Steeped in culture and history, visiting Manono is a chance to experience truly authentic Samoa, where many trappings of modern life, including traffic, are left far behind.
Manono’s community enjoys a quiet, traditional lifestyle.
Home to just four small villages, Manono is only 3 square kilometres (1.1 square miles) in size and Samoa’s third most populated island.
Here, people live and cook according to thousands of years of tradition, and there is no better way to experience a culture than immersing yourself in it like this.
Life is more traditional and no cars (or dogs, which are not allowed here) will interrupt the peace and quiet.
Accommodation is available on Manono Island, or a day trip works just as well for a shorter schedule - after all, it only takes a couple of hours to stroll around the entire island at a slow pace.
Like the rest of Samoa, there are beaches aplenty with snorkelling and swimming opportunities, including a marine-protected lagoon. The island’s highest point, and an archaeological site, is Mt Tulimanuiva at 110 metres (360 feet), which is accessible by a number of walking tracks.
Manono has a couple of very interesting archaeological sites such as the star mound on top of the mountain.
At Lepuiai Village in the southwest of the island, there’s another archaeological site worth seeing: the Grave of 99 Stones. Each stone represents one of the wives of the high chief Vaovasa. The missing 100th stone represents his failed attempt to bring his last, abducted, wife home from Upolu.
If you happen to visit Manono Island on a Sunday, be prepared to slow down even more. On this day, the only permitted activity is walking to and from church.
Manono Island is accessible by boat from Manono-uta on Samoa’s mainland Upolu, which is just 4km away across a lagoon.
There is no set timetable for boats between the islands: simply head for the landing next to Le Vasa Resort by car or local bus and arrange a trip on-site.
You can also kayak to Manono with tour operators.