Our trip to Fiji was nothing short of a dream! I always had Fiji in my top 5 bucket list destinations for the longest time and I am so grateful that we were finally able to cross it from our list this year. Fiji has 333 islands, of which only around 100 are inhabited. Many of these islands have luxurious private island escapes, all-inclusive resorts, world-renowned spas, outdoor explorations, scuba diving and a wide array of culinary adventures. While we had a myriad of gorgeous islands to choose from we chose to split our stay this time for the first half in the Yasawas and in the second half on the mainland of Viti Levu. And like anyone who’s been to Fiji would tell you, one visit is certainly not enough; with so many beautiful islands to choose from you are bound to be back for more.
(above photo provided by Fiji Airways)
Getting to Fiji with Fiji Airways
Fiji is located in the heart of the South Pacific, just ten hours from Los Angeles (LAX) or SanFrancisco (SFO), and only seven hours from Honolulu, Hawaii (HNL). Fiji Airways now flies directly from SFO (weekly) and LAX (daily) and is just a 10 hour overnight flight! I mean the convenience couldn’t get any better – an overnight flight which means zero jetlag, visa on arrival and all in all a pleasant experience flying to paradise. Our experience flying with Fiji Airways was amazing. I love the fact that the flight leaves SFO in the night, which gives you the perfect time to get a good nights sleep on the journey and wake up fresh at the start of the day in Fiji, albeit two days later in the future ;)! The food and entertainment options as well as the overall hospitality and service of the staff were all excellent. Since Fiji airways flies directly from SFO, LAX and HNL for the rest of the US, an easy connection to any of these 3 hubs is your go to to hop on to a Fiji Airways flight. Their frequent flyer partners include American Airlines and Alaska Airlines as well, so if you are a member of either of these you can easily add to your miles.
Best time to visit
Fiji enjoys a tropical island climate year-round with most months getting up around 30°C (86 °F). With its gentle trade winds, the weather is always balmy and comfortable even on warm days. Some parts of Fiji get more rain than others and larger islands have their own wet and dry zones – generally the northern and western regions of the big islands. The most popular time to visit Fiji is in its drier season from May to December.The wet season runs from November to April. There are few, brief, heavy showers in the late afternoon during this time but these are usually localised. The smaller islands in Fiji typically receive less rainfall than the main Island. We chose to go in the summer/rainier season (in Feb) to experience the tropical island in all its lushness during the monsoon season. While we did get a day or two of rain, the weather for the most part was absolutely amazing! the ideal mix of rain and shine.
Since we visited two parts of Fiji on our trip this time around I will be touching base on these only :
Part 1 : Yasawas
The Yasawas are in the northwestern corner of the Fijian island archipelago and are home to some of the best remote unspoiled islands in all of Fiji. These islands represent the ultimate “island life” that you can imagine – no commercialization or modernization, just raw natural beauty that is simply breathtaking. Infact visiting the islands was once limited to cruise ships, and passengers were forbidden to actually set foot on the Yasawas until the 1950s.
Where to stay in the Yasawas ?
The islands offer mostly backpacker accommodations and a few luxury resort options as well. If you are looking for pure luxury in the most perfect traditional setting – Yasawa Island Resort is your go to! We stayed here for our time in the Yasawas and it was beyond incredible. Read more about our stay HERE.
You can also find other options for accomodation in the Yasawa islands in THIS page.
How to get to the Yasawas ?
Getting to the Yasawa Islands is a short 30-minute hop by seaplane/airplane from Nadi. Island hoppers and Pacific Island Air both offer services to the Yasawas. The scenic flight takes you along the coast of the mainland, and then over the turquoise coral reefs and gorgeous islands of the Yasawa Islands group. If you are staying at a resort, they usually organize transfers to the resort, so you can definitely check in with them. Also you’re not in a rush, you can relax on a boat trip with one of the ferry companies on the mainland. Denarau island on the mainland of Viti Levu has several boat companies that offer day trips to the Yasawas.
What to do in the Yasawas ?
Well, you are honestly in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, so you dont need an itinerary right ;)?! Fiji Has Something for Everyone – not just thousands of beautiful beaches, Fiji offers both land and water activities to suit all travelers. So its totally upto to you to do it all or do nothing at all!
These beautiful islands are diverse and offer something for everyone whether you are looking to simply relax or go on an adventure. Some of the popular activities to do in the Yasawas :
- Sawa I Lau Blue Lagoon caves : Our highlight of the trip! Read more of this magical place HERE.
- Hiking : These islands are so wild and lush, there is no other better way to be one with nature while getting lost in paradise.Our resort had tons of hiking trails to choose from on the island of Yasawa I Rara.
- Snorkelling/Diving/Fishing : Fiji is the Soft Coral Capital of the World! It is home to an abundance of tropical fish, dolphins, manta rays, turtles and reef sharks. We saw reef sharks even in the shallow waters during one of our beach adventures!
- Visit a local village or take partake in a traditional Kava Ceremony : The one thing that stood out the most to us during our entire trip to Fiji was the warmth of its people! Everyone was so friendly and helpful. We made some local friends who showed us their beautiful and quaint village in the Yasawas. It really made us appreciate how different and peaceful the real “island lifestyle” is.
- Island hop or visit a deserted island for a private island beach picnic. Read more of my birthday picnic HERE.
Romper – c/o Juliet Dunn
- Catch the most vivid dreamy sunsets : Sunsets we saw at the Yasawas were one for the books! So so dreamy and spectacular.
Part 2 : Coral Coast on Viti Levu
Viti Levu is the mainland of Fiji. It is gateway to Fiji (Nadi airport is located on this island) and is the ideal base before you head out to discover the rest of Fiji. If you are island hopping in Fiji, you are bound to spend a few days on the mainland so that you can make your connections with ease.
Where to stay in Viti Levu ?
Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa is the best resort on Viti Levu without a doubt and its location is to die for, it is located on the beautiful and picturesque Natadola Bay on Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu. Natadola Beach has been voted one of the best beaches in the world! It is protected by a reef which creates an aqua-blue ocean-facing lagoon on one side. Read more of our stay at this resort HERE.
We also visited Denarau island on one of our days here and loved the vibe here as well. It is located close to the airport in Nadi and there are tons of resorts to choose from here. Read more about where to stay in Denarau here.
How to get around on Viti Levu ?
The island is pretty big, so you will hav eto decide which part you want to stay at. We chose to stay at Intercon Fiji on the Coral Coast since it was just an hour from Nadi and is also close to the Pacific Harbour. We used taxis to go around everywhere since we pretty much spent most of our time in the resort. if you plan to be going around a lot more, renting a car at the airport is a great option.
What to do in and around the Coral Coast ?
Pink Dress : c/o Sundress
Anush and I are totally guilty of simply relaxing for the last 2 days at our resort since it had so much to offer ! But if you are looking for other things to do in the Coral Coast on Viti Levu, here are my suggestions :
- Visiting a local village. If you have the time you have to visit Navala village! It is situated in the Ba Highlands of northern-central Viti Levu, Fiji. It is noted for its thatched buildings (Fijian Bures), amounting to over 200. It is one of the few settlements in Fiji which remains fully traditional architecturally.
- Snorkeling/diving : Coral Coast is known for its beautiful soft corals and offers plenty of snorkeling options.
- Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park
- Ecotrax : a 3 hour adventure riding the worlds only rail-mounted electric assisted pushbike carriages. Looked so fun, but unfortunately we didnt have time to do this.
- White water rafting or kayaking
- Cloud 9 : The only floating pizzeria in the world!
- Explore local eats – see more here. Our food experience in Fiji was sublime! Locally caught fresh fish and fresh fruit fused with traditional Fijian Indian cuisine is out of this world and unique to Fiji.
Hope this travel guide to Fiji helps you if you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
**This post is in collaboration with Fiji Airways but all thoughts and opinions are my own.