Warm tropical sunshine, swaying palms, impossibly blue seas, rainforest shrouded mountains and friendly people whose traditions date back centuries. There are few places which can match the daydreamy South Pacific islands, whether as a standalone island sojourn or as a stopover after travelling the Antipodes.
Fiji offers a haven where you can relax and recharge in the splendid isolation. At the crossroads of the Pacific, this is an appealing land of fun loving people and fascinating culture. Those seeking to escape from the pressures of life will heave a sigh of relief at the exquisite white sand beaches fringed by gin-clear seas; dive and snorkel enthusiasts will find the underwater world worth the plunge; and nature lovers will be at one with their world as lush interiors offer ample opportunities to hike and amble.
A long way from anywhere else, the Cook Islands invoke romantic pictures of tropical vistas, azure waters and idyllic beaches and those images are not far from the truth. Mixing Polynesian hospitality with New Zealand savoir faire, these fifteen droplets of land have a wonderful array of resorts for couples and families alike. It's a laidback destination where "time" takes on a whole new meaning.
GMT -10 hours, GMT +12 hours (Fiji)
There are no non-stop flights to the South Pacific from the UK. Journey times with stopovers are as follows: Nadi in Fiji is approximately 28 hours, and Rarotonga in the Cook Islands approximately 24 hours.
The South Pacific has a tropical climate and while the weather varies from one island group to another, generally the drier time is from May to October and the rainy season November to April.