A pleasant beach unfurls itself on the southeastern coast of this small island (3 sq km) but it’s often plagued by buffeting trade winds (which are great, however, for kiteboarders). You need to head west to the beach around the bend of Savutu Point to find relief from the gales and you’re best off doing so at low tide. The snorkelling just offshore here is excellent.
Nacula, a hilly volcanic island, is the third largest in the Yasawas. Blanketed with rugged hills and soft peaks, its interior is laced with well-trodden paths leading to villages and small coves. It is possible to follow a trail inland through mangroves from the resorts on the southern point to those at Long Beach.
This is it, folks – home to the most famous of all the Yasawas’ beaches, the Blue Lagoon. Crystalline and glossy, it doesn’t disappoint the bevy of swimmers, snorkellers, divers, and people on cruise boats or yachts who dabble in its gorgeous, lucent depths. Actually, it’s not dissimilar to many of the lagoons scattered around the Yasawas.
Naviti & Around
One of the largest (33 sq km) and highest (up to 380m high) islands of the group, Naviti has a rugged volcanic profile. Along with the three smaller islands of Drawaqa, Nanuya Balavu and Naukacuvu at the southern end, a collection of very different and equally inviting resorts welcomes travellers.
Must-see Sawa-i-Lau is a stand-out limestone island – housing two caves – amid a string of those formed by volcanos. The gorgeous grottoes attract visitors by the dingy-ful. Known as the 'heart of the Yasawas', they're as rich in legend as they are in looks: among other tales, they are reputed to be the final resting place of Ulutini, the 10-headed ancient Fijian god.
Nanuya Levu is a privately owned island (2 sq km) with protected sandy beaches and rugged volcanic cliffs. The 1980 film The Blue Lagoon, starring Brooke Shields, was partly filmed here, as was the original 1949 version starring Jean Simmons. It is off-limits to all but Turtle Island Resort guests.
Waya is exquisite on the eyes, with picture-postcard scenery. It has rugged hills, beautiful beaches and lagoons, and a coastline that alternates between long, sandy beaches and rocky headlands. Waya is also unusually blessed with natural springs that percolate up through the volcanic rock, so it is unlikely you will face water restrictions here.
Matacawalevu & Yaqeta
Matacawalevu is a 4km-long hilly volcanic island protected by the large Nasomo Bay on its eastern side. Nanuya Levu (Turtle Island) is to the east, and to the south, across a protected lagoon used for seaweed farming, is Yaqeta. The island has two villages: Matacawalevu on its northeast end and Vuake in Nasomo Bay.