In the out-islands of Fiji, you can experience a calming sense of detachment from the world. Lovely beaches, clear blue lagoons and jungle-clad volcanic peaks aside, it is the native Fijians you will remember most, their easygoing manner and spontaneous good humor unmatched by any culture in the world. The main island of Viti Levu is where the international airport, 75% of the population, most of the tourists and all of the group-oriented hotels are located. Aside from Nanuku on the south coast, Fiji’s greatest treasures lie beyond, among the country’s 333 unspoiled islands scattered along the international date line. These sanctuaries allow you to experience authentic Fijian culture while relaxing at superlative resorts.
Americans tend to regard Fiji as a romantic destination for couples, but Australians rightly think of the country as ideal for a family vacation.
One of my favorite local dishes is kokoda, which is like ceviche with coconut milk.
Fiji’s rich craft heritage gives me yet one more thing to love about the country. A small, footed kava bowl, carved from a single piece of wood and sometimes inlaid with shell, makes a fine souvenir. Harder to find but easier to pack is tapa cloth, a unique, stiff fabric made from mulberry bark and decorated with geometric or zoomorphic designs.
To phone hotels in Fiji, dial 011 (international access) + 679 (Fiji code) + local numbers in listings.
June to September is the ideal time for a visit. December to April is the rainy season. There is little temperature variation year-round.
Fijian dollar (FJ$). Fluctuating rate valued at FJ$2.16 = US$1.00 as of August 2019. Note: Most of our suggested hotels quote rates in US$.
Suva, Tel. (679) 331-4466.
Seventeen hours ahead of New York (EST).