Take the people who have the reputation of being the happiest and amongst the most hospitable in the world,add wonderful landscapes, heavenly beaches, restorative corners and mix it all up: welcome to the Fiji Islands. Where are they? Located south of the Pacific Ocean, east of Vanuatu, west of Tonga and south of Tuvalu, Fiji is an archipelago of about 322 islands arranged in a horseshoe shape: they are dotted with numerous coral atolls and are located in the sea of Koro. Of these islands, only 106 are permanently inhabited. The white beaches and crystal-clear sea are the ideal setting for a relaxing holiday, but they also offer several possibilities for fun for the more adventurous traveller. You can also enjoy the climate: tropical right across the archipelago, one of the most pleasant in the Pacific. Now come with us to find our what the treasures and activities not to be missed are.
What to do and see in Fiji
- Fiji School of Medicine
- Sawani Village
- Drink kava
- Attending a meke show
- Fiji Museum
- Government House
- Walu Bay
- Tamavua Heights
- University of the South Pacific
- Bouma National Heritage Park, Inc.
- Levuka, U.S.
Suva is the capital Fiji and is located on the island of Viti Levu. Here you will find all the administrative buildings as well as museums, schools, places of worship including mosques, temples and churches. It is home to more than half of the island's population and for this reason is also a key centre for the South Pacific area. Created in the 19th century, it is rich in impressive colonial buildings flanked by more modern skyscrapers. Walking through its streets you can feel a mixture of Indian and European influence, also recognisable in the small shops or craft shops scattered throughout the city centre. For many years in the small town, social life was limited as well as relations between local indigenous people and Europeans. Until 1926, a curfew was held for non-Europeans after 11 p.m. The city expanded in 1952, incorporating Muanikau and Samabula. Further expansion in construction in recent years has created various suburbs that contribute to the creation of the urban area of Greater Suva.
You won't get bored here: you can eat at a refined floating restaurant, treat yourself to a cocktail or a break in one of the many lively clubs, shop and barter the price at the municipal market. At night you can stroll through the streets, such as Victoria Parade, Victoria, where life after sunset continues to pulsate and the local movida has no intention of going to sleep. Suva is also a good point for venturing into the wilder areas nearby. The whole city is full of parks including the Takashi Suzuki Garden, Albert Park, a unique place for admiring the spectacle of sunrise and sunset and finally the well-known Thurston Gardens, the botanical gardens opened in 1913 that display flora from all over the South Pacific. Suva is renowned for its sea and the crystal-clear, natural environment, as well as for its unmissable places for swimming and diving.
Flying here from Italy takes 32-36 hours , with at least one stopover in Dubai, Los Angeles, Sydney, Singapore or Hong Kong. On the island of Viti Levu where the capital is located, you will then find Sabeto's hot springs, a small village where you can go to enjoy the regenerating mud baths. You can also enjoy the panorama of the Sleeping Giant, the mountain whose shape resembles that of a sleeping giant.
Fiji School of Medicine
Among the capital's oldest and most prestigious buildings is the Fiji School of Medicine, founded in 1885. This is a centre of excellence which wants to be a benchmark in healthcare education, training and research. The aim of the university is clear: to improve standards and health services in the region.
Picturesque rich in history and artistic testimoniesNausori is a sparkling place. This is the fourth most populous city in Fiji, and is 19 kilometres from the capital Suva: it is a bustling service and transport hub for predominantly agricultural and manufacturing workers. In the town, palaces of different styles and eras coexist.
In the village of Sawani you can experience a warm welcome with garlands and serenades. The warriors will accompany you to a meeting point and introduce you to the village chief. You will have an opportunity to discover the history, traditions and lifestyle of the islanders. Usually in the villages, there is also a small market where you can buy handmade items. Some are still built with traditional bungalows made of plaited straw. The best location in the village, usually higher up than the others, is generally occupied by the most important family.
To get in touch with the local people, you have to learn the traditions. Kava is a traditional drink obtained from the roots of the plant of the same name, a variety of pepper. The roots are pulverised and mixed with water for several hours in a solemn ritual during which local costumes made from straw and flowers are worn, the same as the ones used for official ceremonies.
The drink is processed manually in a bowl called a "tanoa", a kind of concave coffee plate-bowl, and served in the bilo, a half shell of coconut that you pass from one person to another while sitting in a circle. While drinking you have to take off your shoes and sit on the ground legs crossed, clapping your hands before and after drinking. The taste is very strong and earthy. The peculiarity lies in the fact that even after the first few sips you will feel your tongue and lips go numb: the roots in fact have a sedative property that help you to relax.
Attending a meke show
Folklore is the heart of all the islands. Don't miss the traditional Fijian dance, the meke: it is rich in meaning and is practised by local people at all the most important life events, from birth to death, marriage and being called to war. These dances have been handed down from generation to generation and according to popular legend, the spirits of the underworld take possession of the dancers’ bodies while they are dancing. Music and respect for handed-down traditions are aspects present in the life of Fijians. In addition to dance, the art of ceramics is very important, as well as the weaving of foliage to create wicker objects. Equally characteristic are the festivals that are organised during the year and that can last for even a week or a month in some villages. Every time you leave an island, you might hear a local song, a kind of goodbye. It is "Isa Lei” a ritual full of respect towards the guest that is celebrated with seriousness and solemnity. Women and men line up and dressed in festive clothes and with flowers in their hair, they speak the names of the tourists who are leaving, then sing a traditional song a cappella.
Suva is also home to the government building complex. Built in the late 1930s as the seat of colonial administration, these spaces, examples of Art Deco are today home to the Prime Minister of Fiji's offices, the High Court and several government ministries. It has also been the seat of Parliament since 2014. The government buildings were officially opened in May 1939 by Governor Sir Harry Luke. You can arrange visits and tours of the whole complex to witness - as stated on the page of the official website of the Fijian government - "democracy in action". The centrepiece of the building is the House of Parliament, which has a U-seat layout.
One of Suva's most interesting places is the Fijian museum. Located in the heart of the Botanical Gardens, it houses a remarkable collection of 3700-year-old archaeological material, as well as cultural findings relating to indigenous peoples and other populations who have settled on these islands in the last hundred years. Among the curiosities, the helm of the famous ship Bounty and a missionary's boot Thomas Baker, who was killed and eaten in 1867 by the then cannibal inhabitants of the island of Viti Levu. The building offers the opportunity to take a trip into the history, culture and traditions of the island. From the practices of cannibalism to the contamination of the South Pacific and Europe. There is also a room that tells and documents some of the contributions made by Indian workers and their descendants who were brought to Fiji in the 1870s as labourers. Part of the exhibition is a gallery with beautiful examples of painting, ceramics and weaving by contemporary artists. The museum continuously carries out archaeological research and has devised and promoted various areas of research with the aim of preserving oral traditions and making them known to visitors.
Government House, New Government
Not far from the Fiji museum is the Presidential Palace. It was built in 1928 to replace the original building, the residence of the colonial governor that went up in flames after being struck by lightning. The first government house was built in the early 1880s (after the capital moved to Suva) and consisted of two wooden buildings. From 1970 to 1987, Government House was the official residence of the Governor-General: it became the presidential residence in 1987 after two military coups led to the proclamation of a republic. The residence of the President of Fiji is guarded by several soldiers dressed in red tunics, who change the guard at regular intervals: an event that has become very popular with tourists. It is not uncommon to also see military parades around the streets, a symbolic way for the soldiers to demonstrate their loyalty to the president and remember the importance of the population’s security.
A particular and varied area of the capital is represented by theindustrial area of Walu Bay, where factories, warehouses and companies dedicated mainly to import and export are active.
Nature can take your breath away and give a new perspective. From the heights of Tamavua Heights, S., you can see the exotic coast from above and also the port of Suva. There are several excursions organised for people to enjoy this scenic and relaxing moment. The capital is a green one. A short distance away is an oasis of tropical plants and rare fauna. A 6.5-kilometre route between clear natural pools and wonderful views.
University of the South Pacific
In the capital Suva, we also find the largest campus of the University of the South Pacific which has found accommodation in the area of the former New Zealand seaplane base. The university's curriculum is recognised and appreciated worldwide, as students and staff come not only from the ocean area but from all over the world. Founded in 1968, it is one of only two universities of its kind in the world. It is jointly owned by the governments of 12 member countries: Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Solomon Islands, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Samoa. The University has campuses in all member countries.
This is the second most important and extensive city centre in Viti Levu, a city of enchanting beauty made famous by the presence of numerous factories for the processing of sugarcane, which is vitally important for the Fijian economy. For this reason alone, Lautoka is also known as "Sugar City”. Among the real jewels to visit here, there is also the Krishna Kaliya Temple, considered to be one of the most important Hindu temples in the Southern Hemisphere. For a typical indigenous experience, instead, aim for the Lautoka Market.. The city stands out for its palm-lined boulevards: from the centre you can reach the nearby islands of Mamanuca, where white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters offer opportunities for snorkelling and surfing.
Bouma National Heritage Park, Inc.
This is a place of extraordinary beauty, where you can walk or go on real excursions in the dense tropical vegetation. This national park is located in the northern part of the island of Taveuni, one of the most remote islands in Fiji. Among its high spots are three amazing waterfalls. In the natural pools carved into the rocks it is also possible to go for a relaxing swim. Established in 1990, the park includes 150 square kilometres of rainforest, with rare tropical plants and an impressive diversity of birds, as well as four villages that manage portions of the park. Many activities and pastimes are possible. You can go snorkelling in Waitabu Marine Park; walk through the rainforest to the ancient ruins near Vidawa,; kayak or relax along the Lavena coastal walk, stopping at the waterfalls for a swim along the way.
Levuka is the ancient capital and is located on the island of Ovalau: today it is a small village where you can admire the historic buildings, the promenade and the beautiful places from which you can go swimming. In the area, you can also practice lots of outdoor sports activities, diving, beach volleyball, golf, trekking, surfing and even accompanied skydiving, a true paradise for sportsmen. In 2013, the historic port of Levuka became a Unesco World Heritage site. it represents a rare example of a late colonial port, in which the traditions of the natives and those of settlers and immigrants have merged to perfection, as well as the architectural style of the buildings. All in a fairytale setting: a short distance from the harbour there are white beaches and a crystal clear sea where you can snorkel and enjoy the sunset. Or where you can try your hand at stand up paddle boarding, a sport halfway between surfing and kayaking where you stand on a board and move with the help of an oar. The islands have many natural riches, a rich coral reef and ideal waves even for surfing.
Visit Fiji Islands with Costa Cruises
A trip to the Fiji Islands is a journey to the edge of a dream, to a group of islands that can make you fall in love and suscitate so many emotions. It is no coincidence that these islands are also "cinema" places. Several films have been made in this corner of heaven.. From “Mr Robinson Crusoe in the Fijis” to the famous “Blue Lagoon”, filmed on the island of Yasawa, until Cast Away, filmed by Monuriki. The islands are also the ideal place for nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The marine wildlife scene is the main attraction for all those who snorkel and dive. Accommodation facilities are highly equipped, since tourism is one of the largest sources of income for this island state. A holiday full of relaxation, beauty, simplicity, even in food. Fijian cuisine is essential: Its specialities are pork, chicken and fish. In particular, don't miss the kokoda, a fish dish marinated with lemon and coconut milk. Now you just have to trust and start this adventure.