Urania, one of the Nine Muses from classical Greek mythology, was the muse of astronomy and the heavens, and she also represents one of my favorite travel themes - journeying far from light pollution to Dark Sky Reserves all around the world for astonishing star-gazing. It's no wonder Urania was the muse of philosophy too because you can't help contemplating our existence while observing our tiny place in the wide universe. So I was excited when a client recently approached me for a trip to a remote island in Fiji, purely to get lost in the stars. Besides an exceptional quality of starry nights, the islands of Fiji have postcard-perfect beaches, wonderful water activities, delicious cuisine and traditional village customs to discover while relaxing a world away. Here are other ways to experience faraway Fiji.
Originally appeared in Virtuoso Best of the Best: 2014 Guide to the World's Best Hotel Experiences.
Sharing the Kava Bowl
Participate in the ancient kava ceremony in Navala, Fiji’s last traditional village. Kava is a drink made from pulverized pepper plant root, and it plays a central role in island life. You’ll also tour the village, mingle with the schoolchildren, lunch on authentic Fijian cuisine and perhaps go horseback riding through the lush Highlands.
Safari on the Sigatoka River
Venture into the heart and soul of Fiji while cruising the Sigatoka River aboard custom-built safari jet boats. Throughout the journey, your expert captain and guide introduces you to the island’s rich culture, history, customs and legends. Visit traditional villages and experience a day in the life of the real Kaiviti (Fijian) while lunching with the locals. Women will fit right in wearing their complimentary sulus (sarongs).
Snorkeling Savala Island
Don your mask and fins and explore brilliant coral reefs during a day on Savala Island, a private island paradise. Go kayaking, try stand-up paddleboarding, take a glass-bottom boat ride or simply listen as the resident storyteller shares the “tale of the coconut.”
Rafting the Upper Navua River
Navigate one of the most dramatic river canyons on earth. Slicing a deep chasm through the island’s tropical interior, the Upper Navua River is shrouded in lush rainforest and protected by challenging rapids. Travelers with some rafting experience can join expert guides paddling exciting class II/III whitewater, finding hidden grottoes and countless waterfalls.
Contact me when you're ready to discover more of fabulous Fiji!