Located in the South Pacific, Fiji is made up of over 300 stunning islands, yet has a combined surface area of less than 20,000 square kilometers. The largest island is Viti Levu, where both the capital, Suva, and the popular tourist town of Nadi are located. Although Viti Levu offers a great balance of culture and coastline, be sure to explore some of Fiji’s other islands for crystal clear waters and beautiful white beaches.
If you’re just starting out with snorkeling or diving, head to Beqa Lagoon, around 150 kilometers off the coast of Nadi. With over 100 dive sites, you’re bound to find something suited to your level of experience. This lagoon is one of the best places in Fiji to spot sharks, including the huge tiger shark, but don’t worry: local diving experts will keep you safe!
|Great Astrolabe Reef is one of the largest barrier reefs in the world
To spot enormous manta rays, head to Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the largest barrier reefs in the world. Located just off the coast of Kadavu, Fiji’s fourth-largest island, the Great Astrolabe Reef is home to canyons, corals, and a huge array of tropical fish.
You don’t have to snorkel to enjoy Fiji’s beautiful coastline: why not take to some of its incredible beaches instead? While its most secluded beaches are usually found in private resorts, there are plenty of public beaches to enjoy. The most popular is Natadola Beach, on the main island of Viti Levu. It’s one of the few beaches in Fiji where you can swim regardless of the tide, and the Natadola Inside Break provides the perfect conditions for surfers of all levels. Alternatively, check out some of the Mamanuca Islands: start at Malololailai Island for palm-tree lined beaches, or visit the Cloudbreak Reef on the Namotu Island for great surfing opportunities.
|The Yasawa Islands are more secluded
If you’re looking for a completely secluded escape, visit the Yasawa Islands. These islands have very few amenities, but the beaches and intense sun are unforgettable.
Head further inland to explore some of Fiji’s stunning parks and forests. Taveuni, one of the northern-most islands, is home to Bouma National Heritage Park. With camping, snorkeling, and hiking facilities, this 150-square-kilometer park is one of Fiji’s most popular ecotourism spots. You’ll also find the Tavoro Falls, which consists of three spectacular levels; however, the hour-long hike to the top can be dangerous, especially during the rainy season (November to April). Nature lovers will enjoy all of the unique wildlife around the park, such as the Fijian banded iguana and blossom bat.
|The Fijian banded iguana can be found in Fiji
For a completely different experience, head to Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park, home to 6.5 square kilometers of incredible sand dunes, ranging from 20 to 60 meters in height. It’s best to explore the park with a guided tour, which will cover the most impressive dunes, the best view points, and the highlights of the park’s archaeological site featuring remnants dating back over 2,500 years.
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Fiji isn’t just about natural beauty, it’s also home to fascinating cultural and historical landmarks. Don’t miss out on the Fiji Museum in Suva, with exhibits about indigenous cultures, Indian migration, and more. For more history lessons, check out Levuka on the Ovalau Island, Fiji’s only UNESCO world heritage site. Be sure to visit the historic center, where Europeans first settled in the 19th century, and the Royal Hotel, the oldest hotel in the South Pacific, originally built in the 1860s.
Fiji also hosts some fantastic religious monuments, such as the Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Nadi. This colorful, wooden building is actually the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere! Alternatively, check out the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Viti Levu, which stands out with its beautiful European-style architecture.
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Beautiful islands with tons of great beaches to relax.