elephants, beaches & luxury, oh my!
Whilst Thailand has an abundance to offer when it comes to making travel plans – from the bustling city of Bangkok to the jungles of Chiang Mai and the beautiful beaches to the islands – Phuket has become well loved for being a diverse destination itself. Whether you visit one region, several or even some of the neighbouring islands, a visit to this piece of Thai paradise never disappoints.
Phuket isn’t a particularly small island – in fact it’s barely separated from the mainland by the Sarasin Bridge to the north of Mai Khao – which means there’s plenty of choice for the discerning traveller, but with over 30 beaches, how do you choose where to stay? Our travel experts are here to share our first-hand knowledge about the most suitable regions for you – from the bays of the southwest to the remote islands such as Coconut, Naka & beyond – so that we can create your perfect itinerary, including a stay at Elephant Hills located on the Sok River for a truly unforgettable experience.
Facts about phuket
Currency – Thai Baht (THB)
Time Zone – GMT +7 hours
Largest of the Thai islands
Dry Season – December to April
Why should you travel to phuket with us?
Whether you’re in search of a beach-side paradise to unwind, mouthwatering street food to get your juices flowing, culture to immerse yourself in or remote islands to explore, Phuket has something for everyone and our travel experts are here to make sure your holiday is perfectly tailored to suit you & your travel style. From single-centre escapes to multi-centre adventures across the country, we’ll make sure your visit to Phuket is one you’ll be talking about for years to come.
different regions of phuket to explore
With so much to see here, you’ll want a reasonable amount of time in which to do so – we recommend 4-5 nights in each area, allowing you to settle in and explore each region comfortably. If you have 10-14 nights available, a triple-centre is a fantastic first itinerary, taking in the beaches, the rainforests and even the islands. Below you can find a little more information on what you can expect to find as you explore Phuket with our travel experts.
There’s definitely no shortage of beaches on Phuket; the real questions to ask is ‘what type of beach do I want?’ – action-packed & close to the local towns & markets or more secluded and tucked away? Kata & Karon are popular on the southwest coast, with Patong Beach slightly further away with lots of bars & restaurants. Continuing north you’ll reach Bang Tao Beach, famous for its expansive shoreline, whereas further north still – at the other side of the airport – Mai Khao Beach offers sandy shorelines, great for a bit of plane spotting.
Phuket is a very green island with jungles & rainforests spread throughout, but to truly immerse yourself in nature, we recommend including a stay at Elephant Hills in your itinerary, Thailand’s first Luxury Tented Jungle Camps. Both the Elephant Camp & Rainforest Camp are located within Khao Sok National Park, so opt for the 3-day Jungle Lake Safari for the best of both experiences. The focus here is conservation, so you’ll get to feed & interact with Asia’s largest land animal during your stay at this luxury camp, and much more.
Sure, Phuket itself is an island, but what if you want to go smaller and a little more remote? Off the east coast of Phuket lies Coconut Island, with The Village being the most popular resort choice nestled on this neighbour. Further into the Phang Nga Bay you’ll find Ko Yao Noi & Ko Yao Yai – some of the larger islands – where luxury resorts await including the famous Treehouse Villas. If privacy & seclusion are for you then The Naka Island, off the northeast coast of Phuket should be on your bucket list – a private island resort with elegant suites & villas.
Things to do in Florence
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Formally known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, this iconic landmark of the Florentine skyline glistens as the golden sun sets over the city. The structure towers over you, standing in Piazza di San Giovanni and instantly feels magical, connecting you to history. The climb up the Cupola is worth every step... plus you'll deserve a drink afterwards!
The Chianti region produces many of Tuscany's best wines, and it's easy to explore on a day trip from Florence. From Rufina to Vinci, Siena to Arezzo, this gentle land leaves visitors impressed with the endless rows of grapes, evergreen olive grows and epic cypress trees greeting you on arrival. Speak with our travel experts to arrange your vineyard tour.
The Palazzo Pitti, in English sometimes called the Pitti Palace, is a vast, mainly Renaissance, palace in Florence. Located on the South side - close to Ponte Vecchio - and originally built in 1457, contains artefacts including 16th century paintings, 19th century furnishings and a vast collection of Medici household treasures, from silverware to precious jewellery.
The Mercato Centrale is from the risanamento time; the period when Florence was the capital of Italy in the late 19th century. Perhaps more relevant, the abundance of smells inside is outstanding! Shop for local groceries, or stop by for a snack, cocktail or even made-to-order pizza. The Lorenzo de’ Medici cooking school is available for the chefs among us!
Seeing as you're most likely to be flying into Pisa, it would be a shame to not visit this town - some say it's famous for a leaning tower! A fun few hours can be spent exploring this popular spot, along with some planned photo-time. Whilst the direct train is only 45-60 minutes from Florence, our travel experts can assist with a guided tour if you prefer.
some of our favourite luxury resorts in phuket
A lavish hideaway amidst the lush greenery of Phuket; perched on a hill overlooking the ocean you’ll find Keemala, a spectacular resort boasting a holistic experience inspired by local traditions & nature. With only 4 villa options to choose from, for a truly special stay opt for a Bird’s Nest Pool Villa, with sea, rainforest & resort views from your monsoon shower, freestanding bath & floating infinity pool – told you it was special!
Iniala Beach house
Situated on a private stretch of Natai Beach (north of Phuket) lies Iniala Beach House, offering just 6 unique accommodations, from beachfront villas to penthouse residencies. The property has all the facilities of a large resort… without the large crowds. With a strong focus towards dining & wellness, indulge in the award-winning cuisine from the comfort of your own villa or opt for a spa session in your private treatment room.
Only accessible by speedboat – arguably the most famous luxury resort located on Ko Yao Noi is Treehouse Villas. Whether you prefer to be by the beach or nestled amongst the trees, these villas are next level. This adults-only resort is for those who want to connect with the environment and rediscover their inner-child, without compromising on luxury. We’ll wait to see all your selfies from your Treehouse Villa (ps; tag us!).
(All Elephant Hills tour packages are fully inclusive of accommodation, full board, activities as per chosen itinerary, a fully trained, TAT-licensed English speaking Thai tour guide as well as joint transfers to / from Elephant Hills as per viable options)
elevate your phuket itinerary
with a stay at elephant hills
By now we’re sure you’ve seen that there are some spectacular places to visit & stay in and around the island of Phuket, but we couldn’t not give Elephant Hills the showcase that it truly deserves. They were Thailand’s first Luxury Tented Jungle Camp, offering an immersive experience throughout your stay in the Khao Sok National Park.
There are 2 locations – the Elephant Camp features tents around the grounds, whilst the newer Rainforest Camp, is one of the world’s only floating tented camps, situated on the emerald waters of the Cheow Lan Lake. Whilst a number of 2-4 day tours are available, our travel experts recommend building the below into your tailor-made Thailand itinerary, combining perfectly with Phuket & Khao Lak;
- Jungle Lake Safari – 2 nights, 3 days includes;
- 1 night at Elephant Camp + 1 night at Rainforest Camp
- Elephant feeding experience
- Canoe safari down the Sok River
- Evening activities – folkloric show & cooking demo
- Traditional longtail boat trip on Cheow Larn Lake
- Jungle trekking on foot through the rainforest
- Prices from 23,980THB per adult, 11990THB per child (7+)
Book with us today
Now is always the best time to book your next holiday and we’re here to take all of your stress away. Simply get in touch with our travel experts for an initial consultation and whether you need a little inspiration or know exactly what you want – with a little help from us – you’ll soon be jetting off to your next destination.