Be rejuvenated by the natural paradise that is Fiji
The respite of nature, the buffet of activities and the new Care Fiji Commitment give visitors much-needed peace of mind.
What speaks of an escape to you? For many, it’s travel, and according to Fortune, natural destinations are becoming a growing trend in 2022.
Given the extended home fatigue, it’s easy to see why. Who wouldn’t want a change of scenery and be rejuvenated by fresh air, verdant rainforests and turquoise seas?
When it comes to pristine options, Fiji has it in abundance. With borders re-opening last December and updated safety protocols in place, the balmy archipelago of 333 islands is primed to embrace visitors with the famous “Bula Spirit” once again.
BULA FOR EVERYONE
“Bula” means hello and welcome, but to Fijians, its essence is also associated with “life”. Therein lies the effervescent quality that makes Fiji a holiday destination worth returning to time and again.
Fiji welcomes every international guest at the gateway of Nadi, and this region on the mainland of Viti Levu is in itself a wonderland of activities and experiences.
Nadi’s accommodating nature allows for travellers of all types to enjoy its offerings. Parents with young kids will appreciate family-friendly resorts at Denarau Island, while backpackers can find budget-friendly escapes from northern Lautoka to the outskirts of Nadi. For couples, find your slice of paradise with adults-only areas within your chosen resort. If you’re staying at Sofitel, visit the kid-free Waitui Beach Club that lets you sip, sunbathe and swim in balmy quietude.
Northeast of Nadi lies Sabeto, which boasts a curated garden at the base of the Sleeping Giants Mountain with lovely trails that lead one through exotic flora and fauna. The therapeutic mud baths and hot springs here are another highlight and will leave you glowing even after a flight.
Local experiences can also be found at the Fiji Culture Village, just outside of Nadi town. You’ll be able to explore the Fijian heritage through arts and crafts, cultural performances such as the ‘meke’, and delicious native food. There’s a similar option available at the Kalevu Cultural Centre located close to Sigatoka. While there, don’t miss the Coral Coast – an 80km stretch of scenic beaches where you can snorkel, surf or simply sip cocktails. If you enjoy your entertainment with some grub, the Coco Palms at Westin will satisfy. A lovo (underground oven) feast here is accompanied by Fijian music, storytelling and cultural performances.
To fully immerse in the Fijian way of life, savour its cuisine, which is as iconic as it comes. At Sofitel Fiji’s Lagoon Restaurant, you can witness traditional lovo cooking or have a refreshing meal of cured raw fish salad (kokoda). Over at Chef Lance Seeto’s Kanu, native ingredients and traditional techniques are blended and celebrated, with items like dalo leaf potstickers and smoked Spanish mackerel okra salad. If it’s honest-to-goodness Fijian classics you’re after, the Nadina Authentic Fijian Restaurant in Denarau Island has plenty of local surf and turf to go around.
Other casual fare, no less delicious, can be found by the beach, with expertly grilled seafood by Vasaqa Productions and delightful rainbow beef burgers at Sailor’s Beach. Don’t leave Nadi without taking up a farm tour at the Bulaccino Organic Farm, renowned for its organic farm-to-table menu and fantastic coffee.
FROM TURQUOISE WATERS TO TERRA FIRMA
The many islands of Fiji offer a rich repertoire of adventures both on land and in water to scintillate and rejuvenate.
Families can go to Orchid Falls in Sabeto, which touts natural shallow pools, guided jungle exploration and zipline activities suited for all ages. To go full throttle, Kila World at Pacific Harbour has Fiji’s fastest zipline and the adrenaline rush that is the Kila Killer Giant Swing. It’s a good thing visitors can unwind with a calming stroll in the lowland rainforests after. The area is also known for its water-based activities, taking one from waterfalls to rivers and lagoons. Do some sport fishing or deep diving at Beqa Lagoon, or jet-ski to the island to find coastal forests and secluded bays like an intrepid explorer.
The Navua River is one of Viti Levu’s seven, and one of the most scenic. Pick your speed going through it with white water rafting at Navua Gorge or tubing down the calmer bits. The Bilibili tour is everyone’s favourite: You get to glide past waterfalls and lush tropicana on a traditional bamboo raft, which was once the mode of transportation between villages.
For a rich cultural journey, head deeper into the Nausori Highlands and engage local guides at dedicated hiking company Talanoa Treks. The various lengths of treks can lead one through authentic Fijian villages – where you can enjoy ceremonial kava or traditional cuisine – and take you to hidden waterfalls for a quick dip. After you’ve explored its many islands, take in the view from the top with a helicopter or seaplane from Nadi to fully appreciate Fiji’s pristine ecosystem through dreamy hues of emerald, white and blue.
A COMMITMENT TO CARE
The COVID-19 pandemic has no doubt made travel a tad more complicated. After extensive planning, Fiji has created tailored protocols to ensure your safety without concerning yourself with convoluted measures.
The Care Fiji Commitment programme is a comprehensive plan that endorses WHO-approved COVID-19 measures and applies them to all tourism aspects within the country, from large hotels to smaller vendors. This way, you’ll be able to easily identify and choose partners that always have your health and safety in mind.
This promise facilitates itself through protocols such as masking in public spaces and physical distancing when appropriate, along with enhanced sanitisation at guest areas.
With a vaccinated adult population of over 90 per cent since November, Fiji has been able to safely open to travellers since December 2021 with an impressive 100 per cent vaccination rate for all eligible tourism staff. Tourism businesses also ensure only vaccinated guests can participate, offering all present extra peace of mind. At most establishments, you’ll have access to an appointed wellness ambassador, ready to help with COVID-19 queries or emergencies.
While you can’t skip the usual protocols of testing and providing supporting documents pre-flight, you can rest assured that you’ll have the holiday you deserve right from the moment of touchdown.
Plan your holiday in Fiji with your travel agent today.