When you think of Fiji, beautiful beaches, turquoise waters and huts on the beach may come to mind. If this is in fact what you were thinking, you are completely correct.
Fiji is indeed the ideal destination for couples looking to relax on perfect beaches surrounded by the most crystal clear water you will ever see. However, Fiji is more than a honeymoon hot spot. It is a place of endless possibilities for every type of traveller.
This destination located in the middle of the South Pacific is full of adventure and culture just waiting to be discovered. So, read on, but be prepared to put Fiji at the top of your bucket list!
1. Upper Navua River
If you are a thrill seeker and nature lover, white water rafting in Fiji will be sure to please. Venture along the Upper Navua River’s volcanic waterfall-filled gorges and the Namosi Highlands, and be prepared to get wet, as falling out of the raft is not uncommon, but also part of the fun!
2. Learn how to cook traditional Fijian food
Learning to cook traditional Fijian food is a great way to become immersed in the culture. Flavours of Fiji Cooking School offers a cooking course that will take you on a mouthwatering journey through traditional Fijian and Indian flavours and teach you about the Fijian culture.
The two ladies who run the course aren’t just passionate about food and Fijian culture but are extremely friendly and funny, which makes the lesson much more enjoyable. This experience will be fun, delicious, and will teach you a new set of cooking skills that you can take back home to share with friends and family.
3. Kava ceremony
Kava is a crop from the Western Pacific and plays a big part in the Fiji culture. Fijians grind up the kava root and mix it with water to create their national beverage, also referred to as Yaqona, which is consumed by many of the islanders on a day-to-day basis.
The effects of kava depend on the amount consumed. Just one cup will make your mouth feel numb for a couple of minutes as the root produces anesthetic properties. Consuming larger amounts will make you feel relaxed and sleepy for several hours.
Participating in a kava ceremony during your visit to Fiji is a fantastic cultural experience not to be missed. It’s also an opportunity not difficult to find since kava is consumed at several ceremonial events and casual get-togethers. A formal kava ceremony in Fiji will often accompany religious, political or social events.
Kava is also commonly consumed on weekends with friends and family. While many tours include a kava ceremony in their package, it’s more special to be invited to drink kava by a local, which is likely to happen at least one time during your stay.
4. Lawai Pottery Village
See how traditional Fijian pottery is made in Lawai Village. Fijian ladies will demonstrate pottery making methods, then perform a traditional dance and a traditional kava ceremony.
5. Naihehe Cave
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Cannibalism is a dark part of Fijian history. The Fiji islands were in fact, avoided by explorers for hundreds of years due to the fear of Fijians man-eating habit. Don’t worry though, cannibalism in the country is long gone, and today, the only vestiges of cannibalism are in museums, handicraft shops and Naihehe Cave.
Naihehe Cave is located in Sigatoka Valley and is Fiji’s largest cave system. Explore the cave on an off-road safari tour and ride through lush tropical plants, rolling hills and nearby villages.
Some tours will take you to Sautabu village where you’ll partake in a kava ceremony conducted by the village priest, who will give you his blessing to enter Naihehe Cave. Legend has it that those who enter the cave without the village priest’s blessing will get lost.
Inside the cave, you will learn about the history of Naihehe, which was once a fortress for a cannibal tribe and still contains a cannibal oven, ritual platform, sacred priest chamber and other reminders of its cannibal history. This experience is for every traveller who seeks adventure, doesn’t mind a little spook, and enjoys learning about the history of a place.
6. Swim and snorkel the local reef
Beauty is all around, above and below sea level. Explore and snorkel the local reef on a harbour cruise around the island, where a marine biologist cruises onboard and explains everything from the marine life to the coral.
7. Vuadomo Village and Waterfall
Vuadomo is a traditional village in Savusavu. When you visit a Fijian village for the first time, you partake in a traditional welcoming ceremony where you’ll present a gift of kava. To see the Vuadomo Waterfall you must request permission from the village chief who will say yes or no, depending on his mood.
Travel with a guide who will take you to the market to buy kava, as well as speak on your behalf to the chief. It’ll be one of the most unforgettable experiences to be had on the island. On the way to Vuadomo Waterfall, you’ll walk through a lush, green jungle, passing passionfruit vines, wild ginger, and banana and plantain trees.
8. Savusavu Hot Springs
Simmering below the surface along the beach in Savusavu, you’ll find geysers and groups of hot springs that are so hot, you might even catch locals cooking their food in them. Temperatures can reach 100° C, but some of the deeper water can reach up to 170° C.
These aren’t the springs you can bathe in, but head next door to the medical centre, and there are three therapeutic spa baths (40°C) open to the public. You can visit without an appointment.
9. Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple
This bright Hindu temple in Nadi is one of the few places outside of India where you’ll see traditional Dravidian architecture. Dedicated to the god of seasonal rains, Lord Murugan, you’ll see a large sculpture of him in the central temple.
Other temples are dedicated to Shiva, the goddess supreme, and Ganesh, the iconic elephant-headed deity. Around the temple, you’ll also discover ornate wooden carvings, statues of warriors, gods and kings, and bright, colourful murals.
10. Mud Pools
Fiji’s mud pools are nature’s spas, and you’ll find them all around the island. Packed with minerals and nutrients, mud pools are said to have age-defying benefits and healing properties. Jump in, slather yourself in mud from head to toe, and then hop into a warm spring pool to wash off.
Fiji is the ultimate sun holiday with an adventure for every traveller. Immerse yourself in history, culture and traditions, while you relax in the sun, surf and sand. Find out more about Fiji holidays from our Expert Travellers.