Fiji's best beaches compete in beauty only with the Seussian-array of marine life below the water's surface and the candy-colored coral reefs fringing the over 300 islands here. Follow our lead to these top Fiji beaches that can only be called the makings of South Pacific dreams.
Soft, white-sand beaches and easy snorkeling access to the technicolor hard coral gardens just offshore make the beautiful stretch of shoreline at Castaway Island, a Fijian fave. Officially named Qalito Island, Castaway Island lies within the 20-island Mamanuca Chain — a volcanic archipelago to the west of Nadi, Fiji's capital. The four-star resort here is surrounded by rainforest, beaches and more beaches.
One of 14 best beaches on the exclusive private Fijian island resort of Turtle Island, Honeymoon Beach is a postcard-perfect crescent with white sands framed by rocky headlands and languorously leaning palms. You'll likely have this beach to yourself too. Turtle Island has accommodations for only 14 couples — and the same number of beaches to seduce them.
We ranked Matangi Private Island Resort among our "100 Best Private Islands Resorts." And there's no denying our love for the horseshoe-shaped beach here with its powder soft sand and pristine reefs right offshore. This beach is such a stunner, it's even been named among the world's must-sees in the book, "1,000 Places to See Before You Die." Spend your days sunbathing along its shores or request that the concierge arrange a romantic picnic on the sand a deux.
There's something Jurassic about the verdant and vertical backdrop of this west-facing beach in the Mamanuca Islands whose Fijian name means "Sunset." Liku Beach stretches for 3,000 glorious feet along Tokoriki Island. From the middle of the beach, ascend a staircase-to-heaven of sorts – up to the fabulous (and adults-only) Tokoriki Island Resort.
Namale Private Beach
With three staff per guest at the uber-luxe Namale Resort & Spa on Vanua Levu's south coast, you'll hardly have to struggle to get a waterside cocktail at this spectacular private beach bathed with the shade of coconut palms. Russell Crowe and Edward Norton are among Namale's celebrity fans. Be prepared for temptations such as scuba diving trips in the Koro Sea and hikes to a hidden waterfall nearby to tempt you from your beach chair.
It's just a 30-minute ride from Nadi to this little slice of heaven along Fiji's reef-rich Coral Coast on the main island of Viti Levu. And Natadola Beach is known for being perfectly swimmable no matter what the tide happens to be doing. For the most luxe digs here, book a room at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, the only five-star property on Natadola Bay. Head to either end of the sweeping beach for excellent snorkeling.
You'll have to be bedding down at one of the 25 decadent villas at Laucala Island to access this private beach with a reedy name that hardly hints at its crystal clear waters. Seagrass Bay is the 3,000-acre island's most dazzling beach, with a long stretch of sand and Laucala's best snorkeling. Splurge on the Peninsula residence and you'll have a private section of the bay just for the two of you.
Yasawa Island Beaches
It's well worth the trek to Fiji's western edge and the remote beaches in the Yasawa Island group. Covered in blowing grasslands, the islands reach toward the sky and plunge onto white sand shores. There's a beautiful stretch of sand fronting Yasawa Island Resort & Spa, where just 18 luxury bungalows and Fiji's first beachfront spa await.
It's back to the Mamanucas for the kind of beaches you only ever see on screensavers – unless you head to Vomo Island, of course. The sand is chalk-white and the water the hue of Easter egg dye at the beach fringing Vomo Island Resort. Ask the concierge to help you plan a hike to the top of Mt. Vomo for 360 views of paradise.
The stunning beaches and coral gardens of Mana Island, 15 miles from the main island of Viti Levu in the Mamanucas, are enough to make you want to miss your flight home. For a romantic trip, book a thatched villa at the adults-only Tadrai Island Resort, open 2011 on the perfect beach at Selena Cove.