A collection of mini islands each with their own unique selling point, surrounding a mainland complete with international airport; Fiji is an ocean paradise.

Resort living is plentiful, boat lifestyle highly contested, surfer and swimmer coves available but finding the right location for your holiday is part of the art. There is nothing more inconvenient than arriving at what you thought was going to be to-die-for swimming only to find surfers commandeering the waters or that the only swimming you’ll do will be in your assortment of hotel pools.

Worse yet; finding yourself miles off the mainland and totally unprepared, creating costly expenses for the basics like breakfast or sunscreen. As long as you know where you want to be, you’ll have nothing but an ultimate ocean holiday experience. Here’s your total Fiji Island guide.

Fiji Mainland: Nadi & Denarau

Here’s the detail; when you fly to Fiji you will land yourself on the mainland at Nadi airport. The mainland of Fiji is where local live happens and possibly not what you expected to see based on the idyllic catalogues you perused with your travel agent. Instead, you’ll find towns that sit somewhere between third world and island life complete with traditional housing and supermarkets. Sure it’s a welcome insight into Fijian life, but it’s not the place dreams are made.

Denarau is also on the mainland. This is where Fiji package holidays begin and is a perfectly comfortable place to spend a relaxing holiday. Denarau is popular mostly due to it’s gated community of high end resorts such as The Hilton, Raddison, Best Western and Sheraton. Each of these magnificent resorts come complete with everything you and your family need to enjoy a poolside holiday. Each of the resorts border the ocean where paddle boarding and swimming is available, and while the beach is white sand and the ocean is clear turquoise, this is not considered to be the nicest beach of Fiji.

From the gated Denarau resort area a free shuttle leaves every 15 to 30 minutes to take guests the short distance to Denarau Marina. Here you will find a handful of lively restaurants, bars and boutiques. Although small, the variety of Denarau Marian creates an added dimension to an otherwise resort only Fijian holiday. From the marina too is an assortment of boats and businesses that can take travellers to the more popular and picturesque Fijian Islands.

Malamala

Isn’t it an exceptional idea to have an island that simply serves as a day resort? Malamala Beach Club is a World’s first. No sleeping accommodation available, Malamala is the exclusive venue on the island where guests travel to for a day of non-motorised water activities (snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding), ocean swimming, whiling the time away in a lazy sun chair or hammock, or enjoying music and party atmosphere at the beach bar. For those staying at one of Denarau resorts, Malamala is the perfect addition for a day excursion to paradise and transfers conveniently depart each morning at Denarau Marina.

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Musket Cove

400 acres of private island packed with hiking trails and surrounded by idyllic Fijian beach; musket Cove is an idyllic resort style holiday. With it’s own marina, access is easy from Denarau marina and much like other islands in Fiji, Musket Cove is likely to be one that you reach and elect not to leave for the duration of your stay. Snorkelling, Walks, Fijian cultural shows, game fishing and of course lazying about in a beach chair are all part of the fun at Musket Cove Resort, although perhaps a place best left to couples; romance and peaceful times is always valuable.

Tavarua

The all inclusive resort island is made for surfers. Cloudbreak and Restaurants are all accessed from Tavarua and was once home to the World Surfing Tour. Packages are for either surfer or non surfer, include surfing transport where needed, transfers from mainland to Tavarua, all meals and accommodation. Availability is strictly from Sunday to Sunday so week long stays at Tavarua are the only option. You’ll be based on an idyllic Fijian island complete with long stretches of white sandy shore and clear turquoise ocean that is completely swimmable too. Made with surf culture in mind, Tavarua’s accommodation is designed to include guests in a completely casual format with games like ping pong all part of the action. If you or your travel buddy are surf crazy and between bouts fo surfing you enjoy lazing about on the sand reading a book between dips in the Luke warm ocean, this is a smart island choice. While excursions from Tavarua can easily be arranged, this is more the holiday that is designed for guests t reach the island and not move for 7 days straight.

Treasure Island

Essentially a version of Tavarua but for families instead of surfers, Treasure Island is an island with one resort on it. Catering to families, honeymooners and couples the 4 star resort is another one stop shop for a perfect Fijian holiday. You’ll fly into Nadi international airport and be collected by Treasure Island staff – no matter when you arrive – and take a boat form the mainland to begin your resort holiday the same day you arrive. This is a fairly big draw card because it avoids the hassle of spending a night on Denarau at either end of international flights Treasure Island guests can maximise their holiday time.

One of the things that makes Treasure Island so popular is it’s kids club which is testament to the true family holiday feel of Treasure Island. Theres no shortage of activities either from water sports to sandbar picnics and with a three tiered pool there is plenty of enjoyable to be had poolside.

Perhaps one of the things Treasure Island does better than Denarau is the beach. The white sandy shore is wider and longer and the ocean is more clear and pleasant for swimming.

Yasawa Islands

In Fijian language Yasawa is one of he words for “heaven” and this collection of heavenly islands are exactly that. There are a few resorts on the islands to choose from with Paradise Cove Resort and Yasawa Island Resort and Spa being two of the most popular. The latter is of the all inclusive variety with 4 star accommodation and plenty of idyllic beach action. Paradise Cove Resort features 3 swimming pools, private buses, snorkelling with manta ray excursions and the additional offer of sea plan transfers from Nadi International airport if you prefer instant access rather than waiting for limited schedule of ferry access.

While the Yasawa Islands are close to one another guests section will come down to resort preference; the paradise surroundings down differ much between the islands.

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Travelling to Fiji and Beyond

Fiji mainland is easily accessed from abroad through Nadi International airport. Nadi airport is approximately 15 km o Denarau Marina. The marina caters for each and every boat need in Fiji so if you need to reach an island, this is the best place to start.

Denarau caters heavily to the Fiji package holiday market which also means transfers and transits are easy to find and convenient. The gated resort community is just a few minutes by car to Denarau Marina and the perfect place to base yourself with a resort style holiday yet have easy access to day excursions by boat.

All of the Fiji island resorts have boat transfers within their resort services. Some will be part of the accommodation package and some will be an additional cost; best to check at the time of booking. Most resorts too will be able to arrange island hop day excursions for paying customers.