Fiji felt like being welcomed home by friends from the first Bula! Arriving at customs with a guitar serenade put on by the airport, the island vibes, or Fiji time as the locals call it, began straight away.
Fiji had always been a huge bucket list dream for me, as from my little old home in the UK it couldn’t feel more distant. The first thing you’ll notice in Fiji is the warmth and welcome of the locals. Laughter and smiles crack as often as coconuts here, and you can really tail your island experience to suit you.
The main island, Viti Levu, is home to Suva the main cruise port and Nadi the airport, and as such is the gateway to the archipelago. Backpacker travel is starting to grow here, based out of Nadi, thanks to more affordable options sprouting up around the airport and plenty of day trips from Nadi. A short drive away at Denarau Island, though not really an island, is where you’ll find the luxury resorts.
Island Hopping is the name of the game here, especially if you want to visit some of the most pristine sands and escapes Fiji has to offer. The cost of these can quickly mount up though, but boats, including liveaboards and multiday trips, are preferred here to the crazy expensive seaplanes in the Maldives.
Fiji still felt quite real to me, as soon as I stepped out of the resorts, and I think that’s something you won’t always find on heavily touristed islands. Whether you want to relax on a beach with a massage, do watersports off a private island, stroll through lush national parks or embrace the cultural side of island life, Fiji offers everything up in a safe, family-friendly environment.