Best for travel in Fidji
Its very name already invites you to dream. A name of perfume, of a warm and generous tropical island, where fertile nature responds to an indulgent sea. Fiji is 333 islands covered with forest, mangroves, white sandy beaches, coral or volcanic islands in the Robinson style, on a background of turquoise waters. It is also, for the largest of them, Viti Levu in the lead, a tangled heart of mountains where wide rivers flow and isolated villages nestle, where tradition is preserved. One ventures there on foot as one goes back in time, before drinking, pinching one’s lips, a cup of kava carved from a coconut.
The welcome of the Fijians is as incredible of kindness as the cannibalism of their ancestors was atrocious… On the coasts, the palm roofs of common houses give way to a kaleidoscope of sun-crushed villages with streets crowded with yellow dogs and sugar cane plantations, from which emerge, from afar, the multicolored lanterns of Hindu temples and mosques.
If the heart of the islands is Melanesian, their periphery is largely Indian, populated by agricultural workers who came to work on the plantations during the English colonial era. Fiji? A sacred natural and cultural cocktail.
THE TOP 10 CITIES YOU HAVE TO DISCOVER
The location of the filming, this time of the famous movie The Blue Lagoon, you will have the opportunity to explore the mysterious waters of the Sawa-i-Lau cave and to snorkel in the reefs frequented by manta rays, also nicknamed “devils of the seas”. Reaching up to nine meters in wingspan, these strange beasts will give you chills. But don’t worry, although they are imposing, these rays are peaceful and completely harmless.
If you want to get off the beaten track and get to know the authentic country, choose Kadavu. Although isolated, this island is easily accessible by plane from Viti Levu. Several organizations will offer you eco-tourism (also called responsible tourism), which allows you to visit while establishing a privileged contact with the local population. The east of the island is bordered by the fourth largest coral reef in the world, inhabited by manta rays and an incredible diversity of fish. People come from all over the world to have the chance to try this fabulous fishing “spot”.
THE CAVES OF SAWA-I-LAU
In the heart of the Yasawa volcanic islands, near the village of Tamusua, the spectacular Sawa-I-Lau Caves contain priceless historical treasures of engravings and paintings, whose significance and the time of their creation are still unknown to this day. Considered a sacred place, the caves were the resting place of the ancient ten-headed Fijian god Ulutini. The huge main cavity is actually a dome 15 meters high above the sea. Inside, a large natural swimming pool invites you to take a dip. It is a unique experience to wade in the center of a pool covered with ancient limestone formations, crumbled by time and letting the sun’s rays in. For more adventure and risk, a second cave is accessible through an underwater tunnel that connects the main cave and this one. In order to guide you and for your safety, a local guide is necessary.
FIJI MUSEUM IN SUVA
Located in the Thurston Gardens in Suva, Fiji’s small museum tells the story of over 3700 years of Fiji’s culture, art and traditions. An impressive collection of archaeological artefacts are on display in the museum’s galleries such as ancestral weapons of war revealing the history of cannibalism in the archipelago, various pottery, pictorial works and many other relics. The museum is divided into five galleries, each with a different theme (Fijian Prehistory, Fijian History, Indo-Fijian Minority, Fijian Art and Clothing Art). Please note that the tour is in English only. If you are not comfortable with this language, a small dictionary may be useful to translate some of the explanations.
THE HINDU TEMPLE SRI SIVA SUBRAMANIYA IN NADI
In the heart of the city of Nadi, near the river of the same name, is the vast Hindu temple of Sri Siva Subramaniya. Featuring traditional Dravidian architecture, the Hindu sacred monuments display finely crafted colorful ornaments. In these peaceful places of prayer, it is possible to meditate or simply relax. Many colorful festivals are held here – if you are lucky, your vacation will coincide with one of them. Access to the site is free and the visit is enjoyable for anyone who loves history and bright colors. The stepped pyramidal buildings display numerous statues of gods, kings and warriors carefully carved in stone as decoration. Incredible frescoes in bright colors, displayed throughout the vast complex, depict scenes from Hindu history. In the evening, walkers are invited to the temple to watch the sun set behind the island of Denarau. An incredible spectacle!
THE WATERFALLS OF TAVORO
On the island of Taveuni, in the Bouma National Heritage Park, there are three Tavoro waterfalls. The first waterfall is called “Lower Bouma Falls” and is located at the beginning of the route. It is the most popular waterfall because of its height of 24 meters, its calm and peaceful environment, its beautiful waterhole where you can swim and its easy and fast access – it takes only 10 minutes to get there. The other two falls, Middle Bouma Falls and Upper Bouma Falls, are a little further away and you have to walk on slightly steeper trails – not recommended if you are with young children. If you are continuing the expedition to see the other two waterfalls, be sure to wear good footwear. Once you reach your destination, you will find that they are a little smaller than the first one, 10 and 15 meters, but they are just as spectacular. It takes a minimum of three hours to enjoy the three waterfalls, so bring food and water, especially if you are taking a break for a picnic and a swim.
MOUNT TOMANIVI ON THE ISLAND OF VITI LEVU
Sleeping volcano on the main island of Viti Levu, Mount Tomanivi is one of the highest peaks in Fiji, with an altitude of about 1324 meters. To begin the ascent, you must take the trail that leads to the summit from the village of Navai. Tomanivi is the source of several river formations such as the Ba, Sigatoka, Navua and Rewa rivers. This is a difficult classified excursion, with steep and rocky trails – to be avoided if you are with young children. The best time to climb the mountain is during the driest months, from June to August, to avoid slippery trails due to humidity. Preferably choose a clear day. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with the breathtaking view of Fiji’s volcanic islands.
The beach of Natadola is a favorite for many thanks to its accessibility on the continent of Viti Levu and its incredible snorkeling sites. The beach lies on the front of the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa, which offers golden sandy beaches and clear waters, with marine life thriving in the corals right next to the beach.
Kadavu is an isolated island in Fiji where travelers can enjoy Fijian culture and tradition. It is one of the least developed islands in the archipelago. With only a few roads, you won’t find many people – just unspoiled beauty, especially if you stand tall.
TAVORO WATERFALL, TAVEUNI
Fiji is home to a number of beautiful and idyllic waterfalls nestled in the rainforest and jungle. One of them is Tavoro Waterfall on Taveuni Island. Also known as Bouma Falls, it is a series of three waterfalls in the Bouma National Heritage Park. The area receives frequent rainfall, which helps create a lush setting and powerful waterfalls.
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