May 31, 2012

Staying on the Coral Coast in Fiji

The Coral Coast is an extremely popular destination for tourists heading to Fiji. Located on the southwestern shoreline of Viti Levu, Fiji's largest island, it is only a 90-minute drive from Nadi and was the first area in Fiji to be developed for tourism. The Coral Coast contains one of the largest fringing coral reefs and is also the soft coral capital of the world. With its crystal blue waters, palm trees and surreal sunsets, the Coral Coast will just blow your mind and spirit away.


There is a lot to do and see on the Coral Coast, with its 80 kilometres of beaches, bays, rocky outcrops, mangrove forests, lush vegetation and steep hills rising sharply into mountain ranges. Fijian villages are within easy travelling distance and are very welcoming to tourists. Here are a few of the major tourist attractions:

1.      Viti Levu's main town, Sigatoka, has a noticeably Indian presence, with temples and a mosque as well as lots of Indian restaurants and shops. Its central market is bustling with farmers bartering and trading and women selling jewellery, fashion, handicrafts, homewares and hand-woven coconut leaf baskets, among other exotic items.

2.     A good way to see the Coral Coast is via the Coral Coast Railway. The traditional train will take you along the coast, through the mangrove forests and over to the Muka caves. For a look further inland, you can take a tour along the Sigatoka River where you will see Fijian villages and plenty of wildlife. Of course, a visit to the Coral Coast is wasted if you don't put on some scuba gear and snorkel at least once to visit its famed soft corals.

3.       Another natural wonder in the Coral Coast are the Sigatoka Sand Dunes, a product of fluvial erosion. The dunes cover 650 hectares and are approximately 5 kilometres long, 1 kilometre wide and range from 20 to 60 metres high. These dunes are greyish brown and are home to plenty of shrubs and vines. Although not as golden as the dunes of the Sahara desert, they are nevertheless a sight to behold, an ancient formation that has been forming for millions of years. When visiting, go before 11am or after 3pm to avoid the heat of midday.

4.       For a taste of the local culture, you can attend the markets that spring up along the Coral Coast every Saturday. The market in Sigatoka, Viti Levu's main town, is the busiest, so get there early if you want to catch some good bargains.

Hotels and Accommodation

Being the original tourist destination, the Coral Coast offers a lot of variety and options for individual, couple and group accommodation, or you can enjoy the accommodation offered through one of the many fantastic Fiji holiday packages. For those on a budget or if you want more of the Fiji experience, there is also a lot of traditional accommodation available either on the beach or in the villages. Regardless of your choice, all hotels and resorts have a great view of the water, so no matter where you end up staying, you can enjoy the stunning ocean scenery.

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