Filipino, Tagalog, English
Philippine peso
Flight time
15 hours and 15 minutes from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT +8 hours
best time to go

Introducing Philippines

There are more than 7,000 islands in the Philippines so it really is the ultimate beach destination in Asia. With all year round sunshine, white sand and crystal clear waters, top surf and some of the best dive spots in the world, the Philippines is a paradise created for beach bums. And there happens to be an island to suit everyone who comes here. But other than the alluring coastlines, this country can also be defined by its bustling cities with its super rich, its lush green rice fields and countryside drives, its big lurking volcanoes and numerous hot spring resorts, and the warm hearts and smiles of its people. So if the unspoilt beaches and sea views aren’t enough to draw you in, the rest surely will.

For many travellers to the Philippines, island hopping just becomes a part of everyday norm and beyond the beaches, there’s amazing wildlife and nature waiting to be explored too. So if you’re looking for a family holiday with plenty of outdoor activities or you’re after a romantic break with the most spectacular views and natural surroundings, the Philippines is the ideal place to make the most of the great outdoors. For the best surf and top nightlife, islands such as Boracay, Mactan and Panglao are favourites amongst foreign visitors; for unspoilt nature and paradisiacal beaches, it simply has to be the islands of Bohol, Samal or Bantayan; or for the perfect mix of tourist towns and quaint fishing villages, the island province of Palawan is a must.


The Philippines is a safe and exciting destination for families – “It’s more fun in the Philippines” is the country’s national slogan so there’ll always be something to do to suit all age groups! Filipino culture really dotes on children so if you’re travelling with kids, they will be made to feel welcome wherever you go. Boracay is easy to navigate and there are many family-friendly resorts, restaurants and attractions, plus places like Bohol offer a huge choice of things to do with access to the amazing great outdoors.


Food in the Philippines is heavily influenced by Spain from the Spanish Colonial Era which happened between 1521 and 1898. Traditional Filipino cooking also takes inspiration from Malaysian, Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine and together these influences have formed a very unique style of cooking with some distinctive savoury flavours and some irresistible desserts too. Be sure to try Sizzling Pork Sisig, Kare-Kare oxtail stew, Longganisa sausages, Lumpia spring rolls, Sinigang hot and sour soup, Chicken Afritada, the national Leche Flan dessert, Bibingka cake and the wonderfully fragrant purple yam ice cream. Some of the more bizarre foods you may come across are Tamilok (raw woodworms dipped in a chilli vinegar), Lepeg (fermented rice) or Balut (a bird embryo which is boiled and eaten from the shell).

History and Culture

The Filipino people are a multi-lingual crowd with descendants from early Malay settlers, Spanish settlers and Chinese settlers. The mix of different people on the islands means that today, the Filipino people are speakers of more than 150 languages and dialects across the regions – and many will also speak English as a second language in the cities. Whilst the Philippines is slightly cut off from its neighbours in Asia and residents quite often refer to themselves as “Pacific Islanders” rather than South East Asians, the country still possesses the same charm and friendly nature as the rest of the Far East. In the same way that they call Thailand the Land of Smiles, every traveller will be greeted with warmth and typical Eastern hospitality.

Top Locations in Philippines

This densely population capital is a must for every visitor to the Philippines. Bright lights and skyscrapers make a startling contrast to the white sand beaches, volcanic landscapes and green rice fields of Banaue and the Lfugao Province. Manila is a great place for shopping and street food – and some of the best places to grab food on the go include the area outside Tondo Church and Mercato Centrale Midnight Market. Other attractions include Rizal Park, Manila Ocean Park, Fort Santiago, the National Museum and Star City Amusement Park if you’re on a family holiday with the kids.
Boracay is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines and it’s easy to see why once you experience the island’s beauty for yourself. Great for sandy beaches and family-friendly resorts by the coast, diving or parasailing, plus great nightlife, Boracay has something for everyone. Make sure you check out White Beach, Diniwid Beach, Llig Lligan Beach and Crocodile Island during your stay.
If you’re looking for the ultimate in resort luxury, Cebu is a dream island located in the Central Visayas region and within the Cebu Province. This is the sort of place that honeymooners seek out but there are as many family-friendly resorts as there are honeymoon suites and it’s also a great place to see colonial architecture and learn more about the country’s Spanish past. Be sure to visit Basilica del Santo Niño, Cebu Taoist Temple and the Jumalon Museum and Butterfly Sanctuary.
Bohol is the best place for diving; not only that but go further inland and you’ll find yourself surrounded by the most incredible lush greenery and wildlife too, plus some of the most unusual land formations in Asia. Visit the iconic Chocolate Hills which are beautifully bizarre, Sagpayan Peak, Mahogany Man Made Forest, the Tarsier Sanctuary, and the Loboc River.
Luzon Island’s mountain town of Baguio is extremely popular in the summer because of its strangely cool weather and has even been nicknamed the “City of Pines”. It’s most famous for Burnham Park right in the centre which has beautiful gardens and a lake, its Session Road shopping and entertainment area, and spectacular rice terraces to rival those of Indonesia. Another place to tour rice fields is further north on Luzon Island in the small town of Banaue. Both boast breath-taking views and are definitely worth visiting.

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