Discovering the Philippines

The Philippines are composed of an archipelago of islands located in the Pacific Ocean, some of which are uninhabited and have not even been named. There are three principal areas: Lucon, the largest island, is home to the capital, Manilla, and also to the very dense and lively Quezon City, and several active volcanoes. The second largest island is Mindanao, to the south, home to the Muslim community. Finally, in the centre, the Visayas group of islands offers magnificent tropical beaches.
The inhabitants of the Philippines are known for their sense of hospitality, and will always be willing to help you or show you the way, even if they don't understand your language.
We would advise you to book your Air France flight during the dry season from December to May. The period from December to February is particularly pleasant, as the climate is warm and dry.

Manilla, the lively colourful capital of the Philippines

To discover the Philippines, take an Air France flight to Manilla, the capital. This densely inhabited city offers a patchwork of different architectures. The Spanish influence, a reminder of the colonial past, is visible on the south bank of the Pasig River. You can see typical colonial houses and examples of XVIIth century architecture. In the south of the city, you can admire the baroque Malate church, which dates from the XVIth century. The city's Chinatown is located north of the river. Don't miss the surprising Chinese cemetery, on the edge of the city, with its small brightly coloured pagodas. The capital houses several museums. The National Museum is well worth a visit: it displays the history of the country and presents its cultural heritage.
Manilla is a bustling city. In the evening, walk around its lively streets and enjoy the surprising spicy food. There are small restaurants everywhere where you can buy a meal to eat on the premises or to take away. You will also find the turo-turo ("show, show"), a sort of self-service cafeteria where you can order by pointing at the dishes you want. The meals are always copious and usually simple, based on rice, soy sauce, chicken or fish. The desserts are rich and sweet, often based on coconut. The San Miguel, a typical Filipino lager, is considered one of the best in the world.

The most beautiful landscapes in the Philippines

The many islands in the archipelago of the Philippines all offer paradisiacal beaches with fine sand and clear water. With just a mask and a snorkel, you will be able to admire many species of brightly coloured marine animals and fish.
In between swims, don't forget to visit the centre of Lucon as well. The Banaue region is known for its fascinating landscape of terraced rice fields. Another unusual geological formation is the "Chocolate Hills" on the island of Bohol. These ball-shaped mounds are the result of an underwater build-up of shells and coral. Formerly below sea-level, these strata emerged through the action of plate tectonics. They are named after the vegetation which covers them, which turns brown during the dry season.

Find out more and prepare your stay in the Philippines