6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i
6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i

7 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai’i

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Walking Trails on Savai’i

The sandy shores, blue lagoon waters and vibrant culture might tend to steal all of the limelight on Savai’i but very few travellers venture into its lush jungle interior with piercing volcanic peaks. The only way to explore the island’s rugged interior is via the rough hiking trails maintained by locals. From short walks across lava fields to multi-day missions in the mountains, Savai’i offers a range of hiking adventures. Discover them here in this list of the best walks and hikes on Savai’i.

Plus, don’t forget to plan the rest of your trip with The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i and Where to Stay on Savai’i: The Best Savai’i Accommodations.

1. Mt Silisili (2-3 Days Return)

Samoa’s highest mountain and a multi-day adventure to tackle, Mt Silisili provides an awesome adventure on Savai’i. As long as you have your own tent, food, jacket as it gets cooler as you go up in altitude, and any other gear you usually hike with, A’opo village can supply the guide.

It’s best to get an early start by staying with a local family in the village the night before (this, along with a guide for the hike, can be organised through the Savai’i Samoa Tourism Association). The trail begins with a two-hour stint through a plantation path before reaching the lush A’opo Conservation Area rainforest which then slowly rises in gradient with only a few steep sections.

After approximately six hours, you’ll emerge into an open grassy area which is usually a lunch stop before persevering for the next two hours over an impressive crater ridge with orange and white moss clinging to fragile lava rocks. The trail ends here at the Mata o le Afi volcano that erupted in 1902. This is where you’ll camp with magnificent views of the north coast of Savai’i if conditions are clear.

From camp, the summit of Mt Silisili is approximately a 1h30min ascent with no established path; just head up. Once you’ve achieved the feet of 1,858 m (6,096 ft), take a day to return to the same way.

Location: A’opo village on the north coast. Organise guides through the Savai’i Samoa Tourism Association, where you can expect the fee for a guide to be over ST$100 for your group (minimum of five people). It’s a good idea to prepare cash or gifts of food staples to provide for the family you stay with at the beginning/end of the hike.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© Samoa Tourism Authority

2. Mt Matavanu (2-3 Hours Return)

For those looking for an interesting but less gruelling volcano to climb, try Mt Matavanu. Mt Matavanu can be found on the north coast and was the volcano responsible for the 1905-1911 eruptions that sent lava flowing 13 km (8 mi) along the coast. Organise a hike with a guide from the village of Safotu (or you’ll just pay your entry fee and be shown the easy road/trail to follow). You can either drive (20-25 minutes) or walk (2-3 hours) up the 4WD track to the summit, providing the opportunity to spot flying foxes and take in magnificent views of Savai’i’s western villages. With an affordable entry fee, this hike makes it onto the 25 Free & Cheap Things to Do on Savai’i.

Location: Approximately 10 km (6 mi) inland from Safotu village on the road that passes through Paia. A 4WD is recommended for driving to the summit. Otherwise, guides can be hired for hiking via the Savai’i Samoa Tourism Association.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

3. Falealupo Nature Trail (10 Minutes One Way)

An easy yet insightful stroll on the way to Falealupo Beach, the Falealupo Nature Trail is a 400 m (437-yard) trail taking you through a rainforest reserve with interpretive panels to tell you more about the magnificent flora seen along the way.

Location: Signposted approximately 2.5 km (1.6 mi) down Falealupo Road from Falealupo-uta village on the northwest coast.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

4. Tafua Crater (1 Hour Return)

On this 1-hour walk to the Tafua Crater, your guide will endeavour to point out Samoa’s fascinating and rare wildlife, such as the manumea (tooth-billed pigeon) and flying foxes. The top of the crater provides awesome views of the surrounding coastline and villages. Bring acceptable walking shoes and binoculars if you have them.

Location: Tafua-tai village. From Maoto village on the main road, take the road to the coast which is approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) to Tafua village. Guides are best hired via the Savai’i Samoa Tourism Association.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

5. Vaisala Bay Loop Walk (20 Minutes Loop)

A concrete walkway along the clifftop and through the coastal forest of Vaisala Bay provides a pleasant and easy walk. Starting (and ending) in front of the Vaisala Hotel, the hotel maintains the trail and offers an option for lunch at their restaurant once you’ve worked up an appetite. Otherwise, ask if there’s an entry fee at reception if you’re just doing the hike. The beach is also a decent snorkelling spot, as listed in The Best Snorkelling in Savai’i: Top 8 Places to Snorkel.

Location: Vaisala, signposted down an access lane along the main road on the northwest coast.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

6. Laauoleola Cave and Nature Walk (40+ Minutes Return)

The 15-minute one-way forest trail through mahogany, ifilele, teak, kava, eucalyptus and banyan trees is just the beginning… As you begin to approach the entrance of Laauoleola Cave, you’ll hear the unusual clicking of swiftlets as they move in and out of the caves. Then, it’s up to you to decide how far you walk through the large lava tube that is said to span 5 km (3.1 mi) under the surface! It’s a short flat walk (with a few muddy patches) through the cave to the first descent, which the guides can organise a ladder should you want to continue – let them know you would like to do this before you begin the tour. The walk is fully (and casually) guided. The guide has a torch but you might want to also bring your own. Discover more awesome caves across the island in the 10 Best Caves in Samoa.

Location: A’opo village, signposted off the main road on the northern coast.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

7. Saleaula Lava Field (45 Minutes Return)

Discover the remnants of the destructive Mt Matavanua 1905-1911 eruption at the enchanting Saleaula Lava Field. It’s a short walk to the lava field’s most striking feature, the LMS Church which sits in ruins with a lava flow solidified right through its arching entrances. Walk approximately 300 m (328 yards) west following the sign and you’ll encounter the mysterious “Virgin’s Grave” where the lava flow is said to have avoided the grave of a young girl. Past the church ruins is an attractive wetland viewpoint, then head back on the trail and go northeast for approximately 900 m (984 yards) over an exposed lava flow to the striking lava cliffs. For more unmissable sights like this, check out Sightseeing in Savai’i: Top 10 Sights on Savai’i.

Location: Saleaula village, signposted off the main road on the northeast coast.

6 Best Walks & Hikes on Savai'i© SamoaPocketGuide.com

More About Walks in Savai’i and Samoa

That’s it for our list of walks and hikes on Savai’i. For more hiking ideas across the islands of Samoa, check out the following guides:

Finally, complete your itinerary with the 101 Best Things to Do in Samoa: The Ultimate List.


Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Samoa Tourism Authority, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

Was this article useful?