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Ever wanted to escape to a tropical island paradise with deserted sandy beaches, crystal blue oceans and lush mountain wilderness? Say hello (or ‘bula!’) to the 333 islands in the South Pacific that make up Fiji, which offers all that and far more. In Fiji you’ll uncover plunging waterfalls, pink coral reefs, welcoming locals and a laid-back pace of life that you won’t find anywhere else on earth.
The two main islands of Fiji are Viti Levu and Vanua Levus which account for almost 90% of the population. It’s in Vanua Levus that you’ll find Fiji’s capital, Suva, which is a harbour city that has been built on a stunning peninsula and hosts much colonial architecture peppered between tall palm trees; spend the day here to truly experience the Fijian way of life.
Although only 100 of the islands are inhabited, the residents of Fiji are relentlessly friendly and maintain much habitual culture. Visit the small local villages where culture is greatly influenced by Indian, Chinese and European traditions and displayed through costume, craft, art and dance. The world didn’t always see Fijians this way though; back when the British first settled in the 19th century, Fijians were seen as brutal cannibals! Fijians themselves see this violent period as the ‘time of the devil’, but thankfully this fear slowed down Western invasions and has meant that much of Fiji is still untouched, so we can enjoy it today. The British eventually brought missionaries and traders to Fiji who made Fijians traditional culture more conventional. British settlers also brought Indian labourers to Fiji to work in plantations, before Fiji was finally granted independence in 1970.
Beyond the remnants of colonial history, for those who want the ultimate in relaxing retreats, Fiji is a destination that knows how to pamper its guests, offering world-class treatments and stunningly tranquil sea-side resorts that can only be described as breathtaking. For the more adventurous, Fiji’s 333 islands offer some of the most incredible diving and trekking experiences in the world, with the chance to spot rare and precious species unique to the Pacific region.
If you prefer to experience the true heritage of these fantastic isles, don’t miss the chance to see traditional pottery being made using historic techniques, or listen in at a talanoa storytelling session to learn more about the fascinating myths, legends and practices of this extraordinary place. There’s far more to Fiji than stunning scenery and five-star resorts and it’s all waiting to be discovered by you – at a leisurely pace of course.
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