There are 110 inhabited islands in Fiji. Since you likely won’t have time to visit each one, we’ve narrowed them down to the best of the best for you.Fiji is home to 333 islands, 110 of which are inhabited. Gorgeous as the entire archipelago is, the islands are not created equal; some (metaphorically) stand above the rest.
If you’re looking to visit, these are the popular ones you want to concentrate on.
Viti Levu is home to Nadi International Airport (NAN) where international passengers arrive. If you’re visiting from afar, chances are that this is where you land. The airport is on the western side of the island. Nearby, you’ll find the tourist hub of Nadi, with Indian restaurants and souvenir shops.
The resort area of Danarau Island is just a short 6-km drive away. Danarau Island is a posh resort enclave where you’ll find many large hotels and an 18-hole golf course. Alternatively, tourists might find resorts of the same calibre at Coral Coast, which is about two hours away by car.
Meanwhile, the eastern side of the island houses Suva, which is the capital and one of the largest cities in the South Pacific. A thriving expat community lives there.
Airport, exclusive resorts, and city-living aside, Viti Levu is also a place for adventure. Dive with the sharks in Beqa Lagoon, rejuvenate at Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud Pool, and admire the orchids at Garden of the Sleeping Giant. If surfing is more your cup of tea, check out the gentle surfs of Natadola Beach.
Not far from Nadi and Denarau are the great Mamanuca Islands, a popular spot in Fiji. White sand lines the coasts, accentuated by the clear, blue waters. The weather here is among the best in Fiji, with a healthy dose of sunshine and lower-than-average rain. Reality TV show Survivor and the famous movie Cast Away starring Tom Hanks were filmed here, so you know they are Instaworthy.
On the Mamanuca Islands, there is accommodation in every price-range and style. From the expensive luxurious beachfront villas that occupy their own island, to mid-range resorts and also backpacker sets.
Travel northwards from Mamanuca Islands and you’ll find yourself at the Yasawa Islands. Despite being lowly populated and more remote than the other popular islands, the Yasawa Islands are equally if not more dazzling than their counterparts. It is here among the turquoise waters and stunning beaches that the 1980 movie The Blue Lagoon starring Brooke Shields was shot.
There are only small villages on the Yasawa Islands, but there are a wide array of activities to enjoy. You can go kayaking, swimming with the manta rays, or explore the cathedral-like Sawa-i-Lau caves.
You may travel to the Yasawa Islands from Nadi by sea plane, helicopter, or speedboat.
If you prefer an island with a smaller crowd, try Vanua Levu, the second largest island in Fiji.
Vanua Levu is the place for nature-lovers. Visit Wasali Nature Reserve if you’re seeking waterfalls, hot springs, and hiking trails. Check out Savusavu for the colourful farmers’ market.
4WD enthusiasts, the dirt tracks beside Hibiscus Highway is the place for you. Meanwhile, some of the country’s most unspoiled reefs call to you from Rainbow Reef and Namena Marine Reserve. For a little spirituality, venture to Snake Temple where you’ll find Naag Baba Mandir, a sacred Hindu growing stone.
Taveuni is a smaller but equally enchanting version of Vanua Levu. It is for nature-lovers and those seeking a more authentic version of Fiji.
A large part of the island is made up of Bouma National Heritage Park, a hotspot for birdwatching and sighting rare tropical blooms. Due to the lush flora, Taveuni is nicknamed the “Garden Isle”. The best way to explore the island is to stroll along Lavena Coastal Walk, a five-kilometre hiking trail that takes you along the rugged coastline.
For a diving or snorkelling adventure, check out Waitabu Marine Park, Rainbow Reef, Eel Reef, and the Great White Wall. Other exciting activities include gliding down the river on a bamboo raft, swimming by the 60-foot Tavoro Waterfalls, and climbing Mt. Uluigalau, Fiji’s second-highest peak.
Away from the throngs of tourists lies the Kadavu Islands. The Kadavu Islands are known for the Great Astrolabe Reef, the planet’s fourth-largest barrier reef.
Kadavu is the largest among all the islands within the cluster, armed with volcanic peaks and vast areas of rainforests. If you’re into bird-watching, this is another good location; you’ll stand a chance to spot the Kadavu musk parrot, velvet dove, and crimson shining parrot.
Kayak along the coastline and visit the local villages to soak in the Fijian culture. It’s the perfect opportunity to just fall off the grid.
If you have extra cash to spare, you can book the entire Toberua Island! Just a short 30 minutes boat ride from Suva in Viti Levu is this gem of an island with its 18 bures. A bure is a wood-and-straw bungalow hut, a traditional Fijian accommodation.
The staff of Toberua Island offer a personal touch to every aspect of your stay. They know each guest by name. If you hear a beating drum, that means that it is dinner time, and the staff will find you to take your order.
You can spend your days on the island diving, snorkelling, fishing, kayaking, swimming, playing petanque, or visiting nearby villages.
If the tide is low, you can also play “reef golf” on the 18-hole reef course!
This island is especially for couples. The palm-tree-dotted beach with fringing coral reefs scream romance. No surprise that it’s a popular wedding and honeymoon destination.
And when you’re not going about the usual activities, curl up in the arms of your lover on a hammock and gaze at the clear blue ocean — or into each other’s eyes.