For something a little more adventurous, Samoa beach holidays offer a great alternative to the more tourist orientated destinations of Fiji and Tahiti. Here you'll find plenty of gorgeous white sand beaches tucked down the end of a dirt track as well as a couple of really stunning beaches popular with travellers and locals alike. There aren't a great deal of Samoa beach resorts to choose from and only one of these is large with all others having less than 30 guests so there's no issue with crowded beaches.
Beach Holidays on Upolu Island
On Upolu, the main island, the best beaches are along the south coast where the majority of beach resorts and beach fales are found. Lalomanu Beach on the south-east tip of the island is particularly stunning - it was here that the full force of the 2009 tsunami was felt although there is little evidence of that event today.
Coconuts Beach Resort is one of Samoa's few upmarket resorts with stylish rooms and bungalows, good service, a spa, restaurant and activities centre. Coconuts is close to the Togitogiga Park with guided tours arranged.
Taufua Beach Fales lies in the heart of stunning Lalomanu Beach and is popular amongst budget travellers seeking a lively ambience and a sublime turquoise lagoon for swimming and snorkelling. Excellent service, good food and plenty of absolute beachfront fales make this the most popular backpacker in Samoa.
One of the South Pacific's great beach walks is found on the south-west tip of Upolu from Salamumu Beach to Return Paradise Beach which was made famous from the 1952 film of the same name featuring Gary Cooper. The walk takes around five hours (although you needn't walk the whole way), and passes secluded cove beaches with great snorkelling and several remote fishing villages along the way.
SaMoana Resort is set in the secluded beach location of Salumamu. Although primarily a surf resort (daily trips offered) with professional guides), SaMoana makes a great retreat for couples or families looking to explore the spectacular coastline and to enjoy some good snorkelling off the beach.
Virgin Cove Resort is one of the nicest budget retreats in the South Pacific set on an secluded fine white sand beach and carefully carved out of virgin rain forest. Hand crafted fales are well spaced apart for privacy, there's a laid back ambience, a nice restaurant and excellent service.
On the north-west coast close to the international airport are Le Vasa and Aggie Grey's Beach Resort, both with private cove beaches with great sandy bottom swimming lagoons making them a good choice for families or leisurely swimmers.
Aggie Grey's Lagoon Resort is a modern beachfront hotel with five restaurants, a beautiful spa, 18-hole championship golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, lots of water based activities and a kids club making this a great family escape, and three separate cove beaches with swimming lagoon.
Le Vasa Resort is an upmarket boutique resort located on the west coast of Upolu Island facing Manono Island. The resort is set in a mature palm grove with traditionally styled fales abutting the ocean and with a small cove beach and swimming lagoon. This is a quiet spot for couples and families with older children.
Beach Holidays on Savaii Island
The beaches on Savaii are less impressive than Upolu mostly due to the lava fields which cover much of the island. There are a couple of unusual black sand beaches to visit on the west coast although the main beach resort area is on the opposite side of the island. Manase Beach, on the north-east coast of Savaii is the main hub of tourism although still it remains a quiet back-water compared to other beach resort towns. Manase isn't even a town - its a sleepy village with a handful of beach fales and three small resorts - two of them aren't actually in Manase but in the adjacent village along the coast. There's a picturesque beach at both village settings with good swimming and snorkelling in the lagoon as well as lovely sunsets which is always a sensation whilst lounging in the tepid warm lagoon.
Le Lagoto Beach Resort is a neat boutique resort with a lovely raised swimming pool overlooking the ocean as its focal point. Fales are staggered along a rocky bluff, there's a thoughtfully designed restaurant, lots of organised tours, attentive staff and a scuba diving and snorkel operator across the road.
Savaii Lagoon Resort offers the best value accommodation Savaii with just ten spacious self-catering bungalows. The resort fronts a lovely beach south of Manase, and has a very casual atmosphere with an open air beachfront restaurant. Good snorkelling lagoon and a scuba diving operator across the road.
Stevenson's is a long established resort at the northern end of Manase Beach. Accommodation is in traditionally designed beach villas or modern suites facing the beach. There's a good restaurant and some entertainment at night.
Vacations is one of several beach fale accommodations stretching along Manase Beach and offers absolute beachfront fales sharing communal bathrooms. There's a good restaurant, friendly staff and sightseeing tours can be arranged. There's a small shop across the road for buying snacks.