Last Updated on 29/12/2020
Fiji is the land of relaxation. Its sun-soaked islands coax you into lazy days spent dozing on the beach. Coconut palms sway picture-perfect in the breeze and beneath the warm seas, coral reefs teem with life and colour. I visited the Fiji Islands in September 2018 and to tell you the truth, it was some of the best days of my life.
Relaxation is not Fiji’s only charm. The locals there are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet, the islands provide the most stunning adventures and the sunsets are legendary. You can make Fiji anything you want it to be, whether you’re looking for a luxury holiday or a budget-friendly trip.
Need more convincing? Here are my eight reasons why you should put Fiji on your bucket list now:
It’s always Fiji time!
Forget about your watches because absolutely no one is in a hurry to be anywhere. It’s a slower pace of life here and relaxation takes on a whole new dimension.
Head on up to the beautiful Yasawa and Mamanuca islands and the worries of the world will melt away. Seriously, it’s like your own modern castaway experience away from the stresses of reality (and that’s not just because the film with Tom Hanks was shot here).
It’s perfectly acceptable to spend the day lazing in a hammock with a good book. It’s called Fiji time and you won’t want to do anything else. Trust me.
It’s a beach bum paradise
Catch the Yasawa Flyer and do a bit of island hopping. Everywhere you go you’ll be in a world-class beach bum heaven. The pristine white sandy beaches and warm seas with vibrant shades of aquamarine are so picture-perfect you won’t be able to stop pinching yourself to remind yourself that it’s all real.
Take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon and be prepared to be blown away. Or, simply head to any beach on one of the many islands and get some serious lazing done.
Don’t worry if sunbathing is not your thing though, there are heaps of activities to do if you find yourself getting a bit restless. Snorkelling anyone?
It’s easy to make friends with the locals
One particular reason why you should put Fiji on your bucket list is that the residents are very friendly – and I’m not just talking about the people.
Fiji is home to some of the most beautiful and vibrant coral reefs in the world and they are teeming with life. For this reason, there are plenty of snorkelling trips offered wherever you go. If you want to dive quite literally deeper into Fiji’s marine world, then some resorts also offer PADI diving courses for the chance to see bull sharks. Yikes!
Between the months of May and October, the country plays host to the migrating manta rays and swimming with these enormous, graceful and surreal creatures is an absolute must (discover how to do it here).
The highlight of my trip was without a doubt snorkelling with reef sharks. To overcome the fear of such an animal and to see it face to face in the wild is an exhilarating privilege. It turns out in fact that reef sharks are actually pretty friendly and they aren’t afraid to say hello.
The sunsets are out of this world
Every single evening I wandered along the beach or climbed to the summit of the highest peak on the island just to watch the sunset over the sea and it never failed to be a magical experience.
Sunsets in Fiji are famous and it’s easy to see why when you already feel like you’re in paradise. Perhaps it’s the relaxed way of life? Or the fact that you actually have time to witness the stages of the sun setting in all its glory?
Whatever the reason, sunsets in Fiji will never cease to amaze you. Each one will be more spectacular than the last and that’s a promise.
Everyone on the islands is super friendly
The first thing you notice about the locals is that they will always greet you with the warmest of smiles. They are proud of their culture and they love to show you what life in the South Pacific is all about.
Everywhere you go you can be sure to always be greeted with a song or an impressive fire dance. As if it couldn’t get much better, I’ve found Fiji the easiest country to make friends in especially as a solo traveller as everyone is so relaxed and happy to be here.
If you get the chance, make sure you try a Fijian kava ceremony. Kava is the powdered root from the Piper methysticum plant which is native to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. When mixed with water and drunk, it can make you feel calm, relaxed and happy. Kava ceremonies are popular social events all over Fiji.
It’s always hot hot hot!
You can leave your jacket at home because it never goes below 20°c even if the weather is overcast and rainy! However, the best and therefore busiest time to visit Fiji is between the months of April to October, the dry season. The remainder of the year is prone to cyclones.
If you’re looking for a quieter holiday then I recommend visiting in September. I arrived expecting the islands to be overrun with holidaymakers only to find it pretty quiet. In fact, the groups of guests were so small that we all felt like a family by the end of our stay. The only downside was that it made goodbyes even harder but it did cement some strong lasting friendships.
It has some of the dreamiest of resorts
Nearly every island in the Yasawas and Mamanucas has a handful of resorts for every budget dotted along the beaches.
They are graded in a one or two coconut system with the latter being slightly more fancy and luxurious. However, you most certainly won’t be missing out if you stick to just one coconut resorts. They’re often smaller, less busy and family-run affairs and there’s always heaps of activities to do.
Whichever resort you choose you’re immediately welcomed as part of the family, and whatever your budget it always feels like paradise.
It invites you to embrace the tropical island life
The Fiji Islands give you a unique taste of life and culture in the South Pacific and it’s a place like no other. During my time there, I’ve eaten fresh coconuts, swam with sharks (something I’d never thought I’d do), and watched the sunset over the sea every evening. Fiji is without a doubt one of the most beautiful places in the world so make sure you put Fiji on your bucket list now.
Bonus: Fiji’s resorts are world leaders in sustainability
Some of Fiji’s top island resorts are also leaders in sustainability. It’s not uncommon for them to have water heated by the sun (it’s very hot – in fact, the best time to shower is at sundown), solar-powered electricity and permaculture techniques to grow their own food. Resorts including Mantaray Island, Barefoot Manta and Barefoot Kuata are built on the principles of ecotourism while offering the highest standards to their guests. Perfect, really.
Fiji is a truly stunning country. It has mountains, volcanoes, coral reefs and white sandy beaches. This collection of 330 islands should be at the top of anyone’s travel bucket list.