SD › Fiji Travel Guide
Updated: January 26, 2021
The 99 best hotels and restaurants, bars and beaches, shops and outdoor activities, tours, classes, cruises, and things to see and do in Fiji.
1. Grand Pacific Hotel • Suva • $$$
Unparalleled colonial charm, and probably the most graceful hotel in the South Pacific. Over 100 years old and beautifully restored, featuring exquisite décor, adorable seaside position, and edge-of-downtown tranquility. Absolutely worth a splurge. • Review • +679 322 2000
2. Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa • near Sunset Strip (Coral Coast) • $$$$
Scattered around a private island, this vast resort ticks all the boxes: manicured lawns, flawless beach, abundant water-sports, and masses of activities – including a golf course. So much on offer for children, but also a distant adults-only section. • Review • +679 652 0155
3. Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort • Sunset Strip (Coral Coast) • $$$$
Astonishingly extensive, with amazing facilities. Sumptuous rooms/bungalows with Fijian décor – most with sea views, others dotted among lush gardens. Wonderful kids’ club and a ton of family activities, but there are also child-free amenities for adults. • Review • +679 650 0044
4. Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa • Vanua Levu Island • $$$$
Inside a flourishing wildlife sanctuary, facing a private lagoon. Fabulous family-friendly facilities include a terrific kids’ club, lovable nannies, and plenty of activities. But also ideal for honeymooners, with secluded bungalows almost floating on the water. • +679 885 3247
5. Mana Island Resort & Spa • Mana Island (Mamanuca Group) • $$$
Among Fiji’s first, and still one of the best. Caters very well for families, with oodles of fun activities, kids’ club, and nanny service. Honeymooners enjoy intimate bungalows. The all-inclusive meal plan covers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but no alcohol. • +679 665 0423
6. Sheraton Denarau Villas • Denarau • $$$$
Divine setting and dazzling facilities with a grown-up vibe, yet 2-3 bedroom villas and kid-focused facilities make it family-friendly. Striking Fijian design and Infinity-edged pool add to the appeal. Access to even more facilities at two sister resorts within a stroll. • Review • +679 675 0777
7. The Pearl South Pacific Resort, Spa & Golf Course • Pacific Harbour • $$$
Stylish design and convenient to the village and golf course. Unique setting facing a beach of white sand and a mangrove-lined river. All rooms are spacious and comfortable, and boast wonderful views. Numerous activities provided (and often free). • Review • +679 773 0022
8. Taveuni Dive Resort • Taveuni Island • $$$
Perfect for scuba-divers, but all are welcome. Eco-aware, sociable, and secluded, yet convenient to beach, shops, and golf course. Plenty of other water and land activities offered, and a renowned café onsite. • +679 891 1063
9. Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island • Denarau • $$$$
Award-winning, with traditional design and family holiday vibe. Rooms and suites are spacious, either recently renovated or soon to be. Massive lagoon-style pool, with three others for children or adults only. Heaps of activities and other facilities for the young ones. • Review • +679 675 6677
10. The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa • Denarau • $$$$
Spectacular setting, with vast tropical gardens. Arranged in ‘villages,’ rooms and suites are luxurious, with traditional design. Award-winning spa, easy walk to the golf club. Families would relish the stunning pool and first-rate kids’ club. About 500m to a magnificent beach at a sister resort. • Review • +679 675 0000
11. Barefoot Kuata • Kuata Island (Yasawa Group) • $$
Smaller and more personable than other resorts, with gorgeous traditional bungalows all facing a perfect cove. Plenty of fun activities (many free), and snorkeling at the doorstep. Involved in local conservation, and renowned for diving trips among (harmless) sharks. • +679 891 5101
12. Royal Hotel • Ovalau Island (Lomaiviti Group) • $
Built in the 1860s (and Fiji’s oldest), the historic Royal Hotel remains hugely popular, maintaining intimacy and character among its cottages and apartments. Basic and not as luxurious as many, but great ambience, pool, and fitness center. • +679 344 0024
13. Uprising Beach Resort • Pacific Harbour • $$
Ecologically-aware and affordable, with secluded and old-fashioned bungalows facing lush green lawns or the scenic bay. Tons of activities, an ideal spot for those interested in adventure sports. • Review • +679 345 2200
14. Five Princes Hotel • Suva • $
100-year-old boutique lodge with friendly, traditional charm. This converted colonial estate features lush gardens, pool, and library. Every meal is cooked to order, served in-room or the lovely dining veranda. Guests stay in rooms, cottages, or a 100 sqm villa. Unique hillside setting outside of Suva, only a 20-minute walk or 5-minute drive into town. • Review • +679 338 1575
15. Prince Albert – Suva
In the fabulous Grand Pacific Hotel. Exquisite colonial-style setting and silver service, famous for its desserts. Dinner only. Avoid eyebrow-raising prices with weekly specials. Dress up, and be impressed. • +679 322 2000
16. Ivi Restaurant – Sunset Strip (Coral Coast)
In the mammoth Outrigger Resort, it’s award-winning and intimate. Popular for Pacific cuisine, set-price three-course meals, and impressive wine list. Dinner only, strictly for adults, and bookings essential. And a dress code applies. • +679 650 0044
17. Golden Cowrie Restaurant – near Sunset Strip (Coral Coast)
Great Italian cuisine, with beachside tables, a classy indoor setting, and cocktail lounge. Adults only for breakfast, but all welcome in the evenings. Almost hidden inside the amazing Shangri-La Resort. • +679 652 8011
18. Indigo Indian Asian Restaurant – Denarau
Intimate interior and tables overlooking the harbor; Indian cuisine’s their specialty, but there’s also expertly-spiced seafood. Many come back for the attentive staff, reasonable prices, and hearty portions. Great for vegetarians. • +679 675 0026
19. Dick’s Place Bar & Bistro – Malolo Lailai Island (Mamanuca Group)
In the adorable Musket Cove Resort, with an affable staff and varied menu (including pig on a spit). Daily buffets for breakfast, and sometimes for dinner. Tempting array of cocktails and wines. • +679 666 2215
20. Whale’s Tale Restaurant – Ovalau Island (Lomaiviti Group)
Long-time favorite in the photogenic and historic former Fiji capital. Indian, Fijian, and Chinese cuisine, and a vibe as laidback as the town itself. BYO beer/wine, available from the adjacent bottle shop. • +679 344 0235
21. Kitchen Grill – Denarau
Offering contemporary cuisine in a top-notch beachside setting, guests can watch steaks sizzle in the open-plan kitchen. Vegetables are from their organic farm, and children’s menu available. In the opulent Westin Resort. • +679 675 8230
22. Surf‘n’Turf Restaurant Savusavu – Savusavu (Vanua Levu Island)
Obvious focus on seafood and steak, but also curries and pasta, with an award-winning Fijian chef. Unassuming entrance belies a lovely waterside setting at the back. Quicker-than-usual service and reasonable prices. Leave space for homemade ice-cream. • +679 885 3033
23. Lulu Bar, Café & Restaurant – Denarau
Elegant al fresco setting facing the harbor, open all day from breakfast onwards for burgers, sushi, and grills. Sip a coffee, beer, or cocktail while watching the goings-on at the marina or live music at night. Popular for thier children’s menu and daily specials. • +679 672 5858
24. Coconut Grove Restaurant – Taveuni Island
Heavenly lagoon setting, with a varied menu from Italian to Indian, as well as super-fresh seafood. Generous portions, friendly staff, and tempting desserts. Open all day; book in advance for dinner. Live music nightly, and traditional meke shows weekly. • +679 888 0328
25. The Establishment – Pacific Harbour
Relaxed yet sophisticated, with separate areas for pizza, seafood, and barbecue. Conveniently-located; popular for the beer garden, themed nights, live music, and drink specials. Many come back daily, so the menu changes frequently. • +679 773 0028
26. Tiko’s Floating Restaurant – Suva
Unique setting inside a boat, yet within the city center. For steak, seafood platters, and specialties like Cracked Curried Crab. Reasonably classy, with starched linen, bow-tied waiters, and elegant crockery. Bar below deck, and live jazz most nights. • +679 331 3626
27. Sitar Indian Restaurant – near Wailoaloa
Branch of a Brisbane-based chain offering very tasty (but not-too-spicy) Indian, Fijian, and Thai food. On a noisy corner, with a beer garden and impressive wine list. The outlet at the roundabout in Sunset Strip also offers banquets and vegetarian options. • +679 672 7722
28. Ghostship Bar & Grill – Wailoaloa
Surprisingly elegant spot with seats in the bar, beside the pool, and meters from the sea. All-day menu includes Italian, Indian, Chinese, and Fijian fare, and ideal for brunch. Children’s menu also available. • +679 672 6578
Local Food & Drink in Fiji
Traditional cooking style using a pit of burning stones. Meat, fish, and vegetables are wrapped in palm leaves and placed on the stones, then covered with dirt. One favorite lovo dish, palusami, uses leaves of the taro plant (like spinach), which are soaked in coconut milk, then baked with sweet potato, cassava, and chicken/pork/fish. Lovo is usually offered during cultural tours and boat trips; otherwise, check out what’s available at the resorts.
Often found on menus in resorts and even smaller restaurants, this is very similar to ceviche, or the Tahitian ‘ota ‘ika (known in French as poisson cru). Raw fish is soaked in coconut milk and/or lime juice, with various other spices added to create a mouth-watering concoction of contrasting flavors.
A drink more properly known as yaqona (or often simply called ‘grog’), this is regularly offered as part of a ‘kava ceremony’ to tourists visiting a village, and available in some hotel bars. Brewed from the root of the kava plant, it can be splutteringly strong, but is usually more relaxing than intoxicating. Ask about the associated local traditions before sipping.
32. The Port at Denarau – Denarau
A clean, hassle-free and shady complex alongside the harbor, with a broad range of shops and waterside cafés, as well as places to change money, rent cars, and organize trips from the boat terminal. Free traditional entertainment most evenings. Within a few minutes from all resorts in Denarau by Bula Bus. • +679 675 0602
33. Jack’s of Fiji – all over Fiji
Local boutique that started about 40 years ago, now with a chain of 20+ outlets in resorts and shopping centers. Particularly popular are black pearls, baskets woven from masi tapa cloth, wood carvings, and sulus (sarongs). Fixed-prices and locally-made, with a commitment to working ethically with Fijian communities. • +679 670 0744
34. Suva Municipal Market – Suva
Highly photogenic and truly authentic, with no touristy pretense. Two floors of fruits and vegetables, such as taro, cassava, and jackfruit, as well as just-killed fish and meat, and juices. Reasonably clean, and easy to wander about.
35. Suva Curio & Handicraft Center – Suva
Pick up a grass skirt, kava bowl, or lali drum inside this labyrinth of stalls found inside a city center building. More friendly smiles than hard sells, it’s reasonably authentic and affordable, although prices are, of course, negotiable.
36. Farmers’ Market – Savusavu (Vanua Levu Island)
More compact than those in Suva and Nadi, with lots of stalls selling fresh produce (including tropical fruits) and authentic souvenirs. Open daily, except Sunday.
37. Pacific Islands Art – Suva
Within a courtyard mall in the capital, it offers an extensive selection of colorful clothing for men and women from fashionable spandex to traditional sulu (sarong). Over 50 years’ experience, with about 20 outlets across the Pacific. • +679 672 4085
38. Island Artifacts – Denarau
Wide-ranging display of classier-than-normal souvenirs from traditional sulus (sarongs) to more contemporary art and wall hangings. Fixed prices for wooden carvings, masks, and bowls, or take home a gruesome replica of a war club or cannibal fork.
39. Arts Village Marketplace – Pacific Harbour
Home to souvenir stores and boutiques, as well as a bank and tour agencies. Adjacent to the cultural center (see #91), and alongside several eateries and bars surrounding a huge lily pond. These are the only tourist shops between Suva and Nadi. • +679 345 0065
40. Kalokalo Bar – Sunset Strip (Coral Coast)
Perched atop a steep hill within the remarkable Outrigger Resort. Best accessible by hotel buggy, for eye-popping 360-degree views – including perfect sunsets. Cocktails and tapas, but strictly adults-only. • +679 650 0044
41. Steamship Bar – Suva
Within the 100-year-old Heritage Building at the super-elegant Grand Pacific Hotel. Serving all sorts of drinks, with an elegant setting inside or along the breezy terrace providing sea views. • +679 322 2000
42. Savusavu Yacht Club – Savusavu (Vanua Levu Island)
A great spot within a very likable town, where yachties and land-lubbing expats chinwag over a beer or three, but tourists are always welcome. Waterside tables and tasty meals.
43. The Rhum-Ba – Denarau
Located in Denaru’s port, offering a marvelous selection of rums – some crafted onsite. Best enjoyed while gazing at the harbor. Trendy and well-patronized, also popular for an extended lunch. • +679 770 7486
44. Baka Blues Café – Pacific Harbour
Barbeque, Cajun food, and live blues music nightly, with outdoor seating alongside the pretty lily pond. The local and energetic artists can be easily heard at neighboring cafés. • +679 345 0041
Fiji Cruises, Tours & Classes
45. Fiji Eco Tours – Viti Levu Island
Well-regarded, locally-operated, and eco-friendly, with trips by vehicle and on foot to villages, caves, mud-pools, and rainforests. Also, themed excursions based around, for example, local history and natural therapy. • +675 672 4312
46. South Sea Cruises – Mamanuca Group
Spectacular sailing to Crusoe-esque islands, including one uninhabited one that they own that can be reached in a half-hour from Nadi. Even more divine snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking on longer full-day trips, which can include water-sports, traditional shows, and lunch. Great family fun. • +679 675 0500
47. Sigatoka River Safari – Sigatoka (near Sunset Strip)
Award-winning company offering jet-boats along Fiji’s second-longest river, easily accessible from Pacific Harbour and Sunset Strip. Admire the valley scenery and visit one of 18 different villages. Safe, engaging, and enjoyable for all ages. • +679 800 6501 721
48. Discover Fiji Tours – near Pacific Harbour
Island tours that pack as much as possible into one day. Includes jet-boating, rafting, hiking, and 4WD trips into the inaccessible interior. Can organize just about anything for small groups, or customize for particular needs. • +679 346 0480
49. Hidden Gem Fiji – Denarau
Award-winning and widely-experienced fishing tours across lagoons and the more distant ocean. Small-group trips or tailor-made charters for island-hopping and snorkeling. All gear included; the crew can even fillet your catch. • +679 672 7772
50. Urban Adventures – Nadi
Authentic tours offering a snapshot of the underappreciated town of Nadi. From a two-hour walking tour of the markets and lunch of traditional food to a full-day hike among nearby villages and waterfalls. • +679 865 1146
51. Savusavu Tours – Savusavu (Vanua Levu Island)
Explore this agreeable town and island with a knowledgeable guide. Discover waterfalls, experience local culture with a visit to a school, and squish about in mud pools. Many tours focus on health and therapy.
Things to See and Do in Fiji
52. Mamanuca Group
These magical islands are home to idyllic bays, with as many delights under the water as above. Islets such as Castaway (see #69) and South Sea are easy to reach from Nadi by chartered boat, or by speed boats and water taxis that cater for resorts. Better still, island-hop with South Sea Cruises or Captain Cook Cruises.
53. Colo-i-Suva Forest Park – Suva
Extraordinary rainforest on the edge of suburban Suva. Amazing plant species and birdlife, best explored along numerous well-signed trails into a forest and past a swimmable river. On a hillside, so the views are wonderful. Take a picnic, eat at the café, or even stay at the park’s Eco-Resort. • +679 332 0211
54. Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park – near Sunset Strip (Coral Coast)
Explore Fiji’s first national park independently or with a local guide. Attractively positioned where the country’s second-longest river meets the sea are 20m high dunes, created over thousands of years. Great for scrambling about, watching birds, and exploring archaeological relics and burial sites. Easy to combine with the likable town of Sigatoka.
55. Levuka – Ovalau Island (Lomaiviti Group)
Arguably the most pleasant town in the South Pacific is squeezed between the lagoon and mountains. Fiji’s first capital retains a Wild-West-Movie ambience, with character-filled shops and colonial-era buildings – all well explained in the town museum. Venerated enough to be Fiji’s only UNESCO heritage-listed site.
Made famous in Cast Away, this island is just as gorgeous as the movie depicts, with quintessential blue lagoon and snow-white sand – and still uninhabited. Accessible on day cruises from Nadi or short boat trips from resorts across the Mamanuca Group.
57. Garden of the Sleeping Giant – Lautoka (near Nadi)
These magnificent gardens are home to frog-filled ponds, a lush rainforest, and numerous species of orchids, all enjoyed along the raised but covered boardwalk. If plants aren’t your thing, still come for the drive, cool respite, and mountain views. Free guides available. • +679 672 3418
58. Sawa-i-Lau Caves – Sawa-i-Lau Island (Yasawa Group)
On an uninhabited island, these mysterious and dark caves with inexplicable carvings and paintings are often ignored, but are a must-see. They can be admired from the entrance, or the more adventurous can swim in the icy pools; they’re best explored with a guide, who will bring a strong torch. Accessible by speedboat from nearby resorts or even by seaplane from Nadi. • +679 738 7190
59. Navala Village EcoTour – northern Viti Levu Island
Truly authentic and deeply historic, but not that easy to reach independently. Perched within the brisk highlands, all bures (huts) – old and new – are crafted from raw materials and neatly lined alongside the river. Locals can serve up traditional food or brew kava for visitors.
60. Fiji Museum – Suva
One of the Pacific’s finest offers a fascinating collection about the culture, natural history, and geography of the islands, including tales of cannibalism and intertribal warfare. Check online for special events, such as live music and traditional shows. Located at the back of the shady but scruffy Thurston Garden, with the quaint Ginger Kitchen café attached. • +679 331 5944
61. Bouma National Heritage Park – Taveuni Island
Much of Taveuni island is a national park, so it makes sense to explore on foot. Stumble across a trio of majestic waterfalls plunging to swimmable pools below, each with plentiful fish. The first and finest is easy to reach; the other two involve steep paths and steps. • +679 867 7311
62. Flora Tropica Botanical Gardens – Savusavu (Vanua Levu Island)
Well-maintained trails and elevated boardwalks among 250 species of palms, dotted with benches for admiring the views. Pick up the helpful pamphlet on arrival, and call ahead to ensure that it’s open. It’s even possible to stay at the guesthouse. • +679 921 4600
63. Waisali Rainforest Reserve – Vanua Levu Island
Well-marked trails around the steamy rainforest lead to dazzling orchids and bizarre mushrooms. Come also for the extensive views and exquisite birdlife (best before the afternoon heat). Guides available; visitors need to be reasonably fit to explore fully. Call in advance to ensure the gate is open. • +679 828 0267
64. Tavuni Hill Fort – Sigatoka (near Sunset Strip)
The most accessible among many pre-colonial and WWII forts across the islands. This one, built over 200 years ago to thwart interisland warfare, was built at a strategic (and scenic) point along the river. Popular for both its views and gruesome history of cannibalism. Easily combined with an exploration of the likeable town of Sigatoka. • +679 652 0818
65. Long Beach – Nacula Island (Yasawa Group)
Tropical and aptly named, Long Beach has sand like talcum powder, and water ideal for snorkeling. Trails lead to mangroves, the hilly interior, and off-the-map villages. With a couple of resorts, including the Blue Lagoon Beach Resort.
66. Leleuvia Island – Lomaiviti Group
Another heavenly islet surrounded by snow-white sand and peppered with palms. Calm blue-green waters perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Boats are easy to arrange from Levuka on Ovalau Island.
67. Castaway (Qalito) Island – Mamanuca Group
Quintessential Pacific atoll of eye-popping beauty – but not where the movie of the same name was filmed (see #57). Coral gardens just offshore somehow survive day-trippers from neighboring resorts and cruises from Nadi.
68. Blue Lagoon – Nanuya Lailai Island (Yasawa Group)
Another slice of perfect paradise. A lagoon with shimmering shades of blue and divine snorkeling popular with day-trippers. Not where the movie and remake of the same name were filmed, but home to the fantastic Nanuya Island Resort.
69. Natadola – Viti Levu Island
The best beach Fiji’s main island is commandeered by top-notch resorts, such as the Yatule Resort & Spa and InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa. Not easy to reach by public transport, but worth the effort. Terrific for surfing at all levels, with horse riding also available.
Fiji Family Fun
70. Kula WILD Adventure Park – Sunset Strip (Coral Coast)
Almost walkable from several Coral Coast hotels/resorts, this eco-friendly wildlife sanctuary has a walk-through aviary, insect displays, and nature trails on elevated boardwalks. Younger ones may be more interested in the 100m-long water slide and Kula Krazy Canopy Flier. (Also called Kula Eco Park.) • +679 650 0505
71. Kila Eco-Adventure Park – near Pacific Harbour
All-day fun for the young and young at heart, with zip-lines, rope courses, abseiling, and nature walks (paid separately) to waterfalls for swimming. It’s hard to tear kids away from the Kila Killer Giant Swing. • +679 331 7454
72. Big Bula Waterpark – Denarau
Enjoyed by adults (up to 85kg) and children alike, with a range of exhilarating rides and slides. Well equipped, with plenty of shade, a safe area for toddlers, and bar/café for exhausted parents. Accessible on foot from many resorts in Denarau or by Bula Bus. • +679 776 5049
73. Malamala Beach Club – Mamanuca Group
Experience a classic tropical getaway on a private islet of palms and bleached-white sand. Less than 30 minutes by boat from Nadi, an affordable day-pass here includes transfers, non-motorized water-sports, and access to a gorgeous Infinity-edged pool. Restaurant/bar also available. • +679 675 0500
74. Sabeto Hot Springs – near Nadi
Plenty of bubbling (and, they say, therapeutic) mud to delight the kids – with pools to wash off later – and thermal springs to soothe the adults. And finish with a massage. Best done independently (rather than a tour), so there’s no rush. A perfect day out when combined with the Garden of the Sleeping Giant (see #58).
75. Coral Coast Railway – Sigatoka (near Sunset Strip)
Heaps of fun in a dilapidated diesel train once used to transport sugar through plantations. Choo-choo through the jungle and past villages, stopping at the Sigatoka Sand Dunes (see #55) and even a kindergarten. Starts from the Shangri-La Resort and finishes in Sigatoka town, which is worth exploring. • +679 652 0434
76. Aviva Farms – near Nadi
For something different, this working farm allows the family to learn about sustainable agriculture. With hands-on and educational programs about local farming practices, as well as horseback riding through a papaya farm and a lovo feast cooked in a pit. Located near Garden of the Sleeping Giant. • +679 922 4179
77. Waitavala Water Slide – Taveuni Island
Nature’s version of a water slide is skidding along bumpy rocks and being dumped into an icy pool. But be wary: it’s fast and uncomfortable on the backside, so hire a guide to start with or watch the experts (ie local kids). And avoid Sundays. The closest landmark is Garden Island Resort.
Fiji Outdoor Activities
78. Diving & Snorkeling
Fiji lagoons are ideal for novice snorkelers; warm, clear, shallow, and calm, with little or no tides. Almost every hotel provides snorkeling gear (usually for free) for spotting colorful fish and harmless manta rays, among 1500 other species, and exploring vibrant coral gardens. Scuba-divers can easily organize trips for deeper and more distant exploration from many trustworthy agencies in the resort regions.
79. Water Sports
Kayaks and paddle-boards are regularly available (often for free) at resorts, and during boat trips around the islands. Both provide an easy, safe and fun way to explore the calm and shallow lagoons. Jet-skiing and parasailing are offered at many major resorts, while unique among Pacific island rivals are jet-boating, river rafting (see #47), and ‘fly-boarding’ (space-age jetpacks hovering over the water).
Fiji offers several world-class 18-hole courses that have nurtured international champions – all on the main island of Viti Levu. The Denarau Golf & Racquet Club features an interesting layout and tennis courts; The Pearl Golf & Country Club is conveniently located in the middle of Pacific Harbour; and the Natadola Bay Golf Course is one of the world’s most scenic.
81. Quad Bikes
With more space and fewer hills than other Pacific islands, four-wheeled quad bikes are popular on Viti Levu. Also known as ATVs (All Terrain Vehicles), or just ‘buggies’, these contain one or two seats. They offer a chance to get really muddy on a special track, or visit waterfalls, beaches, plantations, and forests. Always choose a reliable company, such as Go Dirty Tours Fiji.
Fiji boasts some of the world’s finest waves across many of its islands. Some are downright scary – and strictly for experts only – but milder waves for novice surfers, boogie-boarders, and kite-surfers are easy to find. International festivals are often held around the Mamanuca Group.
Fiji Festivals & Events
83. Bula Festival • July/August • Nadi
Coinciding with the middle of the peak season, this amazing week-long festival in Nadi celebrates all things Fijian. Expect plenty of parades and food stalls, and a Miss Bula pageant.
84. Fiji Hibiscus Festival • August • Suva
Held in Suva for up to nine days in August, it attracts visitors from across all islands. With cultural performances, parades, live music, and a beauty pageant, it offers plenty of fun for the family.
85. Coral Coast Festival • September • Sigatoka
More parades, dances, and music held at Sigatoka town, which is easily accessible from the Sunset Strip.
86. Fiji Day • October 10
This day commemorates the independence of Fiji, and is the culmination of Fiji Week, when numerous performances and displays are held across the islands extolling the diversity of, and unity between, the country’s various religions, cultures, and races.
87. Balolo Rising • November
For a week after the full moon, traditional communities across many islands celebrate the harvest of sea worms, with plenty of singing, dancing, ukulele-playing, and eating.
Fiji Cultural Experiences
88. Fiji Culture Village – near Nadi
It can feel intrusive visiting a village independently, and little is learned this way, so joining a village tour is worthwhile. This one includes a kava drinking ceremony and spear-throwing demonstration, as well as informative explanations about fishing, carving, and pottery. A hearty meal of Fijian food and traditional meke show (see below) are usually included. Highly engaging for children. • +679 620 0116
Attending one of these is a must. Sometimes tacky, but mostly quite authentic, men and women swing their hips and sing loudly over hypnotic percussion. Based on ancestral stories, shows often include a kava drinking ceremony, fire displays, and even more impressive fire-walking. Can sometimes be enjoyed at a resort for as little as the price of a drink.
90. Arts Village – Pacific Harbour
Traditional shows that include fire-walking and mock battles, with a huge pool featuring a waterslide and swim-up bar. Within walking distance of most Pacific Harbour resorts, located alongside shops (see #39) and cute cafés facing a huge lily pond. Perhaps a bit kitsch, but great family fun. Check online for latest events.
91. Denarau (Viti Levu Island)
Former mangrove swamp converted to a gated complex of ritzy resorts, with a golf course, waterpark, marina, and shopping center – but surprisingly inferior beaches. Not really an ‘island’, it’s only 7.5km from downtown Nadi and 15km from the airport.
Best Stuff: Sheraton Denarau Villas • Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island • The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa • Indigo Indian Asian Restaurant • Kitchen Grill • Lulu Bar, Café & Restaurant • The Port at Denarau shopping center • Jack’s of Fiji souvenir shop • Island Artifacts • The Rhum-Ba bar and restaurant • South Sea Cruises • Hidden Gem Fiji boat trips • Big Bula Waterpark • The Denarau Golf & Racquet Club
92. Mamanuca Group
Fiji’s most popular archipelago offers abundant lagoons, idyllic atolls, and calm waters perfect for snorkeling, diving, and kayaking – but less so for swimming because of coral. Resorts cater exceptionally well for families and those on romantic getaways. Within an hour or so by boat from Nadi, so some beaches overflow with day-trippers.
Best Stuff: Mana Island Resort & Spa • Musket Cove Island Resort (exquisite, lacking nothing) • Malolo Island Resort (award-winning luxury and family-friendly) • Dick’s Place Bar & Bistro • The Flame Tree restaurant (intimate and beachside, with cocktail bar) • Trader Market Store (bakery, delicatessen, and souvenirs) • Cloud 9 (parties and pizza on a pontoon) • Subsurface Fiji (renowned and reputable diving) • South Sea Cruises • Captain Cook Cruises • Modriki (Monuriki) Island • Castaway (Qalito) Island • Malamala Beach Club • Water Sports • Diving and Snorkeling
93. Wailoaloa (Viti Levu Island)
Stretch of beach alongside the airport in suburban Nadi. Facilities are modest and the beach disappointing compared to others, but still very popular for the laidback vibe. About 8km (via the road) from the airport and 6km from downtown Nadi. Some resorts are close to the airport, although the infrequent thunderous jets aren’t too disruptive.
Best Stuff: Ramada Suites Wailoaloa Beach Fiji (new, sumptuous, and convenient) • Wailoaloa Beach Resort (Fijian-style and family-focused) • Club Fiji Resort (tropical, cozy, and modern) • Sitar Indian Restaurant • Ghostship Bar & Grill • Awesome Grill (al fresco for burgers, pastas, and salads) • Travellers Beach Café (great value and great vibe) • Aquarius on the Beach (themed buffets with music and dance) • Beach walks • Daytrip by bus to Nadi • Kayaking and paddle-boarding
94. Pacific Harbour (Viti Levu Island)
Midway along the southern coast and an hour by road from Suva. Mostly an exclusive housing development, with a marina and golf course, but also some upmarket and mid-range hotels. Relaxed setting, undeveloped cove, and a village with tourist facilities set around a huge lily pond.
Best Stuff: The Pearl South Pacific Resort, Spa & Golf Course • Uprising Beach Resort • Club Oceanus Resort (inexpensive and convenient, with dive center onsite) • The Establishment bar & restaurant • Water’s Edge café (spacious and daily specials, facing a pond) • Riviera Restaurant & Bar (casual but chic, with river views) • Arts Village Marketplace • Baka Blues Café • Seduce bar & restaurant (sophisticated and intimate, for wine and cocktails) • Discover Fiji Tours • Aqua-Trek diving and tours (plenty of choices and lots of experience) • Beach Walks • Kila Eco-Adventure Park • The Pearl Golf & Country Club • Arts Village traditional shows
95. Coral Coast & Sunset Strip (Viti Levu Island)
Coral Coast is the loosely-defined name for the extended coastline from Pacific Harbour (along the mid-southern coast) to Momi Bay (along the west coast). It’s really just a collection of villages offering very basic supplies and a few remote beaches commandeered by top-end resorts. A better base is near Sigatoka: Sunset Strip, a grand name for a modest cluster of places to stay and eat. The beach there is narrow and gritty (but not so at the Outrigger Resort), but still good for swimming and kayaking.
Best Stuff: Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort • Bedarra Beach Inn Fiji (functional, friendly, and affordable) • Sandy Point Beach Cottages (modest, spacious, and self-contained, with pool) • Ivi Restaurant • Sitar Indian Restaurant • Ocean Terrace Restaurant (delicious and well-priced, with sea breezes) • Jack’s of Fiji souvenir shop • Kalokalo Bar • Flying Fin Restaurant n’ Bar Fiji (drinks, burgers, and seafood on family home decking) • Kayaking & Paddle-boarding • Outrigger Beach (immaculate sand open to the public in front of the resort) • Bebe Spa Fiji (exquisite treatments and extraordinary hilltop setting) • Sigatoka River Safari • Sigatoka Sand Dunes National Park • Tavuni Hill Fort • Kula WILD Adventure Park • Coral Coast Railway • Coral Coast Festival
96. Vanua Levu Island
Fiji’s second-largest island is ideal for those who want to escape the crowds but still be close to facilities. Mountainous interior for trekking, welcoming villages, and world-class diving/snorkeling. Savusavu is a picturesque town popular with yachties. Wide range of accommodation, and easily accessible by plane and boat from the main island.
Best Stuff: Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa • Gecko Lodge Fiji (small, secluded, and sociable) • Surf ‘n’Turf Restaurant Savusavu • Captain’s Café (congenial, with marina setting) • Jack’s of Fiji souvenir shop • Savusavu Farmers’ Market • Savusavu Yacht Club • Savusavu Tours • J. Hunter Pearls tours (learn all about these oyster-ticklers) • Flora Tropica Gardens & guesthouse • Waisali Rainforest Reserve • Lavena Coastal Walk (easy, to beaches, villages, waterfalls, and forest)
97. Ovalau Island
Just off the east coast of the main island, yet often ignored, it’s home to historic Levuka, the nicest town in Fiji (if not the entire South Pacific). Compact, with many pristine beaches, classy resorts, and superb snorkeling, Ovalau offers loads of charm without heaps of tourists.
Best Stuff: Royal Hotel • Ovalau Holiday Resort (self-contained, renovated, and acclaimed) • Whale’s Tale Restaurant • Horizen Café & Vintage Bar (hearty serves, affable staff, and harbor views) • Handicrafts Market • Epi’s Tours (explore with an enthusiastic local) • Walk around historic Levuka • Levuka Museum • Cowaci tombs • Scuba-Diving • Boat trip to Leleuvia Island • Rukuruku Beach • Cycling
98. Taveuni Island
The so-called Garden Island is more remote than some, but still reasonably accessible by plane from Suva and Nadi, and by boat from Vanua Levu Island. Think empty beaches and hospitable villages with family-run lodges popular among long-stayers, and magnificent resorts sprinkled around distant coastlines. A sizeable swathe is a national park, and the underwater delights are as impressive as anywhere in the South Pacific.
Best Stuff: Taveuni Dive Resort • Coconut Grove Beachfront Cottages (intimate and idyllic, with convivial staff) • Coconut Grove Restaurant • Maravu Plantation Café (good value, impressive service, and delectable food) • Restaurant Tramontu (also popular for their bar and views) • Sailing Fiji (island hopping among those less visited) • Civa Fiji Pearls Boutique (personable, exquisite, and not overpriced) • Bird Watching • Scuba-diving • Bouma National Heritage Park • Waitavala Water Slide
The capital of Fiji, and the largest city in the South Pacific, is often ignored, but maintains a laidback country-town feel far more likeable than Nadi. Some relish the tropical charm, while others enjoy the colonial-era buildings, Fiji Museum, handicraft and produce markets, numerous excellent restaurants, and occasional festival.
Best Stuff: Grand Pacific Hotel • Five Princes Hotel • Holiday Inn Suva (functional, spacious, convenient, and family-friendly) • Prince Albert restaurant • Tiko’s Floating Restaurant • Governors Gourmet Coffee House & Restaurant (varied menu in historic setting) • Ginger Kitchen café • Jack’s of Fiji souvenir shop • Suva Municipal Market • Suva Curio & Handicraft Center • Pacific Islands Art • Steamship Bar • Royal Suva Yacht Club (cocktails, coffee, and chat) • Colo-i-Suva Forest Park • Fiji Museum • Thurston Gardens • Suva Olympic Pool • Fiji Hibiscus Festival