Top 10 things to do in Fiji
Fiji's natural assets - beaches, lagoons, reefs, rainforests and rivers - are perfectly complemented by the friendly Fijian people who are ready to bring your holiday dreams to life. Do you want to learn a new watersport skill, sip kava in a chief's hut or be beautified from head to toe with sea grape concoctions? Or maybe you'd like to help a village community by volunteering your time and knowledge?
Under the warm Fijian sun, the top things to do add up to an amazing island escape.
1. Just relax
You're in Fiji to rest, refresh and recuperate, so take it seriously! Find a lounger with just the right dappling of shade and sun, order a long cool cocktail, open the best-seller you bought at the airport bookshop and let the relaxation begin. Taking it easy is always one of the best things you can do in Fiji.
2. Get waterborne
You'll find every kind of on-the-water fun in Fiji, including stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, jet skiing and surfing. At some resorts you can also ride on a giant banana or sea biscuit towed behind a speed boat, watch the lagoon life from a glass-bottomed boat or go fishing with a local expert.
3. Show your kids a good time
Fijian resorts are famous for their kids' clubs, and you'll notice that the people looking after your children appear to be having as much fun as the young ones. If you're staying near Denarau, you can also pop along to Big Bula Waterpark where all ages will lap up the fun on the epic slides, in the wave pool and on the inflatable rides.
With 333 islands, Fiji can take your Pacific holiday further. Push the boat out with a cruise or seaplane trip to the Yasawas, an archipelago northwest of Viti Levu. This gorgeous island group has a focus on eco-friendly activities to do, hand-crafted accommodation and food that's locally sourced. Or if you're looking for something a little bit more upbeat, a short 25 minute boat ride from Denarau will land you at Malamala Beach Club, located on its very own island.
5. Discover a rainbow world of fish and coral
Fiji's beautiful reefs and lagoons can be easily explored with a snorkel and mask straight off the beach, or you can find a local operator to take you further offshore to special places only accessible by boat. Coral reefs can be found throughout every region in Fiji and snorkelling is great on both fringing and barrier reefs. Top off-the-beach snorkelling locations include many places in the Coral Coast, Mamanuca and Yasawa island groups while other regions have excellent snorkelling spots too just a short boat ride offshore.
6. Explore Fijian culture with a village visit
A river safari on Fiji's main island of Viti Levu is much more than a jet boat trip. You'll travel up the beautiful Sigatoka River on the Coral Coast, enjoying pristine rainforest scenery as you go, then disembark at a host village where you can enjoy a traditional lunch and kava ceremony, followed by Fijian dancing and singing.
7. Spa and wellness retreats
Fiji has a perfect environment for rejuvenating. Let your mind and body relax in the comfortable climate and natural beauty. There are also plenty of luxurious spa treatments to choose from. Highly-rated spa and wellness centres can be found in most upmarket resorts and the main towns. Whether enjoyed beside the ocean or in the zen-like tranquillity of a private spa room, most spa menus include a seductive range of traditional Fijian herbs, wraps and treatments as well as leading international products and techniques.
Fijian food reflects the country's fusion of cultures - indigenous Fijian, Indian, Chinese and European. At resort restaurants this diversity is celebrated with exciting a la carte menus and enticing buffet spreads. Reef fish, aromatic spices, luscious tropical fruit, cassava, taro and other local ingredients are skilfully cooked and beautifully presented. Keep an eye out for delicacies cooked in a lovo (earth oven).
If you're looking for a romantic dining experience, there are countless opportunities. Order a picnic lunch hamper and a boat to drop you on a secluded beach. Go all out with a private candle-lit table under a gazebo on the beach. Dress up and spend up at a fine dining restaurant like Ports O'Call in the Sheraton Fiji Resort. If you're looking to stay in, choose gourmet room service on the balcony of your ocean-view bure.
9. Dive into the deeper marine world
Whether you're already a diver or want to learn, Fiji can show you an amazing time beneath the sea. You'll have the chance to see manta rays (seasonally), turtles and reef sharks at outstanding dive sites in the Beqa Lagoon, Savusavu, Taveuni, Kadavu and the Suncoast (Bligh Water). Jean-Michel Cousteau, who has a dive resort in Savusavu on Vanua Levu, calls Fiji the 'soft coral capital of the world'.
10. Volunteer to make your holiday more meaningful
Vinaka Fiji is a charitable organisation that enables travellers to give back to Fiji's people and environment. You can volunteer some of your holiday time to help with education in remote schools, sustainability initiatives and agriculture in villages, or marine research and conservation. It's a wonderful way to learn about Fijian culture and make a difference to the country's future.