10-Day Family Trip to Samoa!
Lucky enough to have a full 10 days in Samoa? Although lazying in the same resort for a full time while sticking the kids in the pool is rather tempting, you actually have plenty of time to not only experience family-friendly adventure, culture and fun in Upolu and the capital Apia but also soak up the serenity and breathtaking scenery of Savai’i! For the family who prefers to holiday together while also getting in some much-needed R&R, this Samoa itinerary for 10 days might be just the escape you were looking for…
While you’re here, don’t forget to open The Complete Travel Guide to Samoa for Families; your complete family holiday bible to Samoa!
Overview: Samoa Family 10-Day Itinerary
- Day 1 – Arrival in Samoa + Apia
- Day 2 – Explore Apia
- Day 3 – Upolu East Coast Road Trip
- Day 4 – Day Trip to Namu’a
- Day 5 – Upolu South Coast Sightseeing
- Day 6 – Ferry to Savai’i
- Day 7 – Savai’i South Coast Road Trip
- Day 8 – Free Day on Savai’i
- Day 9 – Savai’i North Coast Road Trip
- Day 10 – Ferry to Upolu + Departure.
How to Get Around Samoa in 10 Days
This Samoa family itinerary for 10 days includes travel on two islands, as well as between these islands. Here’s a quick rundown on how to get around Samoa in 10 days.
Road Transport in Samoa
Upon arrival in Samoa, you can either get your rental car delivered to the airport or this itinerary allows for the option to take an airport transfer and have your vehicle delivered to you for free in Apia once you’re ready to hit the road on Day 3. See airport transfer options in the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa.
For travelling on each of the islands, car hire offers the most flexibility and convenience. Get advice on car hire, including family car hire, from What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa. Alternatively, this itinerary is doable by hiring private drivers on each of the islands; see How to Hire a Driver in Samoa for more advice.
Interisland Transport in Samoa
There are no domestic flights in Samoa, so the only way to get between the islands of Upolu and Savai’i is via the interisland ferry. The ferry has a convenient schedule of around three departures per day on weekdays and at least one per day on weekends. If you’re travelling in a rental car, it’s recommended to pre-book your ferry ticket, which you can easily do through your car rental company. Find out more about using ferry transport in our Samoa Ferry Guide.
For all of your transport options across the islands, not limited to the most family-friendly, check out our Samoa Transport Guide: 14 Best Ways to Get Around Samoa.
Day 1 – Arrival in Samoa + Apia
Welcome to Samoa and the start of your escape to paradise! After the arrivals process of going through customs and biosecurity, you’ll step outside of the arrivals area to where your airport transfer to the capital Apia will be waiting, whether it’s organised through your accommodation or simply a taxi transfer (see your options in the 10 Best Airport Transfers in Samoa).
Since it’s your first day in Samoa, take it easy and get settled at your chosen accommodation. After check-in, relax by the pool, have a paddle with the kayaks provided if staying at a resort, perhaps catch a fiafia night, and transition to “island time”. We’ll go over a few things you can do in Apia tomorrow.
Apia Family Accommodations
- Taumeasina Island Resort
- Tanoa Tusitala Hotel
- Samoana Boutique Hotel
- The Samoan Outrigger Hotel
- The White House Hotel
- Orator Hotel Samoa
- Lotopa Home (holiday home)
Get details on all of our recommended stays in the 10 Best Family Accommodations in Apia.
Accommodations such as Taumeasina and Tanoa Tusitala have their own reputable restaurants to make things simple. Apia is also one of the best places to experience a fiafia night, should your arrival coincide with one of these weekly events. Discover your options in the 10 Best Fiafia Nights in Samoa, as well as in the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Day 2 – Explore Apia
It’s normal to have itchy feet when first arriving at a new and exciting destination, so make the most of this energy by exploring the capital while injecting some family-friendly fun into the experience!
Family Activities in Apia
Take your pick of some or all of the things to do in Samoa’s capital with kids:
- Experience cultural and crafting workshops at Samoa Cultural Village
- Have a stroll through Friendship Park
- Go to Apia’s natural waterpark, the Papase’ea Sliding Rocks
- Snorkel at the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
- Explore Vailima Botanical Garden.
We go into detail on all of those points and more in the 10 Things to Do in Apia with Kids.
For lunch, enjoy the creative menu of Milani Caffe & Cakes while the kids are treated to mind-blowing milkshakes and sweet treats. Note that those who visit the Samoa Cultural Village will have a traditional Samoan lunch provided. Get much more cafe inspiration from our 10 Best Cafes in Apia and Upolu.
For dinner, Paddles Restaurant brings the culinary know-how of Italy and the Pacific charm of Samoa thanks to its dynamic Italian and Samoan owners. With a very friendly yet unpretentious ambience, as well as a kids’ menu with much more thought than your average “chicken and chips”, it’s certainly a top choice in Apia for families. See more dine-in eateries listed in the 10 Best Restaurants in Apia.
Day 3 – Upolu East Coast Road Trip
Travel Time: 1-2 hours (depending on the resort chosen).
It’s time to hit the road and discover the real Samoa! Get a rental vehicle delivered to you in Apia (if you haven’t done so already) and take the Main East Coast Road along the scenic coastline with cliffs and villages to admire.
Your first stop is the freshwater spring and family-friendly swimming spot of Piula Cave Pools, signposted between the villages of Saoluafata and Faleapuna. Afterwards, choose whether to continue on the Main West Coast Road or take a 20-minute return detour to another mesmerising swimming spot, Sauniatu Falls signposted from Saoluafata. Learn more about both of these attractions in the 10 Best Swimming Spots in Samoa.
Once you’re ready to get back on the road, make a waterfall stop at Falefa Falls with its attractive picnic area. Then, it’s onward to one of the most scenic drives in Samoa, Le Mafa Pass. Enjoy the views of the jungle-clad mountainous scenery, which is sure to get the imaginations of the little ones running as you wind your way across the island.
Fuipisia Waterfall is another optional detour. However, a stop at Sopoaga Falls is mandatory, arguably the most scenic waterfall viewpoint and where you can watch coconut husking demonstrations to inject a bit of island culture into your journey. Learn more about the waterfalls discussed in the 10 Best Waterfalls in Samoa.
Finally, you’ve made it to the south coast of Upolu where you have several options for a family-friendly resort or beach fale stay…
South Upolu Family Accommodations
- Saletoga Sands Resort & Spa
- Coconuts Beach Club Resort & Spa
- Return to Paradise Resort & Spa
- Litia Sini Beach Resort
- Vaiula Beach Fales
- Faimafili Village Resort
- Sinalei Reef Resort & Spa
- Taufua Beach Fales
Discover more about each accommodation in the 20 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Upolu.
Between Apia and the South Coast, there are no real restaurant or cafe opportunities until you reach the south coast resorts. Therefore, we recommend stopping by Sula’s Supermarket & Bakery along the Main East Coast Road in Moataa, which is often agreed to be one of the best places to pick up quintessential Samoan snacks, from keke pua’a (pork buns) to keke saiga (Chinese biscuits) and many of the items we list in the 20 Foods to Try in Samoa.
Alternatively, if you start early enough, you may be finished sightseeing by lunch anyway. In which case, we recommend stopping for lunch at Saletoga Sands Resort for New Zealand cuisine in a convenient location close to Sopoaga Falls.
As for dinner, make things simple by dining at your resort’s restaurant for this evening. We’ll provide some alternative recommendations for tomorrow.
Day 4 – Day Trip to Namu’a
Travel time: 10 minutes (from Lalomanu) – 2 hours and 50 minutes (from Return to Paradise) + 10 minutes boat ride.
From spotting turtles on the boat journey across the lagoon to playing in the sands on an uninhabited island, a day trip to Namu’a is full of excitement and well worth treating the family to.
Boats run daily (except Sundays) from Mutiatele village, taking you to a stunning island with walks, amazing snorkelling and beach fales to make sure your family gets plenty of shade. For more information, check out The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands: Nu’utele, Namu’a, Fanuatapa & Nu’uala.
Note that there are no dining facilities on Namu’a, so we recommend that you take your own snacks and water if you plan to stay there for the day. Try some of the local snacks sold at one of the local convenience stores scattered along the Main South Coast Road – see A Guide to Supermarkets & Food Shopping in Samoa for more.
As for your evening meal, the great thing about the south coast resorts is that their restaurants are all open to guests and non-guests alike, so you don’t necessarily have to eat at your chosen resort for your whole stay. For those staying at a beach fale, dinner is usually included in the price and is well worth sticking around for a hearty Samoan affair.
Ava I Toga Restaurant of the Sinalei Reef Resort is a must-do for fine dining on its over-the-water restaurant, boasting an array of creative cuisine for all diets. If that sounds like a bit much, Mika’s Restaurant of Coconuts Beach Club Resort provides family-friendly fare in a spacious and airy traditional Samoa dining room with the lagoon ever in sight. Learn more about these restaurants and others in the 10 Best Restaurants on Upolu.
Day 5 – Upolu South Coast Sightseeing
Travel time: 1-2 hours (depending on the resort stayed).
Spend another day exploring the magnificent sights of Upolu’s south coast with some family-friendly experiences.
Sights on the South Coast of Upolu
- Spend the day at Lalomanu Beach…
- … Or the hidden Vavau Beach
- Swim at Samoa’s iconic To Sua Ocean Trench (not suitable for under 10 years old)
- Enjoy a family-friendly walk to the famous “Ma Tree“
- Swim at the Togitogiga Waterfall.
For lunch, the Waterfront Restaurant and Bar at Seabreeze Resort turns comfort food into fine dining accompanied by breathtaking bay views.
For dinner, see if this night coincides with one of Return to Paradise‘s entertainment nights, whether it’s fiafia or their string band night (also with fire-dancing, much to kids’ delight). Otherwise, simply try one of the resort restaurants you haven’t been to yet or enjoy your beach fale’s fare.
Day 6 – Ferry to Savai’i
Travel time: 35 minutes (from Return to Paradise) – 1 hour and 45 minutes (from Lalomanu) drive + 1 hour – 1 hour and 30 minutes ferry + 20 minutes (to Amoa) – 1 hour (to Savaii Lagoon and Stevensons) drive.
This morning, check out of your resort and be at Mulifanua Wharf approximately one hour before your chosen scheduled departure (learn about how to book your vehicle using How to Take a Ferry to Savai’i). Enjoy a scenic crossing to the island of Savai’i.
Upon arrival, take the time to check out the handicrafts and unique souvenirs of the Salelologa Market. Enjoy a cosy cafe lunch at one of our recommended eateries before making your way to your chosen family-friendly resort or beach fale on Savai’i…
Savai’i Family Accommodations
- Amoa Resort
- Savaii Lagoon Resort
- Bayview Resort
- Stevensons at Manase
- Tanu Beach Fales
- Lauiula Beach Fales
- Tailua Beach Fales
- Joelan Beach Fales
For more details on our top picks, check out the 10 Best Family Resorts & Accommodations on Savai’i.
Beyond the resorts, there are very limited opportunities for dining out on Savai’i, so take advantage of the fact that you’ll be driving by the delightful western-style eatery of Adria’s Cafe in Lalomalava. Enjoy an array of family-friendly meals, paninis and freshly baked treats. Learn more about it in the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
For dinner, each of the recommended resorts above has its own restaurant, while beach fales provide set meals for guests. The restaurant of the Amoa Resort has the most photo-worthy plates, while the pizzas of Le Lagoto Resort next door to Savaii Lagoon Resort are very popular with kids and adults alike. Again, find out more about these establishments in the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
Day 7 – Savai’i South Coast Road Trip
Travel time: 2 hours (if staying at Amoa, Lauiula or Joelan) to 3 hours and 20 minutes (if staying at Stevensons, Savaii Lagoon or Bayview).
Make today the day you start exploring Samoa’s lesser-visited island, which can take a bit of driving due to the fact that Savai’i only has a coastal main road and no cross-island roads. If you don’t like the idea of driving yourself, check out the 7 Best Day Tours of Savai’i.
If starting at Stevensons or Savaii Lagoon Resort, for example, head south and stop by the Saleaula Lava Fields to see the iconic LMS Church engulfed in lava flow. Further south in Asaga is the Taefu T. Matafeo Store which is home to a charming cafe and an idyllic setting for espresso. You may as well enjoy some of their cakes too, as it might be a while until you have lunch.
Those staying at the Amoa Resort or Lauiula/Joelan Beach Fales can pick up the journey now, continuing on the South Coast Road, past the turn-off to Salelologa, and approximately a further 10 km (6 mi) to Palauli where you’ll see the sign for the Siapo Demonstration. Enjoy a refreshingly authentic demonstration of how locals make and paint canvases from the bark of a mulberry tree. What’s more, you’ll also come away with your own piece of siapo artwork.
Just next door is the gorgeous Afu Aau Waterfall, which is perfect for a swim in a fairy-tale-like forest setting. If you are not ready to swim yet, you can always leave this for the way back.
Drive on the quiet roads and through charming villages to your final destination today, the iconic Alofaaga Blowholes which are approximately 27 km (17 mi) from Afu Aau. The access road is a bit rough and you may have to pay two small entry fees along the way. Your reward is watching the magnificent power of swell shooting water through the volcanic fissures of the coast.
On the journey back, stop by Afu Aau if you haven’t already visited, then treat yourself to what will likely be a late lunch at the Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar.
For lunch, there are limited options outside of resorts and Salelologa, starting with the Harbourside Cafe & Pizza Bar good for its fresh fish dishes and, of course, pizzas. Alternatively, stop by for lunch at Amoa Resort, whose restaurant is also open to non-guests. If push comes to shove, Samoan snacks and pies can be picked up from the convenience store/bakery in Palauli village (near Afu Aau Waterfall). Again, more dining details can be found in the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i or else head over to The Food Guide to Savai’i.
As for dinner, you may want to dine at your chosen resort this evening as the most relaxing option after a big day on the road.
Day 8 – Free Day on Savai’i
In between some big days of exploring Savai’i, get in some relaxation time on Day 8. Whether it’s kicking back by the pool with a good book while the kids enjoy a splash about or some more active adventures; there’s certainly scope to experience it all on the island of Savai’i.
Family Activities on Savai’i
- Snorkel among coral, fish and turtles
- Spend the day at the beach
- Head out on a family kayaking excursion
- Take part in a weaving demonstration at Amoa Resort
- Let the kids loose at a village or resort pool.
We go into detail on all of those points and more in the 10 Things To Do on Savai’i with Kids.
In prime position for sundowners with ocean views, the Beach Bar & Restaurant at the resort Stevensons at Manase is a worthy dining option. Dine by the pool or over the lagoon with something from the extensive cocktail menu and one of the crowd-pleasing meals, from fish and chips to seafood platters.
Another stellar sunset spot and beachfront eatery on Savai’i, Barefoot Bar & Restaurant is your dining venture at the Savaii Lagoon Resort. Seafood is the speciality here, created into the likes of sashimi, poke and oka. With the restaurant’s own pizza oven, there’s competition with next door (Le Lagoto Resort), while pork belly, tuna steaks, fish and chips and refreshing cocktails are on their ever-changing menu board.
Day 9 – Savai’i North Coast Road Trip
Travel time: 2 hours and 40 minutes (if staying at Amoa, Lauiula or Joelan) – 4 hours (if staying at Amoa, Lauiula or Joelan).
Discover some of the north coast highlights, starting with Saleaula Lava Fields if you’re starting your journey from Amoa, Lauiula or Joelan. Stop by Manase to hire a beach fale and snorkel with turtles off the beach; otherwise, Dive Savai’i offers spectacular turtle-swimming tours ideal for older kids and teens.
Those staying at Savaii Lagoon or Stevensons can pick up the rest of the journey along the North Coast Road now, stopping by the architectural marvel of Safotu Cathedral, the oldest Catholic church in Samoa.
You’ll then venture through the remote northern coast of Savai’i, shaped by volcanic activity, which is evident at Pe’ape’a Cave, a short cave attraction just off the side of the road and home to the unusual white-rumped swiftlets. Further along the North Coast Road is also the Laauoleola Cave accessed down a 15-minute nature trail to a much larger cave network – see the 10 Best Caves in Samoa to compare the two.
You’ll emerge back into civilisation again once you reach the large village of Asau, also home to Va-i-Moana Seaside Lodge where you can stop for lunch. Ask about their koko plantation tour for an educational experience seeing an organic cocoa farm – see the 11 Best Foodie Experiences on Savai’i for more details.
If you don’t mind adding an extra hour’s journey to your return trip today, it’s worth continuing to the westernmost tip of Savai’i to the spectacular Falealupo. See historic church ruins, the gorgeous white sands of Falealupo Beach and an ancient Star Mound and more at Cape Mulinuu. All of these are highlights of the 50 Best Things to Do on Savai’i.
Any of what we have discussed so far can be enjoyed on the return journey back to your resort, but we’ve left mentioning Mataolealelo Spring in Matavai until the way back as there’s nothing more revitalising than bathing in this cooling spring water than after a day of sightseeing in the hot sun. Note, however, that the pool for the women and kids is separate from the men’s for cultural reasons.
On the remote northwest corner of Savai’i nestled in Asau Bay, Vai-i-Moana Seaside Lodge and Vaisala Hotel offer just about the only dining options on this side of the island. While there’s fish, chicken, steak, pork, lobster and soup prepared in numerous ways on the menus, you’ll have to make do with what they have available on the day. Again, we detail these restaurants further in the 10 Best Restaurants on Savai’i.
Day 10 – Ferry to Upolu + Departure
Travel time: 20 minutes – 1 hour drive (depending on the resort departed from) + 1 hour – 1 hour and 30 minutes ferry.
After an exciting 10 days in Samoa on a family getaway, it’s finally time to say goodbye to the islands. The process for taking the ferry back to Upolu from Savai’i is very much the same as getting here; just make sure to pre-book your vehicle. Then, Faleolo Airport is conveniently a mere five minutes from Mulifanua Wharf where you can arrange to drop off your rental vehicle.
Remember to arrive at the airport a couple of hours before your scheduled departure so that you have enough time to check in, go through security and browse the retail offerings should you want to treat the kids to some souvenirs to remember their trip by. Learn more in The Guide to Shopping in Samoa + The Best Places to Shop.
For anything else you need to know about leaving Samoa, it’s all listed in our guide, Leaving Samoa: Departure Tips & Checklist.
And it’s “Tofa Soifua” from Samoa!
Alternative Samoa 10-Day Itineraries
Is this 10-day family itinerary for Samoa not quite speaking to you? How about checking out our alternative itineraries for 10 days:
- Samoa Budget & Backpacking Itinerary: 10 Days
- Samoa Luxury Itinerary: 10 Days
- Samoa Food Itinerary: 10 Days
- Samoa Honeymoon & Romance Itinerary: 10 Days
- Samoa Adults-Only Itinerary: 10 Days
Finally, if there’s anything we’ve missed from this Samoa family itinerary, you’re likely to find it in The Complete Travel Guide to Samoa for Families.