What are the Least Travelled Islands in Samoa?
Looking for a real adventure? Even Samoa‘s most visited island, Upolu, immerses you in rich Polynesian culture but once you start visiting the lesser-travelled islands of Samoa, you get a sense of the self-sustaining island life that will likely feel a world away from your own. What’s more, many of Samoa’s lesser-visited islands are, indeed, uninhabited which provides an exciting “marooning” experience for South Seas island-hoppers.
So, take a look at some of the islands that no one visits, as well as remote islands that are absolutely viable to explore, in this list of the lesser-travelled islands of Samoa.
A tiny islet hiding behind Nu’utele Island (see below), Nu’ulua easily tops this list of the least-visited islands in Samoa. One of the Aleipata Islands off the southeast coast of Upolu, Nu’ulua’s only inhabitants are the local seabirds! As an important nesting site and conservation area, stepping onto the islands is an unlikely venture where permission must be obtained by a matai (chief) on Upolu.
Learn more about Nu’ulua in The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands.
The largest of the Aleipata Islands, Nu’utele entices with its silhouette easily admired from the popular Lalomanu Beach. However, like its neighbour Nu’ulua, getting onto Nu’utele not only requires permission from a matai but landing on the island can be pretty hazardous if the conditions are not right.
Again, more information on the island is outlined in The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands.
A tiny tuft of pandanus and palm forest surrounded by white sand and its own lagoon, Nu’usafe’e is the embodiment of an island paradise yet only a lucky few get to experience it. Most of those lucky few are either surfers making the most of the island’s epic reef break, snorkelers on local boat tours, or kayakers on an exclusively Nu’usafe’e island day trip.
Check out The Travel Guide to Nu’usafe’e for more information on exploring this lesser-visited island of Samoa.
Just off the shores of Manono (see below), Nu’ulopa is the uninhabited island of the Apolima Strait. What’s more, it’s completely possible to explore this piece of island paradise for yourself with island day tours available by boat from Upolu or by kayak from Manono. The English name for the island is “Bat Island” after its bat population.
Learn more about visiting the island in The Travel Guide to Nu’ulopa for how to get there and things to do on the island.
Another one of the Aleipata Islands, Fanuatapu sits on the outer edge of Upolu’s eastern fringing reef. It’s certainly considered one of the lesser-visited islands in Samoa, as boat operators tend to favour taking day trippers to the neighbouring Namu’a although a day trip to Fanuatapu is possible. Alternatively, paddle your way to this island as part of a multi-day kayaking tour visiting all of Samoa’s less-visited islands, which you can learn more about in the 10 Best Kayak Tours in Samoa.
Plus, learn more about Fanuatapu in The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands.
Those lucky few who made it to this 1 km² (0.4 mi²) island will join its approximately 100 inhabitants in the island’s one village where life is led self-sufficiently. Apolima is the crater of an inactive volcano, making for some interesting volcanic typography when hiking up to the island’s stunning viewpoint at the Apolima Lighthouse.
It goes without saying that any visit to Apolima will conjure an authentic glimpse into the traditional Samoan way of life. However, getting there is the first hurdle, as you’ll need permission from the local matai to stay on the island with their family. From there, transport can be arranged.
Find out more about how to enjoy an adventure to this less-travelled island in The Travel Guide to Apolima.
Neighbouring Apolima, Manono might be easier to access from the western shores of Upolu but you’ll still be one of the rare ones to step onto this intriguing island. At only 3 km² (1.2 mi²), Manono can be walked around in 1h30mins following a delightful walking trail that villagers maintain. With cars and dogs banished from the island, Manono is the place to experience true tranquillity and an island getaway from your island getaway – especially considering that there is formal accommodation to extend your stay.
Plan your visit to Samoa’s lesser-travelled island with The Travel Guide to Manono.
Possibly the most-visited islet off the shores of Upolu, as it’s incredibly easy to get to with a five-minute boat transfer across a shallow lagoon, Namu’a offers an easy island to disconnect. The island is uninhabited apart from a few thatched beachfront fales making for a more idyllic version of the Robinson Crusoe experience. The island is also open to day visitors who want to lay on its sands, snorkel in its clear waters frequented by turtles, and simply soak in the peaceful setting of a tropical paradise. Alternatively, stay overnight in the beach fales, as listed in the 20 Best Beach Fale Accommodations in Samoa.
Intrigued? Head to The Travel Guide to Aleipata Islands to learn more about visiting Namu’a.
Finally, Samoa’s second-most visited island might be the largest island but it still only receives around 31% of visitors. Yet, the island is the perfect destination for adventurous travellers with its laidback vibe, where immersing yourself in Polynesian culture and sights of natural beauty come easily.
Despite a smaller scene of boutique resorts and beach fales, some of Samoa’s most iconic attractions can be found across the vast island. Under the eye of Samoa’s highest peak, Mt Silisili, explore the Saleaula Lava Fields, a myriad of dramatic waterfalls, mysterious caves and the simply epic Alofaaga Blowholes. The Pacific’s largest ancient structure, the Pulemelai Mound, is also hidden away in the island’s relenting jungle.
Discover more about Savai’i in The Complete Travel Guide to Savai’i.
More About the Less-Travelled Islands of Samoa
That’s it for the list of the least-travelled islands of Samoa. For more exciting expeditions to these tiny islands in the South Pacific, check out the following guides:
- The Best Islands to Visit in Samoa
- Visiting Samoa: Which is Better, Upolu or Savai’i?
- What are the 10 Islands of Samoa?
Finally, plan all the ins and outs of a trip to Samoa with The Best Samoa Travel Guide: Plan a Trip to Samoa the EASY Way.