What are the Main Villages in Samoa?
Life in Samoa revolves around villages and families, where the political structure of the country’s some 310+ villages has remained relatively consistent for hundreds of years. There are 11 “itūmālō” which are its political districts and 41 “faipule” which are subdistricts. According to the Government of Samoa, “Each district has its own constitutional foundation faavae based on the traditional order of title precedence found in each district’s faalupega (traditional salutations)”. In turn, these districts have tens of villages each, all with relatively small populations of just a few hundred people. However, the main villages in Samoa in terms of population are Apia, Vaitele, Faleasiu, Le’auva’a and Siusega with their populations going into the thousands. Find out more about them in this list of the biggest towns and villages in Samoa!
Location: Central north coast of Upolu.
The capital of Samoa is, unsurprisingly, the largest and most populated town in Samoa. Locally, Apia is not seen as a town but 45 separate villages, but they are so condensed into one that it would be hard to make out the difference between them if it wasn’t for the imposing Digicel-sponsored village signs. Apia is where administrative affairs take place on a national level. For visitors, it’s popular for its markets, museums and attractions like the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks and snorkelling at Palolo Deep. Find out more about the capital in The Complete Travel Guide to Apia.
Location: Central north coast of Upolu, west of Apia.
Sitting adjacent to Apia, Vaitele is Samoa’s second-largest village. Technically, it’s split into three different villages of Vaitele Tai, Vaitele Uta and Vaitele Fou. The villages are part of a large industrial zone of Samoa where you’ll find factories and breweries like the Vailima Brewery. While the village doesn’t have many attractions to entice visitors, there are a couple of noteworthy cafes that we have listed in the 10 Best Cafes in Apia & Upolu.
Location: Northwest coast of Upolu.
Boasting more modern infrastructure like the well-maintained tar-sealed highway along the northwestern coast of Upolu, it’s easy to see that this is one of the more populated parts of Samoa. The most populous of all of these back-to-back villages is Faleasiu. Despite the larger-than-average population, Faleasiu has the makeup of your quintessential Samoan village: churches for various Christian denominations, a couple of village stores and children playing beside the road once school is out!
Location: Northwest coast of Upolu.
Another large village lining the northwest coast of Upolu, Le’auva’a is not only brimming with the usual churches and convenience stores but behind its built-up facade along the roadside lies acres and acres of plantations. Visitors can explore these plantations in a unique way on quad biking and ATV tours. Additionally, there’s even waterfront albeit basic accommodation here with a pool at The St Therese Samoa Retreat & Accommodation.
Location: Central north coast of Upolu, south of Vaitele.
Seemingly just another suburb of Apia, Siusega is its own substantial village just south of Vaitele. The village is famous for being the home of Taula, another local beer brand, while holidaymakers may stay at the garden-filled Orator Hotel. Neighbouring the village is a recreational hub of the Tuanaimato Sports Complex with the Samoa Horse Racing Club, Samoa Aquatic Centre, Faleata Golf Course (find out more in The Complete Guide to Golf in Samoa), as well as several sports fields.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Villages in Samoa
Now that you know about the biggest towns and villages in Samoa, you’re probably wondering about the rest. Here’s more information about Samoa’s villages in the form of the internet’s most frequently asked questions on the subject!
What’s the Largest Village on Savai’i?
The largest village on the island of Savai’i is Safotu with a population of approximately 1,280 residents.
How Many Villages are there in Samoa?
According to the Government of Samoa, there are approximately 310+ villages in Samoa. There are around 45 villages that compose the capital Apia, while there are an additional 265 villages across Samoa.
What is the Biggest Village in Samoa?
The biggest village in Samoa, not including the capital Apia, is Vaitele with a population of 8,130, which is located in the same district as Apia. Outside of Apia, Faleasiu is the biggest village with a population of approximately 4,340.
What is “Village” in Samoa?
The word for “village” in Samoan is “nu’u“. For more about the Samoan language, check out What is the Samoa Language?
Is Falealili a Village?
Falealili is an administrative district in Samoa split into 15 villages including Togitogiga, Saleilua, Poutasi, Vaovai, Matautu, Tafatafa, Malaemalu, Satalo, Piu, Sapunaoa, Salesatele, Siuniu, Salani, Utulaelae and Sapoe.
Is Apia a Village?
In modern Samoa, Apia is the name given to the sprawling urban area of the capital which encapsulates around 45 villages. Apia is not a village itself, although the name derives from a village in the area which had a population of around 300 people in 1800. Nor is Apia a political district, as it is part of the Tuamasaga district.
Is Upolu a Village?
Upolu is an island in Samoa; not a village. Learn more about Upolu and Samoa’s other islands in What are the 9 Islands of Samoa?
More About the Biggest Towns and Villages in Samoa
That’s it for our guide to the biggest towns and villages in Samoa. To learn more about the population of Samoa and where people live, take a look at the following guides:
- Who are the People of Samoa? Ethnicity, Population & More
- 10 Best Village Tours in Samoa
- Samoan Etiquette: Samoa Customs & Traditions
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed, you’re likely to find it in A Traveller’s Guide to the Samoan Culture.