The Samoa Travel Guide – When to Visit & What to Do

DestinationBeach in Samoa
29 April 2019

Samoa, also known as the ‘Treasured Islands’, is an unapologetically unrefined archipelago located in the South Pacific. Like a treasure, Samoa boasts unparalleled natural riches ready for you to discover.

Comprised of two islands, Apia and Savai’i, Samoa has an incredibly unique landscape: rugged mountains birthed by volcanic eruptions, thick tropical rainforests, crystal-clear coral reefs and iridescent cerulean seas.

With such pristine natural beauty, Samoa doesn’t need to rely on five-star resorts and flashy tourist attractions to get attention. This humble, unpolished place stretches beyond all-you-can-eat buffets and delivers so much more.  

Samoa in under a minute!

Samoa also boasts of an ancient culture and the locals have managed to retain their 3,000-year-old way of life: Fa’a Samoa, or ‘the Samoan way’. A calmness permeates the islands. Here, life is slow and you just can’t help but feel relaxed.

So, if want to unplug and gorge on some unprecedented natural beauty, Samoa is the spot for you. And we’ve put together the ultimate Samoa travel guide to help get you started!

What’s the best time to travel to Samoa?

Car Rental in Samoa
A serene paradise ripe for adventure!

Like a true tropical paradise, Samoa enjoys warm, beach friendly weather all year round. However, there is a distinct wet season between November and March. During this time, it’s not unusual for the island of Apia to be flooded.

The rain does make some daily activities a little more difficult to achieve, therefore, the best time to visit Samoa is during the dry season which runs from June to September. Temperatures hover around a balmy 28°C, humidity is relatively low and overall it’s very pleasant.

Travel to Samoa peaks in December and January, when families from Australia and New Zealand take advantage of summer school holidays and flock to the island to escape everyday realities. Be aware that during this time flights and accommodation prices surge upward and are higher than any other time of year.

What are the must-do activities?

Your Samoa travel plans must include a visit to these destinations:

Marketi Fou on Apia’s Fugalei Street: Peruse the fresh market produce with a refreshing tropical juice in hand. Here, you can sample the local fruit and veg specific to Samoa and browse through the local art and homeware: such as kava bowls and lava-lavas (traditional Polynesian skirts) handcrafted by the islanders.  

Robert ‘Tusitala’ Louis Stevenson’s bungalow

Robert ‘Tusitala’ Louis Stevenson’s bungalow. Pic: David Kirkland/ Samoa Tourism

Robert Louis Stevenson: It’s fitting that one of the world’s most loved adventure authors shacked up in Samoa, a land of rugged and untameable beauty, for the final five years of his life. Visitors can enjoy a 45-minute guided tour of Stevenson’s abode with many of his authentic personal belongings on display.

If the mansion’s not enough, the Botanical Gardens surrounding the homestead make for a stunning stroll and the trek to Stevenson’s final resting place at the top of Mt Vaea is truly breathtaking. You don’t have to be a book lover to appreciate this experience which gives yet another perspective of Samoa.

Samoan cultural entertainment

Most resorts arrange for traditional Samoan events and entertainment, so if you get a chance, don’t miss! Pic: David Kirkland/ Samoa Tourism

Falealupo Canopy Walk: Traverse a 10-metre wooden walkway among the treetops of the Falealupo Rainforest Preserve for a chance to see Samoa in a truly unique way. If you can handle the walk which does get a little wobbly at times, you’ll be rewarded with some picture-perfect views and the opportunity to meet a magical, 230-year old banyan tree.

Swim with the turtles: Green sea turtles are attracted to Samoa’s warm and fruitful waters and travellers are given a chance to swim with these gentle creatures.

The most enjoyable way to encounter these placid folks is to slide into their natural habitat, snorkel in hand, and look on without interrupting their flow. The best place to do that is near Lalomanu Beach or around Namu’a Island.

However, if you’re after a more structured experience, most tours of Savai’i stop at the wetlands sanctuary located in Satoalepai Village and allow guests to jump in and paddle with the turtles.

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa

To Sua Ocean Trench, Samoa. Pic: David Kirkland/ Samoa Tourism

To Sua Ocean Trench: One of the most Instagram-worthy spots in Samoa, this giant rock pool has vibrant aqua water that needs no filter. The water is surrounded by 20-high rock walls that are covered in lush greenery and provide the perfect setting for a secluded, soothing swim.

Where can I stay in Samoa?

Romance in Samoa

There are a throng of luxury resorts scattered across Samoa that cater to all types of travellers.

For authentic Samoan-inspired accommodation, we recommend Coconuts Beach Club Resort & SpaIt’s situated on Upolu’s southern coast and offers Samoa’s only over-water Fales that fully embrace the indoor/outdoor living experience typically found in Samoa. You’ll wake each morning to the sounds of waves and finish each day with a swoon-worthy sunset.   

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Greys Hotel and Bungalows

Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel & Bungalows

The Sheraton Samoa Beach is a good option for those who want to experience luxe living on their holiday. The 133 suites have breathtaking views of the surrounding seas and, of course, all your luxurious amenities. You can immerse yourself in Samoan culture with the resort’s Fia Fia Cultural show, sip on a cocktail at one of the beachfront restaurants or bars or re-energise yourself with an indulgent treatment at the Manaia Polynesian Spa.  

Sinalei Resort in Samoa

Sinalei Resort in Samoa

Sinalei Reef Resort is a great option for those who are keen to experience the spirit of Samoa and those world-famous waves. Guests have easy access to the renowned surf breaks on the south coast of Upolu, perfect for those wanting to hang-ten and even those just wanting to watch. Set amid a forest of coconut palms and sweet-smelling frangipanis, Sinalei Reef Resort is a heavenly little hideaway with that quintessentially Samoan, super-relaxed atmosphere.

What is the food like in Samoa?

A romantic evening in Samoa

For a romantic evening, opt for a dinner for two by the beach!

Samoans have a very special relationship with food, from the way they hunt and gather to the way the food is prepared and shared, there is a deep respect of the bountiful wonders that nature provides. Food is a social event which brings the community, and their visitors, together.

It’s not uncommon for tourists to witness locals hunting and harvesting what is needed for their daily meals. Some young men paddle their canoes out in the lagoon to catch fish and crustaceans while others walk about the plantations looking for tropical fruits and root vegetables. Everything is collected and prepared that day, which means the quality of food is super fresh and tasty.

Similarly, the restaurants share access to this abundance of quality produce and have the same affinity to freshness. Fish caught in the morning is served that evening and this sea-to-table approach ensures the seafood in Samoa will quite possibly be the best you’ve ever tasted.

Most hotels offer traditional Samoan food at their Fia Fia nights, keep an eye out for palusami (young taro leaves baked in coconut cream) and oka (raw fish in coconut cream), they’re two must-have dishes on any Samoan holiday.

Learning to surf in Samoa

Samoa: Learn the Fa’a Samoa way.

Samoa is a great destination for families, friends, couples, adventurers and solo travellers. Now that you’ve gone through the basic check-list of what to do, where to stay and what to eat, check out some holiday deals. Need all-inclusive Samoa holiday packages to get more value for money? Not a problem. At any time, if you feel like speaking to someone who know about Samoa holidays, just pick up the phone and call our South Pacific Specialists at 1300 991 751!

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