Worlds Best Kept Secret Travel Spots #10: Manono, Samoa


The tiny Samoan Island of Manono is in the Apolima Straight between the islands of Savai’i and Upolu. It has a total population of 889 people, all of which are native Samoans. Samoans civilization dates back over 3000 years. “The Samoan Way” or, as the natives call it, “Fa’a Samoa” is their ancient cultural traditions of family first values, strict respect for their elders and the belief that servicing your family is your duty. It is a guidline that every Somoan lives by that celebrates family values, culture and the environment.

Fa’ Samoa has three elements that make up its structure. The Aiga, which is their extended family, the village chiefs called Matai , and the church.

The island has just 4 tiny fishing villages where the locals live in small open air homes called “fales”. The island sits at 43 feet above sea level and it is approximately 1.8 square miles in size. By foot you can circle the island in less than 2 hours.

The first European landed on the island in 1722 but it wasn’t until 1830 when a European Methodist Reverend named Peter Turner landed on the island. He preached the word of the gospel with the belief of a singular god. Traditional Samoan belief was that there was multiple Gods; Gods for the sun, earth, heavens and sea. He later built a  missionary on the island which to this day is still a vital part of their way of life.

Manono is accessable only by boat. The 20 minute boat ride leaves the off the west point of the Samoan Island of Upolu. The boat opperators do their best to take advantage of tourists and will charge you several times more for the boat ride that what the locals pay. They tell you it will be several hours before the next “regular” boat arrives and if you want to go sooner they can take you over for a higher fee. If you tell them you will wait, usually another boat will arrive in a few minutes. They will let you on for just a small fee. Don’t fall for the trap! Also, make sure you ask the locals when the last boat goes back to Upolu.

Flights to Samoa include:

Fiji Airlines

Air New Zealand

Virgin Australia

Other Helpful links:

Take me to Savaii

Samoa Travel Planner 

Things to Do


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