Food Activities in the Yasawa Islands
If you travel for food, then you know that cuisine can say a lot about a culture. That’s certainly the case in the Yasawa Islands of Fiji where the locals are proud to share their cooking methods, most going unchanged for hundreds of years. Foodies in the Yasawas will get to experience the Fijian culture through cooking lessons, welcoming ceremonies involving a “kava” drink, traditional “lovo” feasts and so much more. Get inspired for your next foodie getaway with this list of things to do in the Yasawa Islands for foodies.
Plus, don’t miss our The Foodie Guide to the Yasawa Islands.
1. Learn a New Recipe in a Fijian Cooking Lesson
Learning how to cook Fijian cuisine is an absolute must-do for any foodie visiting the Yasawas. At Naqalia Lodge, guests have the opportunity to learn Fijian cooking methods, like cooking on a fire using leaves and coconuts. Or how about a cooking demonstration using freshly caught seafood when staying at the all-inclusive Yasawa Island Resort? Cooking lessons are also available at Paradise Cove Resort, Blue Lagoon Resort, Barefoot Manta Resort, Mantaray Island Resort and many of the Yasawa Island homestays.
2. Try a Traditional Lovo Feast
Visitors to the Yasawa Islands have the privilege to taste the smokey flavours of a traditional lovo feast – food slow-cooked in an underground oven. Watch the unveiling of the lovo then tuck into a feast of mouthwatering meat, fish and vegetables. While lovos are a staple of many resorts in the Yasawas, the Barefoot Manta Resort gives guests the opportunity to weave their own dinner plates and enjoy a cooking lesson before tucking into the lovo feast.
3. Take Part in a Kava Ceremony
Kava ceremonies are a traditional welcoming ceremony for new visitors to a village. With that in mind, it will be a staple of your village visit if you are doing a homestay in the Yasawas, so don’t forget to bring yaqona (kava root) as a gift (sevusevu). See Fiji Village Etiquette: What to Do When Visiting a Fijian Village for more advice. At resorts, guests will still get to experience this signature tradition. For instance, Paradise Cove Resort and Yasawa Island Resort have a kava ceremony night once a week, while the Navutu Stars Resort has a kava-drinking session on Friday afternoons.
4. Catch Your Own Dinner in Handline Fishing or Spearfishing
Catch your own dinner using fishing methods that have been used on the islands for hundreds of years. Join the crew of the Mantaray Island Resort for a short stroll to a nearby reef to try your luck. The resort also does spearfishing trips, as does Naqalia Lodge mixing stunning underwater landscapes with catching dinner!
5. Treat Your Loved One to a Beach Picnic
Mix romance, spectacular scenery and gourmet cuisine in a Yasawa Islands beach picnic. Resort chefs will prepare you a picnic fit for a king before you and your lucky partner are transported to a secluded beach. This romantic dining experience is available at resorts such as the Yasawa Island Resort, Barefoot Manta, Navutu Stars and Turtle Island Fiji. Learn more about where to stay in our 10 Accommodation in the Yasawa Islands for Foodies.
6. See a Tropical Productive Garden on a Garden Tour
Many of the resorts grow their own produce for their restaurants, so you can get an amazing insight into island life with one of the resorts’ garden tours. Learn how different types of fruit and vegetables grow at the Botaira Island Resort with their informative Eco-Garden Tours. Alternatively, Turtle Island Fiji offers tours of their 5-acre (2ha) garden growing fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices. Finally, Nanuya Island Resort offers tours of their own plantation on request.
7. Do a Cruise of the Yasawas with Foodie Activities Included
For the ultimate convenience of your accommodation, dining, activities and transport included, consider a small ship cruise of the Yasawa Islands. Blue Lagoon Cruises offer cruises around the Yasawa Islands for three, four and seven nights, departing from Port Denarau. For foodies, activities available on the cruise agenda include Fijian cooking lessons, a traditional lovo, as well as onboard meals such as an a la carte Captain’s Dinner and themed buffets.
8. Attend a Luxurious Dinner Party on Turtle Island
Guests at the five-star Turtle Island Fiji resort and private island have the opportunity to attend their nightly “Dinner Parties”. Hosted in a different unique location each night, the Turtle Island dinner parties offer dining in the tropical gardens, on the mountaintops or on the beach – the possibilities are endless on a private island! The evening ends with a kava ceremony, storytelling and meke (traditional song and dance).
9. Get an Authentic Fijian Food Experience in a Village Homestay
For a truly authentic Fijian dining experience, it’s worth booking yourself a night or two in a village homestay. Fijian families open their home to guests wanting to share their way of living and, most importantly, share their food! Food is simple, shrouded in tradition yet flavoursome, making it an eye-opening and honouring experience to be a part of. Check out our 10 Budget Homestays in the Yasawa Islands for homestay recommendations.
10. Enjoy a Private Dinner on the Beach
To celebrate a special occasion, pop the question or “just because”, treat that special someone to a romantic dinner for two. Indulge in a gourmet three-course meal at a private table on a secluded beach or waterfront venue. This experience is available at resorts such as Mantaray Island, Barefoot Manta and Navutu Stars.