Apia is the capital and largest city of Samoa. During 1900-1919, it was the capital of German Samoa. The city of Apia is situated on the central north coast of Samoa's 2nd largest island, Upolu. Upolu was formed by a basaltic shield volcano rising from the seafloor of the western Pacific Ocean. Upolu Island is 75 km (47 miles) long, 1,125 km2 (434 mi2) in area. With 135,000 people, it is the most populated of the Samoan Islands. Upolu is located to the southeast of Savai'i, the "big island".
Apia is Samoa's only "city" and falls within the Tuamasaga political district. The total city area of Apia is 47.80 ml2 (123.81 km2). In 2011 Apia Urban Area had a population of 36,735. It is generally referred to as the City of Apia. Apia Urban Area's geographic boundaries are from Letogo village to the industrialized region of Apia, Vaitele.
The city of Apia lies on a natural harbour at the mouth of Vaisigano River. It is located on a narrow coastal plain with the burial place of writer Robert Louis Stevenson, Mount Vaea (472 m/1,549 ft), directly to its south. Apia Harbour is Samoa's largest and busiest harbour. International shipping with LPG gas, fuels, and containers, all dock here. Ferries to American Samoa and Tokelau depart from here.
Apia was originally a tiny village (its 1800 population was just 304 inhabitants), from which the capital of Samoa took its name. The village of Apia still exists within the bigger modern capital of Apia that has grown into an outstretched urban area with a lot of villages. Like every other country's settlement, the village of Apia has its matai chiefly leaders and fa'alupega (customary and genealogy greetings) according to fa'a Samoa.