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The travel ABCs of Samoa: V is for visiting villages

Va va voom - that's how one could describe the curvaceous landscapes of Samoa, framed with palm tree eyelashes and shimmering with sandy beaches as a soft skin. Now, if you have been following this travel ABCs blog series on what there is to see and do in Samoa, you're no stranger to the beauty of this Pacific paradise.

Today, we are venturing towards the letter 'V'.

V is for...

Visiting villages

There are 362 villages dotted throughout Samoa. Many of these have an earth oven, called 'umu', and the sacred 'tia', stone burial mounds where their cherished chiefs are buried. Taking the time to visit several key villages during your stay here is sure to give you an authentic feel for the culture of Fa'a Samoa.

Solosolo is a village located on the northeast coast of Upolu. It's in a prime position, built on a small peninsula wedged between the Mulivai river and Vainamo bay. In Samoan, the word 'malae' refers to the main village commons, and the malae of Solosolo can be found on the peninsula itself. Two historic churches are based here, adding to the interest of visiting this village surrounded by so much natural beauty.

Lotofaga is another village on Upolu worth wandering to. Pacific Tourism notes that archaeologists unearthed a prehistoric settlement near the village, called Tafagamanu Sand, from where they discovered artefacts dating as far back as 735 years ago. Also in the vicinity is the incredible To Sua Ocean Trench.

Satapuala is another Upolu-based village, with two sections worth exploring: Satapuala-I-Tai ('tai' means 'coastal') and Satapuala-I-Uta ('uta' means 'inland'). People inhabit the latter, but the former is connected to a lagoon great for snorkelling in.

Finally, another 'V' worth mentioning is Vaiala Beach. Located on Apia, this wee gem is a good spot for swimming that is not usually very crowded by tourists.