Discovering Fiji

Apr 01, 2015 Avatar Linda Kahn-Ferrell Linda Kahn-Ferrell

The 333 islands located in the South Pacific Ocean, 110 of them are inhabited, make up the island country of Fiji with its natural beauty and scenery. Fiji is a destination for families, couples, and singles, young and old. You can relax your days away or spend your days being active and adventuresome.

One of the first things I noticed upon arrival at Nadi Airport was the warm welcome you receive after getting off the plane. I don’t think I have been to a country where the people are so full of warmth, charm and humor. Everywhere you go you are greeted by the biggest, warmest smiles that just make you smile back.

The Mamanuca group of islands are the closest to Vitu Levi, one of the main islands, where the international airport in Nadi is located. The best way to get to the resorts in the Mamanucas is either by ferry boat or helicopter. I have experienced both and loved travelling on the ferry with other vacationers as well as the local Fijians. On the ferry you can stand on the deck where you feel the warm sun, smell the clean ocean air, pass by lush islands and see the beautiful water. But travelling by helicopter gives you a bird’s eye view of the beautiful water with the coral reefs and the islands surrounded by this water. Whichever way you arrive, the greeting is always full of smiles and song.

As for resorts at which to stay at in the Mamanucas, they are all different but all have fabulous beaches. The ones I stayed at or visited on this trip are Mana Island Resort, Castaway Island Resort, Tadrai Island Resort, Likuliku Lagoon Resort and Malolo Island Resort. Tadrai and Likuliku are adult only resorts and are all-inclusive except for beverages. The other 3 resorts are very family friendly and I saw many families enjoying their time together. I also stayed on Vitu Levi at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf and Spa Resort in Natadola Bay. It is about 45 minutes from Nadi Airport and on the way to the Coral Coast. It is a beautiful resort up in the hills overlooking Natadola Bay which is one of the world’s best beaches. It is a good property for couples, singles and families.

While in Fiji you should experience all that Fiji offers such as water and land activities. To get a better understanding of who the Fijians are you need to experience their culture which is relaxed, easy-going and friendly. One thing to remember is that it is important to respect their customs as they are very proud of their cultural heritage. Important customs to be aware of are not entering a village without an invitation, dress modestly, do not wear a hat while in the village, remove your shoes before entering a home and do not insult them by their heads (even children). By participating in the ritual of a Kava Ceremony lets you become a member of the village where you are always welcomed back.

So now that you have an understanding of who the Fijians are, go ahead and snorkel or dive the colorful coral reefs, kayak or windsurf the beautiful water or just relax on a pristine beach. Don’t forget you can also hike the lush tropical forests.

One thing for sure is that when you leave your resort you will leave to the Fijian Farewell Song, Isa Lei.

Linda Kahn-Ferrell