Samoa is a group of 10 islands in the Pacific north east of Fiji. While it’s just a five-hour flight from the East Coast of Australia, it feels in many ways like stepping 3,000 years back in time.
The Samoan people are claimed by many to be the happiest on Earth. It doesn’t take long to see why.
For all the modern comforts of Samoa, many of its cultural values and traditions have survived untouched for millennia. Traditions such as Sunday church and lunch are fundamentally woven into the culture’s routine, creating an incredible sense of community and belonging.
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While more than one million visitors per year go to Fiji. Just 42,000 per year will set foot on Samoa. This makes for a drastically different experience. The greeting feels warmer and more personal. No tourist traps; no beggars; no hawkers; just an incredible feeling of peace and comfort.
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One of the most spectacular sights to see is the To Sua Ocean Trench. This 30-metre-deep crater, filled with seawater, was once described as “the most magical swimming pool in the world”. It’s hard to imagine a more enchanting place to take a relaxing dip.
For literature lovers, the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum is another must-see destination. The beloved Scottish author (best known for Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde) chose to live out his final days just outside the Samoan capital of Apia. Fans can now enjoy a guided tour through his beautiful colonial home, where many of his personal effects still remain. And for those willing to hike, his peaceful tomb atop Mount Vaea is nothing short of spectacular.
Fire twirling is a true art form in Samoa. No visit would be complete without taking in a demonstration at night.
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And for those who love taking in local stories and legends, a visit to the village storyteller is a must. One favourite tale passed from generation to generation is that of the “Tree of Life”
Many years ago, there lived a beautiful island girl called Sina. Bathing in the beautiful clear waters one day, she befriended an eel called Tuna. As Tuna grew older and larger, he fell in love with Sina – but his advances only frightened her.
She took refuge in the village of Taumeasina. Her protective brother beheaded Tuna, who then spoke a dying wish to Sina: bury my head and it will grow into the Tree of Life. Every time you drink of my fruit, you will be kissing me.
This was the birth of the coconut tree.
Taumeasina Island Resort is located at the legendary birthplace of the “Tree of Life”, and offers something truly luxurious for first-time visitors. Occupying an exclusive island off the coast of the capital city of Apia, it’s the perfect home base to experience the walks, waterfalls, cuisine, stories and cultural experiences Samoa has to offer.
Taumeasina Island Resort is giving one lucky Starts at 60 reader the chance to experience Samoa for themselves, with free flights, accommodation, meals and more!
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