fiji islands

Fiji Islands: Ultimate Travel Guide + 4 Best Islands

Famous for its stunning beaches, tropical weather, and world-class snorkeling and scuba diving, the islands of Fiji are a South Pacific paradise you need to see to believe.

The Fiji islands are more than just a destination for laying on a beach and relaxing in a resort; offering incredible eco-tourism opportunities, chances for one-of-a-kind cultural experiences with locals, and unforgettable adventure travel opportunities, you’ll be hard-pressed not to find what you’re looking for in Fiji.

In this ultimate guide to the Fiji islands, you’ll find everything you need to know about these idyllic islands, including where to stay in Fiji and the best hotels and resorts for every type of traveler. Get inspired with travel ideas and inside tips to plan the Fijian holiday of your dreams.

Viti Levu Fiji Island
ChameleonsEye / Depositphotos

This post contains affiliate links that may reward me monetarily or otherwise when you use them to make qualifying purchases – at no cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, please read our disclosure policy.

Fiji Islands

Best known for their stunning landscapes, including white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant coral reefs, the Fiji islands are one of the most impressive destinations for the dreamy South Pacific island getaway you’ve been dreaming of. These natural wonders make Fiji a popular destination for eco-tourism, as well as for outdoor activities such as snorkeling, diving, and unending water sports.

Located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, the island nation of Fiji Islands is in a remote part of the ocean near island nations like the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and the Cook Islands.

Fiji has two major islands, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, which combined account for more than three-quarters of the country’s land area. However, Fiji consists of over 330 islands in total, although only about a third of these are inhabited.

In addition to its major population centers, Fiji is home to several smaller islands and major island groups, including the following:

  • Taveuni Island
  • Kadavu Island
  • The Mamanuca Islands
  • The Yasawa Islands
  • The Lomaiviti Islands
  • The Lau Islands

For the most part, tourism in Fiji is concentrated on the country’s largest islands, as well as nearby island groups like the Mamanuca Islands, the Yasawa Islands, and, to a lesser extent, the Lomaiviti Islands. Fiji’s more remote islands and island groups are both harder to access and currently lack much of the infrastructure needed to sustain more robust tourism.

Visitors from most countries, including the United States and Australia, can enter Fiji for up to four months without a visa. Frequent flights into the Nadi International Airport make the country extremely accessible for travelers; in fact, Fiji is less than ten hours from the west coast of the United States.

Where To Stay in Fiji

You really can’t go wrong with choosing to stay in any of Fiji’s islands; every corner of the country seems to have its own unique beauty, stunning oceanfront, and rich culture to experience firsthand. However, there are a few larger Fiji islands and stand-out island groups in Fiji that are particularly attractive to travelers.

Well-loved for their plentiful accommodation options, ease of transport, and stunning natural beauty, island groups like the Mamanuca Islands and Yasawa Islands in the west of the country, and the major islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, are the most popular Fiji islands to choose from for your stay.

Looking for specific recommendations? Consider these popular destinations in Fiji for every type of traveler:

  • Viti Levu: The best Fiji island for fuss-free travel, or adventure travel
  • Mamanuca Islands: The best Fiji islands for pristine beaches and crystal-clear water
  • Yasawa Islands: The best Fiji islands for snorkeling and diving
  • Lomaiviti Islands: The best Fiji islands for seclusion and off-the-beaten-path getaways
mamanuca islands fiji
DonyaNedomam / Depositphotos

Best Fiji Islands

Viti Levu

The largest island of the Fiji islands, Viti Levu is home to the country’s capital city of Suva, as well as Fiji’s major international airport in Nadi. Here you’ll find all the amenities you’re looking for, including the most easily accessible hotels and resorts, making it a popular Fiji island destination for travelers on a tight itinerary or those looking for the most fuss-free vacation.

Viti Levu is also home to a large and lush yet diverse interior, including the Nasivi Range, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscape. If you’re looking for something a little bit more from your Fiji islands vacation, sticking to Viti Levu can be a great way to enjoy all the adventure sports, hiking, and incredible flora and fauna of Fiji.

Don’t overlook Viti Levu when looking for that dreamy tropical Fiji vacation you’ve been dreaming of; it is an important cultural and economic center for Fiji and a popular tourist destination for those looking to explore the beauty of the Pacific islands. Or, consider splitting your time between Viti Levu and another island destination in the country.

Where To Stay in Viti Levu

Budget travelers love Viti Levu for its abundance of affordable guest houses, hostels, and comfortable places to stay. While luxury travelers tend to prefer more remote islands in the Mamanuca Islands or even further astride, Fiji’s main island also has plenty to offer in the way of luxury resorts, with white sand beaches and incredible amenities to put the private island resorts to shame.

Looking for inspiration for where to stay in Viti Levu? These are some of the best spots:

Guess what? Nanuku Resort and Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay are some of the very best resorts in Fiji. Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Bay even boasts stunning overwater bures, Fiji’s answer to the overwater bungalows of the Maldives.

Read More: 10 Best Resorts in Fiji

Mamanuca Islands

Located just west of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, the Mamanuca Islands are some of the most impressive and popular islands in the entire Fijian archipelago. Easily accessible, pristine, and home to a variety of both budget-friendly and over-the-top luxurious hotels and resorts, they’re among the best Fiji islands for travelers, and for many reasons.

The Mamanucas are the most accessible of Fiji’s islands groups, making them a popular choice with travelers. With frequent ferries and water taxis departing Viti Levu from Nadi, you can reach these islands in under an hour from Fiji’s international airport. Despite their easy access, the Mamanuca Islands retain that secluded feel you’re surely looking for in an island getaway.

The Mamanuca Islands offer a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural experiences on the larger islands like Malolo and Mana, and adventure activities, making them an ideal destination for travelers looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Fiji’s larger and more populous islands. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious vacation or an eco-friendly adventure, the Mamanuca Islands are sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Read More: Mamanuca Islands, Fiji: Ultimate Travel Guide

Where To Stay in the Mamanuca Islands

The Mamanuca Islands have among the best selection of places to stay among Fiji’s major island groups. You’ll find everything from backpacker-friendly hostels and guesthouses to out-of-this-world resorts on private islands. These are some of the standout favorite places to stay in the Mamanuca Islands:

Looking for a truly special stay in the Mamanuca Islands? VOMO Island is a private island resort among the very best in the South Pacific. Come for the delicious food, incredible scenery, the expansive views from Mt. Vomo, and the resort’s PADI dive center, where you can arrive without diving experience and leave fully certified.

Even better? VOMO Island is one of the world’s best eco resorts! Expect an Earth-positive getaway with sustainability and conservation at the center of your experience.

yasawa islands fiji
DonyaNedomam / Depositphotos

Yasawa Islands

The Yasawa Islands are a chain of 20 volcanic islands in Fiji. They are located to the northwest of the main island of Viti Levu and are known for their stunning scenery, clear waters, and pristine beaches. Just northeast of the Mamanuca Islands, they’re another one of the most popular island groups for travelers to Fiji.

The Yasawa Islands are popular with tourists for activities such as snorkeling, diving, and exploring the local villages, though they’re perhaps best known for their snorkeling and diving. Surrounded by the warm waters of the Coral Sea, these islands have ideal conditions for the growth of coral reefs and other forms of marine life. Clear waters allow for excellent visibility, making it possible for snorkelers to see a variety of colorful fish, coral, and other underwater creatures.

While hotels and resorts often offer their own small group and private snorkeling and diving excursions, you can also find excursions from Nadi, the Mamanuca Islands, or other destinations across Fiji.

With frequent ferry access to the Yasawa Islands from Nadi on Viti Levu, as well as plenty of options for private transport, it’s quite easy to access the Yasawa Islands – even affordable. Another popular option for travelers is booking an overnight excursion from the mainland or a multi-day cruise around the Yasawa Islands for a more active vacation.

Where To Stay in the Yasawa Islands

In the Yasawa Islands, you’ll find plenty of popular resorts and hotels to choose from, and at various price points, making them a popular destination for everyone from backpackers to luxury travelers looking for private island stays.

These are some of the best hotels and resorts in the Yasawa Islands:

One of the most impressive resorts in Fiji, Turtle Island, is located on a lush private island in the heart of the Yasawa Islands. Selected by Condé Nast Traveller as the best resort in Fiji in 2022, it is an oasis offering both the best in luxury and in the natural beauty of the surrounding islands.

Turtle Island is also known as the longest-running ecotourism operation in the South Pacific, raising the bar with its forward-thinking sustainability and conservation projects. From the resort’s founding, over 250 native species of flora and fauna have been reintroduced on the island, and hundreds of thousands of trees have been planted, turning back the clock and restoring environments to paradise.

Vanua Levu

Vanua Levu is the second largest island in Fiji and is known for its rugged landscapes, lush forests, and remote beaches. Unlike the more developed and tourist-oriented island of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu offers a more authentic and off-the-beaten-path experience, making it an ideal destination for those seeking adventure and cultural immersion.

Despite being one of the larger population centers in Fiji, Vanua Levu is less developed than the main island of Viti Levu, offering a more authentic and serene experience than you’ll find there. It’s a perfect cross between the more remote island groups in Fiji and Viti Levu.

While you’ll find great places to stay all around the island, one of the most popular areas for travelers is Savusavu. Located in a bay surrounded by lush hills and tropical forests, it’s a stunning place to explore or to call home for your Fiji islands vacation. The area is also known for its clear waters, making it a popular spot for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Savusavu is home to several thermal springs, which are popular with locals and visitors alike.

Where To Stay on Vanua Levu

Looking for some of our favorite places to stay in Vanua Levu? These are some of the most popular guest houses and resorts on the island:

For a one-of-a-kind stay on Vanua Levu, make sure to pick Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort in Savusavu. This resort is one of the best resorts in Fiji and is located in a pristine area perfect for snorkeling, diving, or just kicking back and relaxing on white sand beaches.

carley rojas avila

Carley Rojas Avila is a bilingual New York-based travel writer, editor, content marketer, and the founder of the digital travel publications Explorers Away and Home to Havana. Carley is an expert on all things Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba, having lived and worked in four different countries in the region. Her writing has appeared on the Associated Press wires and in Travel + Leisure, Yahoo, MSN, Euronews, The Weather Channel, and more. When she's not writing about her travels, find her front row at a Bad Bunny concert, befriending street cats, and taste-testing every pizza in Havana.