Dazzling sands, perfect palm trees and waters so blue they glow – Fiji’s beaches are legendary. While the country’s main islands have surprisingly few world-class beaches, nearly all of the smaller islands have beaches so perfect that they feel like the stuff of fantasy (and many of them have featured in Hollywood blockbusters).

With so many glorious stretches of sand to choose from, it seems unfair to single out just a few names for praise (and part of the joy of travel here is stumbling upon your own personal island idyll!). Nevertheless, some spots simply can’t be skipped on any worthy tour of the country. Here’s our pick of Fiji’s must-not-miss beaches.

A woman stands on a wide strip of sand connected to the small Monuriki Island in Fiji. The island is where Hollywood movie Castaway was filmed.
Become a (temporary) castaway on the island of Monuriki © Martina Katz / Getty Images


Tiny, uninhabited Monuriki got its moment in the sun when it featured in the 2001 Tom Hanks movie Cast Away, and every resort worth its cabanas and cocktails now sells day trips to what is increasingly referred to as 'Tom Hanks Island' (somewhat confusingly, it's also known as Modriki).

The island is incredibly beautiful – it's a Hollywood star, after all – and the wide lagoon is perfect for snorkelling. BYO volleyball for 'Wilson' selfies.

A wide section of sandy beach is backed by palm trees and lapped by blue water. A couple of rustic bungalows are visible amongst the palms behind the beach, while a few people paddle in the calm waters.
Natadola is probably the best beach on Fiji's largest island, Viti Levu © Jan-Otto / Getty Images

Natadola Beach, Viti Levu

Gorgeous Natadola Beach is one of the best in Viti Levu, Fiji’s largest island. Its vast bank of white sand slides into a cobalt sea, which provides good swimming regardless of the tide.

Natadola’s strong currents often defy the brochures though: instead of glassy, still conditions, you may find sufficient chop for good body surfing – just watch the undertows. And there’s serious surfing here, too. Natadola Inside – which is inside the bay (surprise) – is good for beginners, and Natadola Outside – at the entrance of the channel – is for experienced surfers.

A view of the small island of Nacula, Fiji, from the water. The camera is just above the water level, meaning only a section of the white beach, lush forest and rolling hills of the island are visible.
Nacula's Long Beach is one of the best stretches of sand in the Yasawas © Kyle Sparks / Getty Images

Long Beach, Nacula

Nacula, a hilly volcanic island, is the third largest in the Yasawas island group. Blanketed with rugged hills and soft peaks, its interior is laced with well-trodden paths leading to villages and small coves.

The island is also home to Long Beach, one of the best segments of coast in the Yasawas. It’s a long swish of powdery sand easing into a glassy, cerulean sea. Unlike many other beaches nearby, it’s possible to swim here at low tide without trudging over an exposed coral shelf to do so.

A black and white Banded Sea Snake swims through shallow waters above a coral garden.
Look for banded sea snakes off the coast of little Caqalai © James R.D. Scott / Getty Images


Teeny little Caqalai (pronounced ‘Thangalai’) is perhaps the standout member of the Lomaiviti island group, a region often overlooked by tourists. It only takes 15 minutes to walk around the island’s perimeter, which is blessed with beautiful golden-sand beaches, leaning palms, electric-blue water and spectacular reefs.

For some of the best snorkelling in Fiji, walk out to Snake Island (named after the many black-and-white-banded sea snakes here) at low tide and swim around the reef, which is home to a mind-boggling array of fish including massive Napoleon wrasses. Watch for currents, though, and make sure you get in and out at the designated spot (marked with a buoy) so you don’t damage the environment.

A view of a white sand beach from the water. The waters lapping the beach are still and turquoise, while the forest behind it is dense and green. A blue sky is visible overhead.
Nanuya Lailai is known for its starring role in 1980 teen classic The Blue Lagoon © Michael Runkel / Getty Images

Blue Lagoon, Nanuya Lailai

The most famous of all the Yasawas’ beaches, the Blue Lagoon is crystalline, glossy and well-deserving of its star status (and role in the 1980 classic teen film of the same name). It doesn’t disappoint the bevy of swimmers, snorkellers, divers, and people on cruise boats or yachts who dabble in its gorgeous, lucent depths.

The snorkelling here is rich in fish but the coral has taken a hammering over recent years – tread carefully to avoid adding to the issue.

A view of a white sandy beach looking out towards shallow blue waters lapping the sand. In the foreground, on the right side of the image, dense jungle is visible.
Taveuni has achieved mythical status among divers, but there's plenty to enjoy above the waves too © Tien Le / Getty Images

Lavena Beach, Taveuni

Taveuni has achieved mythical status among divers, who come to the Somosomo Strait to see vibrant coral, a profusion of fish and the occasional shark, turtle or pilot whale.

But there’s plenty here above the waves too. Golden-sand Lavena Beach is perhaps the island’s best spot to lay your towel. Like many of Fiji’s beaches, it too boasts cinematic credentials, serving as the setting for the little-known – and even more critically panned – sequel to The Blue Lagoon ('Return to the Blue Lagoon'). Just off the coast, the tiny island of Qamea is equally rich in deep blue bays and winning white-sand beaches.

A kayak rests on golden sands on the island of Waya, Fiji. Other than the kayak, the beach is empty, and is backed by green palm trees.
Kayaking and snorkelling are the top activities on beautiful Waya © Chris Chen / Lonely Planet


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.

A thick rim of coral follows Waya’s shoreline and provides good snorkelling just off the beach in front of Octopus Resort. Yachties often anchor on one side or the other (depending on the wind) of the natural sand bridge that has formed between Waya and neighbouring island Wayasewa.

You might also like:
Which Fijian island is right for you?
The best time to visit Fiji
Diving with sharks in Fiji’s Beqa Lagoon

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This article was first published July 2021 and updated July 2021

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