Vacationing to Samoa offers visitors the opportunity to experience Polynesia in its most authentic form. The capital, Apia, is on the beautiful north coast of Upolu, the largest and most populous of the country’s nine islands. Samoa is only a small nation and yet culturally and geographically the heart of Polynesia. Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson spent his last five years on the island. The wild jungle, the mighty waterfalls and the breathtaking sea have captured the hearts of many tourists.
According to philosophynearby, Samoa is located in the Pacific Ocean. The island is at the height of Papua New Guinea and around 2,000 km east of Australia. Those who travel to Samoa can do exotic jungle treks in the damp rainforests of the islands, swim in refreshing freshwater lakes, marvel at dramatic waterfalls, take lonely walks along volcanic craters, enjoy paradisiacal beaches and, above all, meet very friendly people.
A trip to Samoa offers the same experiences in many ways as a trip to the Solomon Islands. The advantage is that the infrastructure on Samoa is better and the islands are more accessible. The downside is that there are a bit more tourists and fewer undiscovered islands.
The capital Apai on the island of Upolu is a good place to observe how the local culture is influenced by modern global influences. Those who travel to Samoa can do exotic jungle treks in the damp rainforests of the islands, swim in refreshing freshwater lakes, marvel at dramatic waterfalls, lonely walks go along volcanic craters, enjoy heavenly beaches and, above all, meet very friendly people.
Best travel time
The Samoan climate is determined by its location in the South Pacific near the equator. As usual in this area, there is a distinct rainy season between November and March . April to October is drier, but is usually quite hot and humid for most of the year.
Since the two main islands are mountainous, the areas in between can often be overcast and more rain usually falls on the southern flanks of the islands.
Samoa has a tropical climate all year round. The average daily temperature in Samoa is 28 ° C, the average sea temperature in the medium to high 20 ° C range.
The best travel time for Samoa is in the dry season from May to October, so avoid the uncomfortable tropical rainy season. During the dry season you can enjoy all the advantages of the Samoa lifestyle, snorkeling, diving, swimming or simply relaxing and enjoying your vacation with a beer or a cocktail on one of the many beautiful beaches on the two main islands of Upolu and Savaii.
The main travel season is between June and August during the winter in the southern hemisphere, when many holidaymakers from New Zealand and Australia come to the islands. If you want it quieter, then you should plan your trip in the transition from rainy to dry season and the optimal travel time is in May or October.
Optimal travel time after months
Samoa is in the middle of the rainy season in January and February, so it is best to avoid travel during these months. The rainfall can be very heavy, there is a risk of cyclones and violent thunderstorms.
March marks the end of the rainy season in Samoa. However, this month can be an unpredictable month in terms of weather. So you have to expect rain, but also increasingly dry days. April and May are even drier. These months are good value for money with few tourists and a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. For cooler evenings you should just take some extra clothes with you.
June – September
This is the best time of year to visit Samoa when you expect warm, sunny weather with as little rain as possible. It is an ideal time to snorkel, swim, and relax on the beaches. It should be noted, however, that between June and September many holidaymakers from New Zealand and Australia flock to the island to escape the winter of the southern hemisphere.
During these months it can get a little rainier in Samoa as the rainy season approaches again. As in April and May, however, it is still possible to visit the country in dry weather. The crowds also decrease around November.
This is the start of the rainy season. If you are looking for bright sunshine, you should avoid the island at this time of the year, a lot of rain must be expected.
Climate in Apia
Light summer clothing is suitable all year round, on cooler evenings a light cotton sweater is usually sufficient. In Samoa, elegant casual wear is appropriate for hotels and restaurants. The maximum temperature in Samoa is 30 ° C. The summer (June to September) with average 29 ° C very warm . In the winter months it is around 30 ° C very warm . During the day, the average annual temperature in Samoa is a warm 29.3 ° C.
At night it gets coldest at 23 ° C. While the nights in summer are averages of pleasantly warm 23 ° C, the thermometer drops to a pleasantly warm 23 ° C at night between November and March. The temperature at night is on average a pleasant 23.4 ° C throughout the year.
The water temperature is up to 28 ° C, in July, August and September the sea has a maximum of 27 ° C. In the summer months from June to September the water is very warm with an average of 27 ° C. Between November and March the values are a very warm 28 ° C. Over the year, the sea has an average temperature of 27.8 ° C.
With 20 rainy days, January is the rainiest month of the year. If you are visiting the country during the rainy season, a lightweight raincoat is definitely a must-have item of clothing. The June , July and August are with 10 days of rain, the driest months of the year . From June to September Samoa is relatively humid with an average of around 10 rainy days each, the winter (November to March) is humid with 18 rainy days. Rain falls on an annual average of 14.5 days per month. No matter where you go, prepare for high temperatures and humidity.
Geographically and culturally, Samoa is in the heart of Polynesia. Despite various outside influences over the years, Samoa has one of the most traditional societies in the region and sticks to Fa’a Samoa (the Samoan Way) – where the Matai (chiefs), Aiga (extended family), the Church and respect come first before the elders. The Samoans are predominantly Christian and they often spend Sundays with their families in church. When women go to church, it is recommended that they wear a lavalava (sarong) or dress instead of shorts or pants. The majority of Samoans still live in villages with simple thatched huts.
The tatau (tattoo) is still a rite of passage for many men in Samoa. Samoa’s cultural heritage is represented by the patterns and they are a sign of spiritual maturity and devotion to the Samoan way. Master tattoo artists often create their tattoos the traditional way using handcrafted tools made from bone, tusks, shark teeth, seashells, and wood.
Food and Drink
Local specialties include dishes cooked in the traditional Samoan oven ( umu ). The root vegetables are taro and the breadfruit is omnipresent. And the portions are huge. Meat can be found in most dishes, so vegetarians have to take a closer look. In street food stalls, for example, inexpensive grill plates are served with sausages, pork, ribs and steak.
Specialties include fresh seafood, roast suckling pig, palusami (young taro leaves baked in coconut cream), oka (raw fish in coconut cream) and all kinds of tropical fruits. Snacks for sale in small Samoan stores are generally fried and unhealthy.
Vailima is Samoa’s locally brewed lager. Other alcoholic beverages are imported and are therefore more expensive.
The national language is Samoan and English is used in business communication. English is especially widespread in Apia and it is a good way to get there. Those who are interested can even take language courses in New Zealand and Australia.
Upolu is home to the main attractions, which you can easily reach from Apia. These include the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum and the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve, where you can snorkel. The Piula Cave Pools are a natural freshwater pool in the northeast of the island and the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks are waiting for all adventurous people who would like to slide down rocks.
Famed Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, who was responsible for classics like Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Famous Jekyll & Mr. Hyde spent his final years in Samoa. He was called Tusitala (Samoan for “storyteller”) by the locals . His beautiful Vailima mansion has been converted into a museum surrounded by lush gardens and open to the public. Visitors can also visit his tomb on the top of Mount Vaea. You can get there along a path that the locals call “The Road of the Loving Heart”.
For the more adventurous, take a trip to Lotofaga village on the south coast for the To Sua Ocean Trench . South Pacific dreams are made in this idyllic spot! The 30-meter-deep crater, known from many brochures and travel articles about Samoa, is filled with seawater. To reach the clear water, you have to descend a long step ladder. An underwater tunnel – only submersible at low tide – connects the crater with the open sea and is surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens, which are a popular picnic area for Samoans.
Savai’i is Samoa’s largest island and is known for its traditional way of life and unspoiled nature. The island’s many natural attractions include lush rainforests, secluded beaches, and the mountainous interior. Some of the most beautiful sights on Savai’i include the breathtaking Afu Aau waterfalls, the spectacular Alofaaga Blowholes near Taga village, and the opportunity to swim with turtles in the Satoalepai turtle sanctuary.