It's summertime and the heat has already begun. While you can stay home and enjoy the cool breeze of your air conditioning, it can get expensive. With that said, why not go out and head for someplace relaxing and get a dose of that #vitaminsea you deserve. Now we’re talking, huh?
Before we proceed, we need to tell you that some of our favorite beaches aren’t on this list. We know some of you are expecting Urbiztondo, La Union, or Baler, Aurora to be included here. However, we think most of you already know them and expect to find a crowded shore by the time you get there. We went by choosing the ones that we think won't get too crowded and busy so that you can have a more relaxing stay. Let’s begin, here are eight relaxing beaches that are reachable by land.
Laiya in Batangas
First up is Laiya which is located only four hours away from Manila. One thing to note is that this beach area does get busy during peak season, so it's best to time your trip carefully. Don’t worry though as there are many options in the area to choose from. Another thing to note is that the sea in San Juan Batangas is the calm type, which is an advantage as you’re unlikely to get hit by a surfboard while you’re trying to bathe in saltwater.
Driving to Laiya, Batangas is very easy; just follow the South Luzon Expressway and STAR Toll and exit to Ibaan. It’s easily pinned on Waze so you can just follow the directions as Waze calculates the fastest route leading to the destination. Enjoy the fine-sand beaches in Laiya and don’t forget to take as many pictures as you can.
Bagasbas Beach in Bicol
Another option to consider, this time a little bit northward is Morong Beach in Bataan. It is just a few hours from the metro. Morong, Bataan is a way to go if you don’t want a short drive to the beach. It’s a calm, peaceful, and quiet place that will let you relax and think about your life decisions (isn’t that a reason why you seek the sea?).
There are a number of hotels and beachfront hotels to choose from. The affordable decent ones range from P2,000 to P6,000. Driving to it is pie-easy and you can go there with just your partner or a few pals. If you’re feeling like a one-day millionaire, you may also upgrade your trip and head further down the road to Bagac. There you can check in to the old-Philippines-inspired Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar beach resort. If you are on a budget, you can also consider staying in bed and breakfast locations in the area.
Gota Beach in Bicol
Like the idea of Bicol but looking forward to a more hipster trip? You must be willing to drive longer than nine to 10 hours. Bring with you at least two friends who can drive so you can take turns. Going to Camarines Sur will add roughly 550 km to your odometer. You’ll be on the road for more than 13 hours and we all know that’s pretty tiring for one driver—unless you take a liter of energy drink, which is not advisable, to begin with.
It may be a half-day drive but what you’re about to experience is more than worth it. Gota Village is a resort composed of small to duplex cottages made from wood. The setting of the resort is like a medieval village by the sea. A few meters away from it is the clear sea of the Caramoan Islands. Rates range from P3,700 to P18,000 depending on the size of the cottage. Again these are just rough estimates for pricing as they could have risen in the past few years.
Borawan Beach in Quezon
If you don’t want to go for a long drive you can try this beach location in Pagbilao Quezon. This is a bit further than Laiya but it is much closer to Metro Manila compared to Bicol. Travel time is between four and a half hours to five hours from Metro Manila depending on how many stopovers and side trips you plan on having.
You may find Borawan crowded during the summer season but the short travel time and cost of expenses kind of make it past the average. And, since it's Quezon, you have other options of paradise waiting for you so no problem. It’s only 167 km from Metro Manila, which is way closer than Urbiztondo, La Union.
Morong Beach in Bataan
If you want something a little north of Luzon, Bataan is just a few hours from the metro. Morong, Bataan is a way to go if you don’t want a short drive to the beach. It’s a calm, peaceful, and quiet place that will let you relax and think about your life decisions (isn’t that a reason why you seek the sea?).
There are a number of hotels and beachfront hotels to choose from. The affordable decent ones range from P2,000 to P6,000. Driving to it is pie-easy and you can go there with just your partner or a few pals. If you’re feeling like a one-day millionaire, you may also upgrade your trip and head further down the road to Bagac. There you can check in to the old-Philippines-inspired Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar beach resort.
Patar White Beach in Pangasinan
Pangasinan is one of the places to be as it offers pieces of paradise for you to check out. One place we recommend visiting is the Patar White Beach in Bolinao. This is a haven of white fine sand and a pure beach-life experience. There are a few resorts with air-conditioned rooms but if you want legit experience at the beach, pitching for tents, opting for huts, or cottages is one way to do it.
Patar White Beach is 300 km away from Metro Manila. It’s a little far but two full-tank pumps are more than enough for the trip and back home. However, if you want more fun and activities involved, try the next destination.
Hundred Islands in Pangasinan
If you want a more mainstream area then you might want to consider the Hundred Islands, from the name itself, is composed of 123 islets of varying sizes. Embracing these beautifully scattered islets is a cerulean sea rich with different kinds of lifeforms. It is situated in Alaminos, Pangasinan, a known paradise to locals and visitors. There are a number of activities, such as kayaking, snorkeling, and picnicking—all for affordable price tags.
Alaminos Pangasinan is 296 km away from Metro Manila. Driving straight to Hundred Islands, without pit stops, would take you more than six and a half hours on the road. Bathroom breaks at gasoline stations are not counted so expect more than that if you plan on doing stopovers.
Potipot Island in Zambales
Since we’re already more than halfway talking about beaches in Luzon, there’s got to be room for Zambales. This place holds gorgeous beaches with wonderful scenery. It’s five to six hours from the metro and you’ll never run out of choices once you're there. If you are after water sports like surfing, Liwliwa in San Felipe, Zambales offers good waves if you’re there in the right season.
However, one beach we would like to recommend is Potipot Island. This paradise is perfect for those who seek a secluded place. It’s an islet in Candelaria, Zambales that’s going to give you a feeling and thrill of being a castaway—without actually being a real one. Of course, boats are on standby to fetch and bring visitors to and from the island. Time to learn to live like an islander, what do you think?
Saud Beach Resort in Ilocos Norte
If northern beaches are more your thing and don’t mind a long drive for the summer, then Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte is the place to be. It’s a 10-hour drive from your comfort zone in Metro Manila. Fun fact, it’s almost the tip of the island of Luzon you can access by land. Of course, there are Batanes at the very top but that place requires a boat or plane to access.
Pagudpud is known for its serene beauty and simple way of life. Saud Beach offers Instagram-worthy accommodation and an exceptional beach-life experience. The sand is golden and fine, while activities include scuba, snorkeling, windsurfing, and pretty much anything your heart wishes for.
A few things to remember
If you are planning to go visit these places remember to properly budget for the toll, gas, and accommodations you will need. Also, remember that if you're in any town, even the ones not in this list, always respect the locals. Respect their way of life, respect their language, and most important thing of all, respect their home. Don’t litter and always abide by local regulations. Through this, we can help preserve these places for future generations of tourists, as well as help maintain the locals’ way of life.