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Pacific Islands: Samoa

Pacific Islands: Samoa

19 Jan 2017 Angela Matthews Couples, Family, Travel Tips


Savai’i and Upolu are, respectively, the largest and second largest Samoan islands; both are dream spots that offer a versatile holiday experience for any traveller. Whether you crave excitement and adventure or rest and relaxation, Samoa holidays have it in abundance.

All About Upolu

An ideal destination for all Samoa holidays is Upolu, the second largest Samoan island. Upolu contains the Samoan capital, Apia, which offers charming market shopping and a natural landscape that truly is breathtaking.

In Apia travellers can enjoy a swim at Letava Sliding Rock and Papase'ea Sliding Rocks, two unique and impressive waterfalls that are sights to behold.

The Robert Louis Stevenson Museum (named after the Scottish author of Treasure Island) and the Museum of Samoa both contain a bounty of impressive historical artefacts, including Mr Stevenson’s personal effects and relics from Samoa’s culture and customs.

Samoa holidays to Upolu are not just restricted to the capital, however. Further out you’ll discover the distinct white sands of Lalomanu Beach, where you can spend an irreplaceable night or two in a beach fale, also known as a decked-out thatched hut. Travellers can also spend the day tackling the famous Falease'ela River Walk, a thrilling guided hike through Samoa’s incredible environment, with accommodation options available along the way.

All About Savai’i

Samoan holidays are also incomplete without a stopover at Savai’i, the largest Samoan island. Savai’i is a great place for the adventurer! Travellers can spend the day exploring Peapea Cave and Paia Dwarfs Cave or trying to spot the distinctive and rare white-rumped swiftlet bird.

Tourists can also take a swim with some friendly turtles or seek out a snorkel and head down to the beach to witness Samoa’s wonderful underwater marine life. The remarkable Afu Aau Falls are a huge waterfall ending in a beautiful swimming pool enclosed in Samoa’s crisp flora and are a must-see on any Samoa holiday.

Samoa’s mountains also offer rich and diverse scenic views along long trails. Mt Silisili, the highest point in Samoa, challenges you with an off-road hike through rainforests and wetlands and ending at the Mata o le Afi volcano, which last erupted in 1902.

In southwest Savai’i, in a village named Taga, are the sublime Alofaaga Blowholes, which are geyser-like eruptions of water caused by tidal power. Tourist visits here are popular on Samoa holidays and you will need to pay a small fee to gain entry to the holes.

Other things to do on Upolu

Piula Cave

This Samoan cave is one of the most interesting attractions in the country. The cave has a beautiful freshwater pool that visitors can splash around in. However, just two meters away from the edge of the pool, the ocean waves lap up to shore. There are few areas on the planet where freshwater pools exist so close to the ocean.

Lefaga Beach

Many locals consider this the most beautiful beach on Samoa. After a visit to this gem, most tourists will have to agree with that assessment. The white sands and balmy, turquoise waters of this beach provide the perfect setting for some rest and relaxation. The snorkelling is pretty marvellous as well.

Water Sliding at Papase’ea

The sliding rocks at Papase’ea, in the lush forests of Apia, also offer plenty of water fun for travellers on a Samoa holiday! A naturally formed “water slide,” these smooth rocks give visitors the chance to slide down them amidst waterfalls into the awaiting freshwater rock pool below. There are two slides – a smaller one and a larger one – and both picnic and bathroom facilities are available too. It’s great fun for the whole family, though make sure you visit during the wet season, when the waterfalls are at their best. 

Other things to do in Savai'i

Falealupo Peninsula

This amazing area of natural beauty is home to some of the most stunning views in Samoa. The peninsula is full of beautiful beaches, many of which are devoid of other travellers. The interior of the peninsula is full of tropical rainforest that features one of the best attractions on Samoa. The Falealupo Rainforest Preserve features walkways that allow visitors to stroll among the treetops of the rainforest.

Pulemelei Step Pyramid

This is the most interesting historic site found in Samoa. The jungle has been cleared from around this massive pyramid, and its sheer size will take travellers breath away. This is the largest pyramid in all of Polynesia, and it is all the more fascinating for the fact that its origins and purpose are currently a mystery.

Alofa'aga Blowholes

This is one of the most interesting natural phenomena in the world. The marine blowholes shoot up jets of ocean water hundreds of feet in the air. The effect is achieved by waves crashing into the sea cliffs below. The force of the crashing water pushes it up into lava tubes that run to the surface above. The sight of the water shooting up into the air is marvellous. It is even better when the locals put on a show by sending coconuts shooting up into the air on the jets of water. Just be careful when visiting it as the rocks are slippery.

Travelling Between The Islands

Travelling between Samoa’s two islands is simple, with planes and ferries available.

A plane service provides flights between the two island’s airports, Fagali'i Airport in Apia and Ma'ota airport in Savai’i. Since the international airport is in Apia, the first domestic flight of all Samoa holidays will depart from there.

If you prefer to travel by boat, a ferry can also take you between Mulifanua wharf in Upolu and Salelologa wharf in Savai'I for a small fee. Ferries generally leave every two or four hours, but factors such as bad weather or excessive passengers can sometimes delay trips. Since the inter-island trip is so popular, it is recommended that you book in advance or as soon as you arrive at the wharf. While on the ferry, make sure you look down; the crystal clear water is home to flying fish and dolphins! 

Contact your local Travellers Choice agent for help booking your Samoan holiday.

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