If you were to imagine a picture perfect South Pacific location, Samoa would pretty much be it. Known for its beautiful beaches, local markets, colourful culture and history, Samoa would be an ideal destination to escape the winter chill. Even though Samoa is a small country there are a lot of activities and great sights to be seen on the island. So let me share with you my list of favourite things to see and do in Samoa.
With a range of activity options from hiking and exploring the tropical rainforests to beach water activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, kayaking and fishing, there is never an excuse to be bored. In the city of Apia there are bars, restaurants and historical sites such as German colonial buildings and museums. For shoppers there are also craft and food markets providing you the perfect place to shop for clothes, handicrafts and souvenir gifts for loved ones.
There are also a number of festivals and events held throughout the year where you can experience Samoan culture. The Annual Teuila Festival held late August and early September is an opportune time to experience a mixture of cultural and sporting events like the Fautasi races and the National Miss Samoa Pageant.
During your stay in Samoa most hotels and resorts like Aggie Greys Lagoon and Spa hold special fiafia nights where you can get a taste of the culture through the food and cultural dances eg. firedance, slap dance and taualuga.
There are two main islands in Samoa - Upolu and Savai'i. Upolu being home to the capital city Apia, the Faleolo International airport and country's main shipping port. Savai'i, accessible by a one and a half hour ferry ride, is not as populated as Upolu which gives you an opportunity to truly experience its unspoiled beauty.
Things to see and do in Upolu
• Piula Cave Pool - a natural freshwater pool located after Saoluafata at Piula Methodist Theological College which offers a great spot for swimming, snorkelling and enjoying a picnic.
• Papapapai-Tai Falls - an amazing 100 metre waterfall, makes for a stunning backdrop for holiday snapshots.
• Stay in a traditional beach fale (beach house).
• Catch one of the colourful Samoan buses to Apia - a great way to mix and mingle with the locals.
• Robert Louis Stevenson Museum - the beautiful plantation home to Scottish writer and poet, who chose to settle in Samoa in the 1890s. Now a historical site, visit the mansion that is preserved to its original state which features his library, travel mementos and personal belongings.
• Hike up Mt Vaea to visit Robert Louis Stevenson's resting place and tomb at the top of the summit and experience the beautiful views over looking Apia.
• Visit the Apia Flea Markets - the ideal place to get fresh local produce and buy local handicrafts.
• Taste Samoa's national beer at the Vailima Brewery.
• Take a swim at To Sua Ocean Trench located at Lotofaga village.
• Papaseea Sliding Rocks - a 5 metre rock slide down a waterfall into fresh water pool and a must see attraction.
• Swim at Lalomanu beach located on the Aleipata coast of Upolu.
• Lalomuna Crater Walk in Lalomanu - an extinct volcano crater, home to large population of flying foxes.
Things to see and do in Sava'ii
• Feed papaya to the Turtles in the village of Satoalepai, Savai'i (this is not a conservation attraction, the turtles are kept in captivity and a minimum fee applies)
• Village guide tour of the Saleaula Lava Fields.
• Watch the sun go down in the village of Falealupo which has been described as the 'last village in the world to see the sunset of each day'.
• Alofa'aga Blowholes in Taga.
• Falealupo Rainforest Preserve - experience breathtaking views and walking trails.
• Hire a car for the day to explore the natural attractions at your own pace on the island.
• Explore the Pe'ap'ea Caves in the village of Letui (a guide is recommended and you'll need a torch).
Whether you're a backpacker seeking adventure, a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family needing an affordable holiday, Samoa offers something for everyone! To see more inspiring images of Samoa check out our Flickr album.