Introduction to Samoa

Stressheads, take off your watch, ditch the smartphone and set your body clock for island time, Samoan-style. Poised halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii in the South Pacific Ocean, this enticing group of Polynesian islands is a welcome world away from the 9-to-5 grind with sunny smiles, warm climes and stunning landscapes.

Comprising  10 isles in total, including the main islands of Savai’i and Upolu, where the capital, Apia, lies, Samoa is also known as the Treasured Islands, which visitors would agree is a most apt moniker for this gem of a destination. The landscape traverses tropical rainforest, volcanic rock outcrops and powdery sand beaches ringed by coral reefs and brilliant blue lagoons where the hues seem to explode in technicolour brightness. Tropical fish, colourful coral, secluded swimming holes, lava fields and plunging waterfalls lie waiting to be discovered by intrepid holidaymakers among lush plantations, dense rainforest and crystal clear water.

Life is languid and laidback on Samoa where nothing is too much trouble and no one is in a hurry. Samoans are famously fiery and hospitable with moods that darken like a tropical downpour before brightening with a smile and an ‘ulalelei  - meaning ‘that’s all right’ in Samoan. Food and family are intrinsically linked where a kava or ‘ava ceremony is reserved for special occasions and tradition is respected and revered. Religion is one of the few Western practices adopted by Samoa with almost 100 percent of the population belonging to a Christian faith. Nudity and topless sunbathing are a no-no, despite the hot and humid weather, and visitors should dress modestly away from the beach and the pool to avoid any cultural faux pas.

For a beach holiday with a famously welcoming people, culture and stunning surrounds you won’t soon forget, now is the ideal time to discover the idyllic islands of Samoa.

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