Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - The Pristine Shores of Natadola Beach
With its soft white sands and aquamarine waters, Natadola Beach is often considered Fiji's most beautiful beach. Located on the southwest coast of Viti Levu island, it boasts over 4 kilometers of pristine shoreline backed by swaying palms. The beach has been ranked as one of the top 10 beaches in the world by National Geographic, and when you visit you'll understand why.
The talcum-powder sand is so soft it squeaks under your feet as you walk along the shore. And with the beach being located on the sheltered leeward side of the island, the sea is usually as smooth as glass. It's the perfect spot for swimming and snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Just wade out into the shallows and you'll find yourself surrounded by schools of tropical fish, including butterflyfish, angelfish, and blue-banded snappers. Make sure to bring your goggles so you can fully take in the colorful reef teeming with marine life just below the surface.
While the beach is stunning any time of day, one of the best times to visit Natadola is at sunset when the clouds turn pink and purple as the fiery sun sinks below the horizon. Find a nice spot to settle in the sand and watch the show unfold. Stay until after the sun drops below the edge of the sea and you'll be treated to a spellbinding display of the elusive green flash.
The beach is also a great spot for surfing thanks to the powerful waves that barrel in. The surf break here is one of the best in Fiji, making Natadola Beach a popular place with experienced surfers. But don't be intimidated if you're still learning. There are smaller waves down the beach that are perfect for beginner surfers. Just be sure to chat with one of the local surf schools before paddling out so you know the safest spots to ride the waves.
When you need a break from the sun, you can relax under one of the thatch-roofed beach fales scattered along the shoreline. These open-air huts come equipped with hammocks and chairs perfect for lounging. You can even get a beachside massage right in your fale to pamper yourself. And when hunger strikes, there are several restaurants and beach bars serving up fresh seafood and tropical cocktails.
What else is in this post?
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - The Pristine Shores of Natadola Beach
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Snorkeling in the Turquoise Waters of the Yasawa Islands
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Relaxation and Rejuvenation at Mana Island Resort & Spa
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - The Secluded Sands of Caqalai Island
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Beach Hopping on the Coral Coast
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - A Beach for Every Taste on Denarau Island
- Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Discover Hidden Coves on the Remote Lau Group Islands
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Snorkeling in the Turquoise Waters of the Yasawa Islands
With its chain of 20 picturesque islands, the Yasawa Islands are one of Fiji's premier beach destinations. But they offer so much more than just stunning scenery. The waters surrounding the islands provide some of the best snorkeling in all of Fiji.
The Yasawa Islands are considered the "wetter" side of Fiji, receiving higher rainfall which nourishes the fringing reefs. This creates an explosion of coral and marine life that make conditions perfect for snorkeling. merely wading into the shallows at any beach provides a window into this underwater world. The waters are so clear you can see all the way to the sea floor even when standing neck-deep.
But one of the absolute best places for snorkeling is at Drawaqa Island, part of the northern chain of Yasawa Islands. Here the reef starts just off the beach, allowing easy access without having to swim out very far. The healthy coral formations teem with schools of triggerfish, angelfish, and parrotfish. Moray eels peer out from crevices while giant clams line the sea floor.
As Robyn and Garth, avid snorkelers from Australia, raved on TripAdvisor after their visit: "Snorkeling straight off the beach we saw amazing coral, fish everywhere and even a couple of turtles! No need to take a boat to a reef to see all the amazing marine life, we just waded in from the beach right outside our bure!"
But the highlight is getting the chance to swim with manta rays, which frequent the channel nearby. These gentle giants of the sea can reach widths of up to 29 feet from wingtip to wingtip. Experiencing them glide silently through the water beneath you is an incredible thrill.
The best time to spot mantas is from May to October when plankton levels are higher, attracting them to feed. Your best chance to swim with these elusive creatures is to join one of the snorkeling tours offered by the island resorts. Guides will take you out on boats to areas known as manta cleaning stations. Here the mantas will hover in place while tiny cleaner wrasse fish pick parasites off their wings and mouths.
Jina and Noah from California had a magical encounter when they took a snorkel tour during their honeymoon. As Jina described: "We were lucky enough to swim with three magnificent giant manta rays! They were so graceful gliding through the water. One came within just a couple feet of us, it was so mesmerizing. Definitely the most amazing experience we've ever had snorkeling!"
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Relaxation and Rejuvenation at Mana Island Resort & Spa
If you're looking for the ultimate beachfront resort for rest and relaxation in Fiji, Mana Island Resort & Spa is a top choice. Located just off the coast of the mainland on a private island fringed by white sand beaches, Mana offers a tranquil setting far from the crowds.
The resort features traditional thatched bure suites right on the beachfront so you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore. Kick back and unwind on your private deck in a hammock swaying in the tropical breezes. Or relax under a palm tree just steps from the sea while you enjoy a fresh coconut or the resort’s signature Mana Mai Tai cocktail.
When you need to pamper yourself, head to the full-service spa for some indulgent treatments. Get tension relief through a hot stone massage or coconut oil massage in an open-air treatment room overlooking the beach. Rejuvenate body and mind with a volcanic clay and papaya body scrub followed by a soak in the spa's infinity-edge vitality pool.
As Sophia raved in her 5-star review on TripAdvisor: "The spa is so relaxing with the sounds of the beach just outside your treatment room. The therapists give an amazing massage - all my knots were gone! And the products they use smell heavenly. I walked out of there feeling like a new person!"
While Mana offers plenty of opportunities to simply sit back and soak up the island vibes, there are also lots of activities to keep you blissfully active. Sign up for yoga on the beach to salute the morning sun. Learn to cook mouthwatering Fijian dishes like kokoda fish salad at the resort’s cooking class. And work up an appetite with kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or snorkeling the colorful house reef.
Of course, the resort’s stunning beach is a top attraction in itself. Unlike many of Fiji's beaches with mountains at their back, Mana is surrounded by sea views for 270 degrees. So in addition to the beachfront, you can gaze out at the beautiful blue horizon no matter which way you look.
The beach also has some of the softest powdery sand in Fiji - perfect for sinking your toes in. Wade out into the shallow protected waters that remain almost bathtub-warm year-round. You’ll find a rainbow of tropical fish swimming just below the surface, making for great snorkeling right from shore.
As Lily, a California beach lover, raved on TripAdvisor: “The beach was simply stunning - the softest sand I’ve ever felt! The water was so clear and calm, perfect for swimming and snorkeling. With views of the beach from every direction, this truly was a tropical paradise!”
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - The Secluded Sands of Caqalai Island
Tucked away in the Lau group of islands, Caqalai Island feels a world away from Fiji's larger tourist destinations. With a population of just one single village, the island offers a true escape from the crowds. Visitors will find themselves practically alone on Caqalai's idyllic beaches making you feel like you've discovered your own private slice of paradise.
Caqalai's beaches ooze Robinson Crusoe charm with their back-to-nature vibe. Instead of major resorts, you'll find traditional thatched bures built along the sand. The island runs entirely on solar power with limited Wi-Fi keeping you blissfully disconnected from the digital world.
The absence of large hotels and hordes of tourists gives Caqalai's beaches a peaceful, undiscovered feel. Seagulls are often your only beach companions. Walk along the shoreline with the sound of the waves and rustling palms accompanying each step. Wade into the shallows for a refreshing dip with little chance of encountering another soul.
Caqalai offers three main beaches allowing you to mix up your aquatic adventures. The west-facing beach boasts Fiji’s famous squeaky soft sand slopes gently into a protected lagoon ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Here you’ll find healthy coral formations teeming with angelfish, butterflyfish and sea turtles. On the north shores, the coral reefs create multiple small coves to discover.
Meanwhile the island’s east side delivers stunning sunrises over a long stretch of beach. The currents here make this beach better for serene walks than swimming. But it’s the perfect spot to do some beachcombing and collect intricate seashells and pieces of coral washed up on shore.
“Caqalai offers such a special beach experience with having the island practically to yourself. But with limited tourism infrastructure, it’s crucial we visit gently. Simple things like not taking seashells or coral from the beach, avoiding reef damage when snorkeling and limiting plastic usage make a huge difference on small islands like this.”
“It's not every day you get an entire stunning beach like this all to yourself! I went kitesurfing early one morning and for over two hours didn’t see a single other person. Just having the peace and quiet with only the sound of the waves was an amazing experience and so rare when visiting tropical beaches these days.”
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Beach Hopping on the Coral Coast
Known as the "Salad Bowl of Fiji", the Coral Coast is home to many of the island's top beach resorts. Stretching along the southern shore of Viti Levu, this area became popular with tourists drawn by its accessibility from Nadi International Airport. Visitors flying into Fiji can easily be sipping a cocktail on the Coral Coast just an hour after landing.
While frequented by tourists, the beaches here retain a natural unspoiled beauty with flour-like sand lapped by aquamarine waters. Swaying palms line the shore while tropical blooms perfume the air. The fringing coral reefs keep the waters calm, making for safe swimming and snorkeling.
The abundance of beach resorts clustered along this coast allows for easy island hopping between beaches. Rent a car and bounce between resorts to sample the diversity of beaches. Or many resorts offer shuttles to their sister properties so you can try out new beaches each day.
The Hideaway Resort provides a perfect home-base. Guests here have access to two stunning beaches: one with excellent snorkeling and sunset views and another that’s perfect for swimming and sunbathing. As Sally from the UK shared on TripAdvisor, “We loved being able to experience two beautiful beaches that were completely different. The resort shuttle also took us to the Intercontinental for a day - it was great being able to beach hop and get the full Fiji experience!"
Down the coast, the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa offers guests three beaches to explore. There are calm lagoons perfect for trying out stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking. Secluded coves provide quiet spots to escape with a book. And sandy bays are ideal for beach walks and swimming.
According to a review by Jessica from Australia, “Each beach had such a unique vibe and landscape. One day we’d have a beach to ourselves, the next we’d relax at a beautiful sandy bay watching the local village kids play rugby!"
The funky Arts Village is one of the few non-resort options on the coast offering a uniquely Fijian beach experience. Guests can visit with local artisans, learn about medicinal plants, enjoy beachside lovo feasts and more.
As Sophie, a guest from New Zealand, described it: “After staying at posh resorts, the Arts Village provided a nice taste of real local Fijian culture. The beach was stunning and each day they’d organize fun cultural activities that made us feel part of their community.”
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - A Beach for Every Taste on Denarau Island
Denarau Island offers some of Fiji’s most beautiful beaches, with the bonus of being just a 10-minute drive from Nadi International Airport. This makes it an ideal first or last stop during your Fiji travels when you want easy access to both stunning beaches and airport convenience.
Unlike many beach destinations, Denarau doesn’t have just one main public beach. The island is home to an array of resorts, each with their own stretch of prized shoreline. This diversity of beaches allows you to pick the scene that suits your vibe each day. As Sophie from Australia remarked in her TripAdvisor review:
For action, make your way to the Beachcomber Island Resort beach. Picturesque palm trees shade loungers along the shore, while just offshore the resort’s floating waterpark beckons. Bounce across trampolines and try out the climbing wall and slide. For young families, the kid’s area offers safety and fun. As Katie from New Zealand shared:
“The little kids loved the waterpark! My husband could take our five year old out to jump around while I relaxed on the beach with our baby. We had to drag her away when it was time to leave!”
Down the coastline, the Radisson Blu Resort Fiji sits on one of the island’s widest beaches. The protected lagoon here provides superb snorkeling along the pristine reef. Rent a stand-up paddleboard, kayak or catamaran from the beach shack and explore the bay. Or simply claim a shaded beach lounger and alternate between reading and cool dips in the sea.
“We loved having such a huge protected beach to ourselves right at the hotel. The equipment rental place made it easy to try paddleboarding. Snorkeling at our beach was excellent - so much marine life just offshore!”
For evening entertainment, head to the beach bars at the Hilton Fiji or Westin Resorts. Sip tropical cocktails on the sand, play beach volleyball as the sun sets and dance the night away under the stars as live bands perform.
Paradise Found: 9 Breathtaking Beaches in Fiji to Add to Your Bucket List - Discover Hidden Coves on the Remote Lau Group Islands
Tucked away from Fiji's well-trodden tourist trail, the remote and scattering Lau Islands promise undiscovered beaches and hidden coves awaiting intrepid explorers. With only one scheduled ferry a month, most visitors hire private yachts to reach this untamed paradise. Once there, you'll find some of Fiji's most pristine beaches where your only companions are swaying palms, calling seabirds and the whisper of waves.
The Lau group consists of over 50 islands, many uninhabited. This provides plenty of opportunities to find your own secluded beach surrounded by rugged natural beauty. One favorite stop for yachts is Vanuabalavu or “Sunset Island” in the northern Lau Islands. After anchoring, visitors can paddle over to Maolidau Beach on the island’s western side. Here the powdery sand and aquamarine shallows live up to Fiji’s reputation of paradisiacal beaches - with the bonus of rarely seeing another soul.
Further south in the Lau group, the island of Fulaga attracts visitors with its quintessential tropical beauty. After landing ashore, a short walk brings you to a palm-fringed beach bordering a placid blue lagoon ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Loren, an intrepid traveler from Australia, said: “Fulaga was my favorite Lau island with its stunning beach and super friendly locals. We were invited to join their kava ceremony under the stars - an experience we'll never forget.”
For a true sense of discovery, head to the small island of Tuvuca. Here you’ll need to trek across the island through jungle dotted with wild orchids and banana palms to reach the eastern beach. Your reward is having a long stretch of pearly sand and waved-tossed turquoise sea all to yourself.
The remoteness of the Lau Islands requires an extra level of care and respect for the environment and local communities. Victoria from New Zealand, who chartered a yacht through the Lau group, advises: “We made sure to pack out all our trash since space is limited on these small islands. Snorkeling, we took care not to touch the fragile coral. And we brought school supplies donated by friends back home as gifts for the village kids.”