The Yasawa Islands – Fiji
Faraway Beauties in a Hollywood-Perfect Location
If you feel like you’re on a movie set, you are: The undeveloped and relatively inaccessible Yasawas were used for both the 1949 and 1980 versions of The Blue Lagoon, two Hollywood films most memorable for their remarkable Pacific scenery. First charted by a U.S. exploring expedition in 1840, the Yasawas haven’t changed much in the intervening century and a half: You’ll still find many of the same small villages nestled beneath palm trees along some of the South Pacific’s loveliest beaches.
The Yasawa Island Lodge is everything you could hope for in the mythic South Pacific, commanding a romantically isolated spot on the northernmost island and boasting a stylish, informal blend of Western comfort and Fijian aesthetics.
Days are unstructured and uncomplicated except for a few pressing questions: the hotel’s white-sand beach or a five-minute walk to a number of deserted, spectacular alternatives dotting the 12-mile-long island? Grilled fresh lobster or fruit salad picked this morning? The exhilaration of light-tackle game fishing or dozing off to the music of rustling palms and lapping waves?
Those interested in seeing more of the islands can book aboard one of the four Blue Lagoon Cruises ships, which ply the islands’ waters on one-, four-, and seven-day cruises. Most of the line’s handsome Fijian crew call these volcanic islands home and are proud to share their knowledge of local customs and offer snorkeling tips. Sunset sailing leaves each day free for a visit to a different island and local village, for lunchtime barbecues, and for sunning on isolated beaches where the only tracks will be those left by you and the odd crab.
Blue Lagoon began its operation in the 1950s with a single WW II ship; 1996 saw the maiden voyage of its most luxurious vessel, the Mystique Princess, a 180-foot, 72-passenger ship that’s able to reach some of the area’s more remote islands.