The heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with 333 picture-perfect tropical islands that are home to happiness. 

And it’s hard not to feel truly content when you're surrounded by the bluest waters, sun-soaked beaches, and vine-tangled jungles. Even Fijian people will welcome you with open arms, offering their world-renowned, and very infectious(!), Bula spirit to put a spring in your step. 

It's true, Fiji is considered one of the happiest places on earth. Explore these idyllic islands yourself to see why this miraculous landscape is guaranteed to make you feel good. 

1. Water (Endorphins)

Fiji is famous for its crystal clear, temperate waters. Crowned the soft coral capital of the world, it's one of the best destinations on the planet to go snorkelling or scuba diving, boasting an array of colourful marine life and breathtaking underwater gardens.

Discover aquatic adventures in the Yasawa islands — home to the incredible saltwater caves (otherwise known as Sawa-i-Lau) — and Kadavu which lures divers to the Great Astrolabe Reef, one of the world’s largest and best-preserved coral reefs. 

There's also plenty of in-land water wonders to see in Fiji too. Hike through the lush jungle of Nakawaga to feel the cooling spray of the island's picturesque waterfall, or head to Taveuni island (also known as the 'Garden Island') and trek through its vast rainforest to bathe at the base of the three waterfalls of Tavoro Falls. Better still, experience the thrill of whizzing down the natural stone waterslide of Waitavala, also found on the island of Taveuni. 

With all this eco-adventure at your fingertips, Fiji is best thought of as something of a natural playground and effortlessly lends itself to pleasurable forms of exercise like swimming and hiking. Moving your body, particularly in an outdoor environment, is fantastic for flooding the body with endorphins that are proven to relieve stress and promote well-being.

2. Sunshine (Serotonin)

If you're after a much-needed shot of vitamin D, you've come to the right place. With year-round tropical warmth, there's never a dull day in on the Fijian Islands.

Set your clock to ‘Fiji time’ and fulfil all your castaway fantasies on a sun-kissed beach. Beach lovers can get their fix of sublime sandy perfection from a traditional sunlounger or a beachfront bureau bedecked in traditional fabrics, thatch, and reclaimed wood — the ultimate way to experience the essence of Fiji. Reconcile the mind and body, as you listen to the sound of palms swaying in the warm ocean breeze.

To get even closer to the ocean, embark on your very own luxury boat and lounge around on the deck, admiring the nearby shores of stunning islands such as Levu, Mamanuca, and Yasawa. For a real castaway experience, you can sail to the incredible Monuriki island, which was used as the setting for Tom Hanks’ movie, Cast Away.

Exposure to sunlight is thought to increase the brain's release of serotonin, a hormone associated with boosting mood and helping a person feel calm and focused. Remember to wear SPF daily and sunbathe responsibly!

3. Food (Nutrients)

Blending homegrown produce, succulent seafood and multi-cultural culinary traditions, Fiji’s foodie scene is a big draw. 

Conservation and sustainability is taken seriously in Fiji, so much of the produce including herbs, vegetables and meat is grown and reared on the islands. Being an archipelago with over 330 islands, the freshest seafood forms a staple part of the diet for Fijians. It goes without saying that fish is a wonderful source of essential nutrients, so chow down on specialities including sea trout, lobster, and kokoda, a raw fish ceviche (often tuna or wahoo) found in fine dining restaurants and beachside bistros.

Culinary traditions are proudly embraced throughout the islands. Spend the day embarking on a Fijian Food Safari, sourcing ingredients from mangroves and practice catching crabs like a local. Learn how herbs and spices make medicine and converse with locals over a traditional Fijian ‘Lovo Feast’. The lovo is an underground firepit where delicacies are slow-cooked in banana leaves, sometimes for up to five hours to really bring out the flavours. 

Head to a local market to taste more of the South Pacific. Cruise the stalls whilst chatting to vendors with a fresh coconut in hand and feed the most important cells in your body, your brain cells, with nutrient-rich foods like seaweed, Nama ,and sea urchins, cawaki, best eaten fresh and raw!

4. Wildlife (Grounding and promotes well-being)

Fiji has a thriving natural environment and much of its biodiversity is unique to the island.

Go on a tour through the reserve at Six Senses Fiji and you might spot Fijian Crested Iguanas, a critically endangered species. Fiji's International Iguana Foundation supports the conservation of their habitats and growth of the population.

If you have a strong connection to the ocean and marine wildlife, sail to the Yasawa Islands and Kadavu to swim with Manta Rays. If you visit Fiji between May and October, you'll have best chance of swimming alongside these majestic creatures. Kadavu also boasts an incredible array of birdlife. Unleash your inner Attenborough as you traverse dense rainforests and meandering mangroves warrens to observe a brightly coloured endemic parrot

In the Mamanuca Islands, make a difference by taking park in a marine conservation programme which could involve tagging and releasing a turtle.

5. Greenery (Good for mental health)

Did you know that seeing geometric shapes in nature known as Fractals, actually lowers our stress levels?

Given that Fiji is a naturally beautiful country, it makes sense to get out and explore its tropical evergreen landscapes.

There are many exotic national parks to explore, including Bouma National Heritage Park on Taveuni and Colo-i-Suva Forest Reserve in Fiji's capital, Suva. Active types can take scenic mountain hikes to get amongst tropical native foliage and of course, to see sweeping panoramic views that make for great photographic keepsakes. For a leisurely way to get out in nature, stroll along the palm tree-laden beaches primed for lazy afternoons. 

Another popular activity is horseback riding through lush coconut groves — bliss!

Fiji has plenty of expert designed golf courses woven throughout some of the islands, which also give you the excuse to get out and about in nature! You can find three spectacular 18-hole, 72-par championship courses on the main island, Viti Levu.

6. Fire (Fire walking ceremonies — sensory, enlightenment, connection)

What is it about new experiences that excite us? Researchers have discovered that engaging in novel activity is potentially rewarding as it naturally triggers the release of dopamine. Simply put: We feel good when we try something new, and luckily the Fijian life will lead you down completely new avenues that'll help stimulate your brain and boost your mood. 

Fijian firewalking is a truly spectacular experience and one you’ll never forget. Islanders prepare a bed of hot river rocks that are heated till white,  and then walk on the stones without without burning their feet. This sacred celebration can be seen at various resorts on Beqa Island, the birthplace of the tradition, as well as Pacific Harbour, the Coral Coast and Denarau Island on Viti Levu.

It’s no wonder it’s known as the place where happiness finds every visitor.

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