Inhabited by Austronesian tribes about 2,000 years ago, the island of Samoa was one of the centers of formation of the Polynesian culture. In 1962, it gained full independence. In contrast to its neighbor, American Samoa, Samoa is little affected by civilization. Here, among the high mountains and small reefs, you can find first class beaches, see colorful Polynesian villages and meet with many ancient traditions. It was here that Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of the immortal 'Treasure Island', abandoned civilization to spend the rest of his years.
The capital of Samoa, Apia, is the largest seaport and the only place on the islands, which can be called a city. With all its advanced features, such as banks, offices and eateries, the city still retains the charm of its long history.

Mulinuu, the old ceremonial capital of the island, still occupies the western part of the modern city. Here are the Parliament House and the old observatory, which is the local weather office today. The clock tower in the center of Apia is a memorial to the victims of World War II. To the west of the tower, there stretches a large market, which sells all sorts of products from around the world, from cheap clothes and electronics to precious shells and coconuts. The centre of Apia is built up with one storey and two-storey European-style houses. The town has three hotels, a lot of small businesses, many offices of foreign companies and banks, as well as government institutions. One of the traditions of the capital is a morning parade of police before the ceremony of raising the national flag at government buildings. Virtually all traffic disappears from the streets at this moment, and many Samoans line up on Beach Road to sing a hymn. To choose perfect timing, ask your Samoa tour operator to prepare your circuit in the right way to enjoy the ceremonies.

Many of the old colonial buildings are scattered throughout the city, but the most colorful of these is the courthouse, placed on the top floor of a nice historical museum. The main street of Apia, Beach Road, leads to a tidy harbor. The city has a large number of churches, the largest of which is Roman Catholic Church, located right on the seashore. The Church of England, though smaller in size, has beautiful stained glass windows.

The only beach area of the capital is in Vaiala. Here is a small marine reserve, where snorkelling is permitted. The main point of attraction here is a deep blue cave between the two coral reefs inhabited by countless tropical fish. It is also worth visiting the oval pond fed with waters from a spring. To the west from the city center there stretches a series of neat villages and coastal areas, rising up through the valleys and hillsides.

The road in the northern part of the island runs along numerous bays and mountain ranges. Many of the valleys and waterfalls of this region form a spectacular landscape with traditional villages offering an insight into local culture. Picturesque Falefa waterfalls are considered one of the most beautiful places on the island. Forest Uafato is considered one of the last areas of natural rainforest in Independent Samoa and one of the best places for bird watching, offering a superb panorama of the mountains and the coast.

Savaii is one of the largest and one of the least populated islands of Polynesia. This virtually untouched and pristine island is little affected by the influence of modern civilization, it has long been considered a real reserve of Polynesian culture. Savaii residents have maintained their way of life. Here you can find a lot of first-class beaches that are good for swimming, snorkeling and other kinds of marine recreation.

Use the list of Samoa travel agents to contact the local tourism professionals and request a free travel quote. Ask for rebated international flights, cheaper yet more comfortable hotels, better tour guides, etc.
Maninoa Village in Samoa