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Based at the two Aggie Grey's hotels, Samoa Scenic Tours (tel. 22-880; www.samoascenictours.com) offers a variety of trips which stop for photographs and a swim at beautiful beaches and waterfalls. A half-day Apia township tour will take you around town and up to the Robert Lewis Stevenson Museum for about S$85 (US$34/£17) per person. A morning excursion goes to Piula Cave Pool and Falefa Falls for the same price. A full-day trip goes to either Lalomanu or Lefaga (Return to Paradise) beaches for S$120 (US$48/£24). Another full-day excursion goes out to Manono Island, for about S$160 (US$64/£32). On Sunday a half-day outing heads to Lolomanu beach on the southeast coast, with juice and towels included for S$150 (US$60/£30) per person. Each day's offerings are written on a notice board in the lobby at Aggie's in town.

Oceania Travel & Tours, at the Hotel Kitano Tusitala (tel. 24-443) has similar excursions, as does Samoa Tours (tel. 30-089; www.samoatours.com) and Polynesian Xplorer (tel. 26-940; www.polynesianxplorer.com).

Savai'i -- Guided by Warren Jopling, a retired Australian geologist who has lived on Savai'i for many years and knows it like the back of his hand, Safua Tours (tel. 51-271; safuahotel@lesamoa.net) is the best way to see the island. Warren is a font of information, especially about the desertlike lava fields. He will tailor any tour to suit your interests. It will take an energetic 2 days to see most of the sights, with 1 day spent going along the east and north coasts, the other along the south shore. His full-day excursions cost US$50 (£25) for two people, if you book directly and not through a travel agent. Reservations are required. Although Warren will meet you at the ferry wharf, he prefers that you come over to Savai'i the day before your tour and stay at the Safua Hotel.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.