If you are thinking of going to Samoa, include these highlights in your itinerary.
Best cocktail bar
Going to Samoa…you need to have a drink at the Rock Pool Bar at ‘Return to Paradise Resort and Spa,’ recently nominated in the 2018 annual Samoan Tourism Awards as a finalist.
It’s set on the water over-looking the rock pools with two tables cantilevered over the ocean. Happy hour is from 3-6 pm daily, but don’t worry if you miss this as the drinks are reasonably priced.
Best swimming and snorkelling experience
Have you ever swum in an ocean trench? The To Sua Ocean Trench formed thousands of years ago by lava flow is spectacular. The huge hole filled with sea water falls 20 metres with its sides lined with lush green vegetation providing an illuminating contrast to the turquoise water. The trek down the precarious ladder requires care, but once there the bathing in the salty trench is exhilarating.
Most of the beaches are great for snorkelling, especially at low tide. Fish are plentiful and the coral is healthy making for great under water viewing
Best cuisine in Samoa
Jo and Amanda Lam started Scalini Restaurant in St Helier’s Bay in Auckland in 1999. The plan was to move to Samoa, Jo’s home and the dream came to fruition in 2009. Their award-winning restaurant, 2018 Best Restaurant in Samoa sits alongside their deli, ‘The Pickled Lam,’ in Apia. We lunched their and had the most outstanding red snapper. I would highly recommend this eatery.
An unexpected literary find –Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Robert Louis Stevenson (author of Treasure Island and many other great books) lived in Samoa for only four years yet left a remarkable legacy. Suffering from tuberculosis, he travelled from Scotland to Samoa with his family and prospered in the warmer climate. He bought land and built at stately home with fireplaces (that were never lit) where he lived and continued to write until his unexpected death from an aneurysm. His home, now a museum is well worth a visit with the original copies of Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Dr Jekyll and Dr Hyde in the house, donated by Queen Elizabeth II.
The best of the churches to visit
This deeply religious nation has as many churches as village its seems, with many denominations represented. However, two prominent churches are well worth a visit – the architectural masterpiece of the Bahia House of Worshiping and the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, both in Apia.