Last Updated on 20/03/2021
Known for its white sandy beaches, abundant marine life and pristine waters, Fiji is a bucket list destination. Since there’s plenty of things to see and do in this South Pacific archipelago, you need to make the most of your time there. To help you out, here’s your ultimate two-week Fiji itinerary which covers all the unmissable activities to do while visiting this stunning island nation.
Some quick facts to get started
- Fiji is comprised of 333 islands, 110 of which are inhabited.
- 87% of the population live on the two main islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
- Nadi and Suva are both cities on Viti Levu. Nadi has the country’s largest international airport whereas Suva is the capital.
- Fiji is surrounded by the largest coral reef system in the Southwest Pacific, covering an area of 3,869 square miles.
- The waters around Fiji is home to over 1,500 species of sea life, making them one of the best diving and snorkelling spots in the world.
- English is Fiji’s official language, although they do speak Fijian.
- Fiji was a British colony from 1870 to 1974. It gained independence on 10th October 1974 and it’s a member of the British Commonwealth.
- Fiji’s geography in the Central South Pacific has made it a crossroads for migration for centuries. It’s believed that Polynesian ancestors first settled there some 3,500 years ago with Melanesians arriving 1000 years later.
- The Dutch explorer Abel Tasman spotted Vanua Levu in 1643 but didn’t land.
- 37% of the population is descended from indentured Indians brought over by the British in the late 19th century to work on the sugar cane plantations.
Sustainable travel in Fiji
Being an island nation, it’s understandable that Fiji has growing concerns about climate change. After all, rising sea levels put a lot of the country’s natural resources and people’s livelihoods at risk.
Many resorts have been instrumental in sustainable tourism efforts. In the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands (a popular island-hopping route), resorts tend to be small and owned by people from the local villages. In some resorts, it’s not uncommon for electricity to only be available in the evenings and water is heated by the sun (it gets hot, trust me!).
Awesome Adventures, an island-hopping tour operator plays a huge part in conservation in the Yasawas and Mamanucas. Projects they’re involved with include studying the manta ray population, planting mangrove nurseries and rebuilding damaged coral reefs.
Is Fiji safe?
Photo credit: Joe Cakacaka
Fiji is generally considered safe to visit, particularly around the resorts and more touristy areas. Like all destinations, you should always use common sense and have your wits about you.
The country is suitable for solo travel, but I don’t recommend going out late at night by yourself or even in a small group. If you do, always get a taxi – just ask your resort for recommendations and they will sort you out. Ladies, you might also find yourself being subjected to shouts and stares from men in some of the less touristy areas.
Getting around Fiji
Photo credit: Nicolas Weldingh
The best way to get around Fiji is by bus if you want to explore the main islands, otherwise, you can get a reasonably priced taxi. The most efficient way to go island-hopping is by ferry from Port Denarau. Not all islands are easy to cross on foot or by car, but you can usually get a boat that will take you around the other side.
If you want a fancier way to travel then you can fly but bear in mind that this mode of transport is pricey and you’re fairly limited with where you can go.
Fiji Itinerary: Main islands or island-hopping?
Photo credit: Gary Runn
The first thing you need to decide when planning your two-week Fiji itinerary is whether to explore Fiji’s main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu or go island-hopping. To get the most out of your trip, I recommend the latter. Island-hopping allows you to see a lot more of what Fiji has to offer in a relatively short amount of time.
This specific itinerary focuses mainly on island-hopping in the Mamanucas and Yasawas with a few spare days to do some extra activities in or around the main islands. Island-hopping is very easy to do. In fact, I would say that it’s the easiest way to explore Fiji. You can find out everything you need to know about how to do it here.
Fiji Day 1: Arrive in Nadi
Fiji’s biggest international airport is Nadi so that’s probably where you’ll be flying into. To be honest, there isn’t much point hanging around here. You’re better off heading to your resort or hotel to relax after your journey.
My favourite place to stay is Bamboo Backpackers a budget-friendly hostel (although it does have private rooms) by the beach. The hostel is a fantastic launchpad into your island-hopping adventure because they provide you with free transfers to Port Denarau. It’s also very easy to get there from the airport because they have a free shuttle to pick you up and they can arrange a taxi to take you back.
If you have a bit of time to spend after your flight there’s plenty of activities to enjoy at Bamboo Travellers. The hostel has a great social scene, a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Volleyball on the beach is a popular pastime during the day, otherwise, you can visit the reception desk and book some local activities.
Fiji Day 2: Get to know Viti Levu
Photo credit: Damon Hall
Aaand relax. It’s your second day in Fiji so it’s time to familiarise yourself with the way they do things around here. On such custom is ‘Fiji Time’, a state of being in which all stresses melt away. You’ll find that there’s no rush to do things, activities start when they start – not before – and you’re encouraged to enjoy being in the moment.
Hang out, chat, get to know locals and other fellow travellers from around the world. Hit the beach – it’s just 30 seconds from your room, after all!
You can afford to dedicate this time to R&R because the next 10 days are going to be action-packed on the islands. If you are indeed an active sort who likes to get stuck in, you can book a day trip to Natadola Beach for some snorkelling, or visit the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a peaceful oasis at the foot of Nadi’s Sabeto Mountains.
In the evening, make sure you experience a traditional kava ceremony. Kava is an earthy-coloured drink made from powdered Piper methysticum, a plant which is native to the western Pacific Islands. It’s a popular social drink like alcohol in Western cultures, although not nearly as potent. For one thing, you don’t get drunk or high. Instead, it acts likes a gentle depressant, aiding relaxation and sleep.
I would describe it a bit like taking a few drops of CBD oil or drinking a ‘sleepy tea’. You might find a tingly or numbing sensation in the mouth, but it’s perfectly safe to drink. You’re completely at liberty to drink as much or as little as you want. Kava ceremonies have been a part of South Pacific culture for centuries.
Fiji Day 3 – 10: Island-hopping in the Mamanucas and Yasawas
Okay, this is where the action starts. A coach will leave bright and early in the morning bound for Port Denarau. I would double-check the time for this. Sure, ‘Fiji Time’ exists but not for this transfer.
In case you missed it, I’ve outlined everything you need to know about island-hopping in this post here so I will just go over a few key details. Personally, I think 10 days is the optimum amount of time to go island-hopping. Depending on your schedule, you can book for as little as a few days or up to a month.
The only rules are you have to stay at each resort for a minimum of two days and you have to have booked your accommodation for the island you want to stay at before you get off the ferry.
If you’re someone who likes to wing it when they travel then you can book your itinerary on the ferry, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Why? A lot of resorts in the Mamanucas and Yasawas are small with limited capacity. If they don’t have room for you then you can’t stay there. You’re better off avoiding the stress altogether and booking your accommodation in advance.
Another question you might be wondering is why should you spend nearly two weeks in Fiji island-hopping up the Mamanucas and Yasawas? Other than beautiful, picture-perfect scenery and the island where Tom Hank’s Castaway was filmed (Monuriki), there’s a wealth of fantastic activities. Just some of the things you can do include:
- Swimming with reef sharks
- Diving with bull sharks
- Swimming with manta rays
- Snorkelling in the Blue Lagoon
- Visiting the freshwater Sawa-I-Lau Cave
- Going on guided sunset walks
Fiji Day 11: Day Trip to Cloud 9
So, you’ve arrived back at Port Denarau after a thrilling 10 days exploring the islands and you need a bit of a pick-me-up. Don’t worry, I’ve got just the thing. How does a floating pizzeria and cocktail bar sound? That’s exactly what Cloud 9 is.
If you’ve gone back to Bamboo Travellers (it’s convenient and the free transfers are a real perk), a minibus will pick you up and take you to Port Denarau. Ideally, you want to book Cloud 9 in advance because like the resorts, it’s popular, it has limited space and you have to choose which timeslot you want. Ticket prices start from FJD195.00 and include all transfers and a FJD60.00 bar tab. From start to finish, the day out will be approximately 6 hours.
A small boat will take you over to Cloud 9. You’ll instantly be able to recognise it by its two-level floating structure bobbing about gently in clear turquoise waters. Much of the bar is covered to protect you from the heat of the sun and there are plenty of sunbeds and sun lounges to loll about on.
If you get peckish you can treat yourself to an Italian wood-fired pizza fresh from the oven and indulge in the internationally stocked bar. Simply sunbathe and enjoy the music, courtesy of resident and guest DJs or explore the local coral reefs at your leisure. When your timeslot is up, a boat will take you back to the port and a minibus will drop you off at your accommodation. Easy.
Fiji Day 12 -14: Relax or visit Taveuni Island
The reason why I’ve given some extra days around Nadi and not on more of the islands is because it’s a good idea to give yourself some buffer time before the day of your flight.
To put it bluntly, anything could happen. For example, bad weather could make it too risky for ferries to pick you up causing you to be stranded on a remote island for an extra night. Sure, there are worse places to be stranded than a gorgeous resort, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
On your last remaining days, you can either relax at your resort and meet up with your some fellow island-hoppers or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can head to Taveuni Island (again, give yourself some buffer room).
Taveuni is Fiji’s third-largest island and it’s characterised by the huge shield volcano which rises from the South Pacific floor. Lush green rainforests cover the island making it a haven for tropical birds. Popular highlights of the island include visiting the Tavoro Waterfalls, the Bouma National Heritage Park and the Civa Pearl Farm.
Taveuni is a little trickier to get to than the island-hopping route. You’ll need to catch a bus to the capital, Suva, before taking a short flight from there to the island. You can get a ferry from Suva to Taveuni but bear in mind it’s 16 long hours. Not ideal if you’re short on time!
Extra things to do in Fiji
Photo credit: Tanya Stilley
Here are some bonus activities to mix up your two-week Fiji itinerary:
As you well know by now, Fiji is a prime spot for diving so if you’re a budding diver or have your PADI diving certificate already, you may want to make the most of this fantastic marine location.
Top diving destinations in the Mamanucas and Yasawas include Barefoot Kuata Resort and Wayalailai Ecohaven Resort. Other spots around Fiji are Beqa Lagoon Resort, Aqua-Trek and Beqa Adventure Divers (known as one of the best shark dives in the world – no biggie!). If you’re keen to learn more about diving and swimming with sharks in Fiji, I have a whole post on it here.
Hike with Talanoa Treks
Fiji is perhaps most famous for its beaches and the waters around it, but the country is also a great destination for hikers. Talanoa Treks is Fiji’s only dedicated hiking company.
They have partnered with rural communities to provide travellers with the chance to hike across Fiji’ tropical interior and experience authentic culture. Hikes are guided and you can book a trip for one night or four nights depending on the route you want to take.
Tips for visiting Fiji
Photo credit: Joe Cakacaka
Here are a few top tips to get the most out of your Fiji itinerary:
Plan the best time to visit
The weather in Fiji tends to stay the same all year round with temperatures resting in between 26℃ and 31℃. The peak season runs from July to September as tourists flock from Australia and New Zealand in search of some winter sun. Between November and April is typhoon season. Temperatures get very high, and violent storms batter the islands. I wouldn’t recommend visiting at this time, particularly if you want to explore some of the more remote islands.
I visited Fiji in September and to be honest, it couldn’t have been more perfect. It was just at the end of the peak season, so resorts were quiet, but temperatures were still hot, and the weather was more or less pleasant (save for a storm or two here and there).
Bring cash with you when island-hopping
The smaller islands don’t tend to have card machines or cash points and you’ll still need to pay for your activities and food, depending on your island-hopping pass. You can get cash out at the airport or Bamboo Travellers (for a small fee).
Respect local customs
When visiting Fiji, it’s important to show that you respect and show appreciation for their customs. Be friendly, join in the entertainment and be open-minded. Whilst interacting with Fijians, don’t raise your voice or point directly at someone.
If you’re visiting a village, dress conservatively, don’t wear a hat and if you’re given food you should wait for it to be blessed before eating it. Always remove your shoes before entering someone’s house.
Respect the wildlife
Fiji’s ecosystems are fragile as they are beautiful so bear this in mind where you go for a walk or get in the sea. If you’re snorkelling by a reef, try not to touch or step on the coral. Keep a respectful distance from wildlife (where possible) and try to leave the environment as you found it.
All rubbish should be put in the appropriate bins, including plastic water bottles. Better still, find ways to limit your waste consumption when you visit. There are some handy ways to do this here.
Pack reef-safe sunscreen
Chemical-based sunscreen containing oxybenzone has been known to harm coral reefs. Keep yourself and the marine environment safe by wearing mineral-based sunscreen instead.
Made from non-nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, this type of sunscreen shields your skin from the sun’s UV rays naturally (more about that here). My favourite mineral-based sunscreen is Green People. It’s scent-free and non-greasy, making it perfect for sensitive skin and blends well so no awkward streaks. 20p from each sale is also donated to the Marine Conservation Society!
Alternatively, you can read my complete guide to sustainable sunscreens here.
Finally, Fiji is a nation of adventure so allow yourself to step outside of your comfort zone.
Unsure about snorkelling with sharks? Do it anyway. It’s not as scary as it sounds, trust me. Get involved in a kava ceremony, get up early and hike for the sunrise, try the food and meet the locals. Be open and have fun.
With heaps of culture, natural wonders and fantastic activities to do, you’ll hit the holiday jackpot when spending two weeks in Fiji.
Don’t forget travel insurance!
Travel insurance is a bit like packing an umbrella. There’s a chance you won’t need it but you’ll be caught out if you leave it behind – and you won’t just run the risk of getting drenched. Travel insurance should always be an essential part of your travels no matter where you go.
However, there are a lot of insurance companies out there and picking one that’s right for you at a decent price can get tricky. I love and swear by this awesome travel insurance company. I’ve used them the last few times I’ve travelled and their quotes are an absolute steal in my opinion!
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