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Deep in the South Pacific, Fiji is one of those destinations that feels like it’s still a little bit of a secret. It has much to offer every type of traveler: those looking for an island-hopping adventure; nature-loving families who also like a little luxury; and honeymooners after a wellness retreat to revive and reconnect. Blessed with stunning scenery, underwater wonderlands, and a culture of joyful hospitality – there are many reasons why Fiji should be your next island getaway.

Fiji's islands are full of uncrowded white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms © Tourism Fiji

Remote islands, easily reached

You can count storybook deserted islands with white sand beaches and swaying coconut palms among the 333 islands that make up Fiji. But you can narrow that number by focusing on the Mamanuca and Yasawa Island chains – both are easily reached from the arrival city of Nadi on Viti Levu and offer an array of experiences. Ringed by reef and surrounded by impossibly blue seas, these two island groups each have their claims to fame.

The Mamanuca Island chain, closest to Viti Levu, is famous for watersports such as kayaking, sailing, kite-surfing and snorkeling. It also has a range of resorts for all budgets, making it a magnet for travelers looking for laid back fun and unforgettable day trips – like taking in the familiar island of Cast Away (shot at tiny Modriki Island).

Farther-flung, the Yasawa Island chain north of the Mamanucas beckons with lush volcanic landscapes and remote villages. Easily reached by ferries from Port Denarau or by seaplane, this chain of islands is sparsely populated. Accommodation ranges from budget-friendly rooms to luxurious private villas, with thatched bures (thatched cottages) that run the gamut. But whether you’re saving money or going all-out, you’ll love snorkeling, hammock swinging, and heading to the fairytale limestone Sawa-i-Lau Caves.

Smaller resorts make for a more serene stay © Chris McLennan / Tourism Fiji

Small resorts

Fiji’s resorts cater to all kinds of travelers, from families to honeymooners to scuba divers. But it’s the smaller resorts, some with fewer than 20 rooms, where you can really make the most of Fiji’s serenity. Gloriously quiet beaches and peaceful vibes are perfect for those craving a chance to get away from it all.

The Tropica Island resort on Malolo Island has just 30 refurbished bures, suites and rooms (all but the latter have outdoor showers, patios and cozy deck swings), scattered throughout 19 acres of tropical gardens, so there’s no chance of overcrowding on this island paradise. With a large infinity pool and spa, and handcrafted Fijian furnishings, this resort has character to spare.

For pure romance, Matangi Island Resort off Taveuni, in Fiji’s north, is a dreamily intimate option, as its 16 bures feature private verandas surrounded by tropical gardens. It’s romance run amok in the ‘treehouse’, perched in the tree canopy with wraparound decks, top views, outdoor Jacuzzis, lanterns aplenty and day beds. If that’s not romantic enough, book a private beach picnic or excursion to Horseshoe Bay, on the western coast of the island, accessible only by boat.

Over at Savasi Island Resort in Savusavu, seclusion is the name of the game. The resort is built around amazing sandstone caves and most of the private villas have private pools and incredible ocean views. They even have a converted sailing ship where you can stay. In keeping with the privacy theme, dinner can be served on a deserted stretch of sand or in a beach grotto.

Mountain passes streaming with waterfalls are a feature of Fiji's tropical North © Tourism Fiji

Lush tropical landscapes

Fiji is not just a destination for relaxing on the beach – those who towel off are greatly rewarded with lush tropical scenery and plenty of exciting activities.

The northern reaches of the country are the tropical portions, with the island of Vanua Levu having the feeling of Hawaii’s Kauai. Its hideaway villages, mountain passes streaming with waterfalls, endless swaths of rainforest and an ever-changing coastline forgotten by the world is one of the tropics’ best-kept secrets. Take it slow, keep a smile on your face and savor rural Fiji on its grandest scale.

The nearby island of Taveuni (called the Garden Island for its ludicrously lush interiors) is blessed with a natural rock waterslide and the three-mile Lavena Coastal Walk at Bouma National Heritage Park, which ends at the twin falls.

To get really off the beaten track, the northern highlands of the main island of Viti Levu can be explored on foot with Talanoa Treks, which offers a range of hikes that let you scale mountains, swim in sparkling rivers and visit historic caves. The multi-day trips focus on Fijian culture as well as the landscape, and visitors will stay in traditional villages at night.

Fiji is known for its sublime underwater experience © Tourism Fiji

Snorkeling haven and divers’ delight

With warm, clear waters, colorful fish and ravishing reefs, underwater Fiji lures divers and snorkelers from across the globe. Known as ‘the soft coral capital of the world,’ the archipelago entices experienced scuba divers with Great White Wall off Taveuni – Possibly the best soft-coral dive in Fiji – the Nasonisoni Passage of Vanua Levu, and E6 in the Lomaiviti Islands, which features a phenomenal seamount that brushes the ocean’s surface.

There’s plenty for beginners as well: The Mamanuca Islands and Yasawa Islands are a particularly good destination for those just discovering the submerged wonders. The dive sites are generally safe for novices and beginners, and many resorts have coral gardens and other easy places to explore if you’re trying to convert snorkelers to divers.

At most resorts, snorkelers can simply walk off the beach into the water to find a beautiful undersea world. It’s easy to see why Fiji is known for its sublime underwater experience.

A meke (ceremonial dance) is just one of many ways Fijians often show a warm Bula welcome © Chris McLennan / Tourism Fiji

Cultural riches

Fijians are genuinely friendly, and visitors will receive a warm Bula welcome – often with open arms and song. The best place to experience this is at one of the villages that dot the countryside; visits usually involve a kava ceremony, and possibly a meke (ceremonial dance) or lovo (feast from an underground oven), and offer the chance to delve deep into local life.

Bring a sevusevu (gift) of yoqona (kava) root, and prepare yourself for the excitement of the village rugby-field sidelines. Food generally comes straight from the garden and includes such starchy staples as tavioka (cassava) and dalo (taro) roots alongside seafood in lolo (coconut cream).

From family fun and romantic getaways, to idyllic beaches and unsurpassed underwater adventures, Fiji packages it all with its famous hospitality, traditional etiquette and a fascinating history.

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