Ultimate Fiji Island Hopping Guide: Best Islands & Itinerary Advice

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Fiji is one of the most spectacular archipelagos in the world, home to a beautiful array of islands and atolls in the remotest stretches of the southern Pacific Ocean. This is what makes Fiji island hopping so special.

It’s a tropical paradise, blessed with warm weather all year round, white sand beaches, untouched jungles and tall mountain peaks.

Every island is different, but you can be sure that every island is worth exploring, the only question is, which islands do you choose if you’re short on time?

We put together this guide to help you to create your own Fiji island hopping itinerary. Here are the best islands in Fiji, and why you need to visit them!


Island Hopping in Fiji


How to Get Between Islands

Drone view of the Blue Lagoon Beach while island hopping in Fiji

If you’re planning a Fiji island hopping adventure then your journey is going to start in Nadi, on the main island of Viti Levu.

This is where the island’s international airport is found, and from here you can connect to the rest of the islands.

There are several ways to get around the country, and if cash isn’t a problem then the quickest way is to travel by Sea Plane or even helicopter.

Many islands such as the Yasawa Islands and Mamanuca Islands are connected by fast catamarans, and here you can purchase a Fiji island hopping pass such as the Bula Pass to get around quickly and cheaply. 

The larger islands are connected by public ferries, or you can always join a cruise or hire your own boat transport.

On land, you can get around using the local buses, you can hire a car or a motorbike or make use of the many tour companies offering trips to popular spots. 

Putting Together An Itinerary

Where you go and which Fiji islands you add to your itinerary are going to depend a lot on how many days you have for your trip.

With less time, say a week, you will likely limit yourself to one or two islands, spending a few days on each.

With 2 weeks, you can look at visiting some different areas of Fiji and venturing further than Viti Levu and the nearby Mamanuca Islands.

Beyond 2 weeks, Fiji is your oyster and you can explore a good portion of the best islands in Fiji.

For reference, we spent 4 weeks in Fiji and planned our island hopping as follows:

  • Vanua Levu (Savusavu)
  • Taveuni
  • Qamea
  • Viti Levu (Pacific Harbour & Nadi)
  • Beqa
  • Mamanuca Islands
  • Yasawa Islands

The Best Islands in Fiji


No two Fiji island hopping itineraries will look the same, and I am sure you’re a bit overwhelmed by the options. To help ease this, we’ve put together some of the best islands in Fiji.

These include both popular and lesser-known islands throughout the country.

Viti Levu 

Viti Levu Island Fiji

When you’re planning your Fiji island hopping itinerary, then you won’t be able to ignore Viti Levu. This is where all travelers land internationally, at Nadi International Airport. 

The town of Nadi has a few sights and a wonderfully multicultural atmosphere, and from here you can easily make the short journey to the Garden of the Sleeping Giant, a vibrant Botanic Garden, as well as the nearby mud baths and national park. 

If you’re an adventure lover you must base your self out of Pacific Harbour. Here you can go diving with bull sharks & tiger sharks without the cage.

You can also explore underwater wrecks and coral, whitewater rafting, zip-lining through a rain forest canopy, and much more.

Viti Levu is also where you’ll find the Fijian capital Suva, however, few tourists ever make it here, despite there being fascinating museums and unspoiled nature within reach of the small city. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Viti Levu:

Shangri-La’s Fijian Resort & Spa – We loved this resort, the location was great and the private beach is truly paradise. The onsite restaurants were amazing, you can keep it simple and grab some from the grill or if your looking something more romantic have a formal dinner right on the beach. Don’t forget to grab a brink at the two different attached bars.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

Denarau Island

Denarau Island Fiji

Just along the coast from Nadi, you can find the small island of Denarau. These days, Denarau is actually connected to the mainland by a causeway, but this is still one of Fiji’s best island hopping destinations. 

Denarau is easy to get to of course, and it’s home to a wide array of resorts and hotels offering you that quintessential tropical getaway while you’re visiting Fiji.

From Denarau, you can catch boats to the nearby Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.  There’s truly an endless amount of day trips from Denarau that are worth taking.

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Denarau Island:

  • Radisson Blu Resort Fiji – This is an incredible resort! It is great for couples and families. There’s areas for adults to unwind and there are areas for kids to be kids. We loved the location being so close to Denarau Beach.

Our Top Recommended Tours:

Malolo Lailai

Malolo Lailai Island in the Mamanucas Islands Fiji

Malolo Lailai is the most developed island that you can visit in the Mamanuca Islands, just a short boat ride from Denarau.

But despite this being the center of tourism here, you’ll still be welcomed by a calm bliss, white sand beaches and swaying palm trees when you step off the catamaran. 

This is where tourism began in the Mamanucas and you can find a great range of resorts and hotels to stay at.

Many of the resorts have been owned by the same local families for decades, and are still run by the original inhabitants of the Mamanucas islands despite their international popularity. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Malolo Lailai:

  • Lomani Island Resort – We love the private beach with the infinity pool. Each room has amazing beach views. For those looking to explore just simply grab a kayak or one of the free bicycles. Those who are looking to unwind must grab a drink at the poolside or at the bar.

Need a transfer from Port Denarau to Lomani Island Resort: Port Denarau to Lomani Island Resort – Scheduled Launch Transfer

Beachcomber Island

Beachcomber Island in the Mamanucas Islands Fiji

If you’re looking for a party, then Beachcomber Island is the place to go. This is the budget-friendly island of the Mamanucas, where you can stay in dorm beds and rent out cheap bungalows. 

It’s popular with backpackers and is known for its beers, cocktails and late-night beach parties. Beachcomber is beautiful as well, with white sand beaches and turquoise water. You couldn’t pick a better place for a party!

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Beachcomber Island:

  • Beachcomber Island Resort – We love how this island is a tiny paradise. Enjoy a beach bungalow overlooking the sea, shaded by palm trees with hammocks. What truly makes this place amazing is it surrounded by white sandy beaches with turquoise water. The reef just off the beach is amazing for scuba diving or just snorkeling.

You can visit Beachcomber Island on a day trip from Denarau Island, Fiji: Beachcomber Island Day Cruise

Monuriki Island

Monuriki Island - where the movie Castaway was filmed in Fiji

Monuriki Island is one of the best places to include in your Fiji island hopping plan, although you can’t actually spend the night here.

That’s because the island is completely uninhabited, aside from a diverse range of wildlife that flourishes in the absence of humans. 

Monuriki is found in the Mamanucas archipelago and its white-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs and verdant green jungle made it the island of choice for Tom Hanks, and the movie Cast Away was subsequently filmed here.  

Our Top Recommended Tours:

Waya 

Drone view of Waya Island - North of the Mamanuca Islands

Head north of the Mamanuca Islands and you’ll soon hit the Yasawa Islands, another group of beautiful, tropical islands. The first major island in the chain that you’ll see is Waya. 

This small island is nowhere near as developed as those in the Mamanucas, and you’ll find just a few hotels and rustic resorts run by the local villagers.

It’s a great place to snorkel, hike and enjoy pristine beaches, while also learning about the local culture and history. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Waya Island:

  • Octopus Resort – If you are in search of some of the best snorkeling or diving in Fiji you must stay at the Octopus Resort on Waya Island. This is simply paradise, we enjoyed its remoteness away from those more poplar areas of Fiji. The location was perfect, with long, white, sandy beaches and lots of palms. They had a variety of lounging options set up poolside and beachside for reading in the shade or sunbathing.

Nacula Island

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog sitting Blue Lagoon Beach in the Yasawa Islands

Keep heading north and you’ll eventually reach Nacula Island, another of the best spots to visit in the Yasawa Islands.

Again, you’ll find just a few rustic resorts and locally run guesthouses, as well as some spectacular scenery.

Nacula Island is best known for being the site of the Blue Lagoon, an incredible natural lagoon that’s found off the beach, offering turquoise water, colorful coral and tranquil swimming and snorkeling opportunities. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Nacula Island:

  • Blue Lagoon Beach Resort Nacula Island – We loved that this resort was located right on the Blue Lagoon, there’s no need to take a day trip. Just simply walk out your beachfront bungalow and enjoy this paradise.

Need a transfer from Port Denarau to Blue Lagoon Beach Resort: Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Pass

Yasawa Island

Lina Stock of the Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog walking to a luxury resort on Yasawa Island Fiji.

The furthest north island in the chain, and the chain’s namesake, is Yasawa Island.

This is one of the best places to add to your Fiji island hopping itinerary, and you’ll be astounded by the sheer, rugged beauty of this destination.

The long coastline is fringed by jungle, while there are coral reefs off the coast that make for great snorkeling and diving locations.

Make this the last stop when you island-hop through the Yasawas because not as many tourists tend to make it this far north. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Yasawa Island:

  • Yasawa Island Resort & Spa – We loved the quietness of no children at this resort. Since its one of the furthest northern Islands, it only sees a few guests. A fresh seafood dinner on the beach is a must when staying at this resort.

Need a transfer from Port Denarau to Yasawa Island Resort & Spa: Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands Hop-On Hop-Off Pass

Vanua Levu

Drone view of Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa on Viti Levu Fiji

Northeast of Viti Levu, you can find Fiji’s second-largest island, Vanua Levu. Much less visited than its larger neighbor, Vanua Levu is remarkably untouched in its rugged beauty.

Start in the port town of Savusavu, and head off along the coast and into the jungle, where you’ll find pristine waterfalls and areas of protected forest.

The real highlight though is a visit to Namena Marine Park, one of the most biodiverse areas in the entire Pacific Ocean. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Vanua Levu:

  • Koro Sun Resort & Rainforest Spa – We loved this resort if your looking for a romantic getaway in Fiji this is your place. It offers amazing private bungalows with access to the ocean. The adults-only pool is simply amazing at sunset.

We loved this resort so much we did a full review of our stay.

Taveuni

Lina Stock of Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog exploring at waterfall on the island of Taveuni Fiji

Taveuni is Fiji’s third-largest island, and it’s must-see on your journey through the country. This is perhaps the greenest, most verdant island in Fiji, and it’s well regarded for its waterfalls and jungle. 

Tavoro Falls is one waterfall you can’t ignore, while the excellent Lavena Coastal Walk will show you the best of Taveuni, where the island meets the Pacific Ocean.

If you’re looking for untouched nature and an off the beaten track adventure on your Fiji island hopping trip, then Taveuni is the island to travel to. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Taveuni:

  • Paradise Resort Taveuni – We stayed at the Paradise resort for four days while we explored the island of Taveuni. Their setup is simply amazing, with lots of places to lay hammocks, an amazing pool, all great days end with some of the best sunsets you’ll see in Fiji.

Qamea

Qamea Luxury Resort on Qamea Island Fiji - Taveuni

Just a short boat ride away from Taveuni, you can visit the equally beautiful island of Qamea. Although much smaller than its neighbor, Qamea is nevertheless stunning and packed with natural sights. 

Hike through the jungle, snorkel off the coast and take in the wonderful scenery. Try to visit Qamea in November or December, when the island experiences a strange yet compelling natural phenomenon.

This is crab migration season, and hordes of land crabs are seen marching towards the ocean. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Qamea:

Qamea Resort & Spa – This was hands down our favorite resort we stayed in while we spent 4 weeks in Fiji. Its location is just simply stunning from its amazing beaches to its luxury bungalows that have their own pool and hot tub. A stay at Qamea is just simply magical.

 Beqa

Diving with the sarks of Beqa Fiji

If you’re a Scuba diver, then don’t miss out on visiting the small island of Beqa.

Located south of Viti Levu, Beqa is a diver’s dream, known for its incredible lagoon dives, where you can come face to face with the ocean’s most intriguing creatures. 

Beqa is also known for its unique local traditions, and you can enjoy rustic homestays or traditional ceremonies involving Kava, the local homebrew alcohol, or Fire Walking. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Beqa Island:

Royal Davui Island Resort Fiji – We loved how remote this island was, its a great place for couples and honeymooners, the lagoon is just simply stunning. The coral around this island is really beautiful and it is great for snorkeling and diving. It’s worthwhile getting out further than the islands of Mamanucas to see what Fiji really has in store.

Kadavu

Drone Photo of Kadavu Island Fiji

Also found to the south of Viti Levu is Kadavu, Fiji’s fourth-largest island. Kadavu is also known for its incredible diving because from this rugged, volcanic island you can easily access the Great Astrolabe Reef. 

This is one of the best dive spots in Fiji, and perhaps one of the best in the world, so it’s a must-see while you’re on your Fiji island hopping journey. Kadavu island itself is known for its wildlife too, so save some time for bird watching and hiking. 

Our top recommendation for where to stay on Kadavu Island:

Matava Fiji Untouched – If your into scuba diving this resort is for you. This eco-resort is located on a remote unspoiled tropical island surrounded by rainforest and amazing coral lagoons. Enjoy the private sun decks while gazing over the turquoise lagoon.

Lakeba

Remote Beach on a Fiji Island hopping Tour

For a real adventure, head to the remote Lau Islands, where you can find the small, untouched island of Lakeba. This island is far to the east of Viti Levu and sees few tourists.

Explore the pristine scenery and connect with the locals as you stay in rustic homestays and learn Polynesian history and traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. 

Rotuma 

Rotuma Island in Fiji

The truly adventurous traveler needs to head to Rotuma, an island that’s found far, far to the north of Viti Levu. 

Rotuma is way out in the Pacific Ocean, closer to Tuvalu than to the rest of Fiji. You’ll need time and patience to get here, but you’ll be treading where few other tourists have if you make it to this beautiful, yet isolated island. 

The locals on Rotuma see themselves as ethnically and culturally distinct from Fijians, making this an intriguing place to explore. 


Recommended Fiji Island Hopping Tours


Lina Stock of the Divergent Travelers Adventure Travel Blog Island hopping in Fiji

Fiji Island Hopping Adventure 9D/8N – This amazing Fiji island hopping tour includes many of the most poplar islands we talked about in this Fiji island hopping guide. Enjoy a night at the Blue lagoon, visit the Sawa-i-Lau Caves, explore remote islands in the Yasawas and so much more on this Fiji island hopping adventure.

Sea Breeze Island Hopping 9D/8N – Discover some of the best islands Fiji has to offer on this Fiji island hopping tour. Escape to the tropical islands of the Yasawas and Mamanucas, covered in this Fiji island hopping travel guide where you’ll enjoy some of the best beaches in Fiji. Don’t forget your snorkeling gear the underwater world is just simply amazing .

Recommended Tours
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Wanderlands Fiji
8 Days
From Nadi to Waya Island
Max group size: 10
Fiji Viti Levu Island Experience
6 Days
From Nadi to Nadi
Max group size: 20
Fiji Island Hopping Adventure
9 Days
From Nadi to Nadi
Max group size: 20
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Ultimate Fiji Island Hopping Guide: Best Islands & Itinerary Advice


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About Lina Stock

Lina is an award-winning photographer and writer that has been exploring the world since 2001. She has traveled to 100 countries on all 7 continents. Member: SATW, NATJA, ATTA, ITWA



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