There are two distinct seasons in Samoa: a dry season from May to October and a wet season running from November to April. Average monthly minimum temperatures range from a low 20C (70F), and maximum temperatures from the high 20C (86F) year round.
Light summer-type clothing is best for all seasons, but pack a light top for the sometimes cool evenings. Casual evening wear is best for hotel and restaurant dining. Visitors should not wear bathing suits in the capital Apia or otside the beach areas in rural areas. Nude bathing is definitely not allowed and topless swimming or sunbathing is not permitted throughout the islands. Women should wear a lavalava (sarong) or dress, rather than shorts or trousers, if visiting a church or when attending a church service.
Religions represented in Samoa include Congregational, Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Assembly of God, Seven Day Adventist, Bahai, Latter Day Saints and Jehovah's Witness. Sundays are set aside for religious practice, with families usually attending church in the mornings followed by a family to'onai (lunch) and a rest up for the remainder of the day. Visitors are welcome to attend the services. Please ask at your hotel reception for service times.
While the Samoan culture, 'Faa Samoa' has a strong focus on welcoming visitors, it is important that you follow protocol when you enter villages and use village resources, including beaches.
- Do not walk around a village during the evening prayer curfew hour from 6 to 7pm. Prayer time is announced at the start and end by a bell or the blowing of a conch shell.
- Respect Sunday as a day of rest and prayer. While many attractions are open you are expected to be quiet and drive slowly through the villages.
- Skimpy clothes are frowned upon in villages.
- Women should wear a lavalava (sarong) rather than shorts or pants, especially if they attend church.
- Most shops are closed on Sunday, so try to stock up the day before.
- Nude or topless swimming or sunbathing are disallowed.
- Take off your shoes before entering a fale.
- Do not stand inside a fale when elders are seated.
- When sitting in a fale, try not to point your feet at others. Try to tuck them away, cross them, or cover up with a lavalava or other material.
- Be sure to ask your host before taking photos in a village.
- Do not give children money, unless it is provided for goods or services.
- If in any doubt, ask your host or a village member.
Be aware that there is a 12.5% tax (VAGST) on accommodation, food and drinks.
New Year's Day: 1 January
Day after New Year's Day: 2 January
Head of State's Birthday: 3 January
Good Friday: 14 April
Easter Sunday: 16 April
Easter Monday: 17 April
ANZAC Day: 25 April
Mother's Day: 15 May
Independence Day: 1 June
Independence Day Celebration: 2 June
Father's Day: 4 August
Lotu a Tamaiti (White Sunday): 9 October
Arbor Day November 3rd
Christmas Day: 25 December
Boxing Day: 26 December
All dates are correct at the time of publication, but may be subject to change. Please contact the Samoa Tourism Authority to verify dates before making travel plans.
- Dry season (May to October) and a wet season (November to April)
- Bring light summer clothing but pack a light sweater for cooler evenings
- Religion is mainly variations of Christianity
- There is a 12.5% tax (VAGST) on accommodation, food and drinks