Explore the City
Apia is located on the north coast of the island Upolu and is both the capital and the largest city of the Samoan Islands. This ancient harbour is full of astonishing contrasts, with traditional Samoan houses standing side by side with modern multi-storey buildings and bustling shopping malls. The Old Apia Market is a fascinating place to explore, and an excellent spot to try out some delicious local delicacies, or to marvel at the variety of exotic fruits and vegetables on sale. Be sure to visit the Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral which is one of the most important historical Apia attractions. This recently restored and very impressive building houses exquisite artworks, stunning stained glass and features an incredible wooden ceiling and dome.
Swim at the Piula Cave Pools
After exploring the city why not partake of one of the favourite things to do in Apia and visit the Piula Cave Pools. Situated 45-minutes from the city, along the main eastern coast road, these beautiful freshwater pools, just a couple of metres from the ocean, are the perfect place to relax and enjoy nature. The two blue-green pools are filled with fish and the adventurous can dive down and find the underwater passage that connects the two. The gardens of the Piula Methodist Theological College just next door are also a lovely place to take a peaceful stroll.
Visit the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
A visit to the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is definitely one of the most interesting things to do in Apia, Samoa. The impressive house, where the famous Scottish author and poet spent the last years of his life has been completely restored and all elements have been painstakingly reconstructed using period photographs. The museum contains fascinating original works and lots of family memorabilia. ‘Tusitala’, the name given to him by the Samoan chiefs, and meaning ‘the teller of tales’ is buried on a nearby hill, and although it’s a good hike up there, the superb views make it worth the effort.
Dive the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve
For divers and snorkelers, a visit to the Palolo Deep Marine Reserve may be the best of all Samoa activities. Situated between Apia’s harbour and Vaiala Beach, and just a five-minute walk from the city centre this reserve, which is best visited at high tide offers and incredible underwater experience. The deep, sheer-sided, coral encrusted hole is home to an amazing variety of marine life. Masks and flippers can be hired and are recommended to make 100-metre swim out to the hole easier or wear water shoes as the coral is very sharp.
Tour Aleipata & Lalomanu
No visit to Apia would be complete without taking the opportunity to join a tour to visit Aleipata & Lalomanu, and the drive through numerous small traditional villages in the Aleilata region gives visitors an insight into the daily lives of the islanders. Lalomanu, is about 1hour 15 minutes from Apia, on the east coast, and although the village suffered severe damage in the tsunami of 2009, it has now been largely rebuilt, and the white sand beach is still one of the favourite destinations in Samoa. There is excellent snorkelling in the coral lagoons and a priceless view out to the uninhabited island of Nu’utele, one of the four Aleipata Islands. Only the island of Namua is inhabited, and offers traditional fales for visitors to stay in. Take a walk around the entire island at low tide, or visit the nearby Marine Protected Area where turtles are commonly seen.
With its vibrant culture and unspoilt natural beauty, Apia makes for an unforgettable holiday or business conference destination. For visitors staying in the capital, the Tanoa Tusitala hotel offers luxurious 4.5 star Samoa accommodation near the city centre, and is one of the leading conference venues in Apia, boasting a range of world-class facilities.