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Samoa

Samoa

There’s truly nowhere quite like Samoa. From the moment you arrive on this idyllic nation’s shores, you will be greeted by smiles and the lively ‘Talofa’ of the locals, who are ready to treat you like a treasured friend.

A special and important part of Fa’a Samoa – ‘the Samoan way’ – are the traditions. Check out the song and dance such as the Siva at a unique cultural show for visitors. You’ll leave enchanted by the skill, grace and passion evident in the various dances, ranging from slow and captivating to thrilling and fast. The island’s abundance of colour is sure to leave an impression. Locals don lavalavas and formal dresses and decorate their homes, buses, fences and even rocks with bold tones.

The colourful culture and welcome attitude is not all you’ll find here – Samoa is packed with natural delights like glistening turquoise lagoons, towering volcanic landscapes, blissful beaches and banyan groves, all of which offer once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for adventure or relaxation – whichever holiday type suits you. There are ten islands that make up Samoa, with Upolu (home to Apia, the nation’s capital) and Savai’i as the main two. Each island has its own unique flavour and feel – though both are equally delectable.

There’s a different type of accommodation to suit every need in Samoa. No visit here is complete without spending at least one night in an open-sided, thatched beachfront fale, lulled to sleep by waves lapping the shore. If you’re splashing out, there are, of course, deluxe resorts available where you can unwind in luxury. Or if you prefer, there’s a complete range of accommodation in between. Whatever type of lodging, and however you decide to spend your time in these islands, it’s possible that you’ll leave them with more than just a tan and happy memories. Samoa… serene, spectacular and super special.


(Image: ©Samoa Tourism)


OUR FAVOURITE WAYS TO EXPERIENCE SAMOA


Stay in a Traditional Fale

Stay in a Traditional Fale

In Samoan, the word for family is ‘aiga’. This special word refers to not only your immediate family, but also entire clans and communities, in keeping with the warm, welcoming vibe of Samoan culture. If you are after a true taste of Samoa and keen to have more of an authentic holiday experience we suggest you live like a local and opt to stay in one of the many beach fales dotted around the coastline. They are mostly on village land and usually family-operated and enjoy some of Samoa’s most scenic vistas and million-dollar scenery. That means you get to sleep right on the beach under a thatched roof on wooden posts, and let the gentle lapping of waves lull you to sleep. There is no power, no private facilities and no room service, but there are stunning beachfront locations, unimpeded ocean views and unbeatable R&R.

Samoa for Foodies

Samoa for Foodies

The fabulous flavours of Samoa are most apparent in its cuisine. During the day you might see men out on the rocks catching yellow fin tuna, octopus, lobster and more. Raw fish with coconut cream, bananas and juicy tropical fruits from island plantations round off a perfect meal. If you hadn’t already heard, Chef John is a local who has a passion for food and believes that Samoa has some of the best the world has to offer. Join in on one of his tours to learn more about the local produce and traditions, then enjoy a tasty meal he has prepared just for you. Still salivating? Stay at Return to Paradise Resort & Spa where you can delve into a mouth-watering 8-10 course degustation dinner with matching wines and mini-cocktails. Your taste buds will thank you for these culinary delights. Don’t bother wearing a belt!




OUR FAVOURITE PLACES TO EXPLORE IN SAMOA


 



Upolu
Upolu

Upolu is Samoa’s second largest island and home to its colourful capital, Apia. Take a stroll through the city’s bustling markets. Enjoy a refreshing drink of coconut milk, or stock up on tropical fruit. Upolu has scores of dazzling white beaches, making it easy to find your own secluded cove. But take time, too, to venture inland to enjoy the verdant rainforest that echoes to the sound of tropical birds and is threaded by rivers and spectacular cascading waterfalls. To make the most of the magnificent natural attractions Upolu has to offer, hire a car – it’s a fun and easy way to get around the island.

Savaii
Savai'i

For a taste of the true Samoa you must visit Savai’i, Samoa’s largest island. It's like travelling back in time to the way Samoa was many years ago and is the cultural experience you have yearned for. Here you can live like a local while at the same time savouring the island’s stunning natural attractions. Get high on a rainforest canopy boardwalk or if you’re a keen diver, take the opportunity to go scuba diving. Savai’i is an island of incredible contrasts – follow the lava tube trail, or blow away the cobwebs by taking an invigorating hike around the easily accessible volcanic crater on the Tafua Peninsula. Cool off afterwards by relaxing in the shade of a palm tree on a nearby white sand beach.

 
 




SOME THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN SAMOA




Paddles Restaurant PADDLES RESTAURANT, APIA

Paddles is a well-established restaurant in the main township of Apia. The menu includes a display of both Samoan and Italian cuisine to tantalise the taste buds. A relaxing time is guaranteed with good company, great food and excellent service. Open for lunch and dinner.

 

Canonball into Sua Trench CANNONBALL INTO TO SUA TRENCH

This stunningly beautiful swimming hole is fringed with lush green foliage and connected to the ocean by an underground lava tube which fills it full of crystal clear water and tropical fish. There’s a slightly nerve-wracking ladder leading into the trench which might daunt younger sprogs in your clan, but the older ones will love to cannonball from the steps into the lush water below.

Robert Louis Stevenson Museum ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON MUSEUM

If you’re familiar with buccaneers and buried gold, you’re probably a fan of the Scottish author, Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous novel, Treasure Island. Stevenson’s beautifully restored former residence, Villa Vailima features many of his belongings, musical instruments and family photos. Enjoy a guided tour of this grand 19th century abode. (Image: ©Samoa Tourism)

Lalomanu Beach PICTURE-PERFECT LALOMANU BEACH
 

Hands down one of Samoa’s most good looking beaches, this is the paradise we all dream about. As part of the mainland, the ice-white sand, crystal-clear lagoon and lolloping palms have ‘come hither’ written all over them. (Image: ©Samoa Tourism)

Afu Au Waterfalls AFU AU WATERFALLS, SAVAI'I
 

This spectacular waterfall in South-eastern Savai’i, plunges from the rainforest deep into a fresh-water swimming pool. Access is on a dirt road which is maintained by the local village. Entrance fees are collected at the Samoan fale about 650 metres from the main road.

Alofaaga Blowholes ALOFAAGA BLOWHOLES, SAVAI'I
 

Experience the furore of the ocean at its most powerful at the Alofaaga Blowholes. Powered by waves, these roaring jets of water defy gravity – for a short time at least – and shoot skyward at an incredible speed and with great ferocity.






SAMOA ACCOMMODATION



Here's a taste of some of our favourite resort options in Samoa.
Come in-store or send us an enquiry to help us find the best accommodation for you.

Return to Paradise Resort and Spa
RETURN TO PARADISE RESORT & SPA
★★★★
The name says it all! Return to Paradise Resort & Spa has a dream-like setting by a famous beach and coral lagoon – a location chosen many years ago for a romantic film starring the legendary Gary Cooper. The resort blends effortlessly into the area’s natural beauty and provides top standards of accommodation and service. Rooms feature hand-carved poles and mouldings and hand-smoothed marble tiles. Each has a private balcony, deck or verandah, angled to catch every one of those stunning South Seas sunsets. There are a multitude of activities at this resort, but one thing not to miss is the guided snorkelling tour to see the colourful giant clams.
Saletoga Sands Resort and Spa
SALETOGA SANDS RESORT & SPA
★★★★
A gorgeous slice of Samoan paradise, this Kiwi owned resort offers exceptional value accommodation, located on the South Coast of Upolu, just steps away from a golden sandy beach and warm tropical waters. It features a variety of accommodation types from hotel rooms, bungalows and luxury villas including absolute beachfront and stand alone family options with a separate bedroom for the children. The villas themselves reflect Samoa’s outdoor lifestyle with the focus on comfortable, secluded beach living. Each has a hand-made thatched roof and a well-furnished verandah with bathrooms that open on to private internal courtyards and offer the option of indoor and outdoor showering.
Sinalei Reef Resort and Spa
SINALEI REEF RESORT & SPA
★★★★
The marvellous thing about Sinalei is that it offers much more than superb service, fantastic food and beautiful accommodation. The staff have retained everything that is good about the real spirit of the Samoan people and their culture, and Kiwis who have experienced the warmth of a Sinalei welcome return every year for more. The resort and spa comprises just 29 villas which are scattered thoughtfully across 33 acres of proudly maintained lush seaside gardens. Whether you choose a Garden View Villa or a villa with a view of the gorgeous turquoise lagoon, the simple elegance and Samoan flair which has gone into the design of each one will leave you feeling relaxed and truly inspired.
Seabreeze Resort
SEABREEZE RESORT
★★★★half star
You’ll arrive as a guest and feel like part of the family by the time you leave this resort, as Chris, Wendy and the extended team work hard to add so much to the whole Seabreeze experience; ensuring a memorable holiday. This boutique Polynesian inspired beachfront resort on the south eastern coast of Upolu ticks all the right boxes if you’re looking for the ultimate in romance, rest and relaxation. The eleven villas, catering exclusively for adults, are air-conditioned, each has pristine ocean, lagoon and pool views and features your own thatched pavilion or courtyard; ideal for serious relaxation. The best thing, they offer a complimentary à la carte mini bar (replenished daily with items consumed).
Le Lagoto Resort and Spa
LE LAGOTO RESORT & SPA, SAVAI'I
★★★★
In Samoan, ‘Lagoto’ means sunset, and sunsets don’t get any better than the ones you will experience here. Fringed by coconut palms and crystal clear water this boutique resort with just 10 Samoan style bungalows offers the modern conveniences of a large resort in an intimate, idyllic setting. You’ll have the option to stay in either Ocean View or Beachfront Bungalows, whichever you choose you will have uninterrupted views of the water just steps away from the lagoon. The friendly staff at this little gem are always on hand to give advice on things to do and see in order to get the most out of your stay. Alternatively, you may choose to just relax around the pool and enjoy a perfectly blended cocktail or great food from the restaurant.





NEED TO KNOW



 
Samoa

COUNTRY NAME


Independent State of Samoa

Capital

CAPITAL


Apia

Clock

TIME DIFFERENCE


Current time in Samoa
New Zealand is 1 hour behind Samoa

Currency

CURRENCY


Samoan Tala (SAT)

Electricity

ELECTRICITY


Current is 230V, 50HZ. Plug is a 3 point rectangle-pin adaptor

Language

LANGUAGE


English and Samoan

Banking

BANKING


ANZ and Westpac are available. Both have ATMs in Apia .

Meidcal

MEDICAL


Hospitals are located in Upolu and Savai’i .

Visa Information

VISAS


If you’re travelling on a NZ Passport, a Visa is not required but you are required to have proof of return or onward ticket. If you intend on staying longer than 60 days a visa will be required

Flight times

FLIGHT TIMES


3 hours and 55 minutes from Auckland to Apia, 6 hours and 25 minutes from Wellington to Apia and 6 hours and 45 minutes from Christchurch to Apia.

Air hostess

AIRLINES


Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Qantas and Virgin Australia







Our Samoa Holiday Packages & Deals
SAMOA ON SALE




Our best Samoa packages right now, created by our travel experts to offer you incredible holidays at serious value. Find even more deals on accommodation, flights, touring and sightseeing on our Samoa On Sale section.
 

 


INSPIRE ME
Samoa holiday planning articles



Are you planning your next trip to Samoa? Want to learn more about this destination? Or looking for ideas and inspiration for your next holiday? Here is where you can find our featured articles on Samoa.

 






WE'RE HERE TO GUIDE YOU ALONG THE WAY




This is just a taste of the information and advice we have available through our House of Travel consultants.
Enquire below or pop in-store and talk to one of our travel experts today.

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