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With its island getaways and luxury resorts, it would be easy to mistake Fiji for a couple’s destination. Sure, it’s great for honeymooners and family vacations but the Fiji Islands also offer plenty of options for solo travellers to stay, relax, party with friends or meet others.
Avoid family resorts. In fact, most of the resorts are either family or couple-orientated. If you’re after some solo travel time with the chance of meeting other like-minded people, then consider other accommodation options.
Nadi’s Wailoaloa Beach is often the first port of call for backpackers and solo travellers. With its affordable dorm rooms at Smugglers Cove and Bamboo, social beachfront vibe and regular nighttime fire and poi dancers, the area is perfect for making new friends.
If you want more nature and seclusion while still meeting new faces, try the Fiji Beachouse along the Coral Coast. With communal dining areas and daily activities such as surfing, island trips and jungle walks available, this boutique backpackers is a great set-up for solo travellers and offers plenty to keep you occupied when not lying in the beachfront hammocks.
In addition to places with dorm-style accommodation, there are plenty of place and activities that are conducive to striking up conversations with strangers. Again, it’s best to step out of the main resorts. If you want friends to explore with, choose activities with group tours. Try a stand-up paddleboard day trip or sunset tour, head out on a river safari or join a beachfront horse-riding tour.
Dive and snorkel trips are perfect for meeting others as they’re usually quite intimate with only a handful of people on the boat – and everyone wants to share their stories when they get out of the water. The best island trips for solo travellers are sailing trips such as those run by Coral Cats. The smaller number of passengers on board are more conducive to solo travel and offer a mix of snorkelling adventures and ultimate relaxation on the bean bags of the catamaran.
If you want to relax on an island by yourself, choose the likes of South Sea Island or Tivua Island. These islands, as well as others, have little huts with chairs and bean bags to relax on or hammocks under the trees. For those wanting a wellness retreat, the small boutique resort of Navutu in the Yasawas offers a detox programme as well as yoga, meditation and even auriculotherapy – which treats health conditions through stimulating the outer ear.
Koro Sun Resort in Savusavu on the island of Vanua Levu also offers a number of wellness retreats through the year, from workshops for artists to paddleboard yoga retreats.
Bamboo at Wailoaloa is a sure bet on a Friday or Saturday night and there are always kava ceremonies taking place there or down at Smugglers Cove if you want to join one.
If you’re up for some clubbing, or want to find someone to play a game of pool with, head to Ed’s Bar in Martintar near Nadi. Thursday night is Ladies Night and always busy with people making the most of the 2 for 1 drinks offer. If daytime drinks are more you thing, head offshore to the islands. Beachcomber Island has a DJ next to the bar which plays all afternoon and there’s space for dancing between snorkel excursions.
Cloud9 is a floating bar and pizzeria set in the middle of turquoise waters in the Mamanucas. Jump off the top level into the ocean, dance to the music from the surround sound system or simply chill on the hanging chairs with some drinks.
While Fiji is generally considered a safe place to travel, it’s important to be aware of some safety concerns. Females shouldn’t walk around at night by themselves or even in a small group. It’s best to take a taxi to and from your destination after dark –and that goes for men too.
People are very friendly in Fiji and will always greet everyone who passes by, with “Bula!” and will be always wanting to help tourists. But take normal safety precautions and don’t go wandering into unfamiliar areas by yourself – if anything, out of respect for the local area rather than for safety.
Keep in mind the time of year you are travelling – the ‘winter’ or dry season is typically from May to October. January to March is the wet season and also the hottest time of year to visit. Expect regular afternoon thunderstorms if you are travelling during the rainy season and don’t forget to bring insect repellent.