With some of the world's best beaches and breathtaking views, Fiji is a bucket list destination for both romantic getaways and family beach vacations.
The island nation of Fiji consists of 300 islands. Many are uninhabited volcanic outcroppings, but others are home to resorts with picturesque, over-the-water bungalows. As you might expect from a South Pacific paradise, Fiji offers some of the world’s best beaches, sunsets, snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, and surfing. It’s a worthy bucket list vacation destination that’s equally perfect for couples in search of romance and families in search of fun.
If you fly into Fiji, you’ll land at Nadi International Airport on Fiji’s largest island, Viti Levu. The largest town on the island, Nadi offers ample shopping and restaurants. It’s an easy drive south along Queen’s Highway to the resorts on the island’s Coral Coast.
Robert Trent Jones designed The Pearl Championship Golf Course at Pacific Harbour, and Kula Wild Adventure Park offers ziplines over the jungle canopy for thrill seekers. Also known as Kula Eco Park, the park features birds found only on the Fijian islands and sponsors programs to save endangered species.
The Sigatoka River Safari takes you on a jet boat ride past towering cliffs and thatched roof huts, and the day-trip safari stops for lunch at a traditional Fijian village. Be prepared to sit on the floor of the communal dining hut to feast on just-picked fruits and dalo (taro) and freshly caught fish. The tour operators stop at a different village each day.
It’s worth the drive to the top of Momi Bay to enjoy the view and to visit the remains of a World War II gun battery, now a Fiji National Trust historic site. The battery’s huge 6-inch guns protected the narrow passage through the reefs from enemy ships attempting to reach Australia and New Zealand during the war.
If you want to visit other islands, hop on an inter-island flight operated by Fiji’s regional airline, Fiji Link. For a more down to earth alternative, travel between islands on local ferries or high-speed catamarans.
Taveuni, Fiji’s third largest island, is known as the garden island. Four national parks cover more than 80 percent of the island, which is home to more than 100 bird species, including parrots and herons. The landscape features well-marked trails for jungle hikes and plenty of waterfalls and pools for a quick dip.
Founded by the son of legendary ocean explorer and environmentalist Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort is located on a pristine coral reef, making it an ideal destination for anyone interested in communing with marine life. The resort offers guided nature walks and workshops for families, snorkeling and scuba diving lessons, and dive trips. In the evening, guests can enjoy traditional Fijian torch lighting and storytelling around a campfire.
For family adventures, Castaway Island and Beachcomber Fiji Islands are popular family-friendly resorts that offer kids’ camp activities. For couples, Lomani Island Resort is an adults-only retreat located one hour by boat from Nadi. Isolated on its own small island, Likuliku Lagoon Resort is top-rated for privacy and only accessible by the resort’s own boat shuttle.
Captain Cook Cruises sails from Nadi to the northern islands and the remote Yasawa Islands on cruises that last three to seven nights, depending on the itinerary. Royal Caribbean and P&O Cruises also stop in Fiji on South Pacific routes that include Australia, New Zealand, and Tahiti.
Dining and Shopping
Many hotels and resorts offer traditional lovo dinners, which consist of foods wrapped in banana leaves and then cooked in underground ovens of heated rocks. A lovo dining experience often includes an evening of traditional Fijian song and dance with dancers spinning and tossing fire sticks.
Popular souvenirs include hand-carved tanoa bowls, which Fijians use to mix and drink traditional fermented kava, hand-woven baskets and mats, and the sulu, an all-purpose sarong that Fijian women tie more than 100 ways (from a beachside wrap to a formal evening dress) and Fijian men wrap as a traditional day skirt. The most popular keepsake is deep sea pearls in hues ranging from bright turquoise to almost black.
Fiji and all the other South Pacific islands offer magical vacation opportunities filled with breathtaking natural wonders and sparkling blue water. Share all your amazing Fiji photos with us on Instagram.