Monday, 16 September 2013

Top 5 Islands in Fiji to visit

Fiji consists of more than 300 islands. There are many things to do and see on the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.  Each island has its own personality, and various accommodation options for travellers. If you would like to get off the beaten track and relax on one of the smaller islands in Fiji, then make sure to visit one of the following islands in your next trip and I guarantee you will thoroughly enjoy it.

Fiji Islands Map
Fiji Islands  |  Map  |  Groups of Islands

Mamanuca Group of Islands

The Mamanuca group of islands are a chain of 20 islands off western Viti Levu (near Nadi). It is one of the most established resort areas in Fiji, providing a stunning array of activities for all types of travellers. You are spoilt for choice in this group of Islands and its popularity has been heightened due to filming in the area. Starring in 'Cast Away' and 'Survivor: Fiji' these islands offer various activities like para-sailing, windsurfing, dolphin watching, diving, surfing and just about any other water activity you may wish to pursue.

You can experience famous dives such as the Big W and Gotham City, and if you love surfing, some of the worlds famous surf breaks like Cloudbreak, Desperation and Restaurant are sure to delight. My two personal picks from this group of islands are Mana and Castaway.

Mana Island  |  Fiji

Mana Island

Mana has its own airstrip so getting there is easy. Domestic flights arrive daily from Nadi International Airport and the journey takes about 12 minutes. Alternatively the ferry transfer provides a slower and scenic route.

The Mana Island Resort & Spa is an affordable accommodation choice that is ideal for a wide range of travellers including couples, families and groups. They cater for honeymooners, weddings and those travelling with young children. It has accommodation and facilities suited for most needs. There is also the more modern yet traditional 'bures' (traditional hut) with each having their own ambiance and features to suit different needs from catering for small to large groups.

There are various types of land and aqua activities for you to participate in while your kids can be minded by the friendly staff at the resort. Here they will be learning about the Fijian culture, partake in nature walks and traditional Fijian games hence, making this island very family friendly.

You can access more information through Mana Island Resort and Spas website.

Castaway Island  |  Fiji

Castaway Island

The small and secluded Castaway Island is officially known as Qalito. Please do not confuse this with Monuriki Island, which was the backdrop in the acclaimed Tom Hanks movie Cast Away which is also known as Island of Cast Away. If you want to visit Monuruki Island, staff at Castaway can arrange a trip for you. Access to Castaway Island is a short trip by either helicopter or a boat ride from Denarau or seaplane from Nadi International Airport.

Castaway Island is a popular resort for couples, honeymooners and families and anyone looking for the ultimate island experience. It is blessed with white sandy beaches and tall palm trees with one of the best ocean views in the world. As a private island that has its own resort, you can choose to stay in your own private 'bure' (traditional hut) configured to your needs. This island also offers various activities including island style massages, beach volleyball, walks around the tropical island or even a game of tennis. There are water activities like scuba diving, surfing, snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, para-sailing, catamaran sailing, water skiing and diving facilities using their award winning Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) Five Star Gold Palm Dive.

They have been awarded Best Overseas Family Resort and Best Overseas Resort, finishing in second place in the 2013 Luxury Travel Mag Gold List Awards including Trip Advisors' Travelers' Family Choice Award 2013.

You can access more information through the Castaway Islands website.

Yasawa Group of islands

The Yasawa group of islands stretches in a long thin chain from Waya Island in the south to Yasawa Island, 80 kilometres to the north. It is less commercialised compared to the Mamanuca group of islands though no less beautiful. There are resorts to suit every budget from basic backpacker to luxury. My personal pick from this group of Islands is Turtle Island.

Turtle Island
Turtle Island  |  Fiji

Turtle Island

Turtle Island is one of the most beautiful resorts you will come across with miles of empty white beaches, acres of lush rain forest, and a horizon of sapphire blue sea that can be seen from every direction. It is about five hundred acre private island of unspoiled tropical beauty that has 14 'bures' (traditional hut). It has also has won the Trip Advisors’ 2013 Certificate of Excellence!

To get to this island you will need to get a 30 minute flight by seaplane from Nadi International Airport. Turtle Island charters transfers for its guests which is usually by seaplane although on occasions this may be by boat. Bear in mind that there may not be a flight leaving Nadi for Turtle Island everyday so it is useful to check departures with the resort prior to booking your accommodation.

Turtle Island is, by design, a private island reserved for couples only but they have listened to their visitors' requests and created specific "family friendly" dates to their monthly booking schedule, making it possible for you to bring the entire family. Family dates only pop up on the calendar two or three times every 12 months, so you will have to book in advance if you want to bring the kids along. You can rent the entire island as well, if you would like. This makes Turtle Island the perfect place not only for your wedding but for corporate events or group gatherings as well.

The biggest positive about staying here is you will get the ultimate pampering, a beach all to yourself and a personal attendant. You do however a limited selection of meals and dinners are communal but guests also have the option to dine alone. There are several secluded island locations such as a secluded beach, mountain top, or on a floating pontoon on the Blue Lagoon to name a few. Six-night stay is a minimum and if all that doesn't bother you then you are in for a great holiday at Turtle Island Resort.

There is a plethora of water and land based activities to do here. Water based activities include swimming, snorkelling, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing, kayaking, fishing, and more. Land based activities include horseback riding, bike riding, walking the islands trails, beach picnics, Fijian kava (traditional drink) ceremonies, garden tours to name a few.

You can access more information through Turtle Island Resort.

Toberua Island
Toberua Island  |  Fiji

Toberua Island, Lomaiviti Group of islands

This island is a private island located in the Lomaiviti Group, east of Viti Levu. To get to this tiny coral atoll, you will need a ten minute vehicle transfer from Nausori Airport to Nakelo Landing, followed by a 30 minute scenic boat ride along the Navaloa River to the Bau Waters where you will arrive at your island destination. It has one resort only so it is advisable to let the Toberua Island Resort know of your arrival so that they can arrange transfers for you as required.

This island is in a region far removed from the more popular and bigger resorts of Fiji and offers guests a quiet, laid-back retreat. Toberua Island Resort consists of 15 bures (traditional hut) all with ocean views, private verandas and hammocks. It is perfect for couples or families alike, there are 3 bure styles to choose from including Deluxe, Tropical and Premium. Free of charge activities include snorkelling, hobie cat, wind surf, kayaks, 9 hole round of golf, volley ball, pool table, table tennis, board games, basket weaving and coconut husking demonstration.

This is an island that I have travelled as a child and I can vividly remember the beautiful white sandy beaches and stunning clear waters. It is one of the islands that would definitely go back for a visit.

You can access more information through Toberua Island Resort.

Royal Davui Island
Royal Davui Island  |  Fiji

Royal Davui Island

Royal Davui Island Resort is a luxury Fijian experience. This exclusive adults only resort is situated in the Beqa Lagoon, off the Southern coast of Viti Levu. With only 16 rooms in total, Royal Davui Island Resort has a maximum 32 guests on the island offering accommodation with views of the stunning Beqa Lagoon. The Beqa Lagoon and nearby Beqa Island are a very special part of Fiji, famous to the Fijians as the home to the fire walkers of Beqa Island. A unique breed of Fijians whom over time have been known for their abilities to walk over fire and hot coals as part of a traditional Fijian ceremony.

This island accommodation is the ultimate romantic getaway, whether it be for your wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, birthday or to share a wonderful Fijian experience with someone special. Each room features a king bed, plunge pools, sun decks, double showers and spa baths. All non-motorised water activities such as snorkeling, hobie cat sailing and kayaking are complimentary. Royal Davui Island Resort does not cater for children under 17 years of age. It is also recognised as one of the best romantic hotels in the world winning Trip Advisor Travelers' Choice Award 2013.

You can access more information through Royal Davui Island Resort.

Have you been to any of these islands before? What was your experience? Please feel free to share and comment below.

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