Remote and unspoiled, Fiji’s islands deliver all the natural beauty and epic sunsets you’d expect from a South Pacific destination, plus welcoming locals renowned for their gracious hospitality. But with 333 islands to choose from, how does a visitor to Fiji decide which island or islands are best for them? Here’s how they break down.
The Main Island
Every Fiji getaway begins on the biggest island, Viti Levu, home of the international airport at Nadi, and for travelers equally in search of action as relaxation, it’s also the final destination. On Viti Levu’s southern “Coral Coast”, white-sand beaches lead to colorful, fish filled reefs making it a perfect destination for families. Adventure abounds along the Coral Coast, offering everything from Eco Parks to Zip Lining. At the eastern edge of the Coral Coast lies Pacific Harbor, the jumping-off point for divers headed to see Fiji’s famous bull shark Nearby, the upper Navua River flows over steep, rainforested terrain to create a thrill ride for white-water rafters. Along the Sigatoka River, visitors can thrill to a river jet-boat tour of this verdant countryside including visits to remote inland villages.
Vanua Levu and Taveuni
To the north lies Fiji’s second and third largest islands, Vanua Levu and Taveuni, accessible by small plane. Vanua Levu is roughly the same size as Maui and enjoys a similar tropical climate — think rainforest hiking and waterfalls galore. That lush landscape and the area’s remoteness are reasons it’s a favorite among honeymooners, with a number of romance-focused resorts dotting the beaches near the small township of Savusavu, including the boutique Namale Resort & Spa.
Taveuni, also called the Garden Isle, is known for that same flavor of rainforest-meets-white-sand paradise. From Taveuni, a handful of small-luxury private-island resorts can be reached, among them the romantic favorites of Matangi Private Island Resort and Qamea Resort and Spa.
Divers flock to Vanua Levu and Taveuni for quick access to Rainbow Reef, one of the most famous underwater destinations, and one of the best examples of why Fiji is known as the soft coral capital of the world. Here, find forests of these pink, red, purple and orange tiny trees that sway with the current and provide sanctuary for schools of fish in hues as vivid as the reefs themselves.
Off the West coast of Viti Levu, extending to the north like the tail of a kite is a string of 50 or so islands known as the Mamanuca and the Yasawa group of islands. They offer that ultra-remote escapism that travelers have come to expect from the South Pacific. In addition to a scattering of private-island resorts, many of the islands are uninhabited, allowing for afternoons of picnicking and relaxing on a private white sand beach. Travelers can spend hours with just each other, a lobster lunch and a bottle of Champagne, not seeing another soul until they summon the resort for another bottle.
The Mamanuca Islands are home to the island nation’s most famous surf spot, Cloud Break, as well as Likuliku Lagoon Resort, Fiji’s only resort with overwater accommodation. The Yasawa Islands, the northernmost islands in the line, are as remote as it gets. Reachable by ferry, heli or seaplane, these islands recharge the soul with their calm waters, seaside caves and empty white beaches.