How to Plan the Ultimate Luxury Holiday to Fiji
Leave all your worries at home, you’re on Fiji time now… Fiji is a place where everything slows down and where you’ll have the time to take it all in, whether it’s the breathtaking smorgasbord of landscapes or the warm friendliness of the locals (and the weather). If you were wondering what the dream island getaway looks like, well… Fiji is an archipelago of 333 islands, so start planning your special getaway to the islands along with its diverse affair of destinations with this luxury travel guide to Fiji.
An Introduction to Fiji
Location: Fiji is in the South Pacific in the continent of Oceania. Fiji sits in the centre of Tonga, Wallis and Futuna, Vanuatu and New Caledonia and is about two-thirds of the way between Hawaii and New Zealand.
Land size: 18,274 km2 (7,056 mi2)
Climate: Daily average temperature – 25.5°C/77.9°F, average rainfall 1,826mm/71.9″ – 3,065mm/120.7″. Find out more in What is the Weather Like in Fiji? or scroll down to the “When to Visit” section of this luxury guide to Fiji.
Time zone: FJT / GMT+12/+13. Find out more in What is the Fiji Time Zone?
Languages: English, Fijian and Hindi. Find out more in What is the Fiji Language?
The Best Ways to Get to Fiji
Before considering travel to Fiji, you’ll need to see if you are actually able to travel due to restrictions put in place at the borders after the COVID-19 outbreak. Visit Tourism Fiji‘s website for the latest travel information.
If you are able to travel, what is the best way to get to Fiji? Fiji can be accessed by international flight, cruise ship or private sailing yachts. The most popular way to get to Fiji is by international flight, so let’s begin with that…
Flying to Fiji
Direct international flights come from Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Nauru, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Wallis & Futuna, the US and South Korea. If you are coming from further afield, then you will need to make a connecting flight most likely in Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Hawaii. See How Long Does it Take to Fly to Fiji? for more information.
Although Fiji has two international airports, around 97% of visitors to Fiji come via Nadi International Airport on the island of Viti Levu (Fiji’s main island). Learn more in our guide, Which Airport to Arrive in Fiji.
Cruises to Fiji
Fiji is on the itinerary of several South Pacific cruises from Australia, New Zealand and French Polynesia. There are five ports of call in Fiji, the main ones being Suva, Lautoka and Port Denarau. Find out about which cruiseliners have Fiji on their itinerary, as well as what to do at each port of call in The Guide to Taking a Cruise to Fiji.
Sailing to Fiji
Fiji is conveniently located at the centre of the Transpacific journey between the US and New Zealand. The yachting season is between May and October. Learn about the sailing formalities and the ports of entry in The Sailing Guide to Fiji.
A Note on Customs Declarations
Fiji has strict biosecurity measures at the border to stop unwanted pests and diseases from entering the country. Therefore, anyone arriving in Fiji has to declare any “risk items” they have packed in their luggage – even common items like food and sports gear. Be sure to read up on Everything You Need to Know About Arriving in Fiji so you are prepared.
Check out our complete guide on How to Get to Fiji for even more tips on making your way to the islands of Fiji.
The Best Time to Visit Fiji for a Luxury Holiday
Fiji is a tropical country and experiences warm temperatures throughout the year. It has two distinct seasons, a dry season which is drier and cooler, and a wet season which is hotter and humid. Learn more about the climate in What is the Weather Like in Fiji?
Dry Season (May to November)
The dry season is also known as the winter season in Fiji, although many would not describe it as winter with temperatures around 19-29°C (66-84°F). The rainfall per month is an average of 70-150mm (2.8-6″). The dry season is also the time for swimming with manta rays, surfing big waves, clearer scuba diving conditions and catching sailfish, skipjack tuna and wahoo.
Wet Season (December to April)
The wet season is hotter and more humid, with temperatures around 22-33°C (72-91°F) and an average monthly rainfall of 180-310mm (2.8-6″). This is also Fiji’s cyclone season, which means there’s a risk of cyclones (but only a risk, which you can learn more about in How to Prepare for a Cyclone in Fiji). The wet season is also the best time for catching Marlin, Yellowfin Tuna and Mahimahi, as well as avoiding other tourists.
Still can’t decide when the best time is to travel to Fiji? Check out our complete guide, The Best Time to Visit Fiji, which dives much deeper into the subject.
What to Pack for Fiji
Of course, packing is a very personal thing. We all have different needs and styles. The main thing you need to keep in mind when packing for Fiji, however, is a tropical wardrobe that includes some more modest items of clothing for visiting Fijian villages. A packing list for Fiji may look a little something like this:
- Shorts/Skirts/Dresses some below the knee for village visits
- Light shirts/T-shirts to cover the shoulders for village visits
- Light cotton shirt to cover arms for sun protection
- Sarong (Sulu) to cover your legs on village visits
- Light sleepwear
- Light jacket/Cardigan/Pashmina for cooler evenings
- Outfit for smart/casual dress-code restaurants at luxury resorts
- One-piece swimsuit for watersports/village stay for women
- Rash vest for sun and surf protection
- Light rain jacket if visiting in the wet season
- Reef shoes
- Walking shoes/sandals
And that’s just clothes! For a full packing list of everything to take, including accessories and toiletries, check out The Complete Packing List for Fiji.
Although the water in towns is generally safe to drink and luxury resorts provide safe drinking water, there is questionable drinking water in more remote islands – see Can You Drink the Water in Fiji? That coupled with high UV levels and the presence of mosquitos means that certain health products are essential to take to Fiji.
Fiji also has a fragile marine ecosystem so natural sunscreens and mosquito repellents are a must, while water purification bottles/tablets are preferable to buying bottled water for obvious environmental reasons. See our health essentials packing list in What Medication to Pack in Your First Aid Kit for Fiji.
The currency in Fiji is Fijian Dollars. While credit/debit cards are accepted in major resorts and businesses in Fiji’s towns, you should have cash available for taxis and visiting villages. If you need more information, just head to What is the Currency in Fiji?
How Long Should You Spend in Fiji
Admittedly, Fiji makes an idyllic getaway for just staying in the same resort for a few days to a week – and that’s fine; we all need some R&R from time to time. More intrepid travellers, however, will find that Fiji is an excellent country not only for island-hopping but road tripping around Viti Levu.
For those of you who want to explore, here’s what you can achieve in certain timeframes… (And don’t worry, we’ll get onto the destinations in the next few sections).
3 Days / A Long Weekend in Fiji
Over a long weekend, you will have enough time to explore Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast or perhaps take a quick trip to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. See an example itinerary in the Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 3 Days.
5 Days in Fiji
Five days is enough time for a quick island-hopping itinerary in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands or check out Fiji’s landscape of resorts and adventure activities along the Coral Coast and Pacific Harbour. Alternatively, take a charter flight to and between Vanua Levu and Taveuni. Check out our Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 5 Days for inspiration.
7 Days / One Week in Fiji
A week in Fiji gives you time to relax in any one of the island groups, but for those who want to move around, you could take a road trip around Viti Levu or do some island-hopping in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Alternatively, you could explore between the two less-visited islands, Vanua Levu and Taveuni. See Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 7 Days (Sand & Sea) or Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 7 Days (Culture & Nature) for trip ideas.
14 Days / Two Weeks in Fiji
14 days allows you to extend itineraries suggested for a week. It will also give you time to explore a mix of Viti Levu and the Mamanuca/Yasawa Islands or Viti Levu, Vanua Levu and Taveuni, or a week in Kadavu and a week in Viti Levu… Check out more suggestions in Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 14 Days.
Where to Visit: Luxury Travel to Viti Levu
If you’re looking for a fly-and-flop getaway, most find Fiji’s main island more than satisfactory. Viti Levu is Fiji’s largest island with several breathtaking destinations within one landmass. Viti Levu is a top choice for luxury travellers on a limited time or perhaps looking for more than just beaches.
Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast
You don’t need to travel far from Nadi International Airport before arriving in paradise. Nadi, Denarau and the Coral Coast are the closest regions to the airport ensuring that you transition into “Fiji time” quickly. Nadi has its own small yet indulgent selection of luxury resorts. Wherever you decide to spend your R&R time, you’ll also have the option to enjoy some exclusive tours from helicopter flights to heavenly spa treatments. Go to The Luxury Guide to Nadi for more information.
While Nadi is great, most seeking a luxury holiday close to the airport set their sights on Denarau, a manmade island that is exclusively home to five-star resorts, luxury apartments and private residences. Find out more in The Luxury Guide to Denarau Island.
For those desperate for golden-sand beaches tucked between lush palms and vibrant coral reefs, head to the Coral Coast. Stretching along the southern coast of Viti Levu, the Coral Coast is blessed with some exclusive five-star resorts offering a holiday that dreams are made of. Discover the Coral Coast further in The Luxury Guide to the Coral Coast.
Pacific Harbour, Suva and the Suncoast
Viti Levu’s Pacific Harbour, Suva and the Suncoast might be a little further from the airport, but those seeking adventure or want to get a little off the beaten track will be served here. The Pacific Harbour and Beqa Island are not only home to some of Fiji’s best scuba diving and river tours, but you’ll immerse in pure indulgence with spectacular fine dining and utterly relaxing day spas. Find out more in The Luxury Guide to Pacific Harbour & Beqa.
About 40 minutes drive from the Pacific Harbour is Fiji’s capital, Suva. Jam-packed with culture and city charm, Suva has very few but exclusive luxury accommodations, dining and activities to experience. Learn more in The Luxury Guide to Suva.
One of the best luxuries of the Suncoast is that not many people know about it yet. This northern side of Viti Levu provides a tranquil retreat on the sunniest side of the island. The Suncoast hides a wealth of luxury experiences, from having authentic cuisine prepared in your own private villa to staying on a private island. Find out more in The Luxury Guide to the Suncoast.
Where to Visit: Luxury Travel to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands
A mix of sandy coral atolls and rugged volcanic islands make up the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. Quick to get to, especially with a helicopter or seaplane charter, these island groups ensure a true island experience just a short flight from Nadi Airport or Denarau.
The Mamanuca Islands are some of Fiji’s most prestigious islands holding luxury resorts for the ultimate escape to paradise. With fine dining, stylish retreats in your private bure (bungalow), deluxe spas and an array of spectacular water and land activities, there’s enough to do as much or as little as you like on a luxury holiday in the Mamanuca Islands. Find out more about staying here in The Luxury Guide to the Mamanuca Islands.
Soft sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and lush tropical forests… The Yasawa Islands are a real piece of South Pacific paradise. There are only three five-star resorts here that offer unforgettable experiences to get you better connected to the local culture, nature and each other. See our guide in The Luxury Guide to the Yasawa Islands to find out more about them.
Where to Visit: Luxury Travel to Vanua Levu and Taveuni
Fiji’s northern islands are home to some of the most luxurious boutique resorts in the country, nestled in tropical jungles, tucked away in a secluded bay, or on their own private islands. Vanua Levu and Taveuni are just a one-hour flight from Nadi but feel a world away.
Fiji’s second-largest island is much less populated by locals and less visited by tourists, making for a special place to really escape from it all. On top of that, the luxury resorts scattered across the island go above and beyond to help you appreciate why travelling a little longer to get to Vanua Levu is well worth it. Plan your trip to the island in The Luxury Guide to Vanua Levu.
Taveuni is an island where luxury finds you. Whether you see luxury as having every need attended to in a five-star resort, whether it’s the exclusivity of a private island, or whether it’s being in a place where much of the landscape and seascape remains unspoiled… Taveuni and its surrounding islands of Qamea, Matangi and Laucala, hold some of Fiji’s most exclusive resorts. Find out more in The Luxury Guide to Taveuni.
Where to Visit: Luxury Travel to Kadavu, the Lomaiviti and Lau Islands
Finally, for those travellers seeking the most remote, exclusive and less developed island getaways, the island groups of Kadavu, the Lomaiviti Islands and the Lau Islands are worth exploring.
Kadavu is one of those rare destinations in Fiji where the luxury accommodation options are limited, with most resorts providing a more “rustic” accommodation experience. That’s with the one exception of Kokomo Private Island, which makes for a fabulous base for scuba diving in the Great Astrolabe Reef, boating to hidden waterfalls, snorkelling with Manta Rays and much more. Find out more in The Complete Guide to Kadavu.
Private island resorts dot the azure waters of the Lomaiviti Islands only a 10-minute flight from Suva. The islands are famous for their history, where one town, Levuka, is even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Find out more in The Luxury Guide to the Lomaiviti Islands.
The sixty islands that pepper the deep blue waters of Fiji’s eastern reaches make up the Lau Islands. This is Fiji’s least-visited island group and, in turn, the most pristine with uninhabited islands, coral atolls, limestone caves and remote Fijian villages living a traditional way of life. Find out how to get to these remote islands in The Luxury Guide to the Lau Islands.
How to Get Around Fiji
Yes, after seeing the number of island groups in Fiji, let alone the different islands and some of the larger islands to explore, you’re probably wondering: how do I get around all of these islands?
The answer is pretty simple if you have a little luxury in mind. More touristic islands, such as the Mamanucas and Yasawas are well serviced by helicopter charters, seaplanes and water taxis, while resorts on the lesser-visited islands often organise transport for you. The main ways to get around Fiji on a luxury holiday include:
There are two scheduled domestic carriers in Fiji, both offering regular flights between Fiji’s most populated islands. Learn more about these flights in The Complete Guide to Flights in Fiji.
Charter flights via fixed-wing, seaplane and helicopter aircraft are available in Fiji to take passengers between Fiji’s island groups, particularly Viti Levu and the Mamanucas, Yasawas, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Kadavu. Find out more in Where to Hire a Plane or Seaplane in Fiji and Where to Hire a Helicopter in Fiji.
Available between Denarau, the Mamanuca Islands and the Yasawa Islands, water taxis provide transport and resort transfers on demand. Find out more about this convenient way to get around Fiji in our guide, How to Catch a Water Taxi in Fiji.
Rental cars are available in Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Learn more about hiring a car in The Guide to Renting a Car in Fiji.
Before organising your own transport, be sure to check whether your chosen luxury resort doesn’t provide it all for you. Many luxury accommodations offer land and/or water transport from the nearest airport.
There are a lot more ways to travel around Fiji so be sure to browse our Fiji Transport Guide: 16 Best Ways to Get Around Fiji for more advice.
Luxury Accommodation in Fiji
When it comes to luxury resorts, Fiji is a world leader. In most cases, resorts handle everything: accommodation, entertainment, tours and sometimes even transport. For these reasons, one of te most important decisions you can make for a luxury trip to Fiji is your choice of accommodation.
That’s not to say that Fiji solely has resorts. If that’s not your style, then you have boutique lodges, hotels, homestays, holiday homes, villas and even small-ship cruises to choose from.
The most abundant accommodation type in Fiji, resorts are typically complexes with hotel-style rooms or freestanding bure (bungalows) and facilities such as a restaurant and swimming pool. Many resorts across Fiji, especially on remote islands, offer an entertainment schedule, as well as optional paid tours, such as scuba diving, fishing, massages and more. Note that there are also adults-only resorts in Fiji, as well as family-friendly resorts with kids’ clubs.
What is the Most Luxurious Resort in Fiji?
From remote private islands only accessible by seaplane like Kokomo Private Island to the resort where celebrities stay in Fiji, COMO Laucala Island Resort, the most luxurious resort in Fiji depends on what you call “luxury” (but the two mentioned are undoubtedly top contenders). See our top picks in the 10 Best Luxury Resorts in Fiji.
Does Fiji Have Overwater Bungalows?
Yes, Fiji has an exclusive selection of overwater bungalows, locally known as overwater bures (the Fijian word for “bungalow”). Compare them all in the 5 Best Overwater Bungalows in Fiji.
Luxury Holiday Homes and Villas
For a more intimate style of accommodation in Fiji, choose a luxury holiday home or villa. While villas and holiday homes are just about the only type of self-catering accommodation available in Fiji, many of the luxury options still provide the services of a resort down to the activities and dining. Learn more about what holiday homes are like in How to Pick the Best Holiday Home in Fiji for You and villas in How to Pick the Best Villa in Fiji for You. Plus, find the ideal stay in the 10 Beautiful Holiday Homes in Fiji and 10 Best Luxury Villas in Fiji.
Fiji has two small-ship cruises sailing primarily to the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands and less frequent sailings to other island groups throughout the year. Each offer cabin accommodation along with the opportunity to visit different islands, free and optional paid activities, and meals. Learn more about these cruises in The Guide to Cruises Around Fiji.
What is the Most Expensive Hotel in Fiji?
With rates starting from FJD12,000 a night, COMO Laucala Island Resort is the most expensive hotel (resort) in Fiji.
Luxury Experiences in Fiji
Contrary to popular belief, there’s more to do in Fiji than drink cocktails and sit by the pool. Fiji exceeds at adventure, relaxation and culture. There’s so much to do that we could hardly fit it all into our 101 Things to Do in Fiji: The Ultimate List.
When it comes to experiences that add a special touch to your Fiji getaway, you can grace your itinerary with the following:
- Arrive at your resort in style by helicopter or seaplane
- Scuba dive at world-famous dive sites, such as Rainbow Reef and the Namena Marine Reserve in Vanua Levu
- Enjoy a day’s fishing, game fishing or island-style, in the Yasawa Islands
- Travelling with kids? Treat them (and yourselves) to a day at the kids’ club
- Escape to an adults-only luxury resort
- Enjoy spa treatments amid the jungle in Taveuni
- Indulge in fine dining at the five-star resorts and hotels
- Retreat to a secluded beach or sand cay for a private picnic
- Play golf at a championship course in Denarau or the Coral Coast
- Sail in a luxury yacht around the islands.
For more information on each experience, check out the 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Fiji.
Food and Dining in Fiji
From the menus of the restaurants in Fiji’s major towns to the resort restaurants, a wide range of international cuisine is represented in Fiji. Fine dining is mostly reserved for Fiji’s luxury resorts, while dining in Fiji’s towns is a more casual affair.
There are no major health concerns to be worried about when it comes to food in Fiji. Resort restaurants have a high standard. Self-catering is rarely available in Fiji, only in villas, holiday homes and apartments. See the Guide to Food Shopping in Fiji for purchasing groceries.
Vegetarian options are widely available in Fiji, but those with other dietary requirements should contact their resorts prior to arrival. Although most resorts can cater to just about any dietary need, they tend to need notice in order to prepare.
For more food-related advice, check out The Complete Guide to Food in Fiji.
More About Luxury Travel in Fiji
That’s it for our complete luxury travel guide to Fiji but by no means the end of our vacation advice. Check out the following guides for more essential tips:
- How to Pick the Best Luxury Accommodation in Fiji for You
- 10 Best Luxury Experiences in Fiji
- 10 Best Luxury Resorts in Fiji
- 10 Best Luxury Villas in Fiji
- 10 Best Luxury Hotels in Fiji
- Fiji Luxury Itinerary: 14 Days / Two Weeks
Finally, head to The Complete Travel Guide to Fiji for more tips.