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Best Fiji Island Hopping Itinerary + Guide (2024)

A view across teal coloured water towards a deserted, paradise island

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Looking for the best Fiji island hopping itinerary? I don’t blame you! Fiji is the ultimate tropical getaway. A haven of pristine, palm-fringed sands and breathtaking scenery, Fiji is as picture-perfect as it gets.

I’ll never forget the first time I visited – I was blown away by the beaches, the rugged volcanic landscape and the crystal waters abundant with coral. If you’re a beach lover like me, Fiji will no doubt be your dream vacation! 

Perfect for every kind of traveller, Fiji boasts 333 islands and has accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. But, with all this choice, it can feel daunting planning a trip.

So, to help you out, this Fiji island hopping itinerary will show you all the best bits without feeling too hectic.

Two to three weeks is the ideal amount of time for island hopping in Fiji. But, if you’re limited on time – or want to squeeze a trip into two weeks of annual leave – this Fiji itinerary has you covered! 

Mixing relaxation with adventure, here’s everything you need to know for a dream Fiji island hopping holiday…

Fiji island hopping Vs choosing one island

Staying on just one island in Fiji is absolutely a dream getaway. But, to maximise your experience, island hopping gives you the chance to explore the best that this beautiful country has to offer!

With so many islands to choose from, Fiji is one of the world’s best island hopping destinations. And, if you want to spice up your vacay with a bit more adventure, island hopping is a top choice! 

As a country with so much beauty, flitting between islands is a big part of the charm. Whether you take a ferry, private boat or a flight, the journeys are guaranteed to take your breath away.

And if island hopping sounds a little hectic – don’t worry! While you can fit a ton into your trip this itinerary has a slower pace so you still have plenty of time to relax.

Fiji island groups

Fiji’s islands can be divided into several groups. Viti Levu is Fiji’s largest island and has over 70% of the country’s population.

It’s here that you’ll find the capital Suva as well as Nadi International Airport – which will be your starting point for your Fiji island hopping itinerary.

Vanua Levu is Fiji’s second largest island, followed by Taveuni – an eco paradise abundant in rainforest and natural beauty. Remote and less visited by tourists, Kadavu is the fourth largest island and is a secluded, off-the-beaten-track destination. 

RELATED: Bali vs Fiji: Which Is the Best Vacation Spot?

The rest of Fiji’s islands are divided into groups of smaller islands – including the Lomaiviti group located in the central part of Fiji and the far-flung Lau further east. You’ll also find the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands north of Viti Levu. 

A small boat on the beach on an island in Fiji

If you’re visiting Fiji for the first time, it’s the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups that need to be on your radar.

The Mamanuca chain is the most popular for island hopping and is easy to reach from Viti Levu. It boasts tiny white-sand isles with cast away vibes (not least because Tom Hanks’s Cast Away was filmed on Monuriki island!) 

RELATED: 15 Best Mamanuca Island Resorts Fiji

Likewise, the Yasawa islands are the epitome of desert island bliss. Further north from the Mamanucas, and slightly more secluded, you’ll find stunning beaches, sapphire waters and dramatic volcanic landscapes.

It’s also here that you can explore the famous Blue Lagoon which offers some of the world’s best snorkelling. 

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How to island hop in Fiji

The great thing about island hopping is the freedom it gives you. Depending on where you visit, there are a few ways to travel around Fiji’s islands.

Private transfers

If you’re staying at one of Fiji’s more exclusive resorts, private transfers can be organised through their reservations team. You can also find independent companies that offer private transfers to, and between, islands – including seaplanes, helicopters and water taxis. 

Fiji island ferries

If you’re visiting the Mamanuca and Yasawa islands, one of the easiest ways to travel is aboard the Yasawa Flyer. The Yasawa Flyer is a high-speed catamaran that departs daily from Port Denarau (near Nadi) and stops at multiple islands across the Mamanuca and Yasawa chain.

You can buy a flexible hop-on-hop-off pass or you can choose a package with extra inclusions, such as accommodation and activities. 

A drone view across a pristine beach fringed with palm trees

If you go for the hop-on-hop-off (Bula Pass) option, you can choose passes of 5 to 15 days, but you’ll need to have your resort booked before you get off the boat.

Resorts can be booked on board, but it’s best to sort in advance as many are small and can get booked up fast!

The Yasawa Flyer offers transfers to most of the Yasawa island resorts as well as a selection within the Mamanuca islands. The sister company, South Sea Cruises, also offers an extensive service to islands in the Mamanuca chain. 

The Yasawas are the focus of this Fiji island hopping itinerary so you can take advantage of the Yasawa Flyer. It stops at each of the listed resorts on its 2024 schedule

Fiji island hopping packages

If you want a more inclusive option, Awesome Adventures Fiji have different packages that include island hopping transfers, accommodation and activities. You also get to choose your accommodation type – from shared dorms to private bures.

This is definitely one of the simplest way to travel around Fiji’s islands. It does mean you are a tiny bit more restricted with the islands and resorts you get to visit, but all are incredible, so it’s not much of a problem 😉

Fiji Explorer is the company’s 12-day package. It visits 5 islands across the Mamanuca and Yasawa chain and includes activities like snorkelling with reef sharks, visiting the Sawa-I-Lau Caves and swimming with manta rays.

If you have less time, other packages from Awesome Adventures include the Yasawa Wanderer (8 days), Coconut Cruiser (7 days), Island Adventure (5 days) and Tropical Tempter (4 days).

You can also create your own island hopping Fiji package with Awesome Pass Fiji.

Best time to visit Fiji

With a tropical climate year-round, there’s no bad time to visit Fiji. However, the wet season runs from NovemberApril with higher temperatures that often bring storms.

While it’s the least popular time to visit, the storms can be short and you’ll still experience plenty of sunshine. The best part is, there will be fewer crowds and prices tend to be lower. 

That said, the recommended time to go island hopping in Fiji is during the dry season from May-October. It will be less humid with temperatures around 25 to 30°C.

If you travel between May and October, you’ll also catch manta ray season, which is a must on a Fiji island hopping holiday!

Getting to Fiji

Nadi International Airport is Fiji’s main airport and is located on Viti Levu. 

If you’re flying from the UK, flights usually transit in Los Angeles or San Francisco but there are also options via Hong Kong and Singapore. You also have a choice of airlines that codeshare with Fiji Airways – including British Airways and American Airlines.

Economy flights to Fiji from the UK typically cost around £1,500 and take 25-30 hours.  

Ok, let’s get to it! Here’s my suggested 12-day Fiji island hopping itinerary. Obviously it can be adjusted to suit you, but these were my favourite spots and is a route that covers all the best bits!

Day 1-2: Viti Levu Island (2 nights)

If you suffer from jet lag, unfortunately Fiji isn’t the easiest destination to acclimatise to. For travellers from the UK, it’ll probably take you a few days to adjust to your new time zone and climate. 

Most long-haul flights arrive early morning which, after a sleepless flight, can also be a struggle!

So, if you’re like me and can’t sleep on planes, you’ll be thankful for a few rest days in Nadi, or nearby Denarau, before your Fiji island hopping adventure begins.

There are lots of beautiful resorts in Denarau that offer respite after a long flight. Some might be able to arrange early check-in, and you should be able to leave your bags if you want to lounge by the pool or visit the local area once you arrive.

As Fiji’s biggest island and international hub, Viti Levu is often seen as a transit spot en route to the smaller islands. And, while most of your first two days will involve catching up on sleep and lounging at your resort, there are still things to do if you want to explore! 

  • Garden of the Sleeping Giant – At the foothills of the Nausori Highlands, around 20 minutes from Nadi, the Garden of the Sleeping Giant is a lovely visit. You’ll be able to explore dense rainforest as well as gorgeous landscaped lawns filled with orchids.
  • Sabeto Hot Springs and Mud PoolOne of Fiji’s gems, a visit to these hot springs is a great way to relax after a flight. The mud is believed by locals to have healing properties, so you cover yourself in it before washing it off in natural thermal pools. You can choose to have a massage afterwards, too!
  •  Cloud 9 – If you can’t wait for turquoise seas, consider a trip to Cloud 9. Cloud 9 is an iconic floating bar and a one-of-a-kind experience where you can enjoy DJ sets, drinks and pizza.

The platform is located in the middle of the sea in the Mamanuca region, but tickets include a transfer from Viti Levu’s Port Denarau.

Where to stay near Nadi

It’s best to stay in Nadi or Denarau so you’re close to Port Denarau for when you begin island hopping. I stayed at the beautiful Sheraton Fiji Golf & Beach Resort, which has all you’d expect from a five-star complex – spacious suites, multiple restaurants and lagoon-style pools.

Day 3-5: Waya Island (3 nights)

Today’s the day you’ve been waiting for! After an early start, you’ll head to Waya island in the southern part of the Yasawas.

If you’re using the Yasawa Flyer, the boat will leave Port Denarau at 8:45am and you can get a coach transfer from most resorts.

The boat takes around two hours, so you’ll be able to soak up the scenery as you cruise past the Mamanuca islands and on to the Yasawa gateway. On board the Yasawa Flyer there’s an outdoor deck, which is the best spot to enjoy the views!

As your first introduction to Fiji’s islands, Waya is truly breathtaking. As with all Yasawa islands, there are no cars or roads on the island, but there are four villages on Waya connected by footpaths – making it a great island to experience authentic Fijian life.

Known for its hilly terrain, Waya island is also a great choice for hiking. Idyllic, golden beaches also come as standard, so you can while away the time on a hammock with a good book. Nearby reefs offer brilliant snorkelling and dive opportunities, too.

A mountainous, rugged coastline along tropical Waya island in Fiji
  • Village visit – Visiting a local village is a must on your Fiji island hopping itinerary. On Waya, there are several villages where you can mix with locals and experience genuine Fijian hospitality. This is also a great opportunity to support the communities, experience a village meke and buy handmade arts and crafts. 
  • Kava ceremony – Made from the root of the pepper tree, kava is the national drink of Fiji. It’s a huge part of Fijian culture and a kava ceremony is a significant ritual to be a part of. 
  • Guided hiking – Waya is the perfect island for hiking, so you can take part in guided cross-island hikes or trips to the top of the highest peaks. The southern Yasawas have incredible rugged landscapes, so you’re guaranteed amazing views!

Where to stay on Waya Island

Octopus Resort is a peaceful spot for your first few days in the Yasawas. Set on soft sands, and with a colourful reef just metres from the shore, this resort is a beach lover’s paradise! Different types of accommodation are available from dorms to premium bures and suites. 

Day 6-8: Drawaqa Island (3 nights)

From Waya island, the next stop on this Fiji island hopping itinerary is the gorgeous Drawaqa island. About 40 minutes north of Waya, this is another Yasawa island that’s postcard perfect. 

Surrounded by a marine protected area, the island is a dream if you’re a diver or want to try snorkelling. You’ll find pristine reefs right off the beachfront, with the area surrounding Barefoot Manta Island Resort declared as a no-fishing zone. 

With a focus on sustainability, this island is great if you want to learn more about marine conservation and what’s being done to preserve the reefs.

If you visit between May and October, it’s also here that you’ll have the chance to swim with manta rays. 

  •  Snorkelling & diving – This island boasts some of the most impressive snorkelling and dive spots. You’ll be able to hire snorkelling gear from your resort. If you want to try diving for the first time, you could also take an introductory dive. Or for experienced divers, there are over 40 dive sites surrounding the island. 
  •  Paddleboarding & kayaking – With calm crystal waters surrounding the island, paddle boarding and kayaking are great ways to spend an afternoon.
  •  Swim with manta rays – One of the top things to do while island hopping in Fiji is swimming with manta rays. This is an unforgettable experience that feels completely otherworldly!

Travel in season (May-Oct) and you’ll be able to swim with the manta rays that feed in the channel between Drawaqa and Naviti island. 

A manta ray under the sea

Where to stay on Drawaqa Island

For an authentic, tropical retreat Barefoot Manta Island Resort is a lovely choice. It’s situated on the island point, so you’ll have three paradise beaches on your doorstep. There’s also just a handful of rooms, so there’s plenty of privacy to enjoy it all.

If you’re interested in conservation, Barefoot Manta Island Resort is also the only resort in Fiji with a dedicated Marine Conservation Centre. 

Day 9-11: Tavewa Island (3 nights)

Moving north, the next stop on your Fiji island hopping itinerary is extra special. Fiji’s Blue Lagoon is known world-over for its paradise beaches and vibrant coral. So, to make the most of your last few days, the final island is the beautiful Tavewa!

In the heart of the remote Blue Lagoon region, Tavewa is the epitome of heaven. As you’ve come to expect from Fiji, dream beaches, palm trees and sparkling teal seas are found in abundance. But, this area boasts some of the clearest waters.

When I visited, it was in this region that we experienced some of the best snorkelling!

When you’re not exploring the sea or lounging on sands, you can also visit the majestic Sawa-I-Lau Caves from Tavewa. You’ll also want to find time for some spa treatments back at your resort!

  • Sawa-I-Lau CavesLocated further north, you’ll be able to take a resort tour to the Sawa-I-Lau Caves from Tavewa. It’s a must-do if you’re travelling to the Yasawas – these ancient limestone caves are significant in Fijian culture and are amazing to experience.
  • Swimming & snorkelling – As expected, water activities are a big part of a visit to Tavewa. You can snorkel straight off the beach and enjoy lazy afternoons dipping in crystal waters.
  • Blue Lagoon – If you want to head further afield, you can visit the famous Blue Lagoon beach from Tavewa Island.
  • Stargazing – If you’re looking for romantic things to do in Fiji, this is for you! The remote Yasawa islands are brilliant for stargazing – and what could be more perfect than watching the stars with the sounds of waves gently lapping the shore?

Where to stay on Tavewa Island

Coconut Beach Resort is a magical option for your time on Tavewa island. Offering a front-row seat to the Blue Lagoon, this little resort is a tropical gem. With only 11 bures nestled amongst coconut groves, you can expect first-class hospitality in a tranquil setting.

Day 12: Onward travels

I know you won’t want to leave, but on the last day of your Fiji island hopping itinerary, you’ll journey back to Viti Levu.

Around a 4 ½ -hour journey from Tavewa, you’ll arrive at Port Denarau in the early evening. Unless you have a late flight, it’s worth staying an extra night in Nadi to avoid delays before flying home.

Fiji island hopping itinerary map

A hammock between palm trees on an empty white sandy beach in Fiji

South Sea Island (Mamanuca Islands)

South Sea Island is one of the easiest islands to reach from Port Denarau. It’s a popular choice with day trippers staying on the mainland – you can get there in 30 minutes. 

I stayed here for one night when I was island hopping in Fiji. The island is tiny and essentially like a sandbank! There’s only one resort – South Sea Island Resort – and it’s surrounded by crystal waters so there’s lots of opportunity for things like snorkelling and kayaking.

Malolo Lailai Island (Mamanuca Islands)

Malolo Lailai is the second largest of the Mamanuca Islands. It’s home to four resorts and has everything you’d expect from a Fijian island with stretches of soft white sands, coconut palms and pristine waters. 

$$$ Lomani Island Resort ⭐️ 9.6/10
$$$ Musket Cove Island Resort ⭐️ 8.4/10
$$ Plantation Island Resort ⭐️ 8.1/10

Malolo Island (Mamanuca Islands)

Next to Malolo Lailai is Malolo Island. It’s the largest Mamanuca Island and has some of the dreamiest resorts. It’s also one of the few islands in the Mamanucas to have traditional Fijian villages.

$$$ Likuliku Lagoon Resort ⭐️ 9.5/10
$$$ Six Senses Fiji ⭐️ 9.2/10
$$ Malolo Island Resort ⭐️ 9.4/10

Tokoriki Island (Mamanuca Islands)

Tokoriki is a gorgeous island that’s home to two resorts. This is a ridiculously beautiful destination and is brilliant for honeymooners and luxury travellers.

$$$ Tokoriki Island Resort ⭐️ 9.1/10
$$ Sheraton Resort & Spa, Tokoriki Island ⭐️ 8.3/10

Vomo Island (Mamanuca Islands)

If you’re dreaming of a luxury private island – Vomo is for you! The entire island is owned by VOMO Island Resort Fiji and it’s a paradise destination.

You’ll find secluded sandy beaches, swaying palms, hammocks and crystal-clear waters. It’s the perfect island for a honeymoon or extra special vacation.

Naukacuvu Island (Yasawa Islands)

Naukacuvu Island has all the castaway vibes with palm-fringed beaches, sugar sands and coral reefs. It’s home to Paradise Cove Resort which is a laid-back option with garden bungalows and beachfront villas.

Turtle Island (Yasawa Islands)

Turtle Island is a private island that’s amazing for luxury travellers. Occupied by the all-inclusive Turtle Island Resort, this is a destination that’s the epitome of paradise! The resort has 12 private beaches and only 14 bures so it’s all about seclusion, privacy and having the most idyllic experience.

Nanuya Lailai (Yasawa Islands)

Just north of Turtle Island is Nanuya Lailai. This is a pristine island with all the paradise vibes. The island was one of the film locations for The Blue Lagoon and is an amazing place for tropical beaches and snorkelling.

$$ Nanuya Island Resort ⭐️ 9.2/10

Nacula Island (Yasawa Islands)

Further north in the Yasawa chain is Nacula Island. This hilly, volcanic island is picture-perfect and has loads to love. It’s one of the largest Yasawa islands and has traditional villages as well as a few resorts. 

$$ Oarsman’s Bay Lodge ⭐️ 9.5/10
Blue Lagoon Beach Resort ⭐️ 8.8/10

Best Fiji island hopping tours

If you don’t want the stress of organising everything yourself, an organised tour or island cruise could be a great choice. Rather than massive cruise ships, these options are a lot more intimate and take you to some of the best spots across the Mamanuca and Yasawa region!

Fiji island hopping cost

Brilliant turquoise sea with a speedboat travelling away from a nearby island in Fiji

Island hopping in Fiji isn’t the cheapest but it’s definitely a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list experience! 

A big cost to consider is the transport between islands. If you go for the Bula Pass Fiji option, it’s £322 + an admin fee for 12 days. Packages like the Fiji Explorer cost £1,646 for a double room, plus £585 for meals, per person.

There’s a choice of hotels at different price points in the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands. If you’re on a budget, you can go for dorms, but I recommend staying in some of the higher-end accommodation for the most heavenly experience! Many of these hotels are £250+ per night, with some above £800.

If you’re travelling from the UK, your flights will also be a big consideration. Unfortunately, prices are on the spendy side. My return flights from London to Nadi (via Los Angeles) cost £1,600.

  • Make sure you book accommodation in Denarau or Nadi for before and after your island hopping adventure. There’s only one ferry per day so you’ll need to be at the port early if you’re catching the Yasawa Flyer. It’s also a good idea to have a night close to the airport in Nadi before flying home.

  • Try to book your island hopping accommodation in advance. Many of the resorts and islands are small so this will save you the stress of worrying if it’ll be booked up when you get there!

  • I recommend travelling to Fiji’s islands with a backpack rather than a suitcase – dragging a suitcase over sand isn’t fun! Your luggage will also be thrown around a lot when it’s taken from the ferry to the smaller boats that take you to each island. You’ll want to make sure everything is secure and sealed!

  • It’s also a good idea to buy a small waterproof bag for your valuables. I didn’t have one of these but I wish I did… there were too many times when I nearly dropped everything in the sea!

Island hopping Fiji FAQs 

A palm tree hanging over a beach at sunset

How many days do you need to visit Fiji?

If you have the time, 12-21 days is ideal for island hopping in Fiji. This will give you the chance to see as much as possible as well as having plenty of time to relax. If you have less time, I’ve put together some 7-day Fiji itinerary ideas here.

How do you island hop around Fiji?

There are lots of options for island hopping in Fiji. The simplest way is to book an island hopper package like Awesome Adventures Fiji Explorer. You could also grab a Fiji island hopping pass. If you have the cash, private transfers such as seaplanes, helicopters or water taxis are also an option.

What is the best month to go to Fiji?

The best time to visit Fiji is during the dry season, which is May to October.

Is Fiji cheap or expensive?

Fiji can be expensive to visit, however, there are ways to bring the costs down if you’re travelling on a budget – for example, staying in dorms or some of the more simple accommodation.

Is it worth going all-inclusive in Fiji?

Some resorts in Fiji offer compulsory meal plans or are all-inclusive. Many luxury resorts are truly all-inclusive and are brilliant if you’re planning a relaxing trip or honeymoon where you want to sit back and be taken care of. If you’re staying on a smaller island, you also won’t have options of eating anywhere other than your resort!

A close up of a hammock between trees next to calm blue sea in Fiji

Do you tip in Fiji?

Tipping isn’t expected in Fiji but it’s always appreciated if you want to give money for great service.

Can you drink Fiji tap water?

It’s not a good idea to drink the tap water in Fiji. Make sure you have bottled water or water purifying tablets, or check with your resort if they have a water filtration system.

What is the best island in Fiji to visit?

There are so many amazing islands in Fiji. Two of my favourites in the Yasawas were Drawaqa and Nanuya Lailai. Vomo and Turtle Island are also great if you want a private island retreat.

Are Fiji’s islands good for a honeymoon?

Fiji is one of the world’s best destinations for a honeymoon! There are so many five-star hotels, adults-only resorts as well as private islands that are perfect for a romantic honeymoon. 

Is Fiji worth the hype?

Absolutely yes! I loved island hopping in Fiji. The beaches were incredible, the snorkelling was some of the best I’ve done and sleeping in accommodation right by the sea was amazing. If you love island life but still want things to see and do – island hopping in Fiji won’t disappoint.

And that’s it! I hope this Fiji island hopping guide helps you plan the trip of a lifetime! If you’re staying on in Oceania – why not head to New Zealand next? You can check out my New Zealand North Island itinerary here.

READ MORE: Best Mamanuca Island Resorts Fiji
READ MORE: 22 Most Romantic Things to Do in Fiji
READ MORE: 7 Best Places to Propose in Fiji
READ MORE: Is Fiji Boring or Worth Visiting?

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