Located deep in the South Pacific ocean around 5,000 kilometers from Australia are the nine islands that make up Samoa. Not to be confused with it’s sister Islands American Samoa situated close by. The Samoan Islands are the perfect tropical beach getaway if you are searching for a laid back destination with deserted white sandy beaches surrounded by pristine turquoise tropical waters and scenic mountainous terrain covered in luscious tropical rain forests, then Samoa is for you.
Life in Samoa is slow placed and takes a little getting used to especially when you first arrive from our hectic lives we live when home. Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan Way) is the local motto and from the first time you set foot on Samoan soil you will discover that this attitude is one of the wonderful traits that make Samoa a perfect relaxed beach holiday or romantic getaway. You can experience the genuine Samoan hospitality whether staying at luxury resorts or in traditional beach fale (an open-plan thatched bungalows) set on a soft, white-sandy beaches just meters away from the tropical waters of the Pacific.
There are nine islands that make up Samoa with the two largest Islands of Upolo and Savai’i that are the most populated with locals and where nearly all tourist amenities are located.
Upolu Island The most populated and second-largest island of Samoa Upolu offers beautiful coconut palm lined beaches, pristine waters and rain forest clad hills which can be hiked to see panoramic views of the surrounding region. You are able to visit extinct volcanoes,swim and snorkel and dive offshore coral reefs or just chill out on white sandy beaches.
Savai’i Island This mainly uninhabited island is a deserted tropical paradise with spectacular mountainous terrain covered in impenetrable rainforest, volcanic craters, lava tubes, blow holes, amazing waterfalls and long white sandy beaches deserted of crowds you would usually expect to find in such beautiful surrounds.
THINGS TO DO
DIVING – Scuba diving in Samoa is an experience as comparable as any of the dive sites in the South Pacific with the greatest reward being unspoilt dive sites rich in coral gardens and an abundance of marine life from spinner dolphins, giant stingrays, to giant green turtles and whales. So if you are looking to dive without the hustle and bustle of other dive regions in the area then definitely check out Samoa. Samoa also offers great snorkeling sites just off the beaches of the southwest coast as well as on the island of Upolu.
FISHING – Samoa offers some of the best all year round game fishing available in the South Pacific. With many charters available you can fish for marlin (available year round though best between November trough to February), yellow fin tuna (available year round though best from May through till September), mahi mahi (available year round), wahoo and barracuda (from July through till November). Or ask one of the locals to take you out and learn some local fishing skills by casting your line from a traditional outrigger canoe.
SURFING – Both Savai’i and Upolu have great surfing breaks and large swell all year round. During the wet season (November through till April) the Northern beaches of Samoa provide the best conditions to catch decent waves. During the Dry season( May through till October) the southern beaches of Samoa have decent waves. Some beaches are only advised to surf if you are an experienced adrenaline junkie as they are renowned to be treacherous with waves breaking over shallow reefs and strong rips. Be sure to get some advice from the locals before venturing out.
HIKING - Hiking Samoa offers a wide range of walking trails from intermediate to experienced. Many trails lead to scenic cascades and waterfalls, through rainforests high into the mountains, lakes and spectacular coastal sights from lookouts scattered high in the hills and mountains of Samoa.
WHEN TO GO
The best time to travel to Samoa is between the months of May through till October. This is the dry season and the most comfortable time to be experiencing the local festivals which are held during this time. The wet season lasts from November through till April and it is during this time that frequent heavy monsoonal rains fall with high humidity and the possibility of experiencing cyclonic weather patterns. The country has an average annual temperature of 26.5°C.
Getting around the islands is not too difficult with Polynesian Airlines operating daily flights from Faleolo on Upolu to Maota and Asau on Savai’I Island. In addition to this are the frequent ferries that operate between Upolu and Savai’i. Taxis are common and there are many places you can hire a car.
Yacht- Between the months of May and October (outside the cyclone season) many harbours of the South Pacific Islands swarm with cruising yachts from around the world and Samoa is no different.
Air- Flying to Samoa is not so difficult with flights arriving frequently from New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawai’i or Los Angeles.