THE FIJI ISLANDS -
- THE "FRIENDLY ISLANDS" -
Surely, amidst the humdrum of everyday life, everyone has dreamt of taking flight to some distant paradise island, crushing warm, soft sand between naked toes. The fabled Fiji Islands in the South Pacific certainly make this dream come true! The cheerful greeting Bula will ring out loud as soon as you set foot onto the islands. Indeed, the Fijian were recently named the world's friendliest people by an American travel magazine.
Fiji is more than smiling faces and world-class beaches. The Fiji Islands also stand for a century old melting pot of South Seas cultures. Approximately half of the 330 exotic islands are inhabited, the most important ethnic groups being the Fijians (49%) and the Indo-Fijians (46%) complemented by those that have arrived from just about any other part of the world (5%). The locals tread lightly and despite centuries of human occupation, the islands maintain a pristine natural environment with a highly diverse flora and fauna. Experience the harmony between the friendly people, their culture and nature.
The Fiji Islands are located 200 kilometres east of Australia and approximately 3000 kilometres north of New Zealand. Flung far into the Pacific Ocean's infinite expanse, the long distances that need to be travelled to arrive on the world's most beautiful far end are certainly worth the time.
Rub shoulders with the locals and learn more about the traditions and everyday life on the Fiji Islands. Peppered with archaeological treasures, the islands' most important ceremonies are nevertheless still alive. One of the sacred rites still practised today is the Kava ceremony a key element to strengthening the community spirit. The yacona plant is a member of the pepper family and the traditional drink is produced from its roots.
In fact, the world Kava can be traced back to the Tonga language and the traditional drink plays an essential role in every kind of ceremonial proceedings or business transactions like baptisms, conventions of the eldest or signing of contracts.Visitors are invited to participate in the sacred Kava ceremonies and you may also take pictures. Careful observers will note that the kava is served in keeping with social status and that the participants' attire is very carefully chosen for the occassion. In addition to the Kava ceremony, the Tabua ceremony is designed to honour especially venerated members of society. The ceremony culminates in awarding a precious, polished, sperm whale tooth, the size and weight marking the related prestige.
The Fijis' people, the history and living traditions ensure a fascinating holiday. However, in addition, the islands also stand for countless open-air sports in a stunning South Seas setting. Or, you may certainly decide to just kick back and unwind in fine style on any of the picture-perfect beaches. Unplug in paradise or spend a memorable honeymoon in a supremely romantic hideaway.
At once the main island and the largest islands of the Fijis, Viti Levu Island also accommodates the two airports. Viti Levu boasts soaring volcanic mountains and fantastic white sand beaches. The second largest island is Vanua Levu, smaller but just as beautiful as its larger sister. However, life is decidedly slower on Vanua Levu. In third place, Taveuni boasts such extravagantly lush, tropical vegetation that is has also become known as the Garden Island.
Many more islands pepper the Indian Ocean. There is Kadavu, a diver's paradise, and the Mamanuca Archipelago. North-west of Viti Levu lie the Yasawa Islands that have become famous for their outstanding beauty. Allow INTOSOL to take you on the journey of a lifetime to the Fiji Islands. Experience the South Seas and the legendary friendliness of the Fijians. Bula!