Fiji, a Pacific gem

Thought by some as the ‘poor cousin to Tahiti, the Fijian Islands offer so much more in the way of activities, choices in accommodations, and true South Pacific hospitality.

Fiji is the country, but she is actually made up of over 300 separate islands. Most are uninhabited, and the rest are truly individually defined by their own personal ambiance and topography. The familiar ‘Bula!’ greeting will be the one constant, along with the smiling face of your host.

Home to the international Airport of Fiji, Nadi is also the main tourist hub for mid-range and backpacker style accommodations. Its main street is home to incessant Hindi and Fijian music, and the latest in tourist kitsch. The majority of flights arrive in the very early morning and depart late in the evening therefore Nadi is often the one-night stopover spot for international travellers. I personally don’t recommend it for any length of stay. There are so many other options close at hand.

24 kms north of Nadi, this city acts as the bridge from the main island (Viti Levu) to the Yasawa Island group. This group of islands is visited by the renowned Blue Lagoon Cruises as well as other small ship cruise lines. They also are a great option for those travellers looking for a less commercialized resort feel.

The capital city of Fiji is located on the southeast coast of the main island of Viti Levu. Suva is a large cosmopolitan city teeming with cruise passengers, trendy shopping malls, and a booming nightlife. It is a multicultural city, and has buildings dating back to the Colonial era. It is home to the heart of the nation’s political and business base.

The Coral Coast
A well developed resort coastline stretching 80 kms between Nadi and Suva. Intermingled with authentic Fijian villages, the Coral Coast offers wonderful diving and beach life, as well as a unique opportunity to haggle with the fishermen at the local Sigatoka Market. A great combination of tourist amenities and local culture.

The Mamanuca Island Group
Home to such famous spots as Castaway Island, Plantation Island, and Malolo Island, this island group is home to resorts that are perfect for partiers, families, or budget-conscious couples. Only 20 kms off the coast from Nadi, and serviced by motor launch service, these islands are close by and well-priced to offer the South Pacific Island experience.

Denarau Island
The five star resort enclave attached to Viti Levu by a short causeway is home to eight different luxury brand hotels such as Hilton, Radisson and Sheraton. It’s the place to be for pampering, designer suites, and a world class golf course.

Fiji is home to some ultra-luxury resorts as well. Many offer a complete island hideaway experience with the ultimate in spa, dining and amenity inclusions. Vatulele Island Resort, Laucala Island Retreat or the Tadrai Island Retreat can truly give any Tahitian luxury resort a run for its money and reputation. For those of you adamant about getting an ‘overwater bungalow’, goes then check out the Likuliku Resort.

Just a 10 hour flight from LAX, Fiji requires naught but a passport to enter. Try to avoid the high season from June thru September. November thru April is the wet, or ‘typhoon’, season which is characterized by high temperatures and short storms. Shoulder season is either May or October.

Fiji truly is the ultimate destination. Perfect for the discerning honeymoon couple, or strapped-for-cash backpacker. Diving, surfing, ocean kayaking, white water rafting, moonlit strolls along the beach, or heavy-duty hikes thru the rainforests . . . Fiji is waiting for you!

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About the Author

Joy has long been a believer in the art of travel: the belief that a vacation is something to be anticipated savored and then long remembered as one of life’s great adventures. 
Website: thejoyoftravel.ca

You can contact Joy at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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