Legend has it that Fiji is the closest place on earth to paradise, and for those who have been privileged enough to visit its tropical jungles and swathes of white sand, it’s all too easy to be convinced of the truth of this statement. The islands of Fiji abound with picture perfect delights, from tumbling waterfalls to idyllic beaches and soaring coconut palms. For the poetic and the adventurous, it is enchanting.
Yet it is not only its aesthetic loveliness that charms visitors to this island paradise. Its people themselves lure tourists in, their warmth, friendliness, and kindness unequalled anywhere else in the world. Their cuisine and conversation are a delight, and with a number of holiday companies helping you to create a truly authentic Fijian experience there’s no excuse not to visit.
For those hoping to join their number, here are just three of the must-see places that you have to visit…
#1: The Garden of the Sleeping Giant
One of Fiji’s most famous lures is the paradisiacal Garden of the Sleeping Giant. Situated on Vitu Levu, Fiji’s largest island, it lies amongst the forested foothills of the stunning Sabeto Range. Created by late, great actor Raymond Burr, it is a wonderland of vanilla-scented orchids and translucent ponds overflowing with delicate lilies. This botanic sanctuary offers the perfect place to sit back, reflect, and drink in the simple beauty of being alive.
#2: Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple
Fiji is a cultural melting pot, and nearly half of its population boasts a Southeast Asian heritage. This infusion of Indian and Bengali culture, catalysed by the mass migration of sugar-cane workers to the area in the late 1800s, is most apparent in Nadi, an area famed for its inimitable history and heritage. Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami sits in its centre, a stunning proclamation of this unique culture. An elaborately painted Hindu temple, it is a shrine to belief, beauty, and the most exquisite of workmanship.
#3: Mamanuca Islands
Once you have appreciated the beauty of Fiji’s culture, you’ll probably want to spend some time admiring its breathtaking landscapes, and the best place to do this is on the Mamanuca Islands. Stretching off the coast of Vitu Levu, this string of islets is famed for its idyllic views, botanical beauty, and swathes of white sand. Monuriki, the island made famous in Castaway, is a particular highlight, and a place that must be seen to be believed.
Where will you choose to visit?