• Palawan, Philippines

Philippines Holidays

Home to over 7,000 dreamy islands, plenty of dazzling white sandy beaches, vibrant coral reefs and sprawling rice terraces, holidays in the Philippines are ideal for exploring, relaxing and breath-taking natural scenery.

The country is easy to navigate and explore, as English is widely spoken by locals and all signs are written in English. Plus, the Philippines is home to a famously friendly culture. 

International flights are available into the capital city of Manila and the Southern island of Cebu from popular destinations from Singapore and the UAE, making a stopover from the UK straightforward and easy. Plan a Philippines multi-centre holiday and you can pair island-hopping on beautiful beaches with a vibrant Asian city. 

Island-hopping on your Philippines holidays

With more islands to explore than you could shake a stick at, island-hopping in the Philippines is a must. Each island offers a different vibe and selection of things to do, so you’re sure to find plenty to suit your tastes and interests. 

Relax on Boracay’s pristine white sandy beaches and dance the night away in the island’s late night beach bars, or head south to Bohol to observe the adorable tarsier primates in the island’s sanctuary. Or, for glittering tropical waterfalls and exotic wildlife, take a visit to Cebu Island.

Plus, there are thousands of idyllic and untouched islands that have yet to be discovered, so if tranquility on a paradise island sounds good to you, you’re in for a treat. Book a boat trip with a local and you’ll be taken to a soft sandy beach where the only footprints will be your own. 

With so many diverse islands and landscapes to discover, why settle with one location? Make the most of what the Philippines has to offer and explore as many of the country’s magical islands as you can.

 

Destination Highlights
  • Relax on powdery white sand beaches and dance the night away in Cebu
  • Discover the mysterious natural Chocolate Mountain formations and tiny tarsiers in Bohol
  • Explore dreamy beaches and go island-hopping through the stunning and rugged islands of Palawan
  • Hunt for sparkling waterfalls and embark on ocean cruises to watch dolphins dance across the waters in Cebu

Our favourite hotels

The Philippines is home to plenty of dreamy resorts and hotels. Browse our favourite places to stay in the Philippines - we are here to help you find the perfect hotel.

Beachfront Dinner Party

Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa

Boracay

H&J Rating
Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa
Aerial Shot

Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa

Cebu

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 £1,489  pp

Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa
Unique

Nay Palad Hideaway

Philippines

H&J Rating
Nay Palad Hideaway
an island in the middle of a body of water

El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

Palawan

H&J Rating

Guide Price

 £3,269  pp

El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island

Time Zone

GMT +8 hours

Flight Time

Direct flights are available with Philippine Airlines who all offer a direct daily services from London Heathrow to Manila. Flight time is around 13.5 hours.

Currency

PHP - Philippine Peso

Visa Information

British citizens do not need to obtain a visa for stays under 30 days

Language

Filipino, but English is widely spoken and understand

Health Information

No specific vaccinations required

You’ll find something utterly seductive about this collection of 7,000 islands. If its idyllic beaches don’t do it for you, we’re sure the wondrous scenery of emerald rice fields carved into the hillside will. You won’t want to miss the walled city of Intramuros, in the capital, Manila – home of Fort Santiago and the 17th Century San Agustin Church. And once you’ve ridden with the locals on a colourful jeepney, we’re sure you’ll be hooked.

  • Island of Palawan

    With its aquamarine lagoons and limestone cliffs, you’re going to find Palawan just magical. As you float along the underground river near Puerto Princesca, look out for monitor lizards, turtles and all sorts of tropical fish.

  • Banaue Rice Terraces

    Banaue rice terraces

    You’ll be glad you made the journey from Manila to the mountains of Ifugao when you arrive in spectacular Banaue. Its dramatic rice terraces were created some 2,000 years ago and were named the 8th Wonder of the World.

Best time to visit the Philippines

While the islands offer warm temperatures year round, the best time to visit the Philippines is between December to May, when average temperatures are in the late 20°Cs and there’s little rainfall.

Temperatures are still in the high 20°Cs between June to November, but as this is the rainy season you can expect plenty of downpours and tropical storms.

 

Select month

Average weather in January

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
26ºC
10mm

Average weather in February

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
27ºC
10mm

Average weather in March

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
28ºC
10mm

Average weather in April

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
29ºC
20mm

Average weather in May

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
30ºC
60mm

Average weather in June

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
28ºC
90mm

Average weather in July

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
28ºC
120mm

Average weather in August

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
27ºC
140mm

Average weather in September

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
28ºC
110mm

Average weather in October

Average travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
28ºC
80mm

Average weather in November

Good travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
27ºC
50mm

Average weather in December

Best travel weather

Avg. temp
Avg. rainfall
Philippines
26ºC
20mm
  • Lucy, Destination Specialist

    Lucy

    Destination Specialist

    “Try the local food, you won't be disappointed. The wonderful mix of Asian and Spanish influences has created a unique cuisine bursting with flavour.”

  • Robert, Destination Specialist

    Robert

    Destination Specialist

    “Why not miss out Manila and fly into Cebu. Shangri-La's Mactan Resort and Spa has great snorkelling. It's only a one and a half hour high speed catamaran to Bohol, home of the tiny tarsier monkey, or a direct flight to El Nido for a luxury Philippine experience at the Pangulasian Resort.”

  • Emma, Destination Manager

    Emma

    Destination Manager

    “The Philippines are easier to get to than you’d imagine. There are direct flights from London to Manila and once you’re there it’s easy to get around, and everyone speaks English. Add to your adventure by hopping on an internal flight or boat and see more of the islands.”

Events & Festivals

Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your holiday in the Philippines, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.

  • New Year’s Eve

    From outdoor fireworks celebrations to traditional family-focused gatherings, New Year’s Eve is a big deal in the Philippines. All around the country, the turn of the year is celebrated. For guaranteed fun and excitement on New Year’s Eve, head to the beaches of Boracay or the capital city of Manila.

  • Chinese New Year

    Chinese New Year, falling at the end of January, is a significant event for Filipino-Chinese communities. Chinese New Year is celebrated all around the Philippines, with exciting parades and dragon dances occurring in cities all over.

     

  • Easter

    Filipinos uniquely celebrate Easter, devoting their time to ‘Holy Week’ the week before Easter where many people perform Christian holy rituals. During Easter, expect to see many locals re-enacting the crucifixion of Jesus. For example, you’ll spot individuals wearing crowns of thorns during the public celebration. 

     

  • Araw ng Kagitingan

    Also known as Bataan Day or Corregidor Day, Araw ng Kagitingan is an event of national observance that remembers the fall of during the Battle of Bataan during the Second World War. Small parades are held in celebration in different localities of the country.

     

  • Independence Day

    Filipino Independence Day takes place in June, and to celebrate you can witness nationwide parades. However, the main event is a police and military parade held in Manila, that is led by the Philippines’ president who gives a speech, followed by a 21 gun salute.

     

Local Cuisine

Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your Philippines holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.

  • Adobo

    Many locals consider adobo the national dish of the Philippines, and the staple is popular with both locals and visitors all around the country. Adobo is a tangy, salty dish that features meat, seafood, or vegetables that are steeped in vinegar, soy sauce, black peppercorns and plenty of garlic. Then, the concoction is cooked in oil and simmered in its tasty marinade.

     

  • Torta

    Torta is another popular local dish, and many Filipinos grow up eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Created with simple ingredients, torta is a round omelette packed full of ground pork, onions and potatoes. Filling and delicious, it’s a go-to dish that can be eaten any time of the day.

     

  • Lechon

    Filipinos famously indulge in lechon, which is a whole-roasted pig. This is usually served on special occasions, such as at a fiesta or party. Cooked whole, a lechon offers flavoursome tender meat and delicious crispy skin. Sometimes the insides will be removed and stuffed with aromatic spices and vegetables, such as lemongrass, onions, leeks, garlic and salt, offering another dose of flavour.

Our Philippines destinations

Philippines

Boracay

Boracay
Bantayan Island Cebu

Philippines

Cebu

Cebu
Tarsier

Philippines

Bohol

Bohol
a tree with a mountain in the background

Philippines

Palawan

Palawan

Philippines

Siarago

Siarago

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