Your Perfect Itinerary for a Week in Samoa (+ Where to Stay & What to Eat)

A Week in Samoa: Your perfect itinerary

Samoa is the kind of destination that everyone wants to visit. It’s clean, peaceful (read: barely any other tourists) and breathtakingly beautiful. It’s also small enough that you can see a substantial chunk of the country in a short space of time. If you’re not convinced, read my post on why you should visit Samoa before you continue reading this.

I’ve just come back from a week in Samoa, and although I only had a week, I feel like I saw so much and covered all the main parts. So from my experience, a week in Samoa is totally doable if you’re happy to move a lot. I would recommend spending at least a week there, but if you have less time, you’ll still be able to do and see quite a lot.

Samoa is comprised of two main islands, Upolu and Savai’i. Upolu is the more populated, more lush island with (in my opinion) more things to do. The only international airport of the country is on Upolu, so you kind of have to go there, whereas Savai’i is optional. But if you have a week in Samoa you can easily explore both.

 Something to note: There’s no real public transport on either island, so this itinerary is assuming you either hire a car or take taxis. I highly recommend renting a car for the freedom and ease it gives you to get around. The main roads in Samoa are fairly well maintained. Having Google Maps or a GPS could help as they are not too well signposted. Rent a car in Samoa.

So without further ado, this is (more or less) how I spent a week in Samoa and covered all the main spots.

Day 1: Apia (north Upolu)

Day 1 of a week in Samoa - RLS Museum
at the botanical gardens side of Robert Louis Stevenson memorial

Morning

Samoa Cultural Village – Cultural show in Apia

This is an awesome way to start your trip to Samoa, and learn a bit about the culture and traditions. The cultural show is organise by Samoa Tourism right by the tourism office in Apia. It is on every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30am-12:30pm. This is a free show.

>Also, don’t miss the march of the police officers in the same area at around 9am

Afternoon

Robert Louis Stevenson museum: tour and hike

Robert Louis Stevenson spent the last four years of his life living in Samoa, and the massive house he built when he moved there in the late 1800’s is still around now (albeit with a few renovations) to tell the tale. The house has been transformed into a museum. I highly recommend the guided tour as we learned so much about the house, Samoa’s history and of course Robert Louis Stevenson himself. It’s really not worthwhile to visit the museum without taking the tour.

After the tour, take a hike up the mountain where he is buried. Not only to visit his grave, but also for the views of Upolu that the summit offers. The hike is not too challenging and will take 45 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on your fitness level.

Cost: 20 tala pp

Day 2: East Upolu

Day 2 of a week in Samoa - Sopoaga falls
My sister posing before the great Sopoaga falls

Morning

Chef John tour

This food tour is another great way to be introduced to Samoa in my opinion. In short, you get to:

  • Explore the markets and pick out some food (I also bought myself a lavalava)
  • Be taken to the Piula Cave Pool – a picturesque natural swimming pool where you can swim with fish and dive through a cave (if you’re brave).
  • Chef John will cook up (yes, right there by the cave pool!) an amazing native Samoan meal using 100% organic ingredients, which you can enjoy at the poolside.

Cost

Chef John: 150 tala per person

Piula cave pool: 5 tala

Afternoon

To Sua Trench

If you have seen any picture of Samoa before, it was probably a picture of the iconic To Sua trench. Spend some time swimming in the world’s most beautiful hole, and enjoy its well-maintained surroundings and the ocean views.

Cost: 20 Tala

Sopoaga Falls

You can see the falls from a viewpoint or walk down a (quite muddy) path to get closer to them (which takes around an hour each way).

Cost: 20 tala

Day 3: East Upolu continued

Day 3 of a week in Samoa: Lalomanu beach
Lalomanu Beach

Morning

Fuipisia Falls

There is another muddy walk to get to this waterfall (I can see this is becoming a bit of a trend…). But it is truly spectacular and I highly recommend it. You get to go right to where the top of the massive waterfall is and look down at the water flowing from above.

 Afternoon

Lalomanu Beach

Lalomanu is one of Samoa’s many beaches that you always dream about and see pictures of, but never expect to see in real life. I recommend having lunch here and spending a relaxing afternoon chilling by the sea. You can also swim to the tiny island just off the coast.

Day 4: South Savaii

Day 4 of a week in Samoa: Alofaaga Blowholes
Some of the most spectacular blowholes in the world can be found at Alofaaga.

Take a morning ferry to Savaii from Upolu. The ferry terminal is located near the airport. The ferry ride takes around an hour if you’re taking the big boat, and around two if you are taking the small boat. The fee is 12 tala per person each way.

You can get a taxi when you get there, or bring your hire car for 95 tala each way.

Morning

Alofaaga Blowholes

I could have spent a whole day at these blowholes. The landscape is stunning, the blowholes are fascinating and the field is immense. It is just a truly surreal place.

Cost: 10 tala

Afternoon

Afu Aau Waterfall

You might be getting bored of waterfalls by this point, but you shouldn’t leave Savai’i without seeing at least one of its waterfalls – and this one is said to be the best. The landscape in Savai’i is vastly different to that of Upolu so don’t expect the same from the two islands.

Day 5: North Savaii

Day 5 of a week in Samoa: Swimming with Turtles
looking out at the turtles as they swarmed to greet us

Morning

Salealua Lava Fields

The landscape here is similar to that of the lava field and it does feel like a surreal place to be.

Swimming with Turtles

This is an interesting, unique activity but I will leave it up to you to decide if it is something you want to participate in. This is a chance to get up close and personal with turtles. The thing to keep in mind is that the turtles are not in their natural habitat – they are kept in a rock pool as an incubator to protect the baby turtles from being poached as they grow. So in a way, it is like a turtle zoo, except you can get it and swim with them.

Cost: 5 tala

Afternoon

Mount Matavanu

Take a hike up to Samoa’s highest peak. Note that you should allow enough time to be back by the ferry terminal before the ferry leaves for Upolu. Check before you go what time the ferries return the following day.

NB: Out of a week in Samoa, I recommend spending 2 nights in Savai’i. If you have more time, by all means stay for longer as I am sure there is a lot more to discover on Savai’i island.

Day 6: West Upolu

Day 6 of a week in Samoa: Return to Paradise Beach
Return to Paradise beach

Morning

Giant Clams

Here you do see wildlife in its natural habitat. I recommend bringing snorkel gear for this. You can swim out and see giant clams about 20-50m off shore. This activity is free of charge and available Monday – Saturday.

Afternoon

Return to Paradise Beach

Another spectacular beach, which now can only really be accessed via Return to Paradise Beach resort (they allow visitors) – I recommend taking the afternoon to swim, snorkel or just sunbathe and relax here. Tip: the west side of Upolu is also the best place to see the sunset in Samoa!

Day 7: South Upolu

Day 7 of a week in Samoa: Togitogiga Waterfall
Togitogiga waterfall, where you can and we did!) jump off.

Morning

Snorkelling Excursion with Manoa Tours

Manoa Tours will do a snorkelling tour of Samoa’s native reef. This is a private tour leaving in a boat from Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa. All the equipment and advice is provided and you get to snorkel in one of the most serene, peaceful and abundant spots in the world. You also get to see Upolu’s ‘Black Sand Beach’, which is where three seasons of Survivor Samoa have been filmed.

Cost: contact Manoa Tours

Togitogiga waterfall

One of the only things to see in Samoa that is totally free as it is government owned (as opposed to village owned). A bunch of beautiful waterfalls and rock pools that you can jump off.

Afternoon

Sinalei Reef Resort cultural village tour & “Fia Fia” night

This tour is available on Wednesdays. Get taken on a walking tour through a local village. Meet the locals and find out about their way of life. You get to see them making a traditional Samoan meal in the original way – and, of course, taste it!

After that, go back to the resort to enjoy a night of traditional island dancing and demonstrations at the Fia Fia night held every Wednesday. The perfect way to end your week in Samoa!

Other options for things to do during your week in Samoa

Papase’ea Sliding Rocks

This is only listed as optional because it has to have been raining substantially before you go for you to fully enjoy it. As the name suggests, this place encourages you to slide down slippery rocks which is lots of fun. But you can injure yourself if you the pools are too shallow. So it can’t really be listed as a fixed activity, but if it’s been raining and you’ve got spare time, definitely check it out!

Hike to Lake Lanoto’o

Hike into a volcanic crater to see one of the most untouched natural lakes in the world.

This hike isn’t for everyone, simply because it is not the most well-maintained path, and you get muddy – like, really muddy. This is also covered by Manoa Tours if you would like to do it with a guide. Make sure you reserve at least 3-4 hours to finish the hike.

Fugalei Market

You get to check out the markets during the Chef John tour, but if you need to go back and explore them for food or souvenirs, they open every morning except Sunday in Apia central.

Where to stay and eat during your week in Samoa

The thing about Samoa is that it is not in their culture to eat out in restaurants. You’re not likely to find authentic Samoan food at a restaurant unless you specifically request it. If you do the Sinalei village tour and Chef John Tour mentioned in this itinerary, you will definitely get to try authentic Samoan food. But in general, the food options (unless you do your own cooking) are limited to resorts and the few restaurants in Apia.

Apia Restaurants I recommend if you are close to the city

  • Sails Restaurant & Bar
  • Giordano’s Pizzeria
  • Krush (vegetarian/vegan)

Accomodation in Samoa:

 Full Disclosure: I did not stay at any of these places, but I did visit each place mentioned for one reason or another (usually to eat or have a drink). I loved all of them (and ended up wishing I was staying there each time!). The resorts and hotels in Samoa are really well run and pleasant places to be. They are usually located on a beach or with stunning views, with several restaurants and bars. The links I use below are affiliate links, which means that if you do decide to book a stay at any of them using my link, I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

If you are spending just a week in Samoa, it might be best to stay at the same place your whole time in Upolu, and one place for your two nights in Savai’i.

Centre of Upolu

Le Manumea Resort: good location as it gives easy access to everywhere. Where I stayed (in AirBnB) was really close to this hotel. It allowed us to see almost the whole island of Upolu from this central point.

South of Upolu

Sinalei Reef Resort: this is awesome for the aforementioned cultural tours and culture night that they do. Not to mention it is a beautiful, luxurious resort

Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa: located on a beautiful southern beach and where Manoa Tours leave for their snorkelling tour

Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa
Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa – before leaving on the Manoa Tours Snorkelling Excursion

West of Upolu

Return to Paradise Resort: Beautiful resort with stunning views, located right on one of the best beaches of Samoa (Return to Paradise Beach).

Return to Paradise Resort - where to stay in Samoa
The spot where we had lunch at Return to Paradise Resort

Le Vasa Resort: Best place to have a drink and watch the sunset.

Le Vasa Resort - Where to stay in Samoa
Sunset at Le Vasa Resort

East of Upolu

Seabreeze Resort

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More hotels & resorts in Upolu

Savai’i

The Savaiian Hotel

The Savaiian Hotel - where to stay in Samoa
The Savaiian Hotel secluded pool at lunch time

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More hotels & resorts in Savai’i

For the budget conscious traveller, there is also Air BnB. There are a bunch of beach fales dotted around the islands for a more authentic experience (make sure you read my post about how to travel like a local if you want a truly authentic experience). If you aren’t staying at a resort, you might still want to check out one of these resorts during your week in Samoa for a bite to eat.


<<This post was partly sponsored by Samoa Tourism, who were a great help with organising my trip. All opinions are my own.>>

Have you been to Samoa or are you planning a trip? Comment below with your thoughts on how you would spend a week in Samoa!~

Samoa: your perfect one-week itinerary

Your Perfect Itinerary for a week in Samoa + where to stay and what to eat in Samoa

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10 Comments

  1. Ah, it sounds like a dream!! I planned a trip to Samoa later this year but it ended up being so expensive that I changed my mind to Malaysia which was less than half the price for a longer stay. Hopefully I’ll get there someday 😦 sounds like it’s well worth it!

    1. Hey Kristin ☺️ being such a remote country unfortunately a bit of cost is inevitable. But it is really worth it in my opinion. Can’t wait to visit Malaysia myself!x

  2. Wow Samoa looks so beautiful and it looks like there’s a lot to do and see there! I never really knew much about it, it, so thank you to introducing me to this amazing place!

  3. I had never heard of Samoa, but it looks and sounds awesome! Especially those turtles, how cool is that?! Too bad it’s a little bit of a zoo though, but it’s for a good cause, right? Impressive waterfall as well! Might just add Samoa to our bucket list, thanks. 😉

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