Ten things you can't miss in Fiji Islands

Bula!!!!

This is the greeting you’ll hear from Fiji Islanders wearing colourful flowered shirts when you get to this amazing island!

Maybe it’s because they are located at the end of the maps that Europeans study at school... or maybe the very name evokes images of adventurous pirates, unknown islands, and treasures… the Fiji Islands are one of the most dreamt-about tropical destinations.

After spending some time travelling around and immersing ourselves in our new experience of this islands, we can definitely suggest to you some experiences you won’t want to miss…

 

  1. Enjoy an exquisitely romantic sunset at Wailoaloa Beach: an orange disc, immense, dives into the clear and calm sea. This 3km-long beachfront in Nadi Bay provides stunning views towards the mountains and over the ocean and is perfect for a stroll. While we revelled in the view we watched others enjoying the beach: four Fijians playing rugby on the shoreline, two dogs chasing each other on the sand, and a rider on horseback;
  1. Fall asleep lulled by Fijian music strummed by a group of friends in front of a bonfire, spending hours and hours singing nostalgic songs, like the Fijian farewell song “isa lei”, accompanied by ukuleles and guitars;
  1. Catch one of the colourful buses, window-covering tarps rolled up to take in the breeze and the view, loud music playing, among smiling and relaxed multiethnic inhabitants. Every town has a  bus stop, as it’s the most common mode of transportation on the islands, and a bus can be hailed from the roadside by waving at the driver;

4. Loose yourself in the pretty alleys of the center of Nadi, where Bollywood music resonates everywhere, and women in traditional clothes shop for the upcoming Diwali, the Indian Festival of Lights. We got lost in the colourful and fragrant city market… or perhaps we just got lost in the smiles of the merchants as we shopped for spices to make masala chai tea. Shop for clothing, electronics, or jewellery in a large store like Jack’s of Fiji, Prouds or Tappoo… or try your hand at bargaining in one of the many small shops. Tapa cloth, locally known as masi, makes an excellent souvenir; you can be sure you’re getting a genuine Fijian handicraft;

5. Taste a typical samosa or thali or masala dhosa in one of the many Hindi restaurants along the Main Road in Nadi. The New Nadi Farmers Club features live entertainment, including a band and fire dancing;

6.Drink bowls of yaqona (also known as kava), a ritualistic drink prepared from aromatic roots of the Pacific pepper shrub, originally drunk in honour of the ancestors. The drink has strong relaxing and anaesthetic properties, expect it to numb your tongue;

7. Snorkel in Fiji’s warm waters, a definite highlight. Fiji is known as the “soft coral capital of the world”; in addition to brilliant soft corals you can expect to see hard corals, multitudes of colourful fish of various shapes and sizes (over 1,000 species of fish inhabit the Fijian reefs), sponges, sea cucumbers, starfish and molluscs;

8. Surf the fantastic breaks of the southern Mamanuca Islands. Many teens comes here during their gap year because the living is cheap and calm, and it boasts the best waves ever! Cloudbreak, also known as Thunder Cloud Reef, was privately owned for over two decades and access was restricted, but in 2010 the Fijian government opened access to anyone with a boat;

9. Spend a whole afternoon at Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple, the largest Hindu temple in the Southern Hemisphere. Located right at the end of Main Road, it is one of the few places outside India to see traditional Dravidian architecture. Chat with one of the Brahmins to learn about the Hindi-Fijian traditions. Remember to dress neatly and modestly and remove your shoes at the temple entrance to show respect for the sacred location;

10.Go for a couple of days at Beachcomber Island, a real paradise 45 minutes’ boat ride from Lautoka. Set in a marine sanctuary, the crystalline waters off the white sand beaches allow you to dive among small turtles and colourful ocean life. Taste a dish of "ika vaka lolo", a local dish with fish, tapioca and coconut cream, before laying on a soft bed on the beach for a relaxing massage in the shade of a coconut palm.

Hurry up… heaven exists on Earth!

 

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