Isolation you’ll love – Fiji’s Barefoot Manta Island has dormitory rooms starting from just £20

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For your next period of isolation, try a cut-price paradise: The private island resort in Fiji that costs from just £20 a night and offers lessons on how to crack coconuts

  • Barefoot Manta Island, which is just under a mile long, has dormitory rooms start from just F$60 (£20) 
  • The sandy outcrop, accessible only by boat, boasts three beaches and dreamy blue waters
  • For those seeking a bit more privacy, there are traditional-style huts that sleep two people  
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

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Hopefully, the coronavirus crisis won’t have put you off holidays in isolation – because a cut-price Robin Crusoe-style castaway experience on this incredible private island in Fiji truly is an experience of a lifetime.

Barefoot Manta Island, which is just under a mile long and 0.6 miles wide, is only accessible by boat (lockdowns permitted, obviously) and has dormitory rooms starting from just FJ$60 (£20).

I visited the sandy outcrop earlier in the year after taking a sun-drenched three-hour ferry ride from Port Denarau, on the west coast of Fiji’s main island – Viti Levu.

Barefoot Manta Island, which is just under a mile long and 0.6 miles wide, is only accessible by boat (lockdowns permitted, obviously) and has dormitory rooms starting from just FJ$60 (£20)

Barefoot Manta Island, which is just under a mile long and 0.6 miles wide, is only accessible by boat (lockdowns permitted, obviously) and has dormitory rooms starting from just FJ$60 (£20) 

In a bid to give travellers the authentic castaway experience, there are sandy trails running through the coconut trees instead of concrete paths

In a bid to give travellers the authentic castaway experience, there are sandy trails running through the coconut trees instead of concrete paths 

Once I’d unloaded my backpack and been greeted by a chorus of jolly staff singing Fijian melodies, I ventured off to explore the small isle.

In a bid to give travellers the authentic castaway experience, there are sandy trails running through the coconut trees instead of concrete paths.

I met a man who had lost his shoes a day earlier and rejoiced that wandering barefoot on the island was no problem (I guess the clue is in the name!).

On my orientation hike, I discovered three accessible beaches all blessed with glistening blue waters where manta rays congregate every season between May and October.

The dormitory rooms have four beds, with a shared shower and toilet block

The dormitory rooms have four beds, with a shared shower and toilet block

For those seeking a bit more privacy, there are traditional-style huts available on Barefoot Manta, which sleep two people

For those seeking a bit more privacy, there are traditional-style huts available on Barefoot Manta, which sleep two people

MailOnline Travel's Sadie Whitelocks went diving in Barefoot Manta Island's glistening blue waters

MailOnline Travel’s Sadie Whitelocks went diving in Barefoot Manta Island’s glistening blue waters

Unlike Crusoe, visitors to Barefoot Manta Island are not required to build their own shelters and there is a range of accommodation to suit all budgets.

The dormitory rooms have four beds, with a shared shower and toilet block.

For those seeking a bit more privacy, there are traditional-style huts available on Barefoot Manta, which sleep two people. These start at FJ$178 (£62) and you can shell out FJ$202 (£70) extra for a private shower room.

The island's manager told Sadie that supplies are shipped in by barge once a week and 80 per cent of the staff are from a neighbouring island. Pictured is one of the island's stunning beaches

The island’s manager told Sadie that supplies are shipped in by barge once a week and 80 per cent of the staff are from a neighbouring island. Pictured is one of the island’s stunning beaches

I was also delighted to learn that no foraging was needed, either.

On top of the nightly rate, guests at Barefoot Manta Island must pay for a resort package.

The FJ$119 (£41) compulsory fee includes all meals, Wi-Fi and non-motorised water sports including snorkel hire and kayaking.

To get to Barefoot Manta Island guests must take a ferry from Port Denarau on Fiji's main island, Viti Levu

To get to Barefoot Manta Island guests must take a ferry from Port Denarau on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu 

There are also free activities on offer, such as sunrise hikes, volleyball and lessons on how to crack coconuts.

I arrived a little late to the coconut cracking lesson after losing track of time while diving in the sea. But the tutor kindly whipped out his machete and gave me a speedy crash course.

The tough fruit’s cool sweet liquid was a welcome reward in the 30C heat.

In total, the island caters for around 80 people.

The island’s manager told me while I was there that supplies are shipped in by barge once a week and 80 per cent of the staff are from a neighbouring island.

Summing up the guest experience, he said: ‘We have something for everyone here, but it’s the sense of relaxation and peace that people love.

‘We are one of the only islands with three beaches within walking distance. It’s pretty much like paradise.’ 

TRAVEL FACTS 

To get to Barefoot Manta Island guests must take a ferry from Port Denarau on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. 

The journey takes three hours with a return ticket priced from FJ$360.50 (£125). For more information on exploring Fiji visit www.fiji.travel.

Rating:

Rating: one star – poor; two stars – ok; three stars – good; four stars – very good; five stars – exceptional. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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