Close to Paradise - Fiji

We’ve all fantasized about it at some point in our lives; lying on the beach under a leafy green palm tree, a book in one hand, a Cosmopolitan in the other, and white sand stretching out for acres in front of us, rolling down to the glistening sea.

Somewhere nearby birds are singing, locals are laughing, and a shirtless Adonis is bringing us a platter of fresh fruit… I digress.

Whether you’ve just chucked in our jobs to live the life of a lady (or lad) of leisure, escaping for a mid-winter break, or maybe it’s on the travel to-do list, the travel agency pamphlets lying on the table with large red circles around the words “Fiji Islands Escape” conveniently left on your significant other’s dressing table: Fiji is a destination for any occasion. The Melanesian country in the South Pacific sits somewhere between Hawaii and New Zealand, and enjoys the best of both climates.

The archipelago is made up of 332 islands, 110 of which are inhabited, and that means a lot of sandy beaches to choose from.

It's always been a fantasy destination for the weary 9-5 worker, but never before has it been so easy to act on these travel-ready impulses.

While the capital, Suva, enjoys a certain under-developed charm, the real magic happens when you step away from the city and explore the islands. Nadi is usually a transition point on your way out, and while there is more here to do than in Suva, it’s probably only going to hold your attention for a day or two before you head out for some serious beach time.

With over 300 landmasses to choose from, it’s hard to make a shortlist of where to go and what to see in Fiji. It’s easier to break it down into categories.

Sofitel Fiji Resort & Spa

Lap of Luxury in Paradise
If you’re looking for luxury and beach resort heaven, look no further than Denarau Island. If you speak only in Sheraton, Westin, Sofitel and Hilton – you’ll be right at home in pristine Denarau. Resorts dot the island, ensuring you’ll never have to wander too far for a cold one.

First developed as a resort island in the 1960s, Denarau has gone from strength to strength, and now hosts an array of resorts, a world-class 18-hole golf course and a marina full of dining and activity options.

Octopus Resort, Waya Island, Yasawa

A Quick Escape
On the other hand, if you’re living on a bit more of a shoestring, the Yasawa Islands might be for you. Touted as a destination for backpackers and ‘flashpackers’ alike, the Yasawa Islands are some of the most accessible islands that allow a quick escape from civilization. They’re also home to the postcard-perfect image of palm trees and white sandy beaches most envision when they think of Fiji.

Wherever you decide, you’ll be spoiled for choice at all the activities on offer. Snorkelling and diving almost anywhere in Fiji is some of the best in the world, especially places like the Yasawas. Hiking is a good activity for those who want to pair their relaxing beach time with a bit of a workout, and there’s an infinite amount of Instagram-worthy sunset lookout spots. If you’re lucky enough, an invitation to a Kava ceremony or a wander through a banana, papaya, mango or cassava plantation may well be the highlight of your trip.

Ever the iconic island destination, Fiji will keep you coming back time and time again. With luxury, a surprising cafe society, and a paradise constantly at hand it is hard to not say yes to a holiday in Fiji. And with so many islands to get through, you’ll have your breaks sorted for the next 30 years if you’re lucky.

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