Have you ever dreamed about jetting off an a luxury holiday to some far flung glamorous location where tranquil waters lap rhythmically on golden shores, palms sway gently in the cooling sea breeze and you are enveloped in the comforting warmth of unbroken sunshine? Well how about making your fantasy a reality with a fantastic vacation to Samoa?
People are often dissuaded from choosing somewhere like Samoa for their luxury holiday simply because they know so little about the island nation. Although we all appreciate a sense of the exotic we also don’t like to feel out of our depth; so the trouble arises when instead of considering Samoa as a prospective vacation spot, we are preoccupied with deciding just where in the world Samoa actually is, let alone whether or not we want to go there.
Samoa nestles in the Pacific Ocean around 3,500 miles from the Australia’s East coast; although because the islands are situated just past the International Date Line there is almost a 24 hour time difference between Apia, the capital and Cairns in Northern Queensland.
The islands are slowly awakening to tourism and so unlike other areas found within the Pacific region and consequentially the tourist development in the area has been sparing. The benefit of this to visitors coming to area is that they are rewarded with some of the most unspoilt and breathtaking scenery anywhere in the world. Populated by a proud and powerful people who are as warm and welcoming today as their ancestors were fierce and courageous in days gone by, the locals are as much a draw to Samoa as the inherent natural beauty of the islands.
Upolu is not Samoa’s largest island, but is by far it’s most developed and is also cheap rooms in Apia. Although with a population of just under 40,000 Apia is hardly a sprawling metropolis it is unmistakably a modern and busy city with several smaller skyscrapers, three universities and excellent infrastructure (not something you might have first considered when thinking about Samoa). Despite being the most developed region in Samoa, within a short ride from Apia, Upolu soon reverts back to the quite and undisturbed landscape that covers much of the island. It is this variety that makes Upolu an excellent place to holiday, as within a less than 10 minutes you can be immersed in the splendour of the Samoan wilderness or in the centre of its largest city. Of particular interest in Apia is the former home of famous Scottish writer and poet Robert Louis Stevenson who was loved by his Samoan neighbours who called him the ‘Teller of Tales’ until his sudden death in 1894.
A short flight or hour’s ferry ride from Upolu is Savai”I, one of the larger of the Samoan islands. Despite its size it is in fact much less developed and is dominated by natural landscape which includes lava fields, rainforests and pristine beaches intermitted with traditional bungalows called falés. Savai”i makes an ideal day trip excursion although its lack of infrastructure makes it less suitable for an extended stay.