The Weekly Getaway: discovering Fiji, an exotic beach paradise
Can you hear the gently crashing waves against the sandy shores of a distant island? The chatter of relaxed people and the rhythmic music playing from a beach café? Or the soothing winds that carry the fragrance of the ocean in them? It’s Fiji, calling you to its many islands known for their unparalleled freedom, love for life, and paradise-like beauty. Located conveniently close to Australia, and tantalizingly near New Caledonia, this little cluster of exotic getaways has waited long enough for your arrival.
Out of over 300 islands that belong to the Fiji archipelago, there are several that are especially worthy of your bucket list.
Plantation Island – Malolo Lailai
One of the most desirable islands and the second largest of the Mamanuca archipelago, and as its most prized gem, Malolo Lailai it is also one of the most frequently visited as well as the most populated one of them all.
Malolo Lailai is known for its truly breathtaking diversity in natural wealth, but also as the home to the finest clubs and bars where you’ll easily spot schoolies of 2019 having fun alongside the many natives of the island. Depending on what you wish to experience, you can be in the epicenter of the party zone, or the most peaceful beach of the island.
Castaway Island - Monuriki
Monuriki, made famous thanks to the movie Cast Away, is a part of the Mamanuca archipelago. As many of its island and islet siblings, this tiny marvel of nature is ideal for snorkeling and meeting the local underwater life. Its picturesque spots inland as well as on its honey-hued shores make it a great choice for honeymooners, although you cannot stay on the island itself, there are nearby resorts on other islands that offer the perfect shelter.
Many marine aficionados visit the pristine coastline of Kadavu for the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of a kind in its coral abundance, and the sheer size of this living entity makes it impressive enough to draw more travelers. Perfect for nature-lovers, since you’ll be able to explore its many hidden coves and underwater diving spots.
● Beqa Island – lying merely four miles off the shore of Viti Levu, this tiny island is the birthplace of the fire-walking ritual, and a modern getaway for shark lovers, since you’ll be able to dive alongside eight different species of them.
● Savusavu Bay – A hop over to the second largest island, Vanua Levu, and you’ll find some of the world’s finest pearls. This is yet another place on a long list of Fiji’s finest snorkeling spots, so make sure to chat with locals once you’re done pearl-shopping.
● Taveuni – Another island close to Vanua Levu, famous for its nickname, Fiji’s Garden of Eden, and its pristine rainforests are home to the Tavoro waterfalls. Find your own little water pool among many available in the wilderness, and enjoy the intact flora of this stunning island.
● Qamea Resort & Spa – In the embrace of the shore’s palm trees, and perfectly balanced for the modern traveler in need of luxury, this resort’s bures take beach-life to a new level of relaxation. In need of extra privacy for your honeymoon? They have secluded bures with private beaches and pools attached.
● Turtle Island Fiji – If you thought that it couldn’t possibly get any more romantic than the previous private bures, then Turtle Island will surprise you. The epitome of intimacy, it hosts up to 14 couples at a time, no more than that. This is perhaps the most romantic island of the entire archipelago.
● Beachcomber Island Resort – Considered the mecca of fun and partying, this is where all the nightlife-lovers head to for their fair share of excitement, exquisite cocktails, and remarkable music. It packs quite a party punch for such a small island.
● Beach Cocomo Vakacegu Café – Unlike the haute and the fancy of the many resorts you’ll undoubtedly visit, this humble spot on Viti Levu indeed boasts a flawless menu of locally-made fresh meals, inspired by Fiji, mixed with Japanese and Korean influences.
● Taste Fiji Kitchen – Despite being frequented predominantly by tourists, this little nook retains its food quality and popularity over the years. Tropical tastes dominate the menu, so rest assured they safeguard some of the finest flavors of Fiji.
● Nadina Fijian Restaurant – Safely tucked away on Denarau Island, this is often considered the crown jewel of all Fijian cuisine, so it’s a must-visit for any foodie getting ready to board a plane to this archipelago. Expect fresh seafood galore mixed with fresh veggies, all bound to bring absolute bliss.