Inspiration Destinations Fiji Everything You Need to Know About Fiji's Yasawa & Mamanuca Islands

Everything You Need to Know About Fiji's Yasawa & Mamanuca Islands

Turquoise waters and white-sand beaches are just the beginning with a trip to Fiji’s magnificent Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands.

Scattered round the northeast coast of Fiji are some of the most sought-after islands in the world: the Mamanuca and Yasawa archipelagos. Those who venture beyond the mainland are rewarded with almost-deserted beaches, verdant peaks and some of Fiji's best snorkelling and diving – not to mention some of the sunniest and driest weather in the country. It's no wonder they're frequently selected by Hollywood to represent paradise.

These island oases are also surprisingly accessible: from Nadi, opt for a short domestic flight or regular ferry transfer, or embark on a curated cruise to go island-hopping with ultimate ease.

Read on to discover what to see and where to stay in this dreamy part of the world.

The Mamanuca Islands: a Pacific paradise

What to see

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Monuriki or 'Cast Away' Island.

Just west of Nadi are the 20 breathtaking isles of Mamanuca. Welcoming locals, picture-perfect reefs and endless stretches of sand have launched these heavenly havens to global renown.

Those wanting to take it slow can kayak the tropical waters surrounding mesmerising Monuriki, where cinematic classic Cast Away was filmed. Meanwhile, surfers will want to set a course for the watercolour wonder of Tavarua Island, the gateway to Fiji’s world-class waves – Cloudbreak, Restaurants and Tavarua Rights.

Of course, much of the Mamanuca magic is found on deserted shores only accessible by day sail. Surrounding the private island of Tivua, snorkellers are rewarded with an underwater metropolis of colourful coral and enchanting marine life spanning 500 acres. Back ashore, beach-lovers can stroll along the uninterrupted shore and listen to the breath of timeless tides.

Where to stay

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Tovolea Restaurant at Six Senses Fiji.

Cradled by a protected marine sanctuary, the exclusive Malolo is an island that epitomises Fijian luxury. Quiet, calm and contemporary design make Six Senses Fiji an ideal anchor for your restorative Pacific stay, with crisp beachfront rooms and on-site spa facilities. Further north, Likuliku Lagoon Resort is an impressive adults-only retreat offering exceptional all-inclusive dining and an array of elegant accommodations, from the Beachfront Bure to the spellbinding Overwater Bure.

The Yasawa Islands: An archipelago for adventure

What to see

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Scuba diving in the Yasawa Islands.

Further afield lies the spectacular Yasawa archipelago, a collection of around 20 volcanic islands in Fiji’s northwest. Famed for their rugged cliffs and remote coves, the Yasawa Islands are perfect for those seeking tranquility and adventure in equal measure. The watchful limestone mountain of secluded Sawa-i-Lau cuts a striking figure. Below, travellers can uncover the legendary saltwater caves captured in the film ‘Blue Lagoon’. Connected by a thrilling submerged passage, this enchanting duo of hidden caverns are a must-see when visiting nearby Yasawa Island.

Divers will be spoilt for choice with some of the world’s best dive sites, and the chance to encounter turtles, sharks and jaw-dropping manta rays at ‘Manta Ray Passage’ – a short boat ride from Drawaqa Island. Each island in the archipelago is blessed with beautiful hiking trails, leading to panoramic views such as those at the summit of Wayasewa Island and at the picturesque peak of Mount Tamasua on Yasawa Island.

Where to stay

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Yasawa Island Resort.

Yasawa Island Resort & Spa invites you to settle comfortably on the island’s northernmost shores, ready to explore the lush, remote wilderness. With fewer than 50 guests at any one time, this exclusive resort presents the discerning traveller with the ideal balance of relaxation and excitement. Wander out to one of the 11 remote private beaches, savour all-inclusive, a la carte dining and release tension with a romantic couple’s massage. Between exhilarating dives and invigorating trail walks, you can recline with sweeping ocean views from your room, or book the Honeymoon Bure for a private paradise complete with your own horizon pool.

Ready to explore? Discover this seven-night Fiji islands cruise.

Looking for more inspiration? Check out The Only Island Guide to Fiji You Need.

About Finn
With an insatiable appetite for fine food, live music and the world's very best craft chocolate, Finn loves stumbling on the unexpected by taking the path less travelled (after meticulously planning the route, of course).

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