Family Ride

Family Ride

Explore Samoa with the whole family

Whether your children are 4 or 44, riding around Samoa is a great family experience.
It doesn't matter if some of the family don't ride, or if some are triathlon champions, there is something for everyone and a great sense of holidaying as a family.

Description Cycling Beaches Comfort Adventure Culture
Family Tours of Samoa Fales and Motels
Description
Family Tours of Samoa
Cycling
Beaches
Comfort
Fales and Motels
Adventure
Culture

Holidays exploring the beaches and having adventures together are the ones we remember forever.  Samoa with its many sandy beaches beside placid lagoons and quiet roads is an ideal place for that special family trip.  

For young adults there is plenty of challenge in the hilly parts of the ride and exploring the coral lagoons teaming with fish life.  With the water at least 28°C and no nasties the challenge is usually getting out of the water. 

Young children often travel in our bike trailers or tagalong tandem bikes, but can travel in the support van if they find that more comforting. We have had 8 year olds cycle nearly all the way, but there is no need to stress over what they ride or don't as the van is always nearby.  The kids are also a great way to meet the locals as they tend to be conversation starters.

We have Savaii tours over the School holidays that take a more relaxed pace around Savaii.  See the Itinerary tab for more details.  But if you are wanting something different or more of a family reunion trip - drop us an email.

Start Dates

The 11-Day Family Savaii runs on selected dates during the school holidays - see the Dates tab.  Addition trips can be organised, with customised itineraries, but book early as we get very busy in the school holidays.

Day 1 Arrival

Normally Saturday or Wednesday.

Most likely you will arrive on an afternoon flight from Auckland - See Flights for more details.  We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to Le Vasa or a similar resort.  The hotel is ideal for traveller wanting an afternoon of luxury and provides a gentle introduction to Samoa.

Day 2 - Introduction to Savaii

After getting your bike fitted, ride the 3kms to the ferry terminal. The crossing takes a little over an hour and then it is a 19km ride to Lano. The road meanders beside the lagoon and is a delightful introduction to village life. Your arms will get tired from waving to the kids and calling out “bye-bye” as you pass. Along the way there are several good swimming spots on beaches and in fresh water pools.

Take the optional plantation tour to understand a bit more about village life. Learn how to tend the Taro and make a basket and watch coconut palm climbing.

The fale resort is on a sandy beach beside the lagoon at Lano. It's the perfect place to practise your snorkelling, or just laze in the warm water for an hour or two. Lano sometimes has a Siva show and umu feast.  Dependent on numbers staying and availability of the dance team.

Day 3 -Ride to Manase

Look forward to a 32km ride on mostly flat roads. The middle section of the ride is through a jungle corridor before winding over the lava fields. There is time to inspect the LMS church with a metre of lava on the floor from the 1905 eruption. Relax at the Manase fales(some motel upgrades available), where again the water laps within a few metres of your feet.  

Day 4 - Explore Manase

Options include:

  • Snorkel with Dive Savaii,
  • Ride up to Matavanu Crater to meet da Crater Man and explore the cloud forest. A 500m climb and exhilarating descent on a grassy 4wd track.
  • Explore the Dwarfs Cave - A wet and challenging experience in a pool and drop cave
  • Chill on the beach, checkout the bars, have pizza at the pizzeria, snorkel etc

Day 5 Over the hill

This is the big ride day. Although it is only 40kms to Vaisala, the 500 metres of climb can get a bit warm, so start early. If you stay with the van there is no compulsion to ride the hills, just throw your bike in the van and enjoy the company of your support crew.

The ride starts with a gentle meander through seaside villages before gradually heading inland and climbing through forest to avoid the lava cliffs.There are now two lava tube cave tour locations along the way offering the opportunity to see the swiftlets pretending to be bats as they echo-locate to their nests as well as a chance to admire the geology of the caves.  The road climbs steadily to 200m  before heading across the lava fields in a series of undulations* and down to Asau. Swim in the freshwater pools at the bottom of the hill before riding the last 3 kms to the classic old Vaisala hotel beside one of the best snorkelling locations in the country.  

The Somerset Maugham atmosphere and great beach at Vaisala make this place a must. Enjoy a lobster dinner (it is usually on the menu) on the balcony while being serenaded by the string band. 

Day 6 Vaisala Beach Day

Relax on the white sand beach, borrow an outrigger and explore the lagoon, snorkel out to the reef or ride to Vaimoana for lunch.

Day 7 To the western edge of the world

This is a gentle 20km ride to Falealupo with a number of attractions along the way: climb a giant banyan tree, realise the power of cyclones at the church (ruined in 1990) and hear stories about surviving cyclones at the House of Rock. Falealupo is a beautiful isolated beach at the western edge of the world; the sunsets across the coral sands are memorable and the swimming in the small lagoon refreshing.

Day 8 South coast ride

There are numerous villages on the 40km ride around the coast to Satuiatua. The road winds along the cliff tops and beside beaches through many villages. Stop at Lovers Leap for a nui  (drinking coconut) and to admire the view.

Satuiatua Resort is located right on the beach under giant banyan trees. When the tide is right (greater than half) there is wonderful snorkelling amongst dense schools of fish and we have often seen whales breaching while we were enjoying a beer on the restaurant balcony. There is an opportunity to attend a tapa making session to see mulberry bark turned into cloth and a good plantation tour is offered by the resort, but the beach usually wins out as the best spot for the afternoon.

Day 9  R&R

Enjoy a day at the beach at Satuiatua.  Snorkel, take in the cultural activities or just chill out and look for the whales.  There is some surfing available nearby, but this is for experts only as its onto the reef and subject to strong currents at the lagoon entrance.  There is no resident surf guide.

Day 10 Blowholes and waterfalls

It's the last cycling day and while it's 45km, the ride is mostly flat and with a lot to see on the way (there is so much to see that some groups elect to take the van for part of this day). The blowholes seem to perform in almost any sea condition and tide but can be huge in a good southerly swell. The waterfalls at Afu Aau are probably the second most visited attraction on Savaii, and for good reason. Set in a shady, leafy valley the pool beneath the falls provides a very refreshing swim for all, with opportunities for the more confident to leap from the surrounding cliffs. Depending on your flights and preferences your last night will normally be at Florence's place, a small homestay with very interesting and entertaining hosts. 

Day 11 Departure

Catch the ferry back to Upolu, wave your sad farewells to this uniquely hospitable country and fly home (or if you are simply not ready to leave, stay a while longer).

Manono Island Extra

Come two days earlier and explore Manono Island.  Located 5 kms from our base it is accessible by ferry or our kayaks.  The 4km coastline of the Island supports 3 villages, but dogs, pigs, cars and bikes are banned.

 

*Undulations occasionally becomes a swear word as in  - "another of Ross's undulating climbs".  They are never very high, but they are repetitive and noticeable in the heat.

 

FAQs for Families

How old do the kids have to be?

Under 8s

We were originally inspired to visit Samoa by Nathan Fa'ave's tale of cycling around both islands towing his one and three year old kids in a trailer.  Hi wife, Jodi, who was 7 months pregnant at the time rode all the way as well.   They are not quite your average couple - but there are lots of other ways to cycle with young kids.  Having a support van means that if the going gets too tough (for adults or kids) the van is always available.  Our driver Uilau is great with kids.

We have kiddy bike seats and a trailer for those not yet ready to ride.  We also have a tag-a-long, which is a third wheel tandem designed specially for riders between 3 and about 6.

Over 7s

The youngest rider we know who rode all the way was 8.  But he was pretty outdoor hardened.  Rather than focus on the trip as a ride that has to be completed completely under ones own steam, think about it as a series beach holidays linked by some cycling and use the support van to keep it fun.  On one memorable and really enjoyable trip we had a 10 year old with spina bifida. She and I would ride the flat bits in the morning before she hoped into the front of the van and lead the trip from the passenger seat.

The roads are quiet - but some cycle road sense is vital.  

We have a range of 20, 24 and 26" kids bikes.

How well are kids accepted at the resorts?

The fale resorts in particular are very family oriented.  The kids also provide a great introduction the the villagers.  So children enhance the experience considerably.

Other Bike FAQs

See Bike FAQs

Pricing

This trip is a supported bike ride.

Supported bike ride

Includes:

  • Support vehicle traveling at your pace
  • Services of driver as local guide on cycling legs
  • Participants can travel in van at any time for as much of the journey as they want
  • Bags are carried for you in the van
  • Filtered water refils from the van
  • Picnic equipment

We have new drivers and the feedback from guests in 2017 was that those on supported tours saw so much more, got a better understanding of Samoa and enjoyed the trip more.   So we have made this a standard feature.  

The driver will travel at the pace of the slowest person.  Those wanting to travel independently still can.

Payment method

Trips can be invoiced in NZ$ or AUS$. 

Visa and Mastercard are accepted but subject to a merchant cost surcharge of 4%.

Price includes:

For 11 Day/10 night Tour

  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Accommodation on all 10 nights including Le Vasa or equivalent on first night
  • 9  breakfasts (all breakfasts except last morning if flying before 8am),
  • 7 Dinners
  • Bike hire
  • Savaii  support van and Upolu transport
  • Water on cycling days and picnic gear

Price excludes:

  • Ferry costs (22 tala pp inc bike)
  • Airfares
  • Additional recommended Tours (eg Dive Savaii 65 Tala)
  • Customary fees

Price for Standard Tours

All Prices in NZD 

Family Savaii- 11 Day  Fri-Sun  or Wed-Fri - Fully supported  NZD $1,600 pp
Child Price   5-12 years NZD $900 pp

 Single Supplement $150 (Subject to a minimum of two on the trip)

Custom tours - If you are a group of 6 or more, want to start on a different day or want a different itinerary - just email us. 

eBike - Additional $260

 

Start Dates

The 11-Day Family Savaii runs on selected dates during the school holidays - see the Dates tab.  Addition trips can be organised, with customised itineraries, but book early as we get very busy in the school holidays.

Day 1 Arrival

Normally Saturday or Wednesday.

Most likely you will arrive on an afternoon flight from Auckland - See Flights for more details.  We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to Le Vasa or a similar resort.  The hotel is ideal for traveller wanting an afternoon of luxury and provides a gentle introduction to Samoa.

Day 2 - Introduction to Savaii

After getting your bike fitted, ride the 3kms to the ferry terminal. The crossing takes a little over an hour and then it is a 19km ride to Lano. The road meanders beside the lagoon and is a delightful introduction to village life. Your arms will get tired from waving to the kids and calling out “bye-bye” as you pass. Along the way there are several good swimming spots on beaches and in fresh water pools.

Take the optional plantation tour to understand a bit more about village life. Learn how to tend the Taro and make a basket and watch coconut palm climbing.

The fale resort is on a sandy beach beside the lagoon at Lano. It's the perfect place to practise your snorkelling, or just laze in the warm water for an hour or two. Lano sometimes has a Siva show and umu feast.  Dependent on numbers staying and availability of the dance team.

Day 3 -Ride to Manase

Look forward to a 32km ride on mostly flat roads. The middle section of the ride is through a jungle corridor before winding over the lava fields. There is time to inspect the LMS church with a metre of lava on the floor from the 1905 eruption. Relax at the Manase fales(some motel upgrades available), where again the water laps within a few metres of your feet.  

Day 4 - Explore Manase

Options include:

  • Snorkel with Dive Savaii,
  • Ride up to Matavanu Crater to meet da Crater Man and explore the cloud forest. A 500m climb and exhilarating descent on a grassy 4wd track.
  • Explore the Dwarfs Cave - A wet and challenging experience in a pool and drop cave
  • Chill on the beach, checkout the bars, have pizza at the pizzeria, snorkel etc

Day 5 Over the hill

This is the big ride day. Although it is only 40kms to Vaisala, the 500 metres of climb can get a bit warm, so start early. If you stay with the van there is no compulsion to ride the hills, just throw your bike in the van and enjoy the company of your support crew.

The ride starts with a gentle meander through seaside villages before gradually heading inland and climbing through forest to avoid the lava cliffs.There are now two lava tube cave tour locations along the way offering the opportunity to see the swiftlets pretending to be bats as they echo-locate to their nests as well as a chance to admire the geology of the caves.  The road climbs steadily to 200m  before heading across the lava fields in a series of undulations* and down to Asau. Swim in the freshwater pools at the bottom of the hill before riding the last 3 kms to the classic old Vaisala hotel beside one of the best snorkelling locations in the country.  

The Somerset Maugham atmosphere and great beach at Vaisala make this place a must. Enjoy a lobster dinner (it is usually on the menu) on the balcony while being serenaded by the string band. 

Day 6 Vaisala Beach Day

Relax on the white sand beach, borrow an outrigger and explore the lagoon, snorkel out to the reef or ride to Vaimoana for lunch.

Day 7 To the western edge of the world

This is a gentle 20km ride to Falealupo with a number of attractions along the way: climb a giant banyan tree, realise the power of cyclones at the church (ruined in 1990) and hear stories about surviving cyclones at the House of Rock. Falealupo is a beautiful isolated beach at the western edge of the world; the sunsets across the coral sands are memorable and the swimming in the small lagoon refreshing.

Day 8 South coast ride

There are numerous villages on the 40km ride around the coast to Satuiatua. The road winds along the cliff tops and beside beaches through many villages. Stop at Lovers Leap for a nui  (drinking coconut) and to admire the view.

Satuiatua Resort is located right on the beach under giant banyan trees. When the tide is right (greater than half) there is wonderful snorkelling amongst dense schools of fish and we have often seen whales breaching while we were enjoying a beer on the restaurant balcony. There is an opportunity to attend a tapa making session to see mulberry bark turned into cloth and a good plantation tour is offered by the resort, but the beach usually wins out as the best spot for the afternoon.

Day 9  R&R

Enjoy a day at the beach at Satuiatua.  Snorkel, take in the cultural activities or just chill out and look for the whales.  There is some surfing available nearby, but this is for experts only as its onto the reef and subject to strong currents at the lagoon entrance.  There is no resident surf guide.

Day 10 Blowholes and waterfalls

It's the last cycling day and while it's 45km, the ride is mostly flat and with a lot to see on the way (there is so much to see that some groups elect to take the van for part of this day). The blowholes seem to perform in almost any sea condition and tide but can be huge in a good southerly swell. The waterfalls at Afu Aau are probably the second most visited attraction on Savaii, and for good reason. Set in a shady, leafy valley the pool beneath the falls provides a very refreshing swim for all, with opportunities for the more confident to leap from the surrounding cliffs. Depending on your flights and preferences your last night will normally be at Florence's place, a small homestay with very interesting and entertaining hosts. 

Day 11 Departure

Catch the ferry back to Upolu, wave your sad farewells to this uniquely hospitable country and fly home (or if you are simply not ready to leave, stay a while longer).

Manono Island Extra

Come two days earlier and explore Manono Island.  Located 5 kms from our base it is accessible by ferry or our kayaks.  The 4km coastline of the Island supports 3 villages, but dogs, pigs, cars and bikes are banned.

 

*Undulations occasionally becomes a swear word as in  - "another of Ross's undulating climbs".  They are never very high, but they are repetitive and noticeable in the heat.

 

FAQs for Families

How old do the kids have to be?

Under 8s

We were originally inspired to visit Samoa by Nathan Fa'ave's tale of cycling around both islands towing his one and three year old kids in a trailer.  Hi wife, Jodi, who was 7 months pregnant at the time rode all the way as well.   They are not quite your average couple - but there are lots of other ways to cycle with young kids.  Having a support van means that if the going gets too tough (for adults or kids) the van is always available.  Our driver Uilau is great with kids.

We have kiddy bike seats and a trailer for those not yet ready to ride.  We also have a tag-a-long, which is a third wheel tandem designed specially for riders between 3 and about 6.

Over 7s

The youngest rider we know who rode all the way was 8.  But he was pretty outdoor hardened.  Rather than focus on the trip as a ride that has to be completed completely under ones own steam, think about it as a series beach holidays linked by some cycling and use the support van to keep it fun.  On one memorable and really enjoyable trip we had a 10 year old with spina bifida. She and I would ride the flat bits in the morning before she hoped into the front of the van and lead the trip from the passenger seat.

The roads are quiet - but some cycle road sense is vital.  

We have a range of 20, 24 and 26" kids bikes.

How well are kids accepted at the resorts?

The fale resorts in particular are very family oriented.  The kids also provide a great introduction the the villagers.  So children enhance the experience considerably.

Other Bike FAQs

See Bike FAQs

Pricing

This trip is a supported bike ride.

Supported bike ride

Includes:

  • Support vehicle traveling at your pace
  • Services of driver as local guide on cycling legs
  • Participants can travel in van at any time for as much of the journey as they want
  • Bags are carried for you in the van
  • Filtered water refils from the van
  • Picnic equipment

We have new drivers and the feedback from guests in 2017 was that those on supported tours saw so much more, got a better understanding of Samoa and enjoyed the trip more.   So we have made this a standard feature.  

The driver will travel at the pace of the slowest person.  Those wanting to travel independently still can.

Payment method

Trips can be invoiced in NZ$ or AUS$. 

Visa and Mastercard are accepted but subject to a merchant cost surcharge of 4%.

Price includes:

For 11 Day/10 night Tour

  • Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Accommodation on all 10 nights including Le Vasa or equivalent on first night
  • 9  breakfasts (all breakfasts except last morning if flying before 8am),
  • 7 Dinners
  • Bike hire
  • Savaii  support van and Upolu transport
  • Water on cycling days and picnic gear

Price excludes:

  • Ferry costs (22 tala pp inc bike)
  • Airfares
  • Additional recommended Tours (eg Dive Savaii 65 Tala)
  • Customary fees

Price for Standard Tours

All Prices in NZD 

Family Savaii- 11 Day  Fri-Sun  or Wed-Fri - Fully supported  NZD $1,600 pp
Child Price   5-12 years NZD $900 pp

 Single Supplement $150 (Subject to a minimum of two on the trip)

Custom tours - If you are a group of 6 or more, want to start on a different day or want a different itinerary - just email us. 

eBike - Additional $260

 

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