Imagine a place where the sun shines all day, the palm trees sway in the breeze, and the waves crash against the shore. No, this isn’t a dream; it’s Phuket, Thailand! This island paradise is home to some of the best beaches in the world.
This means that whether you’re looking for a place to relax or party, there is a perfect beach for you. And while there are many to choose from, I’ve narrowed it down to 16 of the best beaches in Phuket. So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Best Beaches In Phuket
1. Patong Beach
Patong is one of the most developed beach resorts in Phuket and probably the liveliest place on the island. It’s a favored destination among young travelers and backpackers who come here to enjoy the beaches, the thrilling nightlife, and the many cheap guesthouses and hotels.
Despite the commercialization, Patong still boasts a beautiful 3 km long beach with gentle waves, making it ideal for swimming and sunbathing. The beach is also great for windsurfing, parasailing, and other water activities. If you’re not the sporty type, simply take a leisurely stroll along the beachfront promenade and enjoy the many sounds and smells of this vibrant place.
If you get tired of the sand, take a walk to the Jungceylon Shopping Center for some air-conditioned retail therapy. Or explore the streets of Old Phuket Town to see some beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture and try delicious local cuisine.
When night falls, Bangla Road comes alive as Phuket’s pulsating nightlife central. This famous street is closed to traffic and fills up with loud music, cheap bars, and bar girls looking for customers. If that’s not your scene, don’t worry, there are plenty of other bars, nightclubs, and restaurants to choose from in Patong.
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2. Kata Beach
Kata is a beautiful double-sided beach flanked by rocky headlands on the west coast of Phuket Island. It’s a popular spot for families and couples who come here to enjoy the clean beaches, the excellent surfing conditions, and the laid-back atmosphere.
Kata Noi Beach, the smaller and more secluded beach to the north, is especially beautiful with its white sand and dramatic cliffs. This is also where you’ll find some of the most luxurious resorts and villas, thus making it one of the best beaches in Phuket to visit if you’re looking for luxury.
On the other hand, Kata Yai Beach is the busier and more vibrant beach with its many restaurants, shops, and family-friendly hotels. This is also where most of the surfing action takes place, as the waves here are pretty consistent all year round. You can also try your hand at stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking at the beach.
When you’ve had enough sun, explore Kata Village for some retail therapy or head to one of the many Thai massage parlors for a traditional massage.
3. Karon Beach
If you’re looking for beaches in Phuket with a slightly longer coastline and a quieter atmosphere, head to Karon Beach. Situated just south of Patong, this 3-kilometer-long beach is the third-largest beach on the island.
Although less crowded than beaches like Patong and Kata, Karon is still relatively built-up, with plenty of hotels, restaurants, and bars lining the shore. The central area of the beach is especially lively, with a good selection of sun loungers, parasailing, and jet skiing on offer. And if you want to snorkel, I recommend heading to the south end of the beach, where you’ll find a lovely reef.
This beach is also a favorite spot for families as the water here is clean and calm, making it ideal for young children. There’s plenty of space for everyone to lay out their towels and umbrellas, so you don’t have to worry about feeling cramped.
Karon Beach is a great place to catch some rays, paddle in the waves, or simply take a leisurely stroll along the powdery white sand. When you’ve had enough of the beach, check out the bustling Karon Temple Market, which is held every Tuesday and Saturday from 4 pm onwards.
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4. Ao Sane Beach
Want to escape the crowds and find a little piece of paradise all to yourself? Then Ao Sane is one of Phuket’s best beaches if you’re looking for a more secluded spot to relax.
This hidden gem is located in the north of Nai Harn Beach and can only be reached by taking a short walk (or drive) from Nai Harn beach. The path is well-marked, and the journey only takes around 25 minutes. But it’s worth the effort!
This tiny beach is perhaps the rockiest on this list. However, the sparkling turquoise waters more than makeup for it! Unfortunately, this is not the best place for swimming as there are lots of hidden rocks beneath the surface. However, you can swim if you’re careful!
If you love to snorkel or dive, Ao Sane is one of the best beaches in Phuket for you! The corals here are beautiful and home to a variety of tropical fish.
And if you’re looking for a romantic spot to watch the sunset with your partner, this is one of the most beautiful places in Phuket. The beach is completely quiet and free from crowds, so you can enjoy the views in peace.
Please note that there are no restaurants or bars in Ao Sane, so you’ll need to bring your own food and drinks.
5. Railay Beach
Are you looking for a place in Phuket that’s away from the crowds? Then head to Railay Beach, a beautiful enclave that can only be accessed by boat. This place is a rock climber’s paradise with nearly 1,000 climbing routes of varying difficulty. But even if you’re not into climbing, Railay Beach is still worth a visit for its stunning beaches and laid-back vibe.
There are four beaches in Railay: West Railay, East Railay, Phra Nang Cave Beach, and Ton Sai Beach. They all have different personalities, but they’re all equally beautiful. They are simply breathtaking with their soft white sand and turquoise waters. And since Railay is surrounded by limestone cliffs, it feels like you’re in your own little piece of paradise.
When you’re not lounging on the beach, take a walk through the jungle, go kayaking or paddleboarding, or get a massage at one of the many spa resorts. And when you get hungry, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, serving both Thai and international cuisine.
And being one of the top-rated beaches in Phuket, Railay is one of those places that you simply cannot miss. Just be prepared for the boat ride there, as it can be a bit bumpy!
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6. Freedom Beach
A secluded and intimate beach located on the west coast of Phuket, Freedom Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand. This small beach is only accessible by a long-tail boat from Patong Beach, and it takes about 10 minutes to get there.
The long ride is well worth it, as you’ll be rewarded with a breathtaking stretch of soft white sand, clear water, and a lush jungle backdrop. This is an excellent spot for swimming as the water is clean and relatively calm.
After a refreshing dip, lounge on the sand or explore the jungle trails that lead up to a hilltop viewpoint. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views of Freedom Beach and the surrounding coastline.
Other popular activities here include playing beach volleyball, soccer, and snorkeling. And if you get hungry, there is one restaurant at the south end of the beach serving Thai and Western food. However, the prices are a bit on the high side, so it’s best to bring your own picnic lunch.
All in all, Freedom Beach is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and escape the hustle and bustle of the more popular Phuket beaches. And as its name suggests, this is a great spot to feel free and soak up the natural beauty of Thailand.
7. Paradise Beach
Set on the gorgeous white sand and clear water of Patong Bay, Paradise Beach is a small but idyllic spot that definitely lives up to its name. Even though it’s located right in the heart of Phuket’s busiest beach town, Patong, this beach manages to retain a feeling of tranquility and exclusivity.
It’s the perfect place to come for a relaxing day by sea, safe in the knowledge that you have all the amenities should you need them. The beach is well-equipped with sun loungers and parasols, and there are even restaurants, and shops close by should you need a refreshment.
If you’re feeling active, there’s also plenty to do. The water is shallow and calm, making it ideal for swimming, and there are jet skis available for rental. If you love snorkeling, you won’t be disappointed either as the reef here is home to an abundance of colorful fish.
Paradise Beach is open to the public, but there is an entrance fee of THB 200 per person. This entitles you to use sun loungers and parasols, as well as access to the beach’s shower and toilet facilities.
Paradise Beach is the perfect all-rounder, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of the most popular beaches in Phuket.
8. Nai Harn Beach
Many beaches in Phuket boast of being the best and most beautiful. But only a handful can truly lay claim to that title, and Nai Harn Beach is definitely one of them.
Nestled at the southernmost tip of Phuket, this crescent-shaped beach is a sight to behold. The water is clean and clear, the sand is white and powdery, and the beach is fringed with tropical palm and casuarina trees.
Nai Harn is also one of the quieter beaches in Phuket, which makes it perfect for those looking for a more relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. On any given day, you’ll find tourists sunbathing, jogging, walking, and yogis practicing their sun salutations on the sand.
There are small shops along the beach road where you can buy drinks and snacks. But for a more substantial meal, head to one of the seafood restaurants in the vicinity. The beach comes alive at sunset, with locals and tourists enjoying a cold beer while watching the sun dip below the horizon.
And if you need a break from all the beach action, there’s plenty to see and do in the surrounding area too. For starters, you can visit Wat Nai Harn, Phuket’s most important and sacred temple. Or take a drive up to Phromthep Cape, the island’s most popular sunset viewing point.
9. Pansea Beach
Ever dreamt of spending a day on your own private beach? Well, in Phuket, this dream can become a reality! Although it’s technically not a “private beach,” as Pansea beach is open to the public, it definitely feels like one.
In fact, many people think that this is a private beach because it’s occupied by The Amanpuri Phuket and The Surin Phuket. However, privatizing beaches is not legal in Thailand, so both resorts allow public access.
The beach itself is gorgeous, with gentle waves lapping against the sand and plenty of sun loungers and parasols to relax on while you work on your tan. If you fancy a swim, the water is clean and clear, making it perfect for a refreshing dip.
The real beauty of Pansea Beach lies in its location. It’s hidden away in a secluded cove, surrounded by lush jungle-covered hills. This makes it the perfect place to escape the crowds and enjoy some peace and quiet.
There are several local shops on the southern end of the beach selling snacks, drinks, and souvenirs. However, if you’re looking for a more substantial meal, you can always pop into The Surin or Amanpuri for some lunch.
10. Bang Tao Beach
Although it’s not as popular as some of other Phuket’s beaches, Bang Tao deserves a spot on this list. With a massive 6 km stretch of silky white sand, this is one of the longest beaches on the island. It’s located in the northwest and is about a 20 to 30-minute drive from the airport.
This is a great spot to stay if you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere but still want to be within walking distance of some nightlife and restaurants. There are several upscale resorts along the beach, but also a few more affordable guesthouses and hotels too.
During the day, Bang Tao is pretty quiet as most visitors head to the beaches in Patong or down south. Therefore, it stays deserted most of the time, making it perfect for a romantic stroll or beach day with friends.
And since it’s on the west coast, you can also enjoy some of the most beautiful sunsets in Phuket from Bang Tao. This is a great spot to catch the golden hour and snap some incredible photos!
I had an opportunity to visit Bang Tao last year, and I absolutely loved it. There were few people around, the water was clean and clear, and the sunset was just gorgeous. I stayed at Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort, which is right on the beach. It is equipped with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay, and the staff is super friendly.
11. Banana Beach
Banana Beach gets its name from the banana-shaped rocks that protect this secluded cove from the strong winds and waves. Although it’s not as popular as some of the others on this list, it’s still one of the best beaches in Phuket.
This hidden gem is only accessible by a long-tail boat from the nearby Rawai Beach. The beach is located in Koh Hey (Coral Island), which is a small island off the coast of Phuket.
Banana Beach is relatively small, but it packs a punch in terms of natural beauty. The water is clean and clear, the sand is white and powdery, and the beach is fringed with lush tropical vegetation.
There are plenty of things to do in and around Banana Beach. You can go jet-skiing, snorkeling, kayaking, or swimming. Or you can relax on the beach and soak up the incredible views.
If you get hungry, there is one beach restaurant where you can grab a bite to eat. Alternatively, you can head back to the mainland and check out some of the amazing seafood restaurants in Rawai Beach.
What’s more? You’ll find masseuses offering massages on the beach. This makes Banana Beach the perfect place to relax, unwind, and feel the stresses of daily life melt away.
12. Ya Nui Beach
Have you ever seen a beach that looks like it’s been taken out of a postcard? Well, you’re about to. Ya Nui is one of those beaches that make you go “wow” as soon as you see it.
Situated just south of Nai Harn Beach, this stunning crescent-shaped bay is framed by lush jungle-covered hills and surrounded by curious giant boulders. The golden sand and the clear blue water make it look like something out of a movie.
Ya Nui is one of the quieter beaches in Phuket. Even though it’s a great spot for swimming, it doesn’t get as crowded as some of the other beaches on the island. You can find a few snorkeling and kayak operators here, but overall, it’s a pretty relaxed atmosphere.
The beach is also great for families as there are no rocks, and the water is shallow for quite a distance from the shore. However, pay attention to the safety flags as there can be a strong undertow at certain times of the day.
If you get hungry, swing by one of the local restaurants. They serve up some of the tastiest Thai food on the island!
13. Surin Beach
Surin beach was once the most popular beach in Phuket. It’s here that some of the island’s first luxury resorts were built and where most of the tourists to Phuket stayed.
However, a dispute between the government and the developers in early 2016 led to the demolition of the beachside restaurants and hotels. And since then, Surin has become much quieter and lost some of its lust.
Nevertheless, the crescent-shaped beach, with its soft white sand and gentle waves, is still one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket. It’s great for swimming and perfect for families with small children as there are no strong currents here.
Local vendors come down to the beach selling food and drinks, so you don’t have to go far if you get hungry. They are not pushy and will leave you alone if you don’t show any interest.
When you’re not basking in the sun, explore the upmarket residential area called Millionaires’ Row. This is where you’ll find some of Phuket’s most luxurious villas, where celebrities and wealthy individuals come to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
If you want to stay in this area, there are a few small boutique hotels located along the beach road. They are nothing fancy but offer all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay.
14. Phra Nang Cave Beach
Picture an idyllic little beach flanked by dramatic cliffs, huge boulders, a few fishing boats, and luscious jungle greenery. Now add in a captivating cave, some incredible rock formations, and turquoise-blue water as far as the eye can see. Sounds like something out of a postcard, right? Well, this is exactly what you’ll find at Phra Nang Cave Beach, located just south of Railay Bay.
Phra Nang Cave is one of the most popular beaches in Phuket, and it’s easy to see why. The secluded beach is a great place to relax and take in the natural surroundings. It’s also an excellent spot for swimming, sunbathing, and exploring the dramatic limestone cliffs that make up much of Phuket’s coastline.
However, the real star of the show is definitely Phra Nang Cave itself. This unique rock formation has been used as a sacred shrine for centuries and is still an important spiritual site for local fishermen. The caves contain lingams (a phallic symbol of the Hindu deity Shiva) which are believed to bring good luck.
When you’re done exploring, grab a bite to eat at one of the floating restaurants that anchor just offshore. They serve tasty treats and drinks at reasonable prices, and you can enjoy them while taking in the stunning views.
15. Kamala Beach
Kamala Beach is a great swimming beach located on Phuket’s west coast. It’s well-known for its cleanliness and clear water, which makes it a perfect choice for families with small children.
The wide and long beach is excellent for all sorts of activities, including sunbathing, swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, and beach volleyball. There are plenty of beach umbrellas and sun loungers for rent, as well as a few quaint cafes and restaurants on the nearby street.
Kamala is a relatively quiet beach compared to other beaches in Phuket. It has a laid-back vibe with a mix of tourists and locals. The beach is busiest on the weekends when people come down from Bangkok to enjoy the sun and sand.
Even though it’s not as lively as Patong Beach, there are still a few bars and nightclubs in town for those who want to party the night away. This is also where you’ll find the highly popular Phuket FantaSea Show, a must-see for first-time visitors!
From Kamala, it’s also easy to get to other beaches on Phuket’s west coast. So, if you get bored of the sand, there are other options nearby.
16. Nai Yang Beach
If you’re looking for a low-key beach destination to relax and rejuvenate, why not head over to Nai Yang Beach? Stretching along the northern coast of Phuket, this serene and beautiful spot is a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
The long white sand beach is flanked by lush greenery, offering a lovely contrast to the azure waters of the Andaman Sea. This is a great place for swimming, sunbathing, and simply taking in the stunning surroundings. There are a few beach bars and restaurants serving refreshing drinks and snacks too.
When you’ve had your fill of sun and sand, explore the nearby Sirinat National Park. Covering an area of over 90 square kilometers, the park is home to mangrove forests, saltwater marshes, and an abundance of wildlife.
One of the best things about Nai Yang is that it’s never too crowded, even during high season. This is partly because the beach lies within the Sirinat National Park, so there’s a daily entrance fee. But it’s definitely worth it as you get to enjoy the beach in all its glory without the usual tourist hordes.
If you wish to spend a night or two here, there are plenty of cozy guesthouses and hotels within walking distance from the beach. However, I recommend Marriott Nai Yang, which is set within a lush tropical garden and offers direct access to the beach.
When it comes to beaches, Phuket has no shortage of options. There are so many incredible beaches to explore, each with its own unique charm. But if you’re looking for the best of the best, be sure to check out the 16 beaches listed above. They are some of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket, and you’re sure to have a memorable time at any one of them.