Philippines holiday highlights

Holidays in the Philippines

Whether you’re looking for a few weeks of sunshine and rest upon undiscovered shores, whether you seek adventures sports such as cave diving, kayaking through subterranean rivers and deep sea diving within world-class wrecks – the Philippines has it all. We can help you plan your perfect Philippines itinerary, simply call one of Personal Travel Experts.

Luzon:

Manila

One of the world’s great metropolises, Manila is literally bursting at its seams. Sprawling, vibrant, dynamic and eclectic, the city also enjoys a wonderfully preserved Spanish colonial city centre and the famous Manila Bay.

Getting around Manila is best done by car as the pavements tend to overflow with pedestrians and street vendors. Although traffic is renowned in Manila, travelling at the right time or hailing a tricycle (tuk-tuk), jeepney (converted army Jeep) or a standard taxi will get you faster than you think as back-roads are of abundance and traffic is at its worst in the areas surrounding the airport. 

Wander southwest to the exclusive district of Makati and explore a world of art galleries, shopping malls - which includes the largest in Asia – plus a world of trendy restaurants, bars and luxury hotels. The Five Star Fairmont Makati is a stylish hotel commanding prime location in the heart of the shopping and restaurant district.  Guests staying here can use the dining facilities of its sister hotel, Raffles Makati (see our website for details) which is liked by a shared lobby. Sitting at the famous Long Bar and ordering Makati Sling is a must, and for the added luxury why not upgrade your stay to Raffles for an ultimate Makati experience.

Manila is a fabulous gateway to the Philippines’ pristine beach resorts and we highly recommend stopping a few nights in this bustling city before spending some time relaxing, snorkelling and simply exploring the rest of the Philippines’ fabulous islands.

Visayas:

Cebu

Think platinum sands lined with palm trees with a cosmopolitan city in the background and you’re in Cebu. Here, you can expect fabulous dining opportunities and historic sights that have come to make this island so popular. An abundance of luxury hotels include Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort Cebu, where you can take time out to indulge in the opulent CHI, The Spa, or partake in a number of watersports from the resort’s private beach. Don’t leave without tasting one of Cebu’s juicy mangoes – renowned as the finest in the Philippines.

Boracay

The vibrant island of Boracay is a tiny spec in comparison to the city of Cebu, but has become the nation’s most famous beach resort - frequently voted amongst the world’s finest with dazzling sands and turquoise waters.

Chose to be as active as you like here, as an array of adventure sports and exploring combines with lazy beach days and vibrant evenings of live entertainment and a buzzing atmosphere from the moment the stunning sunset disappears beneath the horizon.

Entirely surrounded by reefs, you could spend your days beneath the water to discover the fascinating world below, or head to the northern part of the island for the chance to experience drift dives, cave dives and even shallow dives for beginners. To get to Boracay, you’ll need to fly from Manila to Caticlan airport in Maklan, followed by boat transfer to the island.

Bohol Famous for its Chocolate Hills - named after the cocoa-coloured tinge the hills take on during the summer months - and the adorable wide-eyed tarsiers – one of the smallest primates on earth; the island of Bohol is an up-and-coming holiday resort boasting a verdant backdrop of forestry and rice terraces that are cocooned by soft golden sands. Just offshore lies Panglao Island - offering idyllic snorkelling and diving opportunities near to the divine beaches and small clusters of traditional towns that take pride in its colonial Spanish architecture. This island is ideal for those seeking a taste of tradition with a the chance to truly unwind.

Palawan

The island of Palawan is a fantastic retreat for those seeking natural splendours such as imposing cliffsides, secluded bays and brightly coloured coral reefs. The most famous in Palawan is the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River, an underground waterway that stretches over five miles beneath limestone caves. Kayaking through here is one for the bucket list, and with plenty of excursions available, it’s impossible to miss out.

Coron

An archipelago or eco-resorts found in northern Palawan, El Nido Resorts – our latest addition to our Philippines featured properties – boast their very own private island-style setting, giving you a sense of exclusivity, seclusion and a better understanding of country’s contrasting and natural surrounds.  Choose from Four Star El Nido or Five Star Pangulasian Island Resort (see our website for details). A stay in Coron is perfect for those looking for world-class diving and a true ‘no shoes, no news’ experience.

Diving

Casual divers or beginners should head to Alona Beach on the island of Panglao as the visible marine life is incredible and easy to find due to the clear waters. Here, sea walls and shallow underwater caverns make exciting opportunities for exploring at your leisure.

Often compared to the beauty and luxury of the Maldives, Huma Island Resort & Spa is an island in Coron and offers a true sense of an opulent island escape with villas over clear waters or on pristine sands, and luxurious facilities to entertain. An ideal haven for serious divers, you can dive deep to explore over a dozen sunken Japanese warships and planes which have lead the island to become one of the top 10 best diving sites in the world.

Philippines key facts

Time difference

GMT +8 hours

Flying time to destination

13 hours

Passport & visas

Visa not required for UK passport holders

Philippines good to know

Etiquette

Holidays in the Philippines

Whether you’re looking for a few weeks of sunshine and rest upon undiscovered shores, seek adventures sports such as cave diving, kayaking through subterranean rivers and deep sea diving within worldclass wrecks – the Philippines has it all. We can help you plan your perfect Philippines itinerary, simply call one of Personal Travel Experts.

Manila

One of the world’s great metropolises, Manila is literally bursting at its seams. Sprawling, vibrant, dynamic and eclectic, the city also enjoys a wonderfully preserved Spanish colonial city centre and the famous Manila Bay.

Getting around the city is best done by car as the pavements tend to overflow with pedestrians and street vendors. Although traffic jams are renowned in the city, hailing a tricycle (tuk-tuk), jeepney (converted army Jeep) or a standard taxi will get you there faster than you think as back-roads are of abundance.

Wander southwest to the exclusive district of Makati and explore a world of art galleries, shopping malls – which includes the largest in Asia – plus a world of trendy restaurants, bars and luxury hotels. The 5 Star Fairmont Makati is a stylish hotel in the heart of the shopping and restaurant district. Guests staying here can use the dining facilities of its sister hotel, Raffles Makati (see our website for details) which is liked by a shared lobby.

Sitting at the famous Long Bar and ordering Makati Sling is a must, and for the added luxury why not upgrade your stay to Raffles for an ultimate Makati experience.

One of Manila’s municipalities, Pasay is located to the southwest of Makati and is home to Traders Hotel Manila which overlooks the remarkably romantic Manila Bay on Roxas Boulevard. This is a great area for exploring the Spanish-colonial distict of Manila.

Manila is a fabulous gateway to the Philippines’ pristine beach resorts and we highly recommend stopping a few nights in this bustling city before spending some time relaxing, snorkelling and simply exploring the rest of the Philippines’ fabulous islands.

Cebu

Think platinum sands lined with palm trees with a cosmopolitan city in the background and you’re in Cebu. Here, you can expect fabulous dining opportunities and historic sights that have come to make this island so popular. An abundance of luxury hotels include Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort Cebu, where you can take time out to indulge in the opulent CHI, The Spa, or partake in a number of watersports from the resort’s private beach. Don’t leave without tasting one of Cebu’s juicy mangoes – renowned as the finest in the Philippines.

Boracay

The vibrant island of Boracay is a tiny speck in comparison to the city of Cebu, but has become the nation’s most famous beach resort - frequently voted amongst the world’s finest with dazzling sands and turquoise waters.

Choose to be as active as you like here, as an array of adventure sports and exploring combines with lazy beach days and vibrant evenings of live entertainment, and a buzzing atmosphere from the moment the stunning sunset disappears beneath the horizon.

Entirely surrounded by reefs, you could spend your days beneath the water to discover the fascinating world below, or head to the northern part of the island for the chance to experience drift dives, cave dives and even shallow dives for beginners. To get to Boracay, you’ll need to fly from Manila to Caticlan airport in Maklan, followed by boat transfer to the island.

Bohol & Panglao

Bohol is famous for its Chocolate Hills – aptly named after the cocoa-coloured tinge the hills take on during the summer months – and the adorable wide-eyed tarsiers – one of the smallest primates on earth; the island of Bohol is an up-and-coming holiday resort boasting a verdant backdrop of forestry and rice terraces that are cocooned by soft golden sands. Just offshore lies Panglao Island - offering idyllic snorkelling and diving opportunities near to the divine beaches and small clusters of traditional towns that take pride in its colonial Spanish architecture. This island is ideal for those seeking a taste of tradition with a the chance to truly unwind.

Palawan

An archipelago or eco-resorts found in northern Palawan, El Nido Resorts – our latest addition to our Philippines featured properties – boast their very own private island-style setting, giving you a sense of exclusivity, seclusion and a better understanding of country’s contrasting and natural surrounds. Choose from Four Star El Nido (p259) or Five Star Pangulasian Island Resort (see our website for details). A stay in El Nido is perfect for those looking for world-class diving and a true ‘no shoes, no news’ experience.

Busuanga/Coron

Located in Norhern Palawan, Busuanga boasts stunning landscapes of gently sloping hillsides which are fantastic for hiking, whilst the pristine beaches and turqouise waters are a popular spot for diving – particularly amongst WWII wrecks.

The beautiful offshore islands that belong to Coron are home to a world of luxury resorts which are frequently compared to the beauty of the Maldives.

Diving

Casual divers or beginners should head to Alona Beach on the island of Panglao as the visible marine life is incredible and easy to find due to the clear waters. Here, sea walls and shallow underwater caverns make exciting opportunities for exploring at your leisure. Often compared to the beauty and luxury of the Maldives, Huma Island Resort & Spa is an island in Coron and offers a true sense of an opulent island escape with villas over clear waters or on pristine sands, and luxurious facilities to entertain. An ideal haven for serious divers, you can dive deep to explore over a dozen sunken Japanese warships and planes which have lead the island to become one of the top 10 best diving sites in the world.