Are you planning your first-ever visit to the beautiful Fiji Islands but you’re not sure where to go? From tropical pristine beaches to friendly local encounters to thrilling experiences, here is the perfect 7-day itinerary to visit Fiji as a first-time traveller.
Nestled in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is a dream destination for travellers seeking paradise beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant culture. With its breathtaking landscapes, friendly locals, and epic bucket list experience, Fiji offers an enchanting escape from the daily grind. But with over 300 islands in the archipelago to choose from, travelling to Fiji for the first time can be overwhelming. This itinerary covers a 7-day adventure through Fiji’s most beautiful islands, ensuring that every moment of your first trip is filled with excitement and unforgettable memories.
Getting to and around Fiji
Flying to Fiji
To get to Fiji, you will certainly have to fly from your home country. As I am living in Australia, the information below will be in Australian dollars and departing from Australia.
A few airlines operate flights from Australia to Fiji and depart from different cities: the national Fijian airline, Fiji Airways, but also Australian airlines such as Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia. Many of these airlines offer deals throughout the year for round-trip to Pacific Islands so it’s worth subscribing to their newsletter to receive them.
To find the best flight deal, I also always check Skyscanner and do a search by month (if I’m flexible with dates).
How to get around in Fiji?
Made it to Nadi International Airport, it’s time for an adventure of a lifetime. But how do you want to travel around? Good news, there are a few options for you:
- Getting around with a rental car
If you plan on staying and visiting the main island, Viti Levu, you can hire a car. However, remember the roads aren’t always in good condition so you need to be comfortable in driving. It is also best to opt for a 4wd if you plan on visiting inland or going off the main touristic roads.
If you’re comfortable driving and hiring a car for your Fiji trip, I’d recommend booking a rental car in advance with a pickup/drop-off at the airport.
- Getting around with the local bus
I haven’t used them myself but heard good things about the local bus in Fiji. Don’t expect these to be as reliable and on time as you used to back home. You are in Fiji now meaning it’s Fiji time/ island time. No rush!
- Getting around the islands by boat transfer
I would say this is THE main transport I experienced and the one most people will. After all, Fiji is made for island-hopping, isn’t it?
Boat transfers between islands in the Mamanucas and Yasawas are extremely good.
Best time to visit Fiji
Fiji is a year-round destination with warm temperatures and sunshine throughout the year. That being said, the most popular time to visit is during the dry season, between May to October. During this time the weather is at its best with sunny days, low humidity and minimal rain. And it is not as hot as summer.
If you are a diver/snorkeller, this period will also be the best for water visibility and for spotting some beautiful sea creatures such as Mantas Rays.
How to choose which Fiji Islands to visit for your first trip?
You can’t really go wrong in Fiji no matter which island you choose. Each island has something to offer and you will receive a warm welcome anywhere you go.
But to make the most of your first time on this little slice of paradise, I suggest booking an Awesome Adventure Fiji hop-on/hop-off travel Pass (for flexibility) or a package (and have it all sorted for you) around the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands. This way you can have a little taste of a few islands
For my first time in Fiji, I opted for a 7-day package called “Coconut Cruiser” which includes coach transfers to/from Port Denarau, vessel transfers around the islands, accommodations, food (optional) and A LOT of must-do activities too. This is their most popular package and I understand why. It is filled with some incredible experiences and stays in just a week.
I liked the idea to have it all included without being a guided group tour so I can still do my own thing without being tied up. Also, I didn’t have to worry about searching for accommodations or what time is the next boat transfers since these were all sorted for me (you only need to choose prior to the trip the type of room you’d like to stay in between a shared dorm or private room/bure)
Let’s dive into the specifics of this 7-day Fiji itinerary day by day.
7-day Fiji itinerary
This seven-day Fiji itinerary is my suggested itinerary for first-timers to spend 7 days making the most of Fiji Islands. If you’re visiting for a shorter or longer period, I’ve given you some options to add/remove to your itinerary at the bottom.
Upon arrival at Nadi International Airport, you’ll be greeted with a warm “Bula!” – the traditional Fijian greeting meaning “welcome”. Check into your hotel near Nadi or Port Denarau to settle the night before the real adventure begins!
I recommend you book your flight ticket for the day before your Awesome Adventure island trip. The departure time is early in the morning around 8.30 at Port Denarau with courtesy coach pick up from 7 am (depending on which hotel you stay)
Day 1: Port Denarau – Blue Lagoon
Let’s embark on an exhilarating island-hopping adventure, discovering the breathtaking wonders of the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands with Awesome Adventure Fiji
After a courtesy coach transfer from your hotel to Port Denarau, you check in at Awesome Adventure office at 8 am (and receive the cutest Travel Bag including a Sarong and drinking bottle) and get ready to embark on an exceptional island-hopping adventure, discovering the breathtaking wonders of the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands with Awesome Adventure Fiji
8h45: it’s time to jump on board one of the South Sea Cruise vessels and cruise to Blue Lagoon, the further island on your Coconut Cruiser located in the Yasawas. The journey takes around 4hrs and will be the longest on this itinerary. The catamaran is comfortable with air-conditioned lounges, outside viewing deck and fully licence bars (if you want to get your holiday started with a local Fiji Gold beer)
Early afternoon (1 pm-ish), you notice the crystal-clear blue water and that’s when you know you arrived at Blue Lagoon Resort! The lovely staff is waiting on the beach for you to set foot on what you’ll call “home” for the next few days, singing a welcoming song. Welcoming drinks and a brief explanation of how the resort works are given before you can settle in your room and head to the restaurant for lunch.
If you haven’t pre-paid for the meal plans when booking your trip, you will have to pay directly at the resort as the meal plan is mandatory in each resort. There isn’t any other option to eat on the islands except the resort you’re staying in. So I recommend you to prepay for meals at booking – so you don’t have to think about this during the trip.
In your package, five incredible activities are included (one per day). These are on top of the complimentary activities available in each resort. After your lunch, head to the Blue Lagoon Resort Dive shop to check the activities and sign up. Sunset Champagne Tubing, Sawa-I-Lau Cave visit, Handline Fishing trip, Night Snorkelling, Guided snorkelling are just a few you can enjoy in this resort.
I personally chose the night snorkelling for this afternoon – starting around 6 pm once it gets really dark. This allows me some time to participate in a free activity organised in the restaurant: a cooking class. The perfect way to learn more about traditional Fijian recipes.
Day 2: Blue Lagoon
The next day was the perfect day to relax and enjoy everything this untouched paradise island has to offer: hired some complimentary gear to snorkel along the vibrant coral reef teeming with incredible marine life (spotted a cute turtle), basked in the sun, join a free basket weaving workshop and ending the day watching the sun sets on the beach with a cocktail in hand.
Day 3: Blue Lagoon
Another morning in paradise. It was an early wake-up to get breakfast before heading on THE activity you should do when staying on this island: Sawa-I-Lau cave!
This cave is an iconic natural attraction around the Yasawas. This ancient limestone formation carved by constant wave action is hidden within a remote little island. They were originally formed underwater and then got pushed around sea level by tectonic movement. Now half submerged, they offer travellers to swim in a little secret pool under a huge cavern.
When you see the sight of the little island, you just feel like in a movie (maybe because the Hollywood hit movie Blue Lagoon was filmed there). The local guides share local legends about these caves, entertained everyone with some impressive jumps from the top of the cave and lead us through the underwater entrance to a second very secretive cave.
After a wonderful experience at Sawa-I-Lau cave, it was time to pack the suitcase and head to another island – or maybe not!! Sadly, the next resort planned on the itinerary had a maintenance issue that forced them to close for a few days. But the good news is it means I am staying an extra night at Blue Lagoon resort
The perk to book an inclusive package: the team at Awesome Adventure has been amazing and dealt with everything for me. They found another resort to accommodate me the night after. And the only thing I needed to do in the meantime was enjoy a cocktail on the beach.
Day 4: Blue Lagoon to Paradise Cove
Extra night in Blue Lagoon means extra morning to explore more. I embark on a scenic mountain hike to the island’s highest point for panoramic views. It didn’t disappoint. Photos speak for themselves:
Around 1 pm, I hopped again on the South Sea Cruise vessel to reach the second island of this trip, in the central Yasawa Islands. It only took a couple of hours to reach Paradise Cove Resort.
Once again, this 2nd resort didn’t disappoint. A beautiful place to stay with 2 restaurants, a bar, 2 swimming pools, a gym, Kids Club, diving shop for all the activities and a beautiful white sandy beach to relax. Everything you could hope for a perfect stay. The room, a paradise garden bungalow, was well equipped with a comfortable bed, Air Conditioner, and a splendid open aired tropical ensuite bathroom.
With only one night on this island, I made the most of the afternoon by exploring the beach, and heading to the sunset viewpoint lookout before enjoying a sumptuous 7-course dinner. Then join the Kava Ceremony to try this national drink in Fiji. Made from the root of the Yaquona, it is served in a large communal bowl as part of this ceremony where we are all seated in circle around the bowl. A beautiful moment to learn more about the Fijian culture and sing along with the locals playing guitar.
Day 5: Paradise Cove to Barefoot Kuata
7 am – meeting at the dive shop to go on an adventure of a lifetime: Swimming with the manta ray.
This activity is available from May to October when the manta rays glide through the channel between Nanuya Balavu and Drawaqa Islands nearly every on the change of tide to feed. If you happen to be in Fiji at this period, this activity is one of the most amazing experiences that you will talk about for decades.
I spotted 4-5 manta rays during this activity and it was quite magical to encounter these majestic creatures. Photos don’t do justice to this awesome experience. Head to my Instagram for some incredible videos from my Mantas Rays swim.
It is now time for lunch before jumping onboard the boat to the next island mid-afternoon. I reserved at the 2nd restaurant, DONU. This place is a fusion of local Fijian with Japanese techniques in tapas and Omakase style. You seat around the open kitchen and you can watch the chef making these fabulous dishes. It is perfect to try some local dishes such as Ika Vala Lolo and Gyodon.
Despite the rain joining the party, the boat transfer went smoothly to reach Barefoot Kuata Resort at the getaway of the Yasawas. I explored the dramatic landscape of Kuata Island before ending the day at the restaurant/bar for a fun entertainment night with the staff and other travellers. I loved the relaxed atmosphere, the people and the authentic Fijian style of this resort.
Day 6: Barefoot Kuata to South Sea Island
The last bucket list activity of the trip ticked off this morning at Barefoot Kuata: Swimming with Reef Sharks. It was another unforgettable experience included in the Coconut Cruiser.
Barefoot Kuata resort surrounding and nearby waters are rich in marine biodiversity and a lot of Fiji shark species have been identified including White Tip Reef Sharks, Black Tip Reef Sharks, Tawny Nurse Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Silver Tip Sharks, Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks.
This snorkelling activity is operated daily and a short 20-minute boat ride will take you to Moia Reef where you encounter resident Reef Sharks. This tour is guided by an experienced dive team that will look after you and introduce you to these friendly Reef Sharks.
Don’t miss at 11 am the warrior welcoming new visitors from the top of a rock! I took these photos from the island near the lookout point but you can also spot him on your Day 1 when you make your way up to Blue Lagoon Region.
The accommodation at Barefoot Kuata Resort was stunning: a traditional Bure with ocean view and open aired ensuite bathroom.
The weather wasn’t on my side on this stay but it didn’t take away the beauty of this island and its dramatic landscape. Now off we go to the last island of this island-hopping adventure
Day 7: South Sea Island – return to Port Denarau
After a late and wet arrival the night before, I’ve been welcomed by the South Sea Island team with a lovely intimate dinner with the others visitor. This island is really small and it was awesome to just be a small group (it was only 8 of us) so we could get to know each other. The weather made all of us go to bed early in the hope of a sunny day tomorrow.
And it happens! I woke up the next day to a fantastic view of the ocean from bed: perk to stay in a beachfront Bure.
This tiny island is located just 30 minutes from Port Denarau, in the Mamanuca Islands, which makes it the perfect place for a day trip. Day trippers start to arrive around 9h-9h30, leaving time for the overnight resident to have it all for themselves before. This last island was perfect to end the adventure relaxing all day, basking in the sun, snorkelling in the crystal-clear water or using complimentary gear such as paddle boards, kayaks. I even hopped on the Semi-Sub marine.
As part of the day trip ticket, or your overnight stay, drinks are also complimentary and a buffet lunch is included. Every day except Sunday, you can watch Meke performances during lunchtime.
Transfer back to Port Denarau is either at 10.45 am, 4 pm or 5 pm. I recommend jumping onboard the last vessel to make the most of your day on this unique tiny island.
Other Fiji itinerary options
If you have more time (2 weeks or more)
You could spend months in Fiji without being able to see everything. But here are a few places you can check out before or after your Awesome Adventure Island Hopping tour:
- Malolo & Malolo Lailai islands
These islands are located in the Mamanucas. A short 50-min boat transfer with South Sea Cruise will take you to Malolo Island and exclusive Malola Cat will take you to Malolo Lailai. If you are looking for a place to relax after a week full of adventures, Malolo and Malolo Lailai are the place to go. Home of some amazing resorts like the adult-only Likuliku or Lomani, Musket Cove resort or the family-friendly Plantation Resort.
For the active, these islands are also the best spots to access Fiji’s best surf breaks: Cloudbreak, Restaurant, Nomatu Left, Wilkes Passage, …
- Cloud 9
From the main island, or from Malolo Islands (boat trip from Malolo Islands is closer), you can access Cloud 9, the first Fiji floating day club. This floating bar takes you to a whole new level of party-day drinking. With breathtaking ocean views as your backdrop, you can dive into crystal-clear waters, sunbathe on the two-level platform sundeck, have a thrill on the jumping platform or feel the beats of the live DJ, as you sip on refreshing cocktails and indulge in mouth-watering wood-fired pizzas! It’s a must-do experience if you stay on Malolo Islands!
A new floating bar is now available called Seventh Heaven but I haven’t been so can’t really give an opinion. I have heard good things about it though and you can sleep on it.
- Coral Coast
Back on the main island Viti Levu but not ready to go back home yet? Head to the Coral Coast, just a 1h30 drive from Nadi, a beautiful stretch of coastline renowned for its coral reefs and incredible landscapes. There are so many activities to do in the region: snorkelling, kayaking, jungle trek and river exploration are only a few examples of what you can do.
Here are some of the must-do activities in the region:
- Zipline through a Fijian forest
- Visit Sigatoka market
- Sigatoka Sand Dunes
- Sigatoka Speed boat River Safari
- Explore on a quad tour
- Learn to surf at Natadola Beach
- Go waterfall chasing at the Biausevu waterfall
- Discover the Wonderful Naihehe Caves
If you only have 3-4 days in Fiji
You can join a shorter island-hopping adventure with Awesome Adventure Fiji like the inclusive package ‘Tropical Tempter’ (4 days/3 nights) or the Mini adventure package ‘Short& Shark’ (3 days/2nights) which allows you to visit 2 islands in the region of the Mamanucas and Yasawas islands.
It was a long one, but there it is your 7-day Fiji itinerary! I hope you’ll find it useful as you plan your first visit to this fantastic country. Whether you choose to relax on idyllic beaches, explore lush rainforests, or immerse yourself in Fijian traditions, this tropical paradise promises a rejuvenating and exciting experience like no other. Embrace the warmth of the Fijian people, let the slow rhythms of the islands guide you, and allow Fiji to work its magic, leaving you with memories to last a lifetime.
Do you like this article? Pin it on Pinterest!
Thanks to Awesome Adventure Fiji for hosting me on my Fiji itinerary. As always, my experience and my opinion are honest and authentic & based on my personal experience.