The sound of the ocean was recently the backdrop to my life for seven days straight. From the waves crashing on the offshore reef to the gentle lapping of water on the nearby beach. It would lull me to into sleep and pull me from my slumber. Throughout the day the sound was constantly in the background. I was travelling in Samoa as a solo female and that sound soothed away the everyday worries of my busy life.
With monsoon season hitting my usual go to chill out place, South East Asia, I decided to look for a different option for a beach escape.
With blindingly white beaches often fringed by palm trees or black volcanic rocks (or both!!), friendly locals and cute beachfront bungalows I decided the small South Pacific Island nation of Samoa was a great alternative.
And as it turned out travelling in Samoa as a solo female was incredibly easy.
Here’s how I spent my time in Samoa!! – and yes, there’s lots of photos of gorgeous beaches as you keep reading!!
Day One – A Rainy Start
I couldn’t help but feel extremely grateful to be inside the minivan as it hurtled past a lush landscape full of palm trees while big fat raindrops began to fall.
Less than an hour earlier I’d been standing by the side of the road outside Samoa’s airport in the hope of catching a local bus to Lalomanu on the other side of the island. My overnight flight from Sydney had landed in the dark and I’d made by way to the road wanting to experience the local colourful buses.
I’d barely had time to look down the road before a mini-van pulled up in front of me asking where I was going. As it turned out the mini-van was transferring a guest to the exact same fale as me.
I was torn. Take the easy option of the mini-van or try to get the local bus. But I didn’t really know when the next bus would come so I jumped in the minivan. It turned out to be the right decision as I later heard the first bus from the capital to Lalomanu was around 10am!!
As the rain continued to fall we sped past homes, fales and gardens lining the road as well as many churches. Next to many homes amongst the gardens were graves, presumably of family members. Chickens constantly darted on to the road.
Within about an hour and a half or so we’d reached our destination, Lalomanu. When the rain lifted the stunning beauty of this little beach could not be denied.
For the next four nights I’d be staying in this cute little bungalow right on the beach!!
Day Two – To Church
Church and religion are an important part of Samoan life and culture. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen so many churches in such a small place with every village having at least one and sometimes two churches.
I’d heard Samoans were wonderful singers and so I decided to visit church on Sunday morning to hear for myself.
The church in Lalomanu was a large cream and blue building with a beautiful wooden ceiling inside.
The majority of the local women were in gorgeous white satin outfits topped with hats. The men wore traditional lava lava – a sarong like item.
The locals were friendly to the handful of us tourists who sat in the back. And the singing? Well, listen for yourself here.
Day Three – To Sua Ocean Trench
Staying at Litia Sini on Lalomanu beach had a very communal feel fostered by breakfast and dinner being included in the accommodation price and being for a short amount of time. It meant all the guests came together to eat and talk.
I’d made friends with my neighbours and a fellow solo female traveller and on Monday we all set out to see one of Samoa’s main attractions, To Sua Ocean Trench.
Luckily my neighbours had a hire car which made the visit very easy. Although spotting the turn off to the sunken hole wasn’t so east with the maps being not quite accurate and the sign to the trench very, very small.
On arrival we paid the 20 tala entrance fee. Set on the cliffs of a dramatic stretch of coast was beautify manicured gardens with small fales throughout. In the middle was To Sua Ocean Trench, a sunken hole into an old lave tube with ferns and other vibrant green vegetation clinging to the edge. The hole was filled with water hat sparkled green and aqua in the sun. A steep, slippery wooden ladder the only way into and out of the stunning swimming hole.
Day Four – Lazing at Lalomanu
Yep, this day was a whole day chilling on the beautiful beach right outside my beachfront bungalow! And why wouldn’t you when it looks like this.
Day Five – Farewell Lalomanu, Hello Salamumu
Wanting to see a little more of Samoa I only spent four nights at Lalomanu before heading further along the south coast to a handful of bungalows scattered amongst a coconut palm grove close to the village of Salamumu.
It was a different feel to Lalomanu which had a wide open beach with soft sand. Here the sand was rough made from broken coral leading to black volcanic rock which blocked off most of the access to the water.
But it was also incredibly beautiful.
Day Six – A Beach to Myself
A short walk from my beach bungalow paradise through the forest led me to a small beach. It was gorgeous and I had it all to myself!!
I loved how this beach was all mine but I did keep wondering – how is it possible a beach like this can exist and I have it all to myself?
Day Seven – Paradise Found!!
Pointing towards a nondescript track into the forest my lift assured me was Matareva beach. I shouldered my daypack and started into the forest. Not as closed in as yesterday with the sun beating down and of so many butterflies of bright orange, light blue and black fluttering all around me. Pretty special. At one stage I startled a pig on the track who, thankfully, rushed head long into the forest when he saw me.
As I started to wonder where this beach was I saw a grassed garden area ahead of me. Beyond this opened onto a white crescent sand beach lined with little metal roofed fales, plan trees, black volcanic rocks against the gorgeous clear blue water that was everywhere in Samoa.
Other than a couple of snorkellers the beach was empty. This really did feel like I’d found my own piece of paradise.
Travelling in Samoa as a Solo Female – Practical Information
Travelling in Samoa as a solo female was easy. Here’s a bit of practical information.
I flew to Samoa from Sydney with Virgin Australia. The flights were direct but the times were pretty awful. Unfortunately it’s unavoidable with all flights from Australia to Samoa having crappy timing and/or long layovers.
At Lalomanu I stayed at Litia Sini Beach Fales in a beachfront fale/bungalow. The bungalow was gorgeous and oh so cute!! I had my own balcony overlooking the beach and my double bed had a mosquito net. The bathrooms were share with cold showers. Breakfast and dinner were included in the price and the food was okay, but not fantastic.
Near Salamum I stayed at Sa’Moana Resort. Not so much of a resort but a handful of modern, spacious beach bungalows set in a coconut grove, with black volcanic rocks fronting on to a tropical reef. It was so pretty and had a nice chilled out vibe. From here I went to the stunning, stunning Matareva Beach (day seven) and went for a short walk to an empty beach just up the coast (day seven).
My final night I traveled from Sa’Moana Resort to Airport Lodge Samoa (approx 10mins to the airport) as my flight out of Samoa was leaving at 6:10am. I stayed in a one bedroom garden bungalow which was very functional, clean and the bathroom was great, especially after cold showers at Lalomanu!!
To get around I arranged taxis through my accommodation. I have to say I was quite surprised at how expensive the taxis were – approx AUD80 for a 45 minute trip!!
Have you travelled to Samoa before?
Or have I inspired you to make Samoa your next trip??
Id’ love to hear from you in the comments below!!