With crystal clear water, lush green rainforests, volcanic mountain peaks and the friendly smiles of the local people, Samoa is the perfect place for those looking for an island paradise getaway. No matter how much time you have to spend in Samoa, you will be spending your days swimming in watering holes and idyllic beaches while learning about the culture of the Samoan people.
If you’re planning a trip to Samoa, but just not quite sure how to split your time up, then this post is for you. In this article, I take you through how to spend your weeklong Samoan holiday to ensure you see the very best the country has to offer. This itinerary will see you visiting the very most beautiful pristine Samoan beaches, exploring natural attractions such as waterfalls and lava fields as well as having you learn about the Samoan culture and traditions.
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An Introduction to this Samoa Itinerary
This 1-week Samoan itinerary takes in some of the best sites and attractions on Upolu, Samoa’s main island and Savai’i the largest Samoan island. There are two other inhabited islands in Samoa – Apolima and Manono which are not included in this itinerary.
This itinerary is fast-paced and designed for people who have limited time in Samoa yet want to see the best it has to offer. Upolu and Savaii are large islands, and so to do this itinerary, you will need to stay at three different hotels to avoid spending large parts of your days driving.
This itinerary also assumes you will be hiring a car – which you can do once you arrive at the airport.
Of course, if you have additional time, take your time and spend longer at the various beaches or add additional days to the itinerary where you spend an entire day or two relaxing around your resort. No matter how long you have to spend in Samoa, this weeklong itinerary will get you well on your way to having a wonderful time in Samoa.
Samoa 7 Day Itinerary
For the most part, this itinerary can commence on any day of the week. However please note that some activities and attractions are only available on certain days, so please check this and move your days around as required.
On arrival at the Faleolo International Airport pick up a local SIM card and your hire car and make your way to your resort.
It’s recommended you stay somewhere in the South East of Upolu (around a 2-hour drive from the airport) for the first few days for easy access to the attractions in this area. Resorts such as Aga Reef (pictured below to the left) or Seabreeze (pictured below to the right) are a great option. Click here for more suggestions on the best places to stay in Samoa.
It’s also worth considering a stop along the way to your hotel at a supermarket and stock up on supplies such as snacks and drinks.
Given most flights arrive into Samoa early morning chances are you won’t be able to check into your room when you arrive at your hotel (if this is important to you, book an additional night, so your room is ready on arrival). However, this is a great opportunity to enjoy the facilities at the resort. Get the hotel to store your luggage, change into your swimmers and take a swim either in your resort’s pool or the beach. Most hotels have free use of kayaks and a small charge for snorkels, so this may be a great option as well.
When you start to get hungry, pack a small day bag and head on over to Lalomanu Beach (pictured below) for lunch and a swim. Voted by the Lonely Planet as one of the most beautiful beaches in the WORLD – this is one beach you’re going to want to visit.
At Lalomanu Beach there is a great little casual restaurant, with views to die for. Also, by eating at the restaurant, you will avoid the need to have to pay the entry fee to the beach which starts at 10 tala – although if wish to swim, you will still need to pay the fee.
Once you’ve had enough of swimming in the warm crystal clear water, head on back to your resort (check in if you haven’t had the chance to) and take it easy with a drink while watching the sunset, followed by dinner at your resort.
Take it easy this morning – sleep late followed by breakfast at your resort.
Once you’re ready to head out, make a stop at Sopo’aga Waterfalls (pictured below to the left) one of Samoa’s stunning waterfalls. The viewing point for the waterfalls is in a lovely little garden setting and entry is 10 tala per person. From the carpark to the viewing point is a short walk and suitable for everyone.
After you have had your fill of stunning waterfall views head on over to To Sua Ocean Trench (pictured in the centre below) – an absolute must do for everyone visiting Samoa! Once again located in a lovely garden setting, entrance to To Sua Ocean Trench is 20 tala per person, and the walk to the trench is short and suitable for everyone.
You could easily spend half a day or more at the Trench – depending on how long you like to swim for. If you plan on spending a few hours, consider bringing a picnic lunch to eat in the grounds.
Don’t leave the Trench without checking out the Fagaoneone Beach as well as the lava field with blowhole and rock pools.
If you’re up for checking out another stunning Samoan Beach – on the way back to your resort stop in at Vavau Beach (pictured below on the right). This is a lovely little quiet beach which has both surf and a lagoon for swimming.
Today is all about learning about Samoa’s history and culture. But first, check out of your hotel in Samoa’s south-east and then make your way to Apia, the capital city of Samoa.
Be sure to arrive at the Cultural Centre (see picture below on the left) by 10.30 am for the cultural show and tour. The centre is located right behind the tourist information centre. The cultural show and tour start at 10.30 am on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and entry is completely free.
During your time at the cultural centre, you will have the opportunity to participate in basket weaving, a welcoming ceremony, learn about local traditions such as the roles of men and women in the family, witness various things such as the traditional art of tattooing, cooking methods, wood carving and art. At the end of the tour, you will be served some Samoan food while enjoying Samoan dance and singing.
Just a short drive from the Cultural Village is the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum (see picture below on the right) which was one the home of the famous writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Author of novels such as Treasure Island and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Stevenson moved to Samoa in the mid-19th century in search of warm climate in aid of his health condition.
The home is a stunning two storey, with sprawling manicured gardens. Each room has been set up as it was during the time Stevenson lived there with either original items from the home or replicas. You can join a guided tour throughout the home where you will be provided with commentary about Stevenson, his family and the Samoan people that worked for him.
Entry into the museum is 20 tala per person, which includes the guided tour. The museum is open from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and 12 pm Saturdays. The museum is closed on Sundays.
In the afternoon, check into a hotel in Apia, such as the Taumeasina Island Resort (pictured below) where you can spend the afternoon enjoying a swim in the pool. Click here for further recommendations on the best places to stay in Samoa.
No need to rush this morning, enjoy a leisurely breakfast at your resort before heading out to the local Fugalei fresh produce markets (pictured below on the left). These markets are open daily from 6 am.
At the local markets watch the local Samoan people go about their business as they set up their stalls. Here you can pick up various souvenirs such as jewellery, t-shirts, dresses and local produce.
If one market isn’t enough for you – head on over to the flea market on the waterfront where there is much more of a focus on jewellery and clothes – a great place for those that enjoy shopping for souvenirs, the flea market is open from 6.15am to 6.15pm Monday to Friday.
Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, head up to the Forest Café (pictured below in the centre) for lunch. The Forest Café is a gorgeous little café located high up in the hills, surrounded by dense, lush rainforest. If you have time, after lunch, you can take a stroll around the property and even take a dip in one of the watering holes. The café is open Friday to Sunday and open from 8.30am.
After your lunch at the Forest Café, go check out the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks (pictured below on the right). Here you will find a series of waterfalls which depending upon how much water is flowing you may choose to “slide” down the rocks like a waterslide. However note that although I did see people doing this, I didn’t, and I’m not sure how safe it is – so partake at your own risk.
There is quite a steep descent to reach the rocks and, although it only takes a few minutes, the walk both down and up would not be suitable for anyone with mobility issues. The stairs down are steep.
Entry to the rocks is 5 tala per person and opening hours are Monday to Saturday 8 am to 5.30 pm, and on Sundays, 11 am to 6 pm.
In the afternoon, return to your resort for a relaxing afternoon.
After a relaxing morning at your resort, check out and make your way to Mulifanua Wharf to take the ferry over to Savai’i. The ferry from Upolu to Savaii takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and leaves as follows:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 6 am, 8 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 4 pm
- Tuesday: 6am, 8am, 10am, 2pm and 4pm
- Sunday: 12pm and 4pm.
Tickets are 12 talas per person and 95 talas per vehicle. If you are bringing across a vehicle, be sure to book in advance.
Once arriving on Savai’i before heading to your accommodation, take a detour for the Alofa’aga Blowholes (pictured to the right). Here you will be mesmerized by the ocean water spurting high in the sky as it surges through holes in the lava. Just be careful not to get to close, or you will get drenched!
Entry to the blowholes is 5 tala per person.
Now make your way to your Savai’i accommodation. It is recommended you stay somewhere in the village of Fagamalo such as Stevenson’s at Manase (pictured below).
Time to go and explore the gorgeous island of Savai’i!
After a slow start to the day and perhaps an early morning swim in the flat, crystal clear waters around Fagamalo take the short drive to the Saleaula Lava Fields (pictured below to the left). Here you will see the lava from the eruption which occurred in 1905 wiping out the entire village – although thankfully no deaths occurred.
Make sure you check out the church which is the only building which survived the eruption, although it’s somewhat eerie yet oddly beautiful with the lava flowing although the church and now with so much time having passed there are trees and shrubs growing right through the church also.
The other interesting place to visit at the Lava Fields is the Virgin Grave. This is the grave of the daughter of the village’s chief, which oddly was untouched by the lava. The local people claim this was a miracle.
Entry into the Lava Fields is 5 tala per person, and the fields are open Monday to Saturday 7 am to 5 pm and on Sundays, they open at 10.30 am and close at 5 pm.
On your way to the next Savai’i attraction, make a stop at Le Lagoto Resort for lunch. This is a lovely resort located on a beautiful stretch of shoreline in the Fagamalo – in fact, a great alternative for accommodation if Stevenson’s is fully booked during your stay.
After lunch, take a 1.5-hour drive to Falealupo Beach – with a detour to the Falealupo Canopy Walk (pictured below in the centre). The canopy walk takes you climbing high into the rainforest canopy and then across a suspension bridge to a giant banyan tree. At the other side, you can climb even higher up the banyan tree for a fantastic view across the canopy and out to the ocean.
Entry to the Falealupo Canopy Walk is 20 tala per person, and the walk through the rainforest to the canopy walk is short and flat. However, the climb to the canopy is steep and not suitable for anyone with mobility issues.
Next up spend the afternoon at the stunning Falealupo Beach (pictured below to the right). This is a stunning stretch of beach which is perfect for snorkelling with life coral visible just a metre or so from the water’s edge. The water is calm and crystal clear and just perfect for a swim. However, note that this is a coral beach and it would be best to wear reef shoes.
Once you’ve had enough swimming time at Falealupo Beach, return to your resort in time to watch the sunset with a cocktail in hand.
Today you make your way back to Upolu in preparation for your flight home.
Depending upon what time ferry you decide to take back, you may like to spend your morning swimming, kayaking and snorkelling in the gorgeous waters right outside your resort. Ensure you get your fill of this beautiful paradise because before you know it, you will be back to normality.
The ferry from Savaii to Upolu takes 1 hour and 15 minutes and leaves as follows:
- Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: 6 am, 8 am, 12 pm, 2 pm and 4 pm
- Tuesday: 6am, 8am, 12pm, 2pm and 4pm
- Sunday: 10 am and 2 pm.
On your arrival on Upolu make your way to your accommodation for your last evening in Samoa. For accommodation close to the airport stay somewhere like the Sheraton Samoa Beach Resort (pictured below) or the Levasa Resort.
Spend your last afternoon taking it easy around the resort, ensure you get one more cocktail in during happy hour and be in position for one last Samoan sunset.
Check out of your resort nice and early with enough time to return your hire car to the airport.
Board your international flight for home with fond memories of your wonderful time in Samoa.
Recommend budget tours in Samoa
- Samoan Cultural and Mangrove Eco Adventure
- The Jewels of Eastern Upolu
- Mountain to Mangrove
- Siva Afi Cultural Show – Fire Knife Dancing, Traditional Siva and Dinner
- Namua Turtle Island and Eastern Upolu Tour
- Savaii Food & Cultural Tour
- The Pristine Waters of Upolu
- Volcanic Lake Hike and Swim
- Half-Day South Coast Savaii Island Tour
- Half-Day North Coast Savaii Island Tour