The Fiji Islands are, without exaggeration, a paradise for those who love nature, the endless sea, white sand and solitude. Holidays on the Fiji Islands will be remembered for a lifetime with bright and colorful photos, and in your dreams you will see long clean beaches, blue water lagoons, coral gardens and hills covered with wild forests for a long time to come. Despite the industrialization that has touched this paradise, there is not everything that it usually brings with it. Even nature showed mercy by ridding the islands of malarial mosquitoes, spiders and poisonous reptiles.
Political structure and geographical features
The composition of Fiji, which is an island nation and an archipelago of the same name, includes about three hundred islands (including the «Heart of Fiji», Tavarua Island), of which only about a hundred are inhabited by people. At the same time, half of the territory of the state is one island, Viti Levu, on which Suva, the capital of Fiji, is located. The second largest piece of land is Vanua Levu. The rest of the islands are small sandy mounds rising on coral reefs. In general, the area of Fiji occupies a little more than 18 thousand square meters. km, and the population is 849 thousand people.
In order not to wonder where Fiji is for a long time, just look at the world map in the South Pacific Ocean, a little north of New Zealand. It is this area that first welcomes the new day, enjoying the rays of the rising sun.
According to its structure, Fiji is a republic, the flag of which depicts the national canvas of Great Britain on a blue background and a coat of arms, which is the central element of the coat of arms of the island state. These elements are reminiscent of the colonial past of the islands. The national language in Fiji is considered to be Fijian and English, but very often you can hear Hindi conversations here. This is dictated by the ethnic composition of the state, among which over 37% are Fiji-Indians.
The main currency in Fiji is the local dollar. Paying with foreign money is not accepted here. There are no problems with the exchange currency, but the easiest way is to convert American, Australian and New Zealand dollars.
Climate and nature in Fiji
The weather on the islands is influenced by a humid, hot, tropical climate. Summer here begins in November and ends in the last days of May, but the average temperature fluctuates between +24 … +28 ° С throughout the year. Winter differs from summer only in the absence of a large amount of precipitation. In summer, it rains with enviable frequency, even hurricanes in November-April are not uncommon. But the water in the inter-island sea of Fiji and the Pacific Ocean always stays at around 25-27 ° C. The tourist season in Fiji lasts from May to November, when the weather conditions in the country are most comfortable for recreation.
The unique climate favors a huge variety of flora and fauna. The islands miraculously preserved unique species of flora and fauna. For example, rare species of iguanas live on the territory of the Orchid Island cultural center, which is located near the Fijian capital, and in the Kula Ecopark you can see birds that live in the tropics in the mountains.
Cities and resorts in Fiji
Among the largest cities in Fiji are the following: Suva, Nandi, Lautoka and Sigatoka on Viti Levu, Savusavu on Vanua Levu and Levuka on the island of Ovalau.
The beaches on all the islands are sandy, and the entry into the sea or ocean is mostly gentle. Each hotel has its own section of the beach, but any vacationer can sunbathe here. On the island of Denarau, separated from Viti Levu by a canal with a road bridge, there are only two establishments, but they are considered the best in the world. There are several bungalows here for those who prefer a «wild» holiday.
With endless white sand beaches and palm trees, Vatulele Resort has 12 villas. They are located at a distance sufficient for a comfortable stay, and each has its own beach. If you are the owner of a wedding package in Fiji, we recommend staying on the island of Wakaya. The maximum number of guests is only 12 people. You will remember this honeymoon for the rest of your life! And the most luxurious and expensive options will be offered to you by the owners of 30 villas located on the resort island of Vomo. By the way, a wedding in Fiji is a common thing. There are so colorful and bewitching ceremonies here that couples from all over the world come here to get married. The most popular in this regard is Yasawa Island.
Entertainment and attractions in Fiji
While relaxing on Fiji’s sandy beaches, take time out of your busy schedule to visit local attractions. Most of them can be seen in the number of sightseeing tours, and some are worth visiting alone. In particular, we are talking about such places:
- Viti Levu. It is here that the capital of the state is based. Traveling around the island, tourists can visit the Fiji Museum, look at the old parliament building, visit the church of St. Francis Xavier Hai, the Sigatoka Sand Dunes and the Koroyanitu National Heritage Park. On this Fiji island, around Pacific Harbor, the most popular resorts are based. In addition, the highlands of Nausori are located here. In addition to the enchanting landscapes and majestic mountains, the tourist has the opportunity to get acquainted with the flora of Fiji in the botanical garden with the poetic name «Garden of the Sleeping Giant».
- Vanua Levu. The island’s only town, Savusavu, was founded in the 17th century when the British got used to exporting sandalwood from here, and retains the atmosphere of that period to this day. On the island, you can visit several traditional villages and look at the way of life of the local population, their traditions and customs. In addition, there are an astonishing number of pristine coral reefs around the island, which gives diving enthusiasts a sense of awe.
- Mamanuca and Lau Islands in Fiji. It is worth going here solely in order to be alone with nature, admire the amazing landscapes and enjoy the snow-white beaches. The main advantage of these places is privacy.
- Ovalau Island. Here is the first colonial capital of Fiji, the city of Levuka. It contains many historical sites, which are also associated with the fact that in the 19th century the settlement was famous for whaling.
Vivid impressions will be given by visits to a sugar cane plantation, colorful ethnic markets, and a dolphinarium. The people of Fiji zealously honor traditions, so you can watch more than one ritual procession and show with national dances and songs. Of the available entertainment for tourists, it is also worth noting diving, rafting on traditional “bilibili” rafts, spearfishing, kayaking and water skiing.
Hotels in Fiji
If you came to Fiji in search of beauty and solitude, while not limited in financial resources, then you should choose your home on small remote islands. For example, you can opt for Sheraton Denarau Villas, Tokoriki Island Resort or Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa. Tourists have the opportunity to get a lot of impressions and new experience in an unusual underwater hotel in Fiji — Poseidon Undersea Resort. It is located near the Eleuthera reef and makes it possible to feel like a part of the underwater world. At a depth of 12 m there are 25 rooms with an area of 51 square meters. m.
If you are puzzled by the search for inexpensive housing, then you can solve this issue directly upon arrival in Fiji. Most often, cheap accommodation options are based in Suva, and you can find out about them at the offices of local travel agencies.
Cuisine and restaurants in Fiji
Traditional food in Fiji tends to please the stomachs of tourists. In addition to authentic local cuisine, you can try local variations of Korean, Indian and Chinese culinary traditions. Fijians love to cook food in an earthen oven (“lovo”), which gives it an interesting taste. The most commonly used are seafood, root vegetables and coconuts. In addition, the tourist is recommended to try such examples of local flavor among dishes as marinated fish stewed in coconut milk and lime juice (“kokoda”), collocation leaves baked in the same coconut milk (“palusame”) and a traditional drink for Fiji » kava, made from yangon roots. The latter, by the way, has a psychotropic effect on a person, so you need to be careful with its use.
Due to geographical features in Fiji, the public transport network is practically not developed. Buses run around Suva and the suburbs, but they do not have a clear schedule. In cities, it is best for tourists to use taxi services. You can travel between the islands by boat or, if the budget allows, by plane.
Fiji has two international airports: Nadi, located in the western part of the island of Viti Levu, and Nausori, which is located in the vicinity of the capital.
All shopping in Fiji is concentrated in Lautoka, the second largest city on Viti Levu. It is here that the largest ethnic market in the country is located. Most often, fruit, black pearl jewelry, coral and shell products are brought from Fiji. Popular souvenirs are also various ritual masks and objects, shark jaws and teeth, sandalwood products.
Life and traditions in Fiji
Fijians are very hospitable people, especially if their guests honor local traditions. For example, if you are going to visit a Fijian village, be sure to buy yangon root as a gift to the local leader. Thus, you will not only pay your respects, but also get the opportunity to participate in the traditional drinking of cava. While visiting, you should remember that touching the head of local residents is the strictest taboo. Even among the Fijians, it is considered bad form to refuse a gift — in this way you can offend the donor.
An interesting fact regarding tourism in Fiji is the ban on the import of any food, substances of plant or animal origin. The government argues this is a fragile ecosystem, which can be disrupted by any little thing. The violator is subject to a fine of $10,000.
Once the local population of Fiji was known as cannibals. With the advent of missionaries and Christianity, the traditions of eating people for breakfast have gone into oblivion, so tourists should not be afraid of this. However, it is still necessary to remember about elementary precautions: do not hitchhike, leave all valuables in the hotel safe, and arrange the rental of water transport there in advance. In addition, you should be aware that several species of poisonous marine life and sharks are found off the coast of the islands. Before traveling to Fiji, it is recommended to get vaccinated against cholera, typhoid, polio and hepatitis B.
For Russians, a visa to Fiji is not needed, if you do not delay the trip for a period exceeding 90 days. A tourist receives an entry permit automatically at the airport if he has a valid passport, return tickets and confirmation of the availability of funds in his bank account.
How to get to Fiji?
The most economical way to travel to the islands is to use the services of Korean Air. On the way, you will have to make one connection: from Moscow to Seoul, and then transfer to a flight to Nadi. On the way back, you will have to spend the night in the capital of South Korea, so you need to apply for a Korean transit visa in advance.
You can also get to Fiji via Tokyo, Japan Air Lines and Air Pacific, but this option is more expensive and takes longer.