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Traveller - REDISCOVERING SAMOA

As you might expect from a warm tropical island surrounded by sea, Samoan food is about as fresh as it gets. Delicious seafood is caught every day in Samoa thanks to its thriving local fishing industry, while tropical fruit and vegetable plantations enriched by fertile volcanic soil are scattered throughout the countryside.



Best beaches in Samoa

All around the islands of Samoa you’ll find some of the world’s most pristine beaches, with sand so white you’ll almost certainly need your sunglasses to look at it. Set against the calming backdrop of palms and other native greenery, Samoa’s beaches are the ideal place to chillout and unwind from the stresses of modern life while the warm clear turquoise waters offer soothing relief from the midday heat. 

One of the best things about beach life in Samoa is that there are so many of them to choose from, they’re rarely ever busy, even in peak season. Lalomanu, Lefaga, Tafatafa, Sa’Moana, and Salamumu are some of the top must-see beaches around Samoa with Lefaga Beach especially prized among photographers and artists for its perfect Samoan sunsets. 

 

Other ways to relax

While hitting the beaches is one of the simplest ways to soak up Samoa’s relaxed and chilled out vibe, the islands also offer some alternative ways to unwind. During your visit to Samoa, you could visit or choose to stay at a range of spas and wellbeing centres or even try a yoga and meditation retreat for something outside the ordinary. 

 

Thrill-seekers can always find their fix

Remote swimming holes, waterfalls, and blowholes

Once you’ve spent enough time recharging on the beach, you might be ready for something a little more energetic or awe-inspiring. Further inland and away from the coast, you’ll discover naturally occurring inland swimming pools – usually formed from volcanic activity – such as To-Sua Ocean Trench and Piula Cave Pool where you can dive right in or make a big splash among the rainforests. You might also visit Papase’Ea Sliding Rocks to experience the thrill of Samoa’s famous natural rock water slide. 

There are lots of cascading waterfalls in Samoa too, which you can either just admire with a few impressive photos or swim under to cool off and experience the power of nature. Favourites include Fuipisia Falls, Afu Aau Falls/Olemoe Falls, Togitogiga Waterfall, Sopoaga Waterfall, and Papapapaitai Falls.  

While they’re certainly not recommended for swimming, blowholes formed by lava flows are also dotted all over Samoa. For a spectacular sight, you can watch and hear them explode with high-pressure water bursts every time a wave comes in. Alofaaga blowhole is probably one of the most visited blowholes in Samoa with its plumes of water reaching impressive heights. 

Be part of a traditional Fiafia night celebration

In Samoa, Fiafia means a gathering or celebration, usually involving traditional food, costumes, dancing, and singing, and they’ve been taking place on the islands for more than 3,000 years. If you’re up for a Fiafia night during your visit to Samoa, you’ll get to see or even participate in different dancing styles, listen to the rhythmic sounds of the traditional wooden drum, and almost certainly enjoy a buffet feast involving umu (meat, seafood or vegetables cooked in a volcanic rock above ground oven.) Samoa Cultural Village in Apia and select hotels regularly host Fiafia nights.  

Zip through the wilderness on a Wolfpac ATV quad bike tour

For a real adrenaline-inducing adventure, you can join Samoa’s first ATV quad bike tours operated by Wolfpac. Equipped with your very own quad bike, you’ll be guided on an exhilarating journey through plantations and rainforests, exploring Samoa’s many hidden tracks and secret natural spots.

 

An island for the intrepid

Hiking

Whatever your experience level, Samoa has it all for those who like to spend some time travelling on foot. Around the islands, you’ll find short steady waking tracks for the whole family to enjoy right through to more adventurous multi-day hiking routes. Regardless of your pace or fitness, walking through Samoa’s serene natural landscape is a great way to get up close to the islands’ volcanic peaks, lava tube caves, and dramatic craters. And you don’t need to fear the heat either – strolling through shady highland rainforests and past rivers and waterfalls, there are plenty of places to cool off and take a break. 

Cycling

You can choose to go it alone or with a guide, but cycling in Samoa is an easy, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly way to get around the islands. Whether it’s for a scenic ride along coastal tracks, journeying through Samoa’s interior capturing all the natural sights and surrounds, or travelling between accommodations, attractions and restaurants, cycling could help you get more out of your stay in Samoa. There are also tracks for mountain biking if you’re feeling more energetic and adventurous.

Snorkelling and diving tours

As you’d expect, the warm clear waters surrounding Samoa are ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving. With coral reefs protecting beautiful turquoise lagoons, you’ll discover a world of tropical fish and other marine life, no matter whether you’re diving in deep or taking in the view from the surface. Some of the best snorkelling spots include Falealupo, Manase Beach, and Satuiatua. You can also find dive operators offering trips past the coral reefs to deeper waters where you’ll swim alongside spinner dolphins, stingrays, green turtles, sharks, and perhaps even whales.

Walk through the treetops

Yes, you read it right. You can experience the tropical Falealupo Rainforest Preserve from way up high using the Falealupo Canopy Walkway in the northwest of Savai’I island. The 30-metre hanging bridge is suspended 40 metres above ground among the tall Banyan trees, giving visitors a rarely seen glimpse of the rainforest’s lush canopy ecosystem.  

Guided kayaking adventures 

Getting out on the lagoons as part of a guided kayak tour are a popular way to take a step back and experience the beauty of Samoa’s islands in their natural setting. There are a range of kayak tours suited to beginners right through to the most experienced paddlers. Some of the many unique highlights of a guided kayak tour include trips to Samoa’s most remote uninhabited islands for a picnic lunch, becoming immersed in unspoilt mangrove forests, and watching sea turtles, coral reefs, and marine life from up above.

A sporting nation

Unsurprisingly for a Pacific Island, Samoa offers world-class surfing conditions all year round with more than 30 highly regarded surf breaks – without the crowds of other popular surfing destinations around the globe. Many resorts also offer “surfari” group expeditions. 

Surrounded by marine life, fishing charters are also easy to find in Samoa, while the calm lagoons create the perfect conditions for relaxed paddleboarding experiences. You’ll also find golf courses dotted throughout the islands if you fancy an alternative to beach culture.  

Cultural experiences 

“Fa’a Samoa” is a word used to describe the Samoan way and a visit to the Samoa Cultural Village on Apia’s beachfront is a great way to find out what it’s all about. Here, you’ll find demonstrations of traditional Samoan activities including basket weaving, tapa, wood carving, cloth making, and traditional tatau (tattooing) – all among the vibrant ambience of traditional displays of dance and music. 

Samoa’s largest island of Savai’i is known for its gentle and traditional way of life. If you’re not staying there, a trip to the island will give you one of the most authentic insights into “Fa’a Samoa” and how it gives Savai’i its strong sense of community and spirit.