Where to stay in Fiji, best islands for couples, families and relax
Finally the ticket is booked for this amazing and idyllic destination. Now the next question comes: where to stay in Fiji? Or even better what is the best island in Fiji?
Let me say that the answer is not that easy and it mostly depends on the activities you are planning to do. I have actually organised a Fiji islands map (see below) that will help already a lot.
So, why finding the best holiday destinations in Fiji can stress you out in 2020?
Because Fiji is not just one island. It’s actually an archipelago of islands, quite widespread too.
Add the fact that many resorts in Fiji are more catered for couples, sometimes even adults-only, meanwhile others for families.
Then there are also resorts that try to mix both, offering areas for kids and areas for adults only, giving more privacy and quiet time.
But let me be honest with you, a good number of resorts have not actually a great beach, and you may end up disappointed (as I was).
Be selective, as I learnt to be. In this post be sure I have suggested only the most outstanding destinations.
In this guide you will see
- 1 Best islands to stay in Fiji [with a map]
- 2 Best island in Fiji for couples
- 3 Best place to stay in Fiji for families
- 4 Yasawa islands, resorts and transfers
- 5 Mamanuca Islands, the castaway experience
- 6 Denarau Island, hotels and things to do
- 7 Viti Levu South-West and the secret bay
- 8 Viti Levu South-East and the capital Suva
- 9 Taveuni Island, the garden of Fiji
- 10 Vanua Levu, back to the old traditions
- 11 Moving around Fiji
- 12 Best time to visit Fiji
You can see also
Before travelling to Fiji I suggest to also give a look at the free newspaper The Fiji Times. for the latest news and events
Best islands to stay in Fiji [with a map]
There are two International Airports, however, you will most likely arrive at the Nadi airport, on the west coast of the main island called Viti Levu.
Nadi has the biggest international airport, however, it is not the capital of the island.
If you are unsure about visiting Nadi then I may suggest to skip it altogether. It’s a town to stock up with a few shops and eateries but you will not miss anything.
I have organised the map below with the best islands to stay in Fiji grouped in 7 areas.
If you plan to spend many weeks or a full season, then I suggest exploring the more remote islands and corners of this unique country.
The macro areas above cover only a part of Fiji. There are so many islands that would require months of exploration.
I haven’t added many photos in this post to make it quicker to download. You can see my best images of Fiji on this dedicated post.
IMPORTANT TIP: Most of the resort nowadays offer free cancellation. Book the hotels you like as you go. When you make your final decision you cancel all the bookings that you do not need. In this way you avoid disappointments.
- Best island in Fiji for families: Castaway Island in the Mamanuca Archipelago is a great choice if you are looking for a great beach and beautiful sea. You will have an awesome time playing with the kids in the sand. And if kids are a bit older there is also the surfing option, out at the reef (although quite a challenging one). Access is easy too, 1-2 hours of navigation from the Denarau Marina. The Castaway Island Resort, is a fantastic place to stay in Fiji for families with its great service, really friendly with kids, and even a wood fire pizza oven which makes amazing meals. You can read here more about where to stay in Fiji with the family…
- Where to stay in Fiji for couples: the best island in Fiji for couples looking for some relax and idyllic beaches is Yasawa Island, the biggest in the Yasawa Archipelago. This is an amazing destination, so romantic, where you will remember every single sunset forever. The Yasawa Island Resort is an awesome place to stay, adults-only too, which is a great plus. If you are looking for a more dynamic holiday with possibly some snorkelling and diving, besides trekking in the forest between waterfalls, then Taveuni Island is the place to travel to. The Taveuni Island Resort & Spa is a dream come true. A really unique destination. Read here more options for couples, especially if on a budget.
- Where to stay in Fiji for snorkelling: The Matamanoa Island in the Mamanuca archipelago has one of the most pristine and preserved coral reefs, easily accessible from the beach. It’s really like heaven on earth. There is only one resort, the Matamanoa Resort, and it delivers big time, with amazing food and great service.
- Best island in Fiji for honeymoon: the Malolo Lailai Island is a fantastic island to spend the honeymoon. It’s so beautiful and easily reachable with either a 50 minutes ferry or a 10 minutes short local flight. The beach is just terrific. The Lomani Island Resort is the ideal accommodation for this magic time of the life (book the bungalow with the private pool for a unique experience). For even more privacy, on the opposite side of the island, you will find the Likuliku Lagoon Resort, adults-only. Expect here a luxurious stay, to remember for life.
- Best places to stay in Fiji for singles: if you are after activities and some nightlife that Denarau island may be the destination for you. This is a man-made island with some major resorts (Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton etc) and facilities. It is a popular destination also because it’s located minutes from Nadi airport (through a bridge). Some nice bars around with the Hard Rock Cafe probably the most famous one. From Denarau, you can also catch the ferry to the Mamanuca islands for a few day trips. Unfortunately, you will not find here the postcard’s beaches but in most cases, the resorts have amazing infinity pools. Read more here on Denarau Island..
- Where to stay in Fiji on a budget: if you are on a budget then try to stay in the Mamanuca Archipelago so that the ferry transportation will be relatively cheap. Beachcomber Island is, in my opinion, the winner in this category. It’s again a beautiful destination with soft sand and turquoise water, with the possibility to do some unique snorkelling. The Beachcomber Resort has dorms, cheap double rooms with shared facilities as well as more private beach bungalow. The island is famous with backpackers, always an interesting place to have a chat and a few drinks at night.
- Where to stay in Fiji for young adults: the Naukacuvu Island in the Yasawa Archipelago is an amazing place to stay if you are after a peaceful stay, with a dreamy beach and a few water activities to keep you busy, like snorkelling and kayaking. The Paradise Cove Resort is a great accommodation, one of the best value for money in Fiji. You have access also to a day spa, a swimming pool and free WiFi if you still want to be connected to the world.
- Where to stay in Fiji with a baby/toddler: with a toddler it’s probably a good idea to stay in the main island of Viti Levu, possibly close the airport and the Nadi facilities (you never know, fingers crossed). This does not mean you should give up on an amazing beach or a lovely resort. Check out the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (see photos here) in Natadola Bay, they even have a separate pool for small kids with very shallow water where you can play in a safer environment. The hotel is just a short drive away from the airport which is super handy.
- Best place to stay in Fiji for surfing: Fiji has one of the best ten surfing spots in the world, it’s called Cloudbreak and it is located just off Namotu Island, a small island in the Mamanuca Archipelago (not too far from Viti Levu). Namotu is also famous for its kitesurfing and fishing possibilities. This is an island for the adrenaline seekers. There is only one resort here, the Namotu Resort of course. You can also decide to stay in Viti Levu and take a boat here for a daily trip.
- Best island for waterfalls and trekking: easy choice here, Taveuni Island, literally the garden of Fiji with a superlative forest, many options for trekking and a few waterfalls to think you are on a movie set and it’s all computer graphics, except, it’s all real. And besides the tropical forest, you will find also amazing beaches and unique seabeds. Read more on Taveuni Island.
- Where to stay for the best beaches: it’s such a hard choice. The Mamanuca and the Yasawa islands have probably the best beaches (it’s always a hard choice). Read more on the Yasawa and on the Mamanuca Archipelago. What I would definitely suggest is to avoid Denarau (almost no beaches) and most of Viti Levu, with a few exceptions as Natadola Beach.
- Best time to go to Fiji: the dry season is between April and November. It can be very busy during the Australia/NZ school holidays and in August. December to February are the months with more rain which is going to affect the islands in a different way. Read more here on the weather based on the Fiji region…
- Best resort on the main island (Viti Levu):….and surely one of the best in Fiji, it’s the amazing InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, most definitely one of my favourites, just one hour from the airport, you will feel in paradise as soon as you touch land. Best resort for short stays (1-4 days)
- Best resort for a week: the Paradise Cove Resort if you are looking for an amazing beach and beautiful snorkelling, you will also have easy access to other Yasawa Islands. The Taveuni Island Resort & Spa if you are after beach and trekking in the tropical forest with waterfalls
- Island hopping, where to go: if you have 10 days or even 2 weeks, I suggest The Naqalia Lodge on the Wayasewa island. Then go north, just 20-30 minutes by boats and you will be in the Octopus Resort on Waya Island. 40 minutes north and you are in Naukacuvu Island where you will find the Paradise Cove Resort, one the best value resort in the Yasawa Islands. Share your time between these three.
- Must try drink is the local Kava, a traditional drink made from powdered roots of yagona plants
- Best organised experiences: the Zip Line & Cave tour is a great day out, the full day Captain Cruise Excursion is a great opportunity to experience Fiji in style on an old vessel (departing Port Denarau at 10am)
- Bula Pass: should I buy it or not? If you think you will do some island hopping with the ferry then the answer is most definitely. Otherwise, it is not worth the money. Read more on local transportation…
- Do you want to go straight to your hotel? Pre-order an airport transfer that will wait for you directly at the airport. So easy.
Here below a quick overview of the 7 main areas to stay in Fiji with a link to a more detailed description
- Yasawa Islands: remote and unique beaches. You may recognize a few of them as they have been used for many film sets (“The blue lagoon”, probably one of the most famous movies, was filmed here). Access is by seaplane (quicker) or boat. In this archipelago, you are very likely to find the typical Fiji island resort you have seen in many postcards. Some of the resorts are accessible exclusively by seaplane which makes the destination even more romantic
- Mamuca Islands: closer to the main island and a short boat trip from Denarau. These islands, being closer to Nadi, are more touristic than the Yasawa Islands. Still beautiful beaches and turquoise water as in Mana Island
- Denarau island: a man-made island with some major resorts (Sheraton, Radisson, Hilton etc) and facilities. It is becoming a popular destination as the location is minutes from Nadi airport. From here you can also catch the ferry to the Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands. Unfortunately, you will not find here the postcard’s beaches
- Viti Levu South-West: the great advantage of this area is that it is quite close to the airport however far enough to avoid the noise and pollution of it. I found here one of favourite Fiji beaches located in Sanasana. However, the rest of the coast is not as amazing
- Viti Levu South-East: I would not personally suggest this part of the island for the beaches. It’s more for activities, adrenaline-addicted and nature lovers (waterfalls and trekking). Suva, the capital of Fiji, is not a must-visit destination, however, few hours can be interesting. It tends to rain more on this part of the island.
- Taveuni Island: very remote, reachable with a 1-hour flight from Nadi. It is the green hub of Fiji. Think marvellous trekking in the jungle, unique waterfalls and pristine beaches too. Surely not a place to get bored.
- Vanua Levu, second biggest island after Viti Levu. A good destination if you are after the local Fiji lifestyle, very relaxed. It is one hour flight from Nadi and it is suggested for a second or third trip to Fiji, in case you are looking for new unexplored parts of Fiji
Here below more details about the different areas.
Best island in Fiji for couples
It is really hard to pick a single one as it really depends on what you are looking for.
In this respect, let me give you 3 suggestions for the best islands in Fiji for couples based on activities and lifestyle
Taveuni Island (beach and trekking)
If you are after some beach time as well as activities like jungle trekking, walking to waterfalls, snorkelling and possibly some diving then I feel like the best place to stay in Fiji for couples is Taveuni Island. It has the lot, really. Plan at least a 5 days stay, possibly even 7. That will give you enough time to explore the beautiful island and enjoy the amazing beaches. Here I suggest the Maravu Taveuni Lodge (great price – see photos here) or the Taveuni Island Resort & Spa (luxurious resort – see photos here). They both organise daily trips to amazing places
Check price at Maravu Lodge Availability at Taveuni Resort & Spa
Yasawa Island (romantic stay)
If you are after a romantic stay to enjoy the beach, the sunsets and possibly some fine dining then the Yasawa Islands are the best bet. You have a wide choice of resorts too, from flashpacker style to luxurious one. Buy a Bula Pass and visit 2 or 3 islands. For a memorable and exclusive stay, I suggest the Yasawa Island resort & spa (adults-only, see photos here), reachable by aeroplane.
Check availability at the Yasawa Island
Denarau Island (practical)
If you are looking for a resort with some nightlife too then Denarau Island. There are so many facilities here, including some famous bars like the Hard Rock Cafe. Fine dining and easy access to the Mamanuca Islands. Try to book at The Terraces (see photos here), a beautiful resort overlooking the golf course and 5 minutes walking from the bars and restaurants area of Port Denarau. Great price too.
If you have still a question on where to stay in Fiji for couples which I was not able to cover, please feel free to add a comment below. I usually answer within a day (if I am not travelling myself in areas not covered by internet)
Best place to stay in Fiji for families
I came to learn myself how travelling with family and kids is a different thing all together LOL
Here below are two islands that cater to families with both small and grown-up kids.
Castaway Island (with grown-up kids)
As already mentioned, the Castaway Island is a special place to stay families looking for a lovely beach to play with the kids, easy swimming around and snorkelling possibilities. It’s perfect for grown-up kids as they will have access to plenty of water activities. The Castaway Resort (see photos here) delivers in both quality of service and dedication to the “special need” of kids.
Check price at the Castaway Island
Viti Levu South-West (with toddlers)
Staying in Viti Levu, just a short drive from the airport has its own benefits, especially considering you are travelling with a small baby. In no time you will be in the hotel, without the stress of the boat to another island.
In Viti Levu, you will find plenty of resorts, some of them dedicated to families too. What the majority lacks is, however, a nice beach.
Here I suggest staying in Natadola Beach, at the InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (see more photos here), because it has a great beach for postcards, with turquoise water, an easy shallow swimming pool and a kids clubs to have some time off. If you are travelling with both small and grown-up kids then Natadola beach is a fantastic solution because of the many water activities, for any age, and also a very easy surfing spot (longboards and beginners), to entertain the whole family.
Check availability at InterContinental
Yasawa islands, resorts and transfers
Here you can find some of the most spectacular beaches of Fiji, and probably the world. Think white sand and blue turquoise water.
The Yasawa are a volcanic archipelago of around 20 islands of which 12 are occupied by 25-30 resorts. You have a vast choice that goes from secluded accommodation to a bed in a dorm room.
A good number of Yasawa islands resorts are dedicated to backpackers and flashpackers. However new luxurious accommodations are coming up with bungalows that can cost as much as $2000/night.
Moreover, here you can find also a few of the best Fiji adults only all inclusive resorts. The Yasawa Island Resort I talk later about is a great example.
Activities are pretty limited and, as you may expect, sunbathing is the most popular one. However, you can also get busy with some snorkelling or scuba diving. The price of a PADI Open Water is actually cheaper than in most Western countries.
Every island has also some trekking to offer, usually a small climb to the top of the hill (up to 600m high), nothing really demanding however it usually gives a great lookout point to the Yasawa islands.
The Sawa-i-lau caves are one of the major attractions. Part of the movie “The blue lagoon” was filmed here. It’s a good half day excursion.
If you are after some surfing then you probably need to think about another destination (Tavarua in the Mamanuca islands is the closest spot)
Transportation to the Yasawa islands can be booked through the resort or on your own. The small direct internal seaplanes and the helicopters are the quickest options, however also the most expensive one. You can check the Pacific Island Air for more information on cost and time
The alternative, and equally scenic, is the Yasawa Flyer, a ferry that leaves Denarau harbour at 8:30am and navigates through the archipelago. The trip can take from 2 to 6 hours, based on which island of the archipelago you book your resort.
The great thing about the ferry is that you will see all of the islands, beaches and small harbours around. I like to call it an “open mouth” experience. The Yasawa islands are so beautiful that it’s hard not to get impressed.
The ticket price is not cheap however if you plan to visit 2 or more islands (aren’t you 😉 ) then the Bula Pass, valid from 5 to 15 days, is an economical alternative to the single ticket.
When you book your accommodation keep in mind that some of the resorts offer an all-inclusive package meanwhile others don’t (as in most of Fiji). There are no restaurants as such on the Yasawa islands, if not just the ones of the resorts. It is therefore usually more convenient to buy the all-inclusive package that every single meal.
The great advantage of the Yasawa islands is the remoteness. Much less tourism than in most of Fiji. Perfect if you are planning one or two weeks in islands hopping.
The Yasawa Island resort & spa (see photos here)has been up and running for almost 30 years. It’s located in one of the remotest islands and most definitely one of the best Fiji adults-only all-inclusive resorts. It’s the perfect location for couples looking for privacy and/or honeymooners. The flight with the seaplane offers an amazing view. Just imagine yourself in your room in a private bungalow facing the beautiful beach
Check availability at the Yasawa Island
The Mantaray Island Resort (see photos here) is more of a flashpacker, experience. The reef is to die for and the accommodation price can be really on the cheap side, if you want (a bed in a dormitory room). Food could be improved though. In saying that the reef around the island is unreal, think of an aquarium.
Check the great price at Mantaray
Mamanuca Islands, the castaway experience
Being so close to Nadi (through the Denarau harbour), the Mamanuca Islands are a great destination for a multi-day stay as well as for a single day one.
The close vicinity to Viti Levu is surely part of its touristic success however it has to be said that the Mamanuca islands are truly beautiful. Expect blue water, palms and volcanic scenery.
The Monuriki island was used for several months to film the famous movie “Cast Away” starring Tom Hanks. Other islands are regularly used by the American Edition of the Survivor TV show.
Expect more tourism than in the Yasawa islands, however, do not think it will be crowded, just you will not be alone at the beach 😉
Attractions are similar to the Yasawa islands, from trekking to snorkelling, from scuba diving to sunbathing.
There is, however, a big plus of these islands, if you are into surfing. It’s called Cloudbreak and it is rated as one of the best ten surfing spots in the world, located just off Namotu Island, a tiny island quite close to Viti Levu, just 15 minutes by longboat
South Sea Cruises can quickly take you from the Denarau marina to any of the islands you want, even for a day trip. You can check the timetable here. It is a quick trip, usually one hour or so.
The great advantage of the Mamanuca islands is easy and quick access. This makes it a perfect destination if you have only 2-3 spare days to visit a small island and you do not want to waste time on the trip to Yasawa
The Malolo Island Resort (see photos here) is a perfect solution for everyone, from couples to families. It has multiple swimming pool and restaurants, including an adults-only option. It has a fabulous private white beach and if you are travelling with small children then the kids club may give you a nice break. All these reasons make this resort very popular.
Check availability at the Malolo
The Mana Island Fiji Resort (see photos here) is another great option, especially if you are after a hotel that has a kids club. The beach is so safe too, Basically a paradise. This is the perfect place for families with small kids that would like also to take some romantic time off.
Check availability at Mana Island
Another place I like to mention is the Tokoriki Island Resort (see photos here). This hotel is well renowned for some of the best Fiji holiday packages for couples (highly suggested for honeymoons).
Check availability at the Tokoriki
Denarau Island, hotels and things to do
Denarau Island is not actually……an island, as such. You do not need a boat to access it. It’s a short 10 minutes drive from the Nadi Airport through a causeway.
It’s a man-made island with an 18-hole championship golf course right in the centre and a plethora of resorts around.
Now the bad news, you do not come here for the beaches, which are average. It’s more for the provided facilities, as amazing pools, great restaurants and the access to so many activities that you can do every day something different.
From the Denarau Marina, you can easily visit any of the Mamanuca islands on a day trip beside taking a 4 hours or full-day fishing charter.
The Tivua full day sailing trip is one of the most popular activity as well as the sunset cruise, also leaving from the Denarau Marina.
Other things to do include
- scuba diving
- cooking school
- visits to local villages
- SPA time
- kitesurfing and surfing daily trips
- zip line (across the jungle over Nadi)
- expos and festivals
- clubbing at the Hard Rock Cafe
just to mention the most famous attractions.
The great advantage of the Denarau island is the vicinity to the airport (just 10 minutes drive), access to some of the best resorts and restaurants in Fiji, with all the connected facilities as swimming pools and golf course. Unfortunately, you will not find the beaches you may have dreamed of.
The Sheraton Denarau Villas (see photos here) is one of the most elegant and exclusive resorts in Denarau. A real dream come true with a lovely infinity pool facing the open sea. There is also a kids club which comes very handy for a few hours of family relax.
Another great alternative is the Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa (see photos here). It’s a great value choice with a beautiful beach view too. Highly recommended for families. There is also an adult-only restaurant. It is walking distance to the Denarau port area (Hard Rock Cafe etc).
Viti Levu South-West and the secret bay
Once you leave the Nadi airport and you drive south you will see on your way a multitude of resorts.
They all offer a different kind of service, mostly based on how much you pay. However they all have one thing in common, the average beach,
When I say average do not think a bad beach. It’s more of a normal beach that you can find anywhere in the world. It’s not the beach you are used to dreaming about Fiji.
Like in Denarau islands all these resorts have access to similar activities, although you need to budget in the short trip to the Denarau harbour.
If staying in this area, plan a walk in the never-ending Sigatoka Sand Dunes and a visit to the Sigatoka local market, the most important one in Fiji.
In my last trip I found a bay in Sanasana that is quite amazing; in fact, the beach, called Natadola, is rated as one of the best in the world, and for a good reason.
Natadola beach offers all you need in meters
- great easy surfing 20 meters from the beach
- snorkelling a stone away
- scuba diving in 5 minutes by boat
- a beautiful and easy beach with turquoise water
- an easy to access reef with plenty of clownfish
basically a microcosmos, an oasis.
I so loved my time there.
The great advantage of the south-west part of Viti Levu is the easy access, unfortunately, the beaches are not to die for unless you stay in Natadola beach, a small heaven on the coast.
Here I suggest the amazing InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa (see photos here), most definitely one of my favourite resorts in all of Fiji. Located on the main island with easy access from/to the airport, the InterContinental offers all you search for in Fiji. Amazing beach, great snorkelling, scuba diving 5 minutes by boat, easy surfing break 2 minutes from the resort, pools for kids and adults only. Multiple great food options and friendly service. Great resort for both couples and families.
Check availability at InterContinental
Viti Levu South-East and the capital Suva
This side of Viti Levu is a great area to stay if you are a bit of adrenaline and nature addicted. Unfortunately, the beach is not to call home about.
I stayed in Pacific Harbour and I had a great time there. Renting a car makes life so much easier though.
The most famous attraction is probably the dive with the shark, just off Beqa Island, almost in front of Pacific Harbour.
White-water rafting is also a popular activity which becomes really wild and challenging at the end of the raining season, around April.
You can join trips to waterfalls (around $60-100) or organise your own. One of my favourites is Solo-I-Suva (the actual location is on Princess Road, see link here, and not where it is originally suggested by Google Map). Admission is $2.50 and should be paid at the Park office, 200 meters from the entrance. Head to the bottom waterfall, the most spectacular one where you swing with ropes.
The Zip-Line half day tour is also very popular. This is a park in a canyon where you can “fly” between trees and mountains, 20 meters in the air, using giant zip-lines.
A visit to Suva, Fiji capital, is not mandatory. It’s a nice town however I felt it was missing a bit of character. To be organised on a morning when you have nothing else to do. Thurston Garden should be in your bucket list once there. I would not personally book a hotel in Suva unless you are there for business.
The great advantage of the south-east part of Viti Levu is the easy access to arguably some of the most exciting activities in Fiji. The beach, however, is not the main attraction.
Taveuni Island, the garden of Fiji
Taveuni Island is the eco-destination of Fiji. Hotels are rare and it’s more of an adventure in a jungle with beautiful beaches than a resort experience.
This island has some of the most exciting trekking in Fiji, in the lush jungle and between waterfalls where you can have a swim and relax.
Not to mention the abundant wildlife scene which makes Taveuni the place to be for bird watching.
The beachside is magnificent too, with fabulous snorkelling and top-notch diving, as in Eel Reef and the Great White Wall.
Lake Tagimaucia is one of the most popular tourist destinations. Why? Well, where can you find a lake in a volcanic crater at 800 meters of altitude? Unique
The Tavoro Falls on the east coast are as easy to reach as beautiful to enjoy. The first fall is minutes away from the parking area. For the other two you need some trekking (do not give up as they are both spectacular). Swimming in them is paramount. There is an entrance fee of around $25.
The Bouma National Heritage Park has plenty of trekking opportunities as the walk to the Wanibau Falls, around 2 hours.
The great advantage of Taveuni Island is the isolation, nature and great diving. You have however to budget in an extra hour flight from Nadi. The island tends to get more rain than the rest of the region.
The Taveuni Island Resort & Spa (see photos here)is one of the most exceptional resorts in Fiji. It has been rated with a 10 out of 10 in Booking.com, and for a good reason. It’s the representation of a paradise. Best snorkelling right in front of the resort, amazing rooms and facilities. Easy access to so many waterfalls and walks. A dream come true. Perfect for a honeymoon.
Check availability at the Taveuni resort
Vanua Levu, back to the old traditions
Vanua Levu is the second biggest island in Fiji. It’s not as touristic as Viti Levu and this is probably the main attraction and reason to visit it. It’s Fiji 70 years ago with not as many hotels and still living of agriculture.
The main centre for travellers is Savusavu and from there it is possible to move around and/or plan local excursions. The Savusavu bay is already by itself so beautiful, as well as the natural hot spring scattered all around the town (free to access, they are everywhere, you may check this one).
Rent a car and have a drive on the Hibiscus Highway, between the beautiful green-turquoise sea and the lush plantations of coconuts. This is another spectacular and unique road in the world.
You can organise, through your resort, trekking and hikes to some amazing waterfalls through the deep jungle.
Food is mostly Indian. The anomaly is Savusavu Wok, more Chinese style and great flavours
The great advantage of Vanua Levu is the remoteness and laid-back way of living. It’s only one hour flight from Nadi, however, it’s like travelling in a Fiji time machine. Friendly and relaxed people always ready to help out. The drawback is the lack of a tourism infrastructure, in case you are looking for it 😉
Just be aware that the room availability may be scarce, especially in high season. Book well in advance
Moving around Fiji
Nadi Airport is the main gateway to the country. Almost all of the international flights arrive here.
If you have already booked your resort, you have been probably already offered the local transportation from/to the resort as part of the package. I would personally suggest to take it before you arrive. Just so much easier in that way.
If you plan to visit Viti Levu than you have two possibilities:
- rent a car
- use public transportation, buses
I personally prefer to rent a car and move around at my own pace. Hotels can be far away from the main attractions and honestly, the roads in Viti Levu are absolutely fine. Few bumps here and there but nothing dramatic. Just follow the speed limit and pay attention to the road, as you would do in any other country.
Local people drive very carefully too. I have never seen any crazy driving around (maybe I was just lucky LOL)
There are a few local operators where you can book a car. I have been using RentalCars.com for a few years now. This is a Booking.com owned website that compares prices from over 30 rental companies. I always had better deals this way.
Fiji Airways is the best bet to fly between the main islands. Nadi is currently connected to both Savusavu and Labasa in the Vanua Levu island, and to Taveuni Island too. Northern Air is the alternative, however, the flights tend to be much smaller.
Seaplanes are available to access other small islands as the Yasawa. Turtle Airways and Pacific Island Airways cover these areas.
Buy a Bula Pass if you are planning to go islands hopping, so much cheaper than buying single tickets
Best time to visit Fiji
The raining season is usually between October/November to April/May while the dry season is between May and October.
I guess the main issue with the raining season is the cyclones. I just got stranded in March with a category 1 which lasted only 3 days but it was almost never-ending heavy rain and wind.
May and June are probably the best months as tourism is not at its peak, the temperature is pleasant and waterfalls are still fully loaded.
July and August tend to be the busiest months. This is not to say they should be avoided. Just book well in advance to avoid surprises.
Keep also in mind that you will have more rain in Taveuni Island than most of the other islands.
The Yasawa Islands are instead the ones with more sun than anyone else.
82 thoughts on “Best places to stay in Fiji 2020 [best island for couples or families]”
okay going to fiji in April, 18, 40, 50 ages, staying at least 7 days but maybe 10, must have pool at resort, love adventures and night life, love to see the culture downtown, snorkel, drive with sharks, jump off cliffs, white water rafting, hiking in jungle, waterfalls, etc, would love to stay at two islands or take a ferry to another island for the day..was thinking of nothing more than $3500 for the room (i do have a vac package that is cheap where i will book rm through)….any suggestions on how to make the best of our time, on a budget as we want to do as much as we can.
Your blog has been useful as I plan my family holiday, particularly your view that Natadola Beach is the best part of Viti Levu to compete with Mamanuca locations. My question is, with the Intercontinental booked when we want to visit at new years, what would your second choice be on the east side of Viti Levu: Outrigger, Gecko’s, Marriott Momi Bay?
Thanks and regards
Marriott Momi Bay would be my choice, more expensive of course but really really nice
Gecko is a great value if you are on a budget
Outrigger is the choice between
I hope I was able to help out