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Find your own isolated paradise
110 of Fiji's islands are inhabited, yet more than 85 percent of the population are found on just two of these: Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Not quite the deserted atoll that many visitors expect, mountainous Viti Levu is the nation's largest island and home to its capital city of Suva. Kings Wharf harbour is built on a peninsula, a short walk from the urban centre. Stroll around the area to discover colonial buildings nestled beside modern malls, beautiful gardens and a sprawling university.
Learn about Fijian culture - old and new
Fijians are friendly, hospitable hosts - this may be surprising as the area was once known as the 'Cannibal Isles'! The practice was a sign of respect and people believed they would take on the attributes of those they consumed. Visit the Fiji Museum in Thurston Gardens for an insight into Fiji's heritage. To enjoy the islanders' unique customs and way of life visit the traditional Navala village in the highlands, or experience a rousing Meke dance. As you would expect of an island chain much-visited by passing mariners from around the globe, traditional Fijian cuisine has been deliciously augmented by these seafarer's favourite foods. Modern Fijian cuisine is a diverse fusion of Indian, Chinese and European, combined with local cassava, coconut and fish.
Bask on Fiji's beaches...
Viti Levu's best beaches are found on its Coral Coast – a 50-mile stretch that starts at Pacific Harbour, 25 miles west of Suva. Grab a towel and soak up some sun as you relax on the sandy shores under a cloudless sky. For spectacular snorkelling and dive sites, head out for a day trip to one of the smaller islands or lagoons.
Or traverse it's tropical rainforest
Many of Fiji's larger islands are blanketed with tropical rainforest, including Viti Levu. Immerse yourself in its wild wonders just 15 miles from Suva, at Colo-i-Suva Forest Park. Admire its exotic flora as you swap the urban buzz with the melodic call of a Golden Dove, Spotted Fantail or a Barking Pigeon. Follow the walking trail past dramatic waterfalls and rivers, then kick off your shoes for a quick dip in its refreshing natural swimming holes.
Fiji covers a total area of around 7,054 square miles, but only 10 percent of this is land. Discovering every island in the archipelago would be a time-consuming task for even the most avid explorer, so hopping between a select few is a great way to sample what's on offer. Catch a ferry, helicopter or seaplane, then bask in the beauty of your chosen paradise. Laze in luxury on the idyllic beaches of the Mamanuca group, rub shoulders with the locals on the Yasawas or experience the untouched natural beauty of the Lau group.