Islands of Samoa

Blowholes, Savaii © SPTOFamous as the home of the great Scottish author and adventurer Robert Louis Stevenson, Samoa is known for its natural beauty and gentle pace of life. Just a three-hour flight from New Zealand, the people of this vibrant Polynesian nation have held onto their ancient customs, and Fa’a Samoa, the Samoan Way, continues to play a huge role in village and community life.
Savaii and Upolu are Samoa’s largest islands, and the collection of eight smaller islands includes Apolima, Fanuatapu, Manono, Namua, Nuulopa, Nuulua, Nuusafee and Nuutele. Spread out along the coastal highways of Upolu and Savaii, traditional villages with their neat fales lead inland where volcanic craters, lava fields, ancient archaeological sites and forest reserves beckon to be explored. The country’s capital of Apia and Faleolo International Airport are both located on the main island of Upolu. Samoa lies east of the international dateline, 2890km from Auckland and 1200km from Fiji

Apia ©SPTOUpolu Island 

Upolu is the most populated of Samoa’s two main islands and home to the laid-back capital of Apia, which sits on its northern coast overlooking the harbour. Highlights include the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum, Palolo Deep National Marine Reserve, the sacred burial grounds at Mulinuu and the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks, all within easy reach of Apia.

Savaii Island 

Samoa’s largest island is known for its gentle and traditional way of life, pristine scenery and archaeological sites. The island’s many natural attractions include lush rainforest, secluded beaches, lava fields and spectacular blowholes. A well-paved road encircles the island making it easy to explore.

Apolima Island

Samoa’s fourth largest island lies in the strait between the main islands of Upolu and Savaii. The rim of an extinct crater, the island has one village with a population of about 150 people.

Palm Fringed Beach © SPTOFanuatapu

This uninhabited island off the eastern tip of Upolu is a popular spot for day visitors.


Tiny and traditional Manono Island is Samoa’s third most populated island. The island is reached by boat from Manono-uta, and attractions include the historic Star Mound and Grave of 99 Stones. There are guided walks and activities organised by local villages, and beach fales and budget accommodation are available.


Situated off Upolu Island, within the surrounding reef, this island offers beach fale accommodation on a beautiful beach.

Beach Fale © SPTONuulopa

This uninhabited island lies off the western side of Manono Island and is sometimes used by tour companies for day trips and picnics. There is great snorkelling off the beach. The island is owned by the Tuilaepa family of Manono Island.


Hidden behind Nuutele Island off the eastern tip of Upolu, this small island is uninhabited. On a clear day, you can see the peaks of the main island of American Samoa on the horizon.


This circular island lies off the southern coast of Upolu. Uninhabited, it is popular spot for day trips and as a wedding location. The island is sometimes called ‘Edward Island’ after Prince Edward, who visited here during the early 1980s.


This spectacular offshore island, with its dramatic cliff faces, can be seen from the beaches at Lalomanu on the south eastern point of Upolu. This island is now uninhabited, and is visited frequently by nesting turtles.

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