Fiji is blessed with blue lagoons, stretches of white sand beaches bordered by coconut palm trees and a stunning mountain backdrop. Along with the colourful reefs, appealing to scuba divers and snorkelers, it is not hard to see why travellers book flights to Fiji year after year to enjoy this tropical paradise.
Fiji comprises 322 islands and has one of the more developed economies of all the Pacific islands. The country's main source of revenue is tourism, but unlike some other high-tourist islands, Fiji caters to all budgets. Travellers can book Fiji flights and hotels that range from top-of-the-range five-star resorts to budget hostels catering to the backpacking generation. But wherever you end up staying, the charm of Fiji is the same: a calm and laidback atmosphere, friendly people and a culture that combines influences from Polynesia, Micronesia, China and Europe.
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Fiji’s warm tropical climate is tempered by trade winds cooling down the islands to a comfortable range. The highs in the summer average a temperature of 31 C and the winter is only a bit lower. It rains throughout the year, but April, May, June and October are considered the dry months.
When to fly to Fiji
The weather is good throughout the entire year, even in the wet season. Peak season is determined more by the departing country. For Fiji flights from Canada, prices tend to rise around the Christmas time and during winter.
Discounted rates for hotels can be found in February and March - still a pleasant time to visit.
Getting around Fiji
The fastest way to travel between the islands is to catch a plane. Domestic Fiji flights are available from the national carrier, Air Fiji, which has about 65 departures every day to 15 islands, and Sun Air. Most domestic flights depart from Suva.
Ferries and other boats also offer many services between the islands. Travel is slow, but usually relaxing and it’s a great way to the see the country.
To travel within an island, the cheapest option is to take a bus. Roads are often filled with potholes, suspension on the buses is bad and they often have no windows. Unsurprisingly, buses have become known as “rattlers”. You can normally just hail a bus when you see one and it will stop and take you on to the next town. There are no “express” routes, so if you’re travelling a long distance, be prepared to stop everywhere along the way.
Fiji insider information
- With 330 islands, and, of course, the sea surrounding them, the underwater life in Fiji is nothing if not varied. Diving is popular, but snorkelling is also highly rated, even by professional divers. The clear waters and many shallows mean you can see much simply from the surface. Remember to cover up, either with a T-shirt or lots of sunblock: time can disappear while you’re floating around staring at fish and it’s very easy to get burnt.
- The Garden of the Sleeping Giant is located close to Nadi. These landscaped gardens were created by Raymond Burr in the 1970s and are home to an impressive collection of orchids. Open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm, the peaceful gardens are rarely busy and you can spend many hours wandering in the shade.
- The Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple in Nadi is the largest Hindu temple in the Southern hemisphere.
- For a relaxing day trip, head out on a boat and go sailing. Cruises operate to the Yasawa Islands and the Mamanuca Islands. Alternatively, charter your own boat and explore the area.