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Savaii: island with a genuine Polynesian atmosphere

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The island of Savaii (1,709 sq km) is the largest island in the archipelago of the Samoa islands. This island is located just 20 km north-west of Upolu beyond the Apolima strait in the Pacific Ocean. The island is of volcanic origin and is covered by a thick and dense forest. In the center of the island is Mount Silisili (1,858 meters), the highest mountain in the Samoa Islands.

Savaii is a volcanic island that had its last volcanic eruption between 1905 and 1911. In these years Mount Matavanu (402 meters), located in the north of the island, erupted dramatically transforming the landscape with lava fields that arrived to the sea.

Savaii is sparsely populated, there are only 45,000 inhabitants. The island is also less developed than nearby Upolu. The inhabitants are mainly devoted to fishing and agriculture, cocoa, bananas and coconuts are grown there. A certain importance is also played by the breeding and exploitation of forest reserves.


Savaii is located about an hour by boat from the small port of Mulifanua on the west side of Upolu, from here boats leave for Salelologa on the south-east coast of Savaii. The car ferry takes around an hour and a half instead.

Savaii also offers good accommodations for tourists (usually these are resorts in the style of a typical Samoan village). There are exceptional white beaches and crystal clear lagoons. The villagers fish in the lagoons, using the same techniques adopted by the Samoans 200 years ago.

Tourist attractions to see along the north coast include the idyllic villages of Falealupo and Papa. The large wooden mills near Asau. The Alelo bathing pools in Safune, the Virgins Grave and the vast lava fields of Saleaula. Along the south coast are the famous blowholes, the Cape Asuisui, the Lovers Leap in Fagafau and the splendid villages of Palauli, Sagone, Foalalo and Faoluga.

North of Salelologa pier, there is the Memorial to Reverend John Williams, a tribute to the first Christian missionary who arrived in the Samoa islands in 1830. Here there is also a splendid lagoon for swimming in front of the village of Lano. At the western end of Savaii there are many beautiful beaches, some of which are very isolated and wild.

The visit of Savaii is very pleasant, its streets are not very busy, you can visit the island with the mini-bus tours provided by the guest houses or with public buses, as this is the main means of transport on the island itself. There are only a couple of taxis available, but transportation could be arranged in advance.

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