The Top-Rated Islands To Visit In Fiji

Fiji is a nation in the South Pacific that exudes tropical bliss. Visit just once, and you'll see why — the country is filled with long sandy beaches lined with slender palm trees, clear water teeming with marine life, and rugged interiors that are great for exploring. But Fiji isn't just one island where all of this is concentrated; it's a multi-spoke, regal realm scattered amid outrageously gorgeous oceans, more than 1,000 miles north of bucket list favorite New Zealand. There are more than 300 islands that comprise what is known as Fiji, and while about two-thirds of them are uninhabited, many of them have plenty to offer travelers. 


A trip to Fiji is all about fabulous seas great for swimming and snorkeling, mountainous regions with amazing hiking opportunities, and rich local culture that will forge lasting memories. By focusing on isles that visitors can enjoy — we've discounted islands that might be paradisal but that have no facilities for tourists or have nothing that visitors can really experience — and using information from travel blogs and our own experience, we've put together this list of the best of the best Fijian islands.


A tiny paradise off the main Fijian island of Viti Levu, Beqa isn't overflowing with tourism infrastructure. There are only a few places to stay here, among them the comfortable, well-appointed Beqa Lagoon Resort, where the grounds are meticulously landscaped, and the diving is of global renown. What makes this rocky island stand out is the legendary fire walkers who practice their unique skills on Beqa. A custom started over 500 years ago, fire walking on Beqa originates in legend. 


When a villager captured a small deity, it offered him protection from fire in exchange for freedom. The descendants of that villager continue the daring feat of walking on top of smoldering river stones — the island's Sawau peoples are the sole practitioners of this remarkable exploit. To watch a ceremony is an eye-opening experience. Walkers create a large pit, more than 10 feet across and a few feet deep, that they load with stones from the river. A fire on top of the rocks heats them, and once the fire subsides, performers carefully navigate their way across the searing stones.

Denarau Island

Despite its name, Denarau Island is not technically an island. And yet, this enclave near the international airport in Nadi is filled with resorts and feels like a realm separated, figuratively distanced from all around it. A small causeway leads over a river to Denarau, and within its compact confines, visitors will find a range of properties, including places to hold conferences and weddings. 


Among the eight resorts are the Sheraton Denarau Villas, where large accommodations are kitted out with full kitchens, and the Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa, which has a bar with 30 different types of rum. For families, the choices on Denarau Island are plentiful — from explorative boat rides to explore and some sublime snorkeling to wild water slides at Big Bula Waterpark ("bula" is a word travelers will see and hear frequently in Fiji, it means "hello," or "welcome"). Adults might book tee times for a round on the golf course or unwind with a treatment at the many spas.


Kadavu is the fourth-largest island in Fiji, but it might not come with instant name recognition. That's because Kadavu is a wild, largely untouched destination, with dense jungles, craggy shores, crowd-free waterfalls, and beaches that are quiet and not always easy to reach (that makes them extra special). For snorkelers and divers, Kadavu is not to be missed, with visibility that almost defies belief. The Great Astrolabe Reef skirts the bottom part of the island, extending for many miles, and among its vivid coral formations, water bunnies can look for graceful manta rays. 


Landlubbers won't feel like they are missing out, thanks to hiking trails that wind through the rainforest or in and out of local villages. Vatalutu Trail, for instance, is a three-hour trek that deposits hikers on an empty, blissfully beautiful beach. Birdwatchers will also prize their time here, hoping to spot the four endemic birds on the island, among them the shining musk parrot and the yellow-headed whistling dove. Getting to Kadavu is straightforward, less than an hour by plane from Nadi, but its natural environment might make you feel like you've traveled a million miles from Fiji's international hub.

Kokomo Island

A passion project by an Australian property magnate, this island is a private resort with incredible snorkeling and diving on the reef. Kokomo Private Island Resort is pure luxury through and through, and getting to the island requires a private transfer aboard the resort's helicopter or seaplane. This sense of fantasy escape prepares guests for what lies ahead. Stays here are all-inclusive, and in addition to all meals and alcohol-free drinks, guests can enjoy complimentary laundry, nanny services, and water sports. The 21 villas are a mirage come to life, with a pretty walled garden, views of the South Pacific, and a private plunge pool. Of course, the whole complex is just steps from a sumptuous beach. 


For an even more elevated experience, consider booking one of the five residences. These are ideal for larger groups and sit up on the hills. The views of greenery, the sea, and amazing sunrises and sunsets are spellbinding. A visit to Kokomo, though, isn't just about the accommodation. Guests have a range of options at hand, from tours of local farms and villages to fishing and paddle boarding. Morning yoga sessions and spa treatments help restore a sense of calm, while those searching for an adrenaline rush can try kite surfing or tennis. The property even has a coral regeneration program to safeguard the environment it calls home.

Laucala Island

For devotees of private island resorts in the tropics, here is another one to add to the list. Como Laucala Island, a property where each room has a romantic private plunge pool, features its own private airstrip. Guests that stay here will feel like they are on a remote, castaway island. All 25 rooms are villas, some set on stilts over the water, others carefully secluded among the rainforest or set atop hills that command breathtaking views. They show a sense of place, with thatch roofs commonplace in Fiji and wood-beamed interiors. All meals and most drinks (including alcoholic ones) are rolled into the rate, as is an hour-long massage. 


Wellness is a key component of a stay at any Como property, and Laucala Island is no exception. At the Como Shambala spa, scrubs, wraps, and massages are taken among lush landscaping. The Daulomani Ritual is perfect for couples and features a steam bath, scrub, and a volcanic mud body wrap. Activities are wide-ranging, from an 18-hole golf course to horseback rides by the water or through coconut groves to a showstopper glass-paneled pool. Wakeboarding, diving, invigorating walks, and mountain bike rides showcase the island's enviable nature.

Likuri Island

Unlike the previous two entries, getting to this private island retreat from Nadi International Airport does not require taking an additional flight. It also doesn't require having a hefty bank balance for a stay. Likuri Island Resort Fiji is a reasonably priced property, one that is accessible via a bus from the airport, followed by a 30-minute boat transfer. For travelers looking for an easy island resort option in Fiji with a good dose of local flavor, this one is hard to beat. And yet, less than half a century ago, there was little on the island. It was primarily used for ceremonies or day trips by the local chiefs. 


The 23 bures (the word Fijians use for their bungalows) on the island are small, simply appointed abodes, some with sun decks, others split over two floors. A host of activities on-site keep guests entertained, including groups that visit as part of a tour. Visitors can learn about bush medicine — using local plants and herbs to heal ailments — or demonstrations on how to climb a coconut tree. Guests can try their hand at the traditional Fijian art form of weaving or enroll in a cooking class to learn about the secrets of local cuisine. Snorkeling and kayaking let visitors drink in the beauty of the seas. Meals are interesting, with many produced using the "lovo" method — meat, vegetables, or fish are wrapped in leaves and cooked while buried under heated rocks.


Mamanuca Islands

A chain of small islands northwest of the airport, the Mamanucas offer a quick escape not far from Nadi's airport. Regular boat transfers from Port Denarau wind their way to these islands, making them a popular destination. Lovers of time in the sea will certainly enjoy the Mamanucas, with thrilling reefs and calm lagoons perfect for snorkeling, while rolling waves present surfers the chance to hit the water. Divers will strap on their gear for a sortie among coral or to explore a wreck, while those searching for greater thrills can go skydiving. 


The islands are well set up for tourism and house a good selection of properties — such as the Six Senses Fiji and Matamanoa Island Resort — that can arrange excursions like village visits. One experience to add to the bucket list is a day at Cloud 9. This floating bar and restaurant is an idyllic spot for chilling, leaping into the water, sipping a libation, having a freshly prepared meal, and doing it all again.


Matangi Island is only for grown-ups, as it's home to an adults-only resort. Matangi Private Island Resort is great for couples, honeymooners, and anyone looking for quality time away from the young ones. In return, guests will experience clear waters and verdant interiors at this small luxury resort. Situated in the northeastern part of the country, Matangi extends across 240 acres and has been family-owned for over a century. For many years, there was little more than a coconut plantation on the island, but a few decades ago, the great-granddaughter of the original owner decided it was time to build a resort. 


Visitors will encounter nine bures and three treehouses constructed of indigenous hardwood, lava rock, bamboo, and thatch, accommodations that populate the forests and are close to a gorgeous beach. Dining is also close to the water, taken in a space that showcases local building techniques with poles and beams lashed together with rope made from coconut fibers. Meals celebrate regional specialties, meaning Fijian food and tastes from elsewhere in the South Pacific. At the spa, treatments include a traditional Fijian or hot-stone massage.


Fiji pulls in many travelers seeking an immersion in nature, and that is exactly what visitors will experience on this island with no roads. Ono sits just northeast of Kadavu and is home to a handful of villages and homestays that open sporadically, but tourists can experience the beauty of the island with a booking at Oneta Resort. The small property, family-run and refreshingly remote, embodies the island's natural aesthetic. It sits on 70 acres of waterfront land on the east coast, so sunrises are spectacular. Access to Oneta is by boat only, and there are seven rooms here — two are very spacious villas, and the remaining five are traditional bures. 


The rooms are simple, some arrayed on a hill with views of the sea, others among flower-filled gardens and close to the beach. The villas sit separated from the other accommodations and come with their own private stretch of sand. From the beach, guests can venture into the Great Astrolabe Reef for forays among vibrant coral and look for sharks, turtles, dolphins, and mantas. On land, trails just back from the property trace the mountain ridges; equally edifying is a three-hour hike on the nearby deserted island of Vatulutu, which rumbles through the rainforest. Sustainability is at the heart of the property, with solar power, on-site vegetable gardens, recycling, and other measures ensuring Oneta is carbon-neutral.



The port of Levuka is the country's former colonial capital and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Spread among mango and coconut trees, the town was a small whaling hub that grew as an entrepôt for commerce. Warehouses, schools, shipping facilities, and retail stores emerged to serve the growing international trade and the local community. Even though Suva is the modern capital of Fiji, Levuka holds great cultural significance for its amalgam of local construction methods employed by a colonial power. 


Walking around the town today, visitors will see old timber homes with gables on the roofs, a former parliament house, old historic residences, and tracks used by the trams that served the ports. This is a fascinating journey into the past, and the country's first government school, oldest hotel, and the first Masonic Temple in the South Pacific are all here. For a true slice of Fijian history and heritage, look no further than Levuka.


Known informally as the Garden Isle, Taveuni is a verdant gem in a realm of brilliant blue. Much of the isle is blanketed by the Bouma National Heritage Park, a huge slash of forest and jungle with fine walking trails. The most magnetic attraction is the Tavoro Falls (sometimes called the Bouma Falls), which sits close to the visitors' center. It's a striking sight, a channel of water surrounded by dense green foliage and dropping over cliffs into an emerald pool. Hikers can also try the Lavena Coastal Walk on the island's southeastern coast. It curls along beaches, over rivers, and through tight tracts of jungle before ending at a tranquil cascade. 


More seasoned trekkers will relish the challenge of reaching the crater of Lake Tagimoucia, thousands of feet above sea level, and home to an endemic, delicate scarlet flower that blooms only for a few months of the year. And yet, it's the blue that draws many visitors to Taveuni, the chance to dive in the Somosomo Strait, which has some of the best wall-diving in the world. The Great White Wall features a stark drop with bright, hard corals and an endless sea of white soft corals that give the site its name. Plunge below the surface, and you'll also see fish, rays, and maybe even humpback whales.

Vanua Levu

The second-largest island in Fiji, Vanua Levu has a strong yachting culture. It's an easy-going island with hilly, forested interiors and tucked-away coves and bays. There are resorts all over the island, though many congregate around the southern hub of Savusavu. The town is the main settlement on Vanua Levu and is where yachts gather to pick up supplies before venturing out to the archipelago of the Lau Islands, a group of isles with great physical beauty but little infrastructure. Savusavu is also the launching point for trips to Namena Marine Reserve, where a healthy reef and the prohibition of fishing have helped to create a sound population of sea life. 


Adventurers also have the option to take to the water through different mediums — via a tubing excursion on the Sekawa River or under the thundering curtain of a rainforest waterfall. Vanua Levu also has unique ways to enjoy its natural bounty. Kokomana grows cocoa and makes chocolate at its onsite facility, which guests can tour, while J. Hunter Pearls has a farm where the pearls have wildly varied hues of greens, bronzes, and blues. Travelers can arrange a tour of the farm, located in Savusavu Bay, and buy one of the gemstones right from the source.

Viti Levu

To experience all the riches that Fiji offers, travelers don't need to leave the main island of Viti Levu. This is where Nadi International Airport is, and there is so much to discover on the island, from marvelous museums to untamed nature. On Viti Levu's south, the Coral Coast is as enticing as the name suggests, a realm of dizzyingly attractive, yet peaceful, beaches, swaying palms, and turquoise seas. Also in the south, Pacific Harbour is a one-stop shop for thrill-seekers, and Kila Eco-Adventure Park provides opportunities for traversing high-ropes courses, zip-lining, abseiling, and more. 


There are ATV tours to explore the rugged interior en route to forested waterfalls, while out in the harbor, travelers can hop onto a jet ski and rip around the water. Rivers provide the source for white-water rafting, sedate tubing, and even a ride about a rudimentary bamboo raft, the way Fijians used to navigate waterways. The capital, Suva, is the largest city in the country and is filled with markets, malls, museums, and many places to eat. The northern Suncoast region is where Viti Levu really gets wild — it's home to the highest mountain and waterfall in the country and strands of beaches along the shore.

Yasawa Islands

Northwest of Viti Levu, this scattering of islands also promises stunning wilderness. Both on land and off, active types will find plenty to get them engaged and excited, like the spectacular Sawa-i-Lau caves. Set on a small island with a craggy coast and a towering peak, the saltwater caves were immortalized on celluloid in the 1980 movie "Blue Lagoon." It's a popular spot, with boats frequently dropping by to see the famous location, but the caves' origins are anchored in a legend surrounding a hawk and a princess. 


The caves' most beautiful aspect is the glimmering pools fed by seawater that, when hit by the light, feels like a magical domain rooted in imagination. The islands are covered with hills and mountains, making them fine arenas for hikes. On Waya Island, trails that ride over the hills and shadow the shore bring walkers to stunning viewpoints. Travelers will rumble around undulating slopes and along broad plains and can stop to watch daily Fijian life in Waya Levu village.


There are hundreds of islands in Fiji, and each promises something different. Some are large, dense with things to do and places to see, and could keep visitors busy for weeks. Others are invitingly intimate, small refuges that quickly weave a sense of belonging. To give this list some utility, we excluded islands that might be a physical representation of the word paradise but have scant infrastructure for tourists. We drew on our travels to the country and then gleaned information from travel blogs and sites and the country's official tourism board to find the best islands for explorers near and far.