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Female surfer looks on as her son has fun making new friends at the beach while on holiday in Samoa
Matareva Beach, Upolu

Family Holidays in Samoa

Travelling with kids in Samoa can be incredibly fun and rewarding.

When deciding on a holiday destination, many people look for somewhere they can reconnect and spend time as a family unit. Family and connection are at the heart of Samoa’s culture, and this is combined with beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and wild scenery – creating the type of holiday your children will talk about for years to come.

Samoa welcomes families with open arms, allowing you the chance to unwind and embrace a slower pace and giving you plenty of time and space to enjoy smiles and laughter with your nearest and dearest.

 

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Safe, family-friendly activities 

Whether you’re searching for a family adventure or just want to enjoy relaxing on a tropical beach, Samoa has options to suit all families. And there’s no chance of running out of things to do. You can explore lush forests, secluded waterfalls, and crystal-clear waterholes, or swim with turtles and snorkel amidst thousands of brightly coloured fish. Other adventure activities like kayaking, cycling, or discovering lava tubes are also great ways to have fun and spend quality time in Samoa’s vibrant, friendly environment. 

On the practical side, Samoa is a safe for families. Swimming beaches are secure, people are friendly, family-friendly accommodation is easy to find, and it’s simple to navigate the islands by a rental car. There are also plenty of food options to cater to even the fussiest little people. 

At Samoa’s family-friendly resorts and hotels, convenience is key and there is always plenty on offer to keep the kids occupied from water sports and large swimming pools to joining in the dancing at a Fiafia night. Or you could just relax under a palm tree with a cocktail in hand while the children build sandcastles on the tropical beach in front of you.

 

Experience a new culture

A trip to Samoa gives children (and parents alike) a chance to experience a completely different culture. Samoan life still observes traditions over 3000 years old and Fa’a Samoa – the Samoan way – is a big part of daily life. Your family will always be greeted with warm and friendly smiles, and it’s possible the local children will want to befriend your children and give them a real glimpse of their life in Samoa. In Samoa, you’re never an outside observer of Pacific culture – you’re inside it, even if you’re a visitor. 

While resorts are gorgeous for convenience and comfort, your family might also want to spend a night in a traditional beachside fale where you’ll be cooked for by a local family and sleep as they do – in simple breezy structures listening to waves lapping. 

 

Getting around is part of the fun

Hiring a car in Samoa is the way to go for families who want the freedom to go where they want and when they want while having plenty of space for their children and gear. If you like to travel intrepid or would like extra comfort on the sometimes-uneven terrain, then you might consider hiring a 4WD vehicle. Vans are also readily available for hire for larger families. You can also drive cars onto the ferry between Upolu and Savai’i, making it easy for everyone to explore both of Samoa’s gorgeous main islands. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, riding a local bus is an experience no family should miss. These colourful vehicles often run to ‘island time’ – meaning they’re often not to schedule – but are a fun way to get around and chat with locals.

 

 

The must-do family activities in Samoa 

Whether you visit Upolu or Savai’i (or both), you’ll find plenty of things your kids will love doing. This is the place to kick back, decompress and enjoy each other's company in one of the most beautiful beach settings in the South Pacific.

 

Fiafia Nights

You’ll see lots of signs everywhere for Fiafia nights - don't leave Samoa without experiencing one at a local resort or hotel. Traditional dancing as it’s been performed for more than 3000 years will mesmerise parents and kids, and the whole family can gorge on a local feast with many of the dishes cooked in an Umu - or earth oven - using hot volcanic rocks.

 

Swimming and snorkelling

Of course, most families come to Samoa to swim and snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. Saleapaga, Salamumu, Lalomanu, Matareva and Tafatafa are all popular options on Upolu. Savai’i has plenty of stunning spots for swimming and snorkelling, and kids can explore a new white-sand-blue-ocean paradise every day. Lano, Manase, Asau, Vaisala, Faleaupo and Satuiatua are all popular.

 

Falealupo Canopy Walkway (Savai’i)

The Falealupo Rainforest Preserve in the northwest of Savai'i is stunning, and children will love the canopy walkway built around 40 metres above the ground. Crossing a hanging across a 30-metre gap is a thrill that will get the whole family’s adrenalin running. 

 

Samoa Cultural Village (Upolu)

Holidays give children a chance to understand a different culture, and the Samoa Culture Village in Apia is the perfect place the get fully immersed. The whole family can observe tapa making, traditional tattooing, carving cultural artefacts or Umu preparation in an interactive environment.

 

Afu Aau waterfalls (Savai’i) 

Also known as Olemoe Falls, spectacular cascades of water plunge from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool. It eventually flows into three other smaller separate falls resulting in a paradise for kids.

 

Namu’a Island Day Trip (Upolu)

Spend a day on Namu’a Island, one of four small, picturesque islands situated off the south-eastern tip of Upolu. It’s only a 5–10-minute boat trip from the main island. The family can swim with turtles and relax in day fales before taking the boat back to the mainland at the end of the day.

 

Piula Cave Pool (Upolu)

This is a beautiful crystal-clear freshwater spring pool and cave that originated from an old lava tube. On a hot day the cool, freshness can’t be beaten for relaxing. Take a picnic and make a day of it.

 

Lava fields (Savai’i)

Samoa’s volcanic past is fascinating. Take the family to Saleaula Lava Fields where you’ll see how molten lava from the 1905-1911 Mt Matavanu eruption buried five villages in its path. You’ll see the remains of half buried churches and trees in this amazing geological wonder. It’s interesting to research it all together before you go, so kids understand the magnitude of this natural disaster.

 

Alofaaga Blowholes (Savai’i)

Everyone will love these impressive blowholes in the village of Taga on south-west Savai'i. Ferocious jets of water hurtle 30 metres skyward - even better when locals throw coconuts into the holes, so they are entertainingly catapulted into the air.

The Ultimate Guide to Family Accommodation

There is huge range of accommodation across Upolu and Savai’i islands which offer activities for all ages and give you the chance to experience Samoa’s vibrant culture in a welcoming environment. 

Taumeasina Island Resort

Just 45 minutes from Faleolo International Airport and five minutes from Apia, Taumeasina Island Resort is very conveniently located with views of both the pacific and the mountains. They have fully self-contained two and three-bedroom villas, a swimming pool, tennis courts, a water-sports pavilion, and kids club so there’s plenty to do on days when you just want to relax at your accommodation.

Coconuts Beach Club Resort and Spa

While the gorgeous over-the-water fales at Coconuts are perfect for couples, the resort also has six individual, thatched-roof, air-conditioned beach fales located right on the sand – perfect for families. Kids will love Culture Day on Saturday, Fiafia nights, Sunday and Thursday barbecues and amazing snorkelling.

Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort and Spa

Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort makes holidaying with families easy. Just steps away from stunning beaches and only a five-minute drive from the airport it has kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boarding, tennis, cycling, a kids club for active kids, and a gorgeous lagoon pool for those who just want to relax with a book.

Tanoa Tusitala Hotel

Minutes away from the centre of Apia, this hotel sits on six hectares of beautiful tropical gardens and has many traditional Samoan elements. Rooms are modern, spacious, air-conditioned, and comfortable and there’s a large outdoor swimming pool, a separate children’s pool, floodlit tennis courts, kid’s playground, and a fitness centre on site.

Sheraton Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows

The name Aggie Grey is synonymous with Samoan hospitality and her legacy lives on at Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows. This newly renovated hotel right on Apia harbour is great for family holidays with spacious hotel rooms and well-appointed bungalows. Kids will love the pool, traditional ceremonies, and cultural shows – it’s also very close to the Samoa Cultural Village and Robert Louis Stevenson Museum.

Le Lagoto Resort & Spa

Le Lagoto Resort and Spa is located on a secluded white sand beach, fringed by coconut palms and crystal-clear water. The 10 Samoan style bungalows fit up to four and there’s a ‘Family House’ that will take up to six. Kids will love the infinity pool and having the beach right in front of them. There’s nothing more soothing than the sound of palm trees swaying you all to sleep.

Saletoga Sands Resort

Built on an old coconut plantation sitting on a pristine, white sandy beach and surrounded by lush greenery and exotic flowers, Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa is a gorgeous, relaxing place for families to stay. The kids will never want to leave with beach volleyball, snorkelling, kayaking and a lovely pool to occupy themselves in. They also have a kids activities programme so parents can enjoy some time out relaxing by the pool, knowing their kids are being well entertained with local culture – and perhaps even a school visit if they are lucky.

Return to Paradise

Return to Paradise was named after the 1953 film starring Gary Cooper and Roberta Haynes; the fact that it caught the attention of Hollywood location scouts probably says it all. They are very proud to be 100% Samoan owned and operated meaning profits remain in the community creating jobs for local villagers. Families will love basket weaving, delicious Umu feasts , Fiafia nights, crab racing and visits to local villages as well as the opportunity to relax and connect under the beautiful Samoan sun.

Amoa Resort

Set amidst exotic tropical gardens and fringed by a magnificent blue lagoon the Amoa Resort has fifteen intimate bungalows and villas. Snorkelling is great if the kids want to get active, otherwise lazing by the pool is very much encouraged. The resort organises many interesting tours to the attractions of Savai’i.

Va-i-moana Seaside Lodge

Va-i-moana Seaside Lodge is nestled into a small, picturesque cove with a great range of accommodation from traditional open Samoan fales to air-conditioned suites all overlooking Asau Bay. Guests are encouraged to really take part in Samoan life including visits to the local village and school. There are fishing charters, snorkelling and turtle watching as part of the marine activities program, but kids won’t even want to leave the resort with its three floating pontoons and kayaks, snorkelling, bikes and SUPs all available for hire.