Situated halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand, this South Pacific island nation is the product of countless volcanic eruptions. The two main islands, Upolu and Savaii, offer pristine white-sand beaches, national parks and natural wonders such as caves and waterfalls.
Upolu is home to Apia – Samoa’s only city, capital and cultural core. It’s home to Treasure Island author Robert Louis Stevenson’s house and resting place, the former of which now hosts a museum showcasing some of his belongings. An assortment of picturesque hiking spots are found on the island, such as the national parks of Lake Lanoto’o and O Le Pupu-Pui, as well as the waterfalls at Papase'ea Sliding Rocks.
The larger (yet less populated) island of Savaii lacks the city vibe of Upolu, but this series of small villages may feel more authentic to some travellers. Spectacular sights include the Alofaaga Blowholes, where waves shoot hundreds of feet up in the air, or the barren lunar-esque landscape of the Mount Matavanu Lava Fields. Apia provides the best base for stays in Samoa, with a good selection of hotels and apartments. A number of resorts can also be found on Savaii, with most close to the beach.