The main things to do in Samoa are situated within and around the country’s main two islands – Savai’i and Upolu. Although they are just ten kilometres away from each other, each offer different experiences.
The more populous island of Upolu is home to the capital Apia – a small city with a colourful food market. Other attractions include Robert Louis Stevenson’s former colonial homestead, small and colourful churches, as well as pretty snorkelling spots, blue lagoons, lush rainforests and rivers.
Savai’i, with a smaller population, is the perfect place to discover traditional Samoan culture and lifestyle. The oldest Polynesian culture at 3,000 years old, Fa’a Samoa is typified by fale – traditional huts, built as places for families to gather; and colourful churches, where communities congregate and sing on Sundays.
Natural highlights of the island include cascading waterfalls, tropical rainforests full of wildlife, impressive Alofaaga blowholes, and the dramatic Saleaula lava fields – a landscape left behind after Mt Matavanu erupted more than 100 years ago.
The fruit market has a range of exotic tropical fruits to sample, while the nearby flea market has local handicrafts. Early on a Sunday morning the fish market is also worth a visit, with a wide range of delicious and unusual catches.
Author of Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson spent his final years in Samoa. His former home – named Villa Vilima – is well worth a visit, and is now a museum. His grave can be reached with a scenic walk through lush rainforest to the top of Mt Vaea, which offers panoramic views of Apia.
The Teuila Festival is a week of culture and traditional entertainment, including fire knife dancing, traditional sports, wood carving, tattooing and a parade. The festivities usually take place during August.
When Mt Matavanu erupted in 1905, five villages were buried under the lava flow. Today, on Saleaula Lava Field, half-buried churches, a virgin grave and lava mounds (imprints of trees) can still be found as you walk over this fascinating geological expanse.
Explore the lush tropical rainforests, which buzz with native wildlife including skinks, flying foxes, geckos and birds among a plethora of fascinating flora..
See Samoa come alive in this image and video gallery, showing off some of the best areas that you can visit and explore.
Discover the temperatures and rainfall you can expect when visiting the main areas of Samoa, along with the best time to travel.
We have collated some of the best books and guides to Samoa, to help you make the most of your holiday to the country.
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