Positioned to the west of Nadi, the Mamanuca Islands include about 20 islands and are an excellent place to submit up in the event you’re seeking to do some snorkeling, browsing, or diving.
Positioned a little bit additional north are the Yasawa Islands, which include 20 volcanic islands and are a number of the most beautiful islands and reefs I’ve ever laid eyes on. Among the many two island chains, there are numerous resorts and Airbnbs to select from, starting from funds to luxurious.
We spent our first 4 days on the Funky Fish Resort on Malolo Island, which was as funky because the identify suggests — it was an excellent spot for accessing the native surf breaks. Over the course of our journey, we had the prospect to go to numerous different islands.
When you’ve got the choice, I’d extremely suggest splitting your time between Mamanucas and Yasawas, and doing as a lot island hopping as doable so you may expertise a little bit little bit of every thing.
Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second-largest island and is far quieter than Viti Levu, making it an excellent place to go to in the event you’re seeking to really loosen up and unwind. Labasa and Savusavu are the preferred locations to remain, however you may all the time discover one thing within the extra distant corners of the island in the event you’re keen to do some digging.
Sadly, I didn’t make it to Vanua Levu on our journey, however I did lots of analysis on it when planning our journey.
Mainland Excursions in Fiji
Captain Cook dinner Cruises
We have been fortunate sufficient to do a weeklong island-hopping cruise with Captain Cook dinner and it was an unbelievable week with a number of the finest snorkeling of my life. For those who’re not capable of do the weeklong cruise, additionally they provide day journeys to Tivua Island (extremely suggest) and sundown dinner cruises.
Be taught Extra at Captain Cook dinner Cruises
Nothing will get the adrenaline pumping like racing by way of the forest surrounded by breathtaking views. Throughout our time in Port Denarau, we did the Zipline Nadi tour and had an excellent expertise.
The tour consists of 16 zips, complimentary transfers, and lunch and refreshments. The views have been unbelievable, and it was a enjoyable strategy to spend a day.
Be taught Extra at Zip Fiji
Rivers Fiji River Rafting
This tour was on the high of my checklist however sadly, we weren’t capable of swing it on this journey. The journey navigates the Higher Navua River and consists of rapids, waterfalls, hidden grottoes, and a lush rainforest, making for a memorable day journey.
Be taught Extra at Rivers Fiji
Cloud 9 is epic — it’s a floating bar in the midst of the ocean. From the mainland or many of the Mamanuca Islands, you may simply do a day journey out to Cloud 9 the place you may sip on drinks, get pleasure from home made pizza, swim into the water, and snorkel.
We completely loved our afternoon at Cloud 9 and would undoubtedly return.
Be taught Extra at Cloud 9
Watersports in Fiji
I stay in Hawaii and have been to the Nice Barrier Reef and the Belize Barrier — and nonetheless, Fiji is likely one of the most spectacular locations I’ve ever been snorkeling or diving.
The reefs are colourful and wholesome, and there’s a big range of marine life. We went to about 10 completely different snorkeling websites alongside the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands and did one dive within the Yasawas — and have been blown away.
Favourite sightings included clown fish, black tip reef sharks, noticed eagle rays, sea stars, jellies, and onerous and delicate corals.
Fiji is house to a number of the finest browsing on the earth. Heat water, vibrant reefs, and ideal barrels — odds are you’ll by no means need to go away.
Cloudbreak is probably the most well-known surf spot within the nation, recognized for giant waves and clear barrels. Different noteworthy breaks within the area embrace Namotu Lefts, Wilkes Passage, Swimming Swimming pools, Tavarua Rights, and Desperations.
There was an enormous swell throughout our keep, so we have been solely capable of surf Namotu Lefts and Swimming Swimming pools. The situations have been unreal, and I scored a number of the finest waves of my life.
Standup Paddling and Kayaking
For those who’re in search of a unique perspective, paddling is an effective way to search out it. Standup paddling and kayaking have been enjoyable methods for us to discover stretches of the islands. The water is obvious, so you may view the reefs from above.
When you’ve got entry to a kayak or SUP, I extremely suggest heading out to discover. Even in the event you spend the vast majority of your time falling in, it’s a enjoyable strategy to combine issues up and funky off.
The Fijians are pleased with their tradition and are excited to share it with guests. Throughout our journey, we had the chance to go to an area college and some small villages, the place we realized concerning the lifetime of the locals.
We additionally had the prospect to attend a kava ceremony, the place we loved conventional Fijian meals, music and, after all, kava. The Fijians are extremely heat and welcoming and are a number of the kindest individuals I’ve ever come throughout.
For a vacation spot I spent a lifetime visiting, Fiji didn’t disappoint. Whereas we lined lots of floor throughout our 2-week journey, there’s nonetheless a lot extra I need to see and do.
Though the tan traces are already starting to fade, I do know the reminiscences I made throughout my time in Fiji will final a lifetime. And I’ve little question that it’ll solely be a matter of time earlier than I return to the tropical waters as soon as extra.