What are the Best Islands in Fiji?
We get it: after discovering there are around 330 islands in Fiji, you probably had a panic about which one to choose. 330 islands is a whole lot of islands! How are you ever meant to choose an island for your Fiji getaway?! Well, wonder no more as we give you an overview of what many consider the best islands in Fiji, from the largest (and easiest) islands to get to, to the more scattered island groups. If one of the island groups turn out to be the right fit for you, then we recommend deciding on an island based on which one has the resort or accommodation experience that sounds the best to you. With that, you’ll find your own best island in Fiji!
The Best Islands in Fiji for…
We all have a different idea of what “best” means in terms of an island getaway. Here are some of the best islands in Fiji for different activities and experiences.
These are the best islands in Fiji for…
- Beaches: Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands
- Scuba diving: Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Kadavu
- Surfing: Mamanuca Islands, Taveuni, Kadavu
- Hiking: Taveuni, Viti Levu
- Fijian culture: Yasawa Islands, Taveuni
- History: Lomaiviti Islands
- Remoteness: Lau Islands, Kadavu
- Towns & cities: Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Denarau Island
- Luxury: Mamanuca Islands, Viti Levu, Denarau Island
- Budget: Yasawa Islands, Viti Levu, Lomaiviti Islands
- Food: Taveuni, Kadavu, Viti Levu
The Mamanuca Islands
Looking for paradise? Picturing islands scattered across turquoise waters? You’ll find it in the Mamanuca Islands of Fiji. This group of 20-something islands is the closest island group to Nadi International Airport, making it a super popular choice for travellers seeking that island resort holiday. The islands are either uninhabited or harbouring resorts, from backpacker accommodation to five-star adult-only luxury retreats and everything in between. If you want that island getaway that’s not too difficult to get to, choose the Mamanuca Islands.
Start exploring the Mamanuca Islands with The Complete Guide to the Mamanuca Islands.
The Yasawa Islands
Travel further north from the Mamanucas and you’ll reach the Yasawa Islands. This is a larger scattering of islands, big and small, featuring rugged volcanic peaks and, of course, gorgeous beaches. While similar to the Mamanuca Islands in many ways, the Yasawa Islands feels more remote, where life moves at a slower pace and immersing in the Fijian culture is all part of the parcel. Manta ray swimming is a highlight from May to October, as are day trips to the limestone Sawa-i-Lau Caves and the Blue Lagoon. Or simply unwinding in your resort is a good way to spend your “Fiji time” here.
Sounds like the islands you’ve always dreamed of visiting? Take a further look at The Complete Guide to the Yasawa Islands.
For the traveller who isn’t quite ready to disconnect from the world, who wants a few urban comforts mixed with fabulous resorts, Denarau Island could be for you. The manmade island is connected to the mainland (Viti Levu) by a causeway, taking only around 20 minutes to reach from Nadi International Airport. At the centre of it all is an 18-hole championship golf course, surrounded by glamorous five-star resorts. The island has a small town looking out to a marina where tours and transport depart for the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. So if you’re looking for a fly-and-flop holiday, perhaps with the chance of visiting outer islands or exploring inland, then consider Denarau Island as your best island in Fiji.
Sounds like your sort of thing? See more about Denarau in The Complete Guide to Denarau Island.
Viti Levu is Fiji’s largest island and the arrival island of most visitors. As a holiday destination, the island presents a huge array of experiences, from relaxing in resorts to scuba diving in vibrant coral reefs. But unlike the outer islands of Fiji, Viti Levu also offers some amazing inland experiences, where it’s possible to do white water rafting down vast river canyons, visit picture-perfect waterfalls, and have cultural experiences in remote Fijian villages.
There are several regions to explore across Viti Levu, each with its own drawcards, from the adventure-fuelled Pacific Harbour to the sandy shores of the Coral Coast. Active travellers could explore them all by hiring a car and creating an itinerary around the island on the Queens Road and Kings Road. Learn more about each region in the appropriate guides below:
For the traveller who knows that a tropical paradise can mean more than just breathtaking beaches, Taveuni is an island topped with wonderful wilderness. Nicknamed “the Garden Island”, Taveuni is mostly made up of the Bouma National Park, a rainforest awash in waterfalls, remote villages and verdant forest. Snorkel in marine reserves, stay with the locals or in a luxury resort – whatever your style, hit the surfing waves and go horse riding on the beach. All in all, Taveuni is a nature-lover’s dream. Find this island in the north of the Fiji archipelago, accessed by domestic flight.
Want to learn more about the Garden Island? Get a load of The Complete Guide to Taveuni.
The Best of the Rest
Need more ideas? Not convinced that the above islands are the “best islands in Fiji”? Then you might be more drawn to Fiji’s lesser-known islands, definitely the best options for the intrepid traveller or those seeking something a bit more exclusive.
Fiji’s second-largest islands sit in the northern reaches of the Fiji archipelago, offering a fabulous of off-the-beaten-track luxury resorts, as well as a few budget options. The islands are home to a few small towns, hot springs, forest parks and marine reserves with excellent scuba diving. Find out more in The Complete Guide to Vanua Levu.
Located just off the east coast of Viti Levu, the Lomaiviti Islands is best compared to the Mamanucas or the Yasawas, but far less travelled. The resorts here mostly cater to the budget market, but there are a couple of luxury resorts that soak up the tranquil setting in style. The Lomaiviti Islands are also full of history, being the main centre where the colonisation of Fiji began. Find out more in The Complete Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands.
A 50-minute flight from Nadi, located in the south of Fiji, Kadavu is an island option usually enticing travellers who have seen much of Fiji before. It presents the alternative Fiji holiday experience in down-to-earth eco-friendly resorts that provide an authentic Fijian experience. Scuba diving and manta ray swimming are popular here, as well as surfing on uncrowded breaks and visiting secluded waterfalls in the rainforest. Discover more in The Complete Guide to Kadavu.
You’ll be extremely lucky (or rich) if you make it to the Lau Islands. The largest and most scattered island group, the Lau Islands are untouched tropical paradises. Only one resort can be found among its clear waters. It’s a popular group for yachties to explore. Find out more in The Complete Guide to the Lau Islands.