Fiji Is Reopening Its Borders Soon
Travel from the US, Aus, and Europe will open on Dec 1. Here’s why you should book a ticket right away.
Nobody doesn’t like Fiji. You’ve either been there before and are dying to go back, or you’ve dreamt of setting foot in Fijian waters your entire surfing life. Either way, you should get there soon. Fortunately, you can.
The Pacific island took a hammering during the pandemic, but with vaccination rates nearing 97% for the first dose, it will be reopening its borders to US, Australian, and European travel from December 1. Here’s everything you need to know, and all the reasons why you should consider booking a ticket.
Cloudbreak and Restaurants? Duh. But have you heard of the several less-crowded doppelgängers in Mantasasasavi? Holding more than five breaks within 40 minutes of one another, the Coral Coast is filled with pleasant surprises. Perfect tubes, long-running walls, and playful crumbly burgers suited for all levels of surfers. Furthermore, because 90% of surfers stay at the waves around Tavarua and Namotu, you can expect to share the lineup with just a handful of people, even when it’s pumping.
Need proof? Let Macy, Sage, Hannah, and Laura guide you to the sweet spot in Fiji in a feature that we shot in late 2019 (see above). From Namotu to Suva with the Coral Coast in between, the girls take us beyond the staple breaks and show us around Fiji’s cute coastal villages, their incredible cuisine, people, and way of living.
Cloudbreak is the most iconic wave in Fiji for a reason. From 3ft-20ft it can hold its perfect shape that peels down the reef for several hundred meters. Conditions can change here in a heartbeat going from perfect to scary to flat to offshore to blown out to glassy. Torren Martyn here gets it on a good day. You would be hard-pressed to find better waves anywhere in the world when Cloudbreak is pumping.
With sectioning tubes and whackable sections, Restaurants is the playful, charming younger sibling of Cloudbreak that breaks along the Tavarua reef-shelf and gives you second thoughts about going any further. During the tour event waiting period in 2017, the CT surfers, plus the old bulls BL and Pottz, let loose on the fast-peeling left. Incredibly fun and just a few footsteps from the bar at Tavs. Delightful.
Surfing’s great but it’s not for everyone. Unless your partner surfs too, holidays usually require some form of compromise to also explore non-surfing-related activities. Fiji is great for this, with snorkeling, kayaking, diving, spas, resorts, and private islands — it is as glorious for honeymoons as it is for surf trips.
Leave the kids to play with sea snakes in the lagoon and sip on Mai Tai’s while you get a pedicure and whisper filth in your partner’s ear. For the less gluttonous or more wholesome adventure-inclined-type, you can hike to waterfalls and mountains, visit villages, zipline, white-water raft, and mountain bike at multiple spots that boast incredible scenery. The Fijian people have a rich cultural heritage and a genuinely kind ‘Bula’ spirit. Bula is basically aloha without the scare tactics.
How to get there
The largest of Fiji’s 333 islands, Viti Levu, is located only 10 hours by air from both Los Angeles and San Francisco, or six hours from Sydney. You can hop on a direct, overnight flight via Fiji Airways, Fiji’s national airline, and land at Viti Levu’s Nadi International Airport at daybreak and dive right into all the Fijian archipelago has to offer. If you stay on the big island, you’re a quick drive from the resorts of the Coral Coast and the rural villages and world-class dive sites on the Suncoast. Or, make Viti Levu a brief stop before heading off to a resort in the Mamanuca or Yasawa Islands, accessible by ferry in as fast as 45 minutes or by seaplane in only 15 minutes. Nadi is also the gateway to the exotic northern islands of Vanua Levu and Tavenui, both easily reached via scenic flights on Fiji Link, Fiji Airway’s domestic airline.
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