Where to Watch the Sunrise in Samoa
We get it; you’re on holiday and no one likes to wake up too early on their holiday. Those that do, however, are treated to some stunning displays as you watch the sunrise in Samoa. With vibrant hues reflecting off placid lagoons or casting dramatic shadows across the jungle-clad mountains, some might say that Samoa is among one of the best places in the world to watch the sunrise! But where exactly are the best spots to plonk yourself down and watch this gorgeous ordeal unfold? Find out in this list of the best places to watch the sunrise in Samoa.
This white-sand shore lined with beach fales is often described as one of Samoa’s best beaches, and for good reason with both amazing sunrises and sunsets being a feature! Sunrise is marginally better with Lalomanu‘s position on the southeast coast of Upolu.
Location: Lalomanu, Main South Coast Road, southeast coast of Upolu.
Also fantastic at both sunrise and sunset, Namu’a Island is certainly a special place to watch the sunrise in Samoa. After staying the night on this tiny uninhabited island, wake up away from the world with a gorgeous view of dawn. Namu’a Island Beach Fales gives you the unique opportunity to stay on this island overnight, which you can learn more about in The Complete Travel Guide to the Aleipata Islands.
Location: Namu’a, off the coast of Mutiatele village along the east coast of Upolu. See the link above for ways to get there.
Guests of Amoa Resort, or even early risers passing through the Savai’ian village of Faga, can head to the end of the resort’s uniquely designed “Lagoon Deck” for prime viewing of the sun rising across crystal clear water.
Location: Amoa Resort, Faga, Main North Coast Road, east coast of Savai’i.
Another east coast gem on the island of Savai’i, Lano‘s long-stretching white-sand beach lining an expansive lagoon is an idyllic location to start your day. Accommodations like Lauiula Beach Fales and Joelan Beach Fales provide perfect beachfront settings where all you need to do is lift your traditionally thatched blind to watch the show unfold. Learn more about these fales in the 10 Best Beach Fale Accommodations on Savai’i.
Location: Lano, Main North Coast Road, east coast of Savai’i.
An early rise on Manono Island for a morning stroll along the circular island walkway will unveil many interesting sights, including a stellar sunrise! This small island just off the west coast of Upolu revels in unobstructed views of dawn, making it all the more worthwhile to spend the night on this lesser-visited island in Samoa.
Location: Manono, accessible from Manono-uta village on the west coast of Upolu. Find out more about getting to the island in The Travel Guide to Manono.
6. Fagaloa Bay
If you’re looking for an early-morning scenic drive, make it to the east coast at Fagaloa Bay. Approximately 5 km (3.1 mi) north along Richardson Road is the turn-off on an unsealed road to Fagaloa’s narrow and tranquil bay with sheer mountainous scenery, numerous cascading waterfalls and villages to admire. Either before or after your trip down to Fagaloa Bay, make sure to travel the Le Mafa Pass for its dramatic mountain scenery which looks all the more breathtaking in the morning light.
Location: Le Mafa Pass Road and Richardson Road at Fagaloa Bay on the east coast of Upolu.
7. Mt Silisili
Often the unsung hero of sunrises, mountains provide mesmerising places to watch the day break and Samoa has plenty! Its highest is Mt Silisili at 1,858 m (6,096 ft), whose summit can only be accessed via an overnight hike. With the base camp for the trip being just an hour below the summit, it is very viable to make it to the top for sunrise; just pray for clear weather! Find out more about organising this epic excursion in the 6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai’i.
Location: Accessed from A’opo village on the north coast of Savai’i.
8. Mt Matavanu
Speaking of mountains, if you want another one to choose from but don’t want to hike for two days, Mt Matavanu is much more accessible. Also on Savai’i, this is the volcano responsible for the 1905-1911 eruptions that sent lava flowing 13 km (8 mi) along the coast, shaping much of the landscape you see today. You can either drive (20-25 minutes) or walk (2-3 hours) up the 4WD track to the summit. Whichever you choose, you’ll have the opportunity to spot flying foxes during the perfect time when they return to roost at dawn. You’ll also get magnificent views of Savai’i’s western villages.
Location: Approximately 10 km (6 mi) inland from Safotu village on the road that passes through Paia.
9. Lake Lanoto’o
If you want to get high on Upolu for the sunrise, a fantastic option is Lake Lanoto’o. A pea-green crater lake set in the highlands, Lake Lanoto’o can be accessed independently (although, the trail is easy to lose track of) or with a guide, such as Samoan Island Adventures, Manoa Tours and Rainforest Runaway Ecotours. Learn more about the trail in the 10 Best Walks & Hikes on Upolu.
Location: Lanoto’o Road, signposted along Cross Island Road approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) south of Apia. A rough 4WD access road leads to the small parking area.
10. Mt Vaea
Finally, for a fantastic sunrise location if you’re staying in Samoa’s capital, Mt Vaea is Apia‘s main mountain. A walking trail called the Tomb Trail can be accessed via Vailima Botanical Garden or the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum next door, which not only leads you to the tomb of the famous Scottish author on Mt Vaea but reveals both fairytale-like rainforest and outstanding views of Apia at sunrise. Again, learn more about the walk in the 15 Best Walks & Hikes in Samoa.
Location: RLS Museum – Signposted along Cross Island Road in the village of Avele, just south of Apia. The walk can be found at a clearing in the forest between the Garden Toilets and the museum (you’ll see the sign for the Tomb Track). Vailima Botanical Garden – Instead of turning down the driveway to the museum, continue straight until you reach an archway sign for the gardens.
More About Where to Watch the Sunrise in Samoa
That’s it for our list of the best places to watch the sunrise in Samoa. For more picturesque sights, why not check out our other top 10 lists?
Sightseeing in Samoa: Top 10 Sights in Samoa
The Best Spots for Stargazing in Samoa
Where to Take Pictures in Samoa: 10 Best Photography Spots
Finally, add more to the bucket list from our ultimate list of the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa.
This article was reviewed and published by Laura, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. Since arriving solo in the South Pacific over 10 years ago with nothing but a backpack and a background in journalism, her mission has been to show the world how easy (and awesome) it is to explore a paradise such as Samoa. She knows the islands inside out and loves sharing tips on how best to experience Upolu and Savai’i’s must-dos and hidden gems. Laura is also the editor of several other South Pacific travel guides.