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A Week in Maui, Hawaii


Several polls classify Maui as the most beautiful island in the world thanks to its golden beaches, its extinct volcanoes, the tropical jungle and the numerous luxury resorts located in the south, the sunniest side of the island. I do not completely agree since Maui turned out to be below my expectations: beautiful but without praise. However, it has something special that I understood only once I returned home to Italy, looking at the pictures taken and thinking back to the past moments.

If are you planning to visit Hawaii then you can consult my suggestions, otherwise continue reading my experience about a week in Maui below!


a week in Maui

Maui is the second largest island in Hawaii and has a particular geographic shape, composed of two volcanoes separated by a portion of plain land. It has a rather busy international airport (Kahului), especially the Kahului-Honolulu route.

Its climate is quite anomalous, with very rainy areas and others really sunny; in fact, you’ll find arid hills and a humid jungle.

Getting to Maui and getting around the island

Maui is the favourite summer destination of the Americans. In the last decade its economy has grown and the value of homes has multiplied.

Maui is reachable by a flight from the United States or, if you are already on another Hawaiian island, with an internal route. The local airline is the Hawaiian airline.

Maui has no public transport so you need to hire a car. Through Avis I booked a Ford Mustang and, upon arriving at the counter, I had a “honeymoon” upgrade (that’s right, I spent my honeymoon in Hawaii!) so I could choose it yellow, convertible and with GPS included! Renting a car in Hawaii is quite expensive, but there is not much difference in price between a Ford Focus and a Mustang (just to compare), so you have a great choice. The only car that has a higher price than the others is the JEEP Wrangler, “icon” of these islands.

a week in maui


I suggest you choose the accommodation in the south, precisely in Wailea: this area is the least rainy and definitely the most well-finished. Here there are the island’s most beautiful beaches, extended golf courses, a shopping mall and numerous luxury resorts.

a week in maui

For my stay, I chose the Wailea Ekahi Village, a private complex of apartments surrounded by splendid green environment facing the sea. My apartment, although independent, had a daily cleaning and towel change service.

Every morning I had breakfast on the terrace with bread and guava and strawberries jam, surrounded by Plumeria trees. In addition, one of the pools in the village overlooked the sea, with loungers for relaxing under the palm trees. Wailea Ekahi Village is really ideal for spending holidays in Maui!

Shopping and Restaurants

I fell in love with a home accessories store, the Soha Living! Imagine paintings, cushions, plates, elegant ornaments in a typical Hawaiian style…

In Wailea there is “The Shops at Wailea“, a small but beautiful “outdoor” shopping mall with all kinds of shops: luxury ones (Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany ..), clothing and personal care shops (Banana Republic, GAP, L’Occitane en provence ..) art galleries and specialized shops (for example, there is a shop that only sells Ukulele, the typical Hawaiian guitars).

A very useful shop is the Whalers General Store which sells almost anything; here I bought many souvenirs but especially drinks, sandwiches, fresh fruit and other things for breakfast every day.. it’s like a miniature supermarket!

In this mall there are also several places to eat, I tried the Cheeseburger Grill & Tap room, the food is good and the service fast!

Don’t miss Lappert’s Hawaii’s ice cream .. it’s really delicious !!

One kilometre from this shopping center, there is a delightful restaurant, the Matteo’s Osteria, where you eat so well that my husband and I went there several times in a few days! (reservation required)

the shops at wailea

What to Do in Maui

Road to Hana

Traveling the famous Road to Hana is a MUST in Maui. For those who had never heard of it, it is one of the most famous panoramic roads in the world; along its path there are more than 56 bridges, countless breath-taking views, natural pools, and several dining options where you can try traditional Hawaiian food. Many people also wear beachwear and bathe in waterfalls!

This road starts from Paia and ends in Hana although in reality, after the town of Hana, the path continues and it is here that I ventured into a wonderful trail… I’ll tell you later about that!

The road is very long, it takes all day to travel roundtrip, so it is essential to wake up early in the morning especially because this street gets crowded with tourists. Before leaving, to check the weather , refuel water and food and, for those suffering from car sickness, take the necessary medicines; that’s indeed a road full of curves!

My advice is to live it without planning the steps too much and to stop where you are inspired the most.

My stops were:
  • Ho’okipa Lookout – viewpoint on a beach.
  • Twin Falls – famous property open to the public with twin waterfalls. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I could only see a waterfall due to the July drought. Outside the entrance, a colourful van sold Hawaiian specialties so I bought fresh pineapple and the famous banana bread, a kind of local banana-flavoured cake, really delicious!
  • Rainbow eucalyptus – They are eucalyptus trees with a red, green yellow and brown coloured trunk; they are rare but if you search you can find them!

twin falls maui

  • Garden of Eden Botanical Garden – A lovely botanical garden, also location of a Jurassic park scene.
  • Waianapanapa State Park – beautiful park with black pebble beach.
  • Hana – a tiny city where we stopped for lunch.
  • Seven Sacred Pools at Ohe’o – natural pools I found almost dry (again due to the lack of rain mentioned above).

road to hana

  • Pipiwai Trail – The real reason to take on the Road to Hana: the Pipiwai Trail, a 4-mile (Roundtrip) walk that is part of the Haleakala NP (admission fee). Along the way you will find centuries-old trees, bamboo forests (amazing!) and at the end the beautiful Waimoku falls. This trail has repaid me for all the doubts I had before about this road, which until then had not convinced me at all, leaving me instead a sense of satisfaction.
Haleakala National Park
Obviously if you have already travelled the pipiwai trail the day before, you have already paid the ticket for the park!

Haleakala National Park is the island’s biggest attraction; it is the highest dormant volcano on Maui (3055m). The scenery once reached the top is lunar and, inside the crater, there are other small volcanic cones of a thousand shades. Here a particular silver plant grows, called “Haleakala Silversword”, which blooms only once before dying and can live up to 90 years!

In this volcano there are innumerable paths, of variable duration, to be done on foot. It is very common to watch the sunrise from Hakeakala but it is not easy to do it as it’s necessary to buy tickets on the official website two months in advance. Here you can find the official link for reservations.

Practical tip: wear sweatshirt and long pants because, even in summer, the temperatures at the top of the volcano never exceed 18 degrees. During my visit, I hadn’t bothered to find out about the weather and climbed in Haleakala with shorts, freezing from head to toe! So don’t do like me, get dressed!!

haleakala np

Lavander Farmhouse

Not too far from Haleakala, you can visit (paying a fee) this property that grows lavender and runs its own craft store. Unfortunately, I visited during a grey day and moreover in July, the period in which almost all the lavender had been pruned! I liked it anyway though, it’s a place surrounded by nature with a beautiful view of Maui.

Iao Valley
I always recommend checking the official National Parks in Hawaii before visiting them, the weather is highly variable and there are different alerts every day!

Iao Valley is an iconic park in the mountains of Maui, perfect for those who love being outdoors and taking walks while admiring the view. When I organized my itinerary of this island, I had included Iao Valley and, while checking the official site, I discovered with great regret that the park had been closed for months due to floods caused by winter rains. This made me decide to delete it from the list of things to do.

However, I went there anyway. There were a lot of people, even though it was forbidden to enter the park, and they all walked along the river side of Iao Valley. After thinking about it, I decided to do it too! So I passed a small wall, crossed a rickety bridge to go across the river and walked until I came to the sight of the famous “Needle“. It was a nice walk, surrounded by vegetation and not too hard!

In front of the Iao Valley entrance there is also the Kepaniwai park, dedicated to the celebration of the various ethnic groups of Hawaii.

Today Iao Valley has reopened.

Westside of Maui

The west coast of Maui is home to numerous resorts, golf courses, shops and small towns. It is a very developed area and is easily passable through the Honoapiilani Hwy (road 30). The westside of Maui have wide beaches with crystal clear water, but they are often surrounded by large apartment buildings and hotels, which makes them unattractive and very crowded.

During my visit I stopped at Honolua bay, Slaughterhouse beach and Napili Bay. On the way back I stopped at Lahaina Old Town, a really beautiful and retro miniature city! Here I went shopping among the many souvenir shops and later I had dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimps Co. Before returning to Wailea, I admired the sunset from Kihei.

Makena beach

Makena beach, or Big Beach, is my favourite beach on Maui: it’s huge and wild, uncrowded and its waters are beautiful!

This beach is famous for sightings of big turtles. Also, while sunbathing, I listened to a little girl telling her mother she saw starfish, so I suppose it’s also rich in aquatic fauna. Going up the cliff you can get to Little beach, a neighbouring beach.

Makena Beach has a large parking lot, where a pickup truck sells shave ice and sandwiches.

So how does Maui look to you? Does it represent your ideal holiday island? I want to give you one last suggestion… Try to have dinner, at least one night, in one of the many restaurants belonging to the beachside resorts in Wailea (unless you are already a guest of one of these!). Eating in a chic location, watching the sun go down behind the horizon, is truly a memorable experience … and if this happen in the winter season, who knows … maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see even the whales playing in the ocean!

sunset in hawaii

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