The Yasawa Islands, Fiji
A truly beautiful part of the world with pristine white sand, clean beaches and turquoise sea that we were lucky enough to spend 7 days on, experiencing the real Fijian way of life from the living spaces, food and daily activities.
5 hours by boat from the mainland Nadi, departing from Lautoka Wharf, the Yasawa islands in Fiji are the furthest away, making them the most beautiful. They are made up of around 20 islands, each with their different specialities and we were heading for Safe Landing in Nacula Village, a traditional Fijian village and living experience, allowing us to be immersed and welcomed into their everyday lives. We took the ‘Sea Bus’ as it was the cheapest option which was only 1 hour slower than the ‘Flyer’ and half the price. Departing at 8am and arriving at the Yasawa’s just after lunchtime, we crossed the rough seas spotting the islands in the distance, counting down the hours until we were due to arrive. As the islands got closer, the sea became calmer and it was a ride in paradise with beautiful views of the luscious green islands with a wash of white sandy bays. Our stop at 'Safe Landing' was the last of the 3 so we got to watch other locals load up their boats with passengers and supplies from the mainland before catching our own. There is something quite magical about stopping beside an island in clear blue glistening water and jumping off one big boat onto a smaller one, which then takes you to your home. Once us and our bags had been thrown overboard (not literally) onto the smaller boat, we were on our way to Nacula Village, which we could spot in the distance from it’s distinct red roof huts. The boat sped through the shallow waters where we spotted brightly coloured coral beneath us, little fish and pointed out snorkelling spots.
We had one week on this beautiful island and from the moment we stepped off the boat, we knew it would be absolute paradise. A water facing beach hut with a hammock tied to a tree overlooking the ocean and a window we could watch the sunset from, what more could we need? The beach was a stretch of white soft sand and the water turquoise, shallow for miles and sparkling in the sun. Days were spent reading The Versions Of Us by Laura Barnett and Educated by Tara Westover on the beach and in my hammock, writing my travel diary, photographing this beautiful place and soaking up the sun (when it came out). We didn’t have much luck with the weather whilst we were on the Yasawa’s which was a real shame as it was the the perfect place to lay all day in the sun but we met other guests, made friends, snorkelled, chatted to the locals and everyday at 3pm we would walk across the beach to the cake hut where one type of cake was served daily by a Fijian family, usually banana and it was delicious.
We spent a couple of days snorkelling at Blue Lagoon, a 30 minute walk from our resort and the coral was the best we have ever seen. It was an 800m swim out but totally worth it for the bright colours of blues, greens, pinks and oranges with thousands of fish circling us, hiding in-between the rocks as we admired their tranquil and untouched homes. Other activities included a fishing trip with the locals where we caught Snapper which was then served for dinner, coconut tree climbing from the locals and drinking fresh coconut water on the beach.
Our week on the Yasawa’s was a really authentic and inspiring experience into the real Fijian way of life. Staying in a local village meant we ate communally each night where the food produce available to them that day was served for lunch and dinner (usually rice with stir fried vegetables or an omelette) and we only had power from 6pm-8am, no hot running water and zero Wifi. It was a great way to start our trip as we switched off from the outside world and social media, allowing us to find new treasures and beautiful spots on the island which is what travelling is all about. The Fijian people are simply beautiful, being some of the friendliest and kindest people we have met and it was an honour to live with them and experience their day to day life. This experience is something I will cherish forever and urge anyone heading to Fiji to do.
Love, Jasmine x