Somewhere Wonderful in Fiji Is Waiting

The Tavoro Waterfalls in Bouma National Heritage Park, Fiji, are incredibly beautiful
The Tavoro Waterfalls in Bouma National Heritage Park, Fiji, are incredibly beautiful | © Don Mammoser / Alamy Stock Photo
Gethin Morgan

Content Editor

Fiji is open! And if you’re looking for some tropical tranquillity, then look no further than this Pacific gem. Here’s all you need to know.

Matamanoa Island Resort is one of many excellent places to stay in Fiji

You can’t get much farther east than Fiji. Set right in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, this archipelago is full of natural wonders and ancient treasures. The country comprises more than 300 islands – only about 110 are permanently inhabited – meaning that it’s incredibly easy to carve out your own slice of paradise. Untouched white-sand beaches, rich azure waters full of vibrant sea life and lush forests ripe for exploration all await nature-loving travellers.

And then there’s the extraordinary island culture. People have lived on these islands for thousands of years, despite how isolated they are in the middle of the ocean. Remnants of that rich, and at times tragic, past can be found everywhere, from forts and temples to language and traditions.

Beautiful scenery is all around you in Fiji

We recommend learning these essential Fijian phrases before you go so that you can engage with the locals and respect their culture while also picking up a few words of the joyous local language. In addition, you should learn a little about the traditional Fijian Kava Ceremony, an event centred around the national beverage, which we highly recommend taking part in at some point during your stay.

Things to do in Fiji

There is no shortage of things to do here. You can explore tropical forests inland or relax on white-sand beaches, embrace the local cultures and learn about the fascinating history behind these islands. Read our in-depth guides on what to do on Kadavu Island as well as the best attractions across Fiji, or search through our bookable classes, tours and activities. In the meantime, here are three of our favourite Fijian highlights.

1. Great Astrolabe Reef

Natural Feature

Green chromis, blue devil damselfish and angelfish in the Great Astrolabe Reef in the Pacific Ocean waters off the coast of Dravuni Island, Fiji
© Elizabeth Given / Alamy Stock Photo

Fiji is one of the best places on earth to go snorkelling and scuba diving, and where better than one of the largest barrier reefs in the world? Home to countless species, from tuna and marlin to giant trevally, sharks and manta rays, this is a cornucopia of colour and marine life. The reef predominantly surrounds Kadavu Island, and its distance from large populations of people has ensured the coral diversity remains unspoilt. Also, visibility is excellent, and its cosy Pacific environment means the water temperature is perfect for underwater exploration.

2. Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park

Natural Feature, Park

Sand Dunes National Park, Sigatoka, Fiji. Image shot 2013. Exact date unknown.
© Henryk Sadura / Alamy Stock Photo

While there are several magical national parks across Fiji – we recommend Bouma National Heritage Park and Colo-I-Suva Forest Park for forests, waterfalls and scenic hiking trails – there are none quite like Sigatoka, not least because it’s one of the smallest national parks in the world, at just 1.77sqkm (0.68sqmi). The fine greyish-brown sand here rises as high as 60m (197ft), formed by coastal erosion for thousands of years. Its ancient status has made it a rich archaeological site, with excavations revealing ancient pottery, stone tools and even human remains.

3. Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple

Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark

Sri Siva Subramaniya Hindu temple, Nadi, Viti leva, Fiji
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo

This eye-catching landmark is the largest Hindu temple in the Pacific and lies south of Nadi, a city on the main island. The multicoloured spectacle boasts Dravidian architecture, which is incredibly rare outside India. Indeed, the wooden artefacts adorning the building’s dramatic rooftop were brought over from India specifically for this spiritual hub. Take plenty of pictures from the outside, but remember this is a profoundly spiritual, religiously important place. So, treat it with respect, take off those shoes and follow the rules set out by the temple custodians.

Where to stay in Fiji

As you can imagine, in a country with a coastline like Fiji’s, there are many holiday resorts and wellness retreats scattered across the islands. We have guides for every kind of traveller, whether you’re looking for spa hotels, a good hotel for diving and snorkelling or just a classic beachside resort. Alternatively, you can browse through our extensive selection of places to stay to find your perfect home from home.

4. Mantaray Island Resort

Resort, Budget Hotel

Mantaray Island Resort_d7ab6b8f
Courtesy of Mantaray Island Resort / Expedia

Divers, take note. This extremely well-priced resort on the small island of Nanuya Balavu is home to the only accredited freediving operator in Fiji, which runs two- and three-day courses from an island surrounded by coral and, unsurprisingly, manta rays. More than 7,000 species of fish live in the area, and expert instructors can take divers of all levels to caves, walls, caverns, pinnacles and coral gardens via drift dives, night dives and many more underwater adventures. The resort itself caters for every budget, with cheap dorms, treehouse bures (a hut similar to a cabin), reef bures and beachfront villas.

5. Matamanoa Island Resort

Resort, Luxury, Spa Hotel

Matamanoa Island Resort_20c2a4c6
Courtesy of Matamanoa Island Resort / Expedia

This dreamy island retreat is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for peace and tranquillity. Explore the rich volcanic vegetation on the island, relax on the curved white-sand beaches or snorkel in the crystalline waters of the Pacific. At the resort, there’s an infinity pool, a tennis court, a cocktail bar and a high-quality restaurant dealing in international and Fijian-inspired cuisine. The treetop spa offers treatments, including deep-tissue massages, with mesmerising ocean views. There are 47 rooms to choose from – 10 stand-alone beachfront villas, 24 beachfront bures and 13 garden-view resort rooms. We recommend booking a villa or bure if you can; they all come with an outdoor shower, a plunge pool and a romantic thatched gazebo.

6. Tanoa Waterfront Hotel


Tanoa Waterfront Hotel_df984aaa
Courtesy of Tanoa Waterfront Hotel / Expedia

Stay in the heart of the second-largest city in Fiji and book a stay at this surprisingly budget-friendly hotel. With two pools, a spa, a gym, a restaurant and a bar, the Tanoa Waterfront Hotel provides its guests with all the modern luxuries you’d expect. The 92 well-appointed rooms are spacious and airy, with subtle yet stylish furnishings that tastefully nod to Fijian culture. Meanwhile, the seaside location keeps you close to a range of excellent beaches and snorkelling waters, or you can head farther inland to Koroyanitu National Park, which is less than an hour away.

Where to eat and drink in Fiji

Expect delicious but also healthy and organic cuisine when you visit Fiji, where you’ll find local farm-based ingredients combined with seafood freshly caught from the Pacific, as well as influences from East Asia to the north. There are loads of great places to eat, from fancy restaurants and low-key eateries to one-of-a-kind eating experiences, such as the Cloud 9 Pizzeria, a two-storey restaurant set in the middle of the ocean.

7. Eco Café

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, Fijian

Fiji meets Italy at this laid-back beach restaurant. It’s an open, ocean-facing shack, built mostly out of bamboo and offers some of the best grub on the island. You can get delicious coffee and traditional Fijian fare made with fresh produce, but we highly recommend the wood-fired pizzas. So, grab yourself a few slices, bring your own beers and sit on the decking as the sun sets over the Pacific. Bliss.

8. Wicked Walu

Restaurant, Seafood

Wicked Walu Seafood Restaurant_45443bea
Courtesy of Warwick Fiji / Expedia

Head to the Warwick Fiji hotel on the Coral Coast to find one of the most picturesque restaurants in Fiji. Romance is well and truly in the air at Wicked Walu, with an atmospherically lit indoor setting and a postcard-worthy outdoor decking area, perfect for sunset spotting with a glass of wine. It also happens to be the most highly rated seafood restaurant in the country, which is no mean feat when you’re on an island with a population that has been catching and eating fish for centuries.

9. Tokoriki Oishii Teppanyaki

Hotel Restaurant, Japanese

Tokoriki Island Resort_5c216df3
Courtesy of Tokoriki Island Resort / Expedia

Tokoriki Island Resort houses a uniquely intimate restaurant that every visitor in Fiji has to try. The bure-set restaurant can only seat four couples, meaning the atmosphere is relaxed, and the highly trained chefs and staff can tailor your experience to you. The food is extremely authentic teppanyaki dining, with a small but mouth-watering menu that is as entertaining to watch being made as it is to taste for yourself.

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