Country Spotlight on Samoa

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Country Spotlight: SAMOA

It was a recent idea of mine to introduce a new section to this blog called Country Spotlight.  Posts in this section will introduce readers to countries around the world with roads and trails awaiting your bicycle tracks.  Photographs, maps, and routes will be shared and I welcome you to post your rides in these countries if you have them.  Please email me any photographs you would like featured on the blog at kbtc @ live.com

Country Name:  Samoa

Location: South Pacific

Climate: Hot and Humid.  Rainy season from December to February.  Dry season typically July to September. Expect rain on 2/3 days as it is tropical.

Capital: Apia

Transport: Direct flights from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States are available into Apia.  Flights are not all too frequent, and inter-island flights to Fiji are also available.

What to expect: A super laid-back lifestyle, lots of sun, nearly empty roads, and lots of food.

Where to ride: Around Upolu Island (2 routes), around Savaii Island (1 route)

Ratings

(what are these?)

Road Condition:

Level of Ease:

Tour Worthiness:

Touring Compatibility:

Overall Rating:

Notes:

  • The roads in most areas are perfect for cycling.  The roads on Savaii are nearly perfect.  The roads were made during WWII by US Marines, and are really well-signed.  Every tourist site, town, city, swimming pool, and bus stop has a sign.  Speed limits in Apia and Outside the capital are 25 and 35 mph respectively.
  • There are 2 especially steep parts of the ride.  On Savaii, there is a ridiculous climb from Sataua to Papa that is nearly vertical, requiring riders to weave back and forth to make it up!  The climb to A’opo can be challenging on a rainy day.  On Upolu, the cross-island road is an issue, with a more extended climb than that on Savaii.  Other than that, mostly flat.
  • Samoa is a gorgeous country to do a bicycle tour on.  Most of the roads, with the exception of the jaunt to A’opo on Savaii, run along the beautiful coastline.  Palm trees, sand, and flowers everywhere.
  • Samoa is laid out very well for a tour.  I think all in all you could do about 600km here and there are perfectly spaced beach resorts (don’t worry, they’re cheap) along the way.  Each village has shops that carry water, basic food & medical supplies, and bike tubes.

Some awesome sights on the Savaii ride (~200km I think).  Click on the photos to see the larger versions.

Papa Sataua Beach, Northern Savaii.

Overview of the Papa Sataua beach from the bike path

Overview of the Papa Sataua beach from the bike path

Foailuga Beach Sunset

Foailuga Beach Sunset

At the top of Savaii in Aopo

At the top of Savai'i in A'opo

Afu Aau Falls on Southern Savaii

Afu Aau Falls on Southern Savai'i

Some awesome sights on the Upolu ride (2 routes).  Click on the photos to see the larger versions.

The cross-island road on Upolu

The cross-island road on Upolu

Maasina and Salimu

Maasina and Salimu

The famous resort of Lalomanu

The famous resort of Lalomanu

Routes

Now that you’ve got the basic information and seen some great photographs from the region, I’m going to jump into the bicycle routes you’ve got available to you.  I’ve ridden around Samoa many times, so if you have any questions, send over an email to kbtc @ live.com

Upolu Island: (you can sleep in the bold towns)

These are difficult to read but are designed just to be an outline.  The roads in Samoa are pretty simple and there are only a couple of them, hard to get lost.

Route 1:  Airport, Leulumoega,Falease’ela, Paradise Beach, Matareva, Salamumu,Vava’u, Lalomanu,Falevao (view over the Salimu), Apia.

Route 2: Airport, Fale’ula, Papase’a, Apia, Saletele (gets rough here, bad in rainy season), Salimu, Lalomanu, Cross-island road to Salimu overlook, Aganoa beach, Lake Lanoto’o, Apia, Lepale, Airport, Wharf—>Savaii.

Upolu Route Map

Upolu Route Map

Savaii Island

I used to live on this island, so I know it pretty well.  I like this island more than Upolu, it is quieter and there are more things to see.  You’ll also find more isolated beaches here.

Route One: Wharf, Faga, Mauga, (Fagamalo,Manase,Safune), A’opo, Vaisala, Sataua, Papa (Great beach here), Falealupo loop,  Foailuga, Foailalo (Great beach here), Satuiatua, Taga (blowholes), Vailoa, Wharf—->Upolu.

Savaii Route Map

Savaii Route Map

Click on the images to see the larger files at Flickr.

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2 responses »

  1. Pingback: Country Spotlight on Samoa « Bicycle Touring with the Long Haul …

  2. Hi

    The top map is missing 😦

    Would you recommend a road bike or mountain bike… if you could only take one? and were doing pre-work rides of about 60km (or less if mtb).

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