Samoa officially the Independent State of Samoa (Samoan: Malo Sa’oloto Tuto’atasi o Sāmoa), formerly known as Western Samoa, is a sovereign state in Polynesia, encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and Savai’i, one of the biggest islands in Polynesia. The capital city, Apia, and Faleolo International Airport are situated on the island of Upolu. Samoa was admitted to the United Nations on 15 December 1976. The entire island group, which includes American Samoa, was called “Navigator Islands” by European explorers before the 20th century because of the Samoans’ seafaring skills.Official languages are English, and Samoan (Gagana Fa’asāmoa) which is also spoken in American Samoa.
Dialing code: +685
Language: Samoan English
Upolu’s budding metropolis of Apia, where 35,000 of Samoa’s 177,000 inhabitants live, is the perfect place to acclimatise to island life. You should definitely visit the colourful Maketi Fou (food market) on Apia’s Fugalei Street to stock up on fresh fruit like pawpaws or a bunch of sweet little ladyfinger bananas. About a 10-minute walk from the food market is the flea market – the perfect souvenir haunt where you’ll find everything from clubs and kava bowls to lava lavas (the Samoan sarong), baskets, jewellery and authentic Samoan music.
2. Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve
Just around the eastern end of the Apia Wharf, Palolo is an excellent spot for snorkelling, diving and swimming. The highlight is a sudden drop into a deep blue hole, flanked by walls of coral populated by a myriad of tropical fish.
3. Lalomanu to Lotofaga
Possibly the most beautiful stretch of beach at the south east end of Upolo. A great place to swim and snorkel or just to enjoy some glorious sunshine on the white sandy beach.
4. Alofaaga Blowholes
These impressive blowholes near Taga village on south-west Savaii are power in its purest form, propelling roaring jets of water hundreds of feet up into the air. They are particularly worth watching when locals throw coconuts into the holes which are blasted into the air. The entrance to the blowholes is at the village of Taga.
5. Saleaaula Lava Fields
Along the north coast of Savaii, are the remnants of the Saleaaula village that was destroyed by volcanic eruptions from Mount Matavanu between 1905 and 1911. The ruins include a concrete Methodist church and the grave of a Catholic nun, Virgins Grave, that escaped destruction.
|Lupe Sina Treesort||PO Box 2518 Apia, Apia, Upolu, Samoa||00 685 77 35875|
|Aga Reef Resort and Spa||Apia, Upolu 1522, Samoa||00 685 47800|
|Seabreeze Resort||Paradise Cove, Upolu 1234, Samoa||00 685 77 48643|
|Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa||Siumu, Apia, Upolu 1510, Samoa||00 685 25191|
|Pasefika Inn||PO Box 6114, Matautu, Apia, Upolu, Samoa||00 685 20971|