Aah Phuket, the stunning Thai destination with a spot at the top of many travel wish lists.
This gorgeous island in the Andaman Sea also has some of Thailand’s best beaches.
Whether you’re searching for that hidden gem, want an action-packed holiday filled with water sports, or a place to feel the sun on your face, Phuket has some real beauties.
Take a look at our picks for the best beaches in Phuket!
Tip: Read our guide on the best time to visit Phuket to ensure you have a well-timed trip.
Your Guide to the Best Beaches in Phuket
We all know about Patong Beach, which happens to be the most popular beach in Phuket. But honestly, who wants to go to that sleazy, dirty beach these days? Fortunately, Phuket still has stunning beaches that are worth visiting.
So what is the best beach Phuket offers for tourists craving tropical island vibes? Here is a list of the top 10 beaches in Phuket that you should see.
1. Kata Noi Beach
This secluded beach makes for the ultimate oasis of tranquility with soft sands, turquoise water, and an unbeatable atmosphere. It is also one of the best swimming beaches in Phuket, so perfect for adults and children to enjoy.
Cradled by two impressive headlands, this idyllic bay on Phuket’s west coast is the perfect place for snorkeling. The rocks at the southern end are particularly good, where there are clouds of colorful fish making their way through coral formations.
You can also get into some parasailing, banana boating, or rent a kayak and row around the bay. Kata Noi Beach also has some spectacular surfing conditions from May to October.
If you’re at Kata Noi for some sunbathing, grab some beach chairs (200 TBH) and an umbrella (200 TBH) from one of the vendors.
You can also enjoy a beach massage for around 400 TBH for one hour.
If you’re looking for some fine dining in a beachside setting, head to The Shore for a tasty meal. There are also some fantastic sunset bars on the hillside, a must-do if you’re visiting Kata Noi Beach.
If you wish to stay close to this beach, we love Katathani Phuket Beach Resort or if you can afford a splurge, then check out The Shore at Katathani (Adults only).
For those traveling without kids: check out our list of best resorts in Phuket here.
2. Freedom Beach
Without a doubt the most beautiful beach in Phuket (but not easy to get to – isn't that always the way!).
Discover this breathtaking gem on Phuket’s west coast, where hills covered in lush greenery turns it into a secluded oasis. A few minutes from Patong Beach awaits an incredible crescent of white sands and picture-perfect water.
Expect loads of stairs or a fairly pricey longtail boat ride (approximately 750 baht one way) on your journey to Freedom Beach. However, this tiny alcove is more than worth it.
The crystal-clear water is perfect for a dip and has plenty of activities. Go snorkeling or even find yourself as part of a beach volleyball game!
If you’re looking for an incredible panoramic view of the bay, climb the nearby ceramic steps for the ultimate photo op. The white sands of Freedom Beach seem almost untouched, so what better place to catch some sun and enjoy your Thai holiday?
While there aren't any resorts that back onto this hidden beach, you can enjoy some luxurious resorts nearby. Click here to check out availability at the beautiful 5-star Crest Resort & Pool Villas, or grab a more affordable stay at the 4-star LetsPhuket Twin Sands Resort & Spa.
3. Paradise Beach
With a stunning location to match the name, Paradise Beach has become known as one of the most beautiful Phuket beaches.
To get down to this beach, you need to park your car (or get dropped off by your taxi), and then hop on one of these shuttles. They will zoom you down to the beach for free.
This beach requires an entrance fee of 200 baht (free for children under 10), but it makes up for its fantastic atmosphere. Be prepared as everything inside will cost you more than usual as well. Thai massages will set you back by 500 TBH, a small regular day bed will cost 100 TBH, and one with a towel will set you back by 300 TBH. We felt like cocktails were supercharged in price as well.
So we recommend that if you are paying an entry price, it is best to plan to spend the whole day there. Paradise Beach is also one of the best places to watch the sunset.
Head for the incredible Activities Center where there are options galore. You can take your pick of water sports, including kayaking, paddle boarding, and renting uber fun water inflatables.
You can also rent underwater action cameras to capture your Phuket adventure. Paradise Beach happens to be a superb spot for snorkeling with amazing visibility!
If you’re looking for more of a party atmosphere, this beach is perfect, with music filling the air and beach bars along the sand. It is one of the best beaches of Phuket for those after a party atmosphere!
4. Surin Beach
Take a trip to this little corner of Phuket, where palm trees sway in the wind and calm waters await. I feel like this beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket – but I love palm trees, and all the palm trees here give it such a tropical vibe.
Little flea market-style stalls line the beach where you can buy smoothies, fruit and snacks, and all sorts of naughty snacks.
You can also get pampered with a proper Thai massage for only 400 TBH (1 hour).
While it is the home to the celeb-favorite, “Millionaire’s Row”, Surin Beach feels more like a coastal village with a gorgeous bay and an exceedingly picturesque look.
You won't find any beach chairs to hire here, so ensure you bring your towel or your proper Thai Beach mat and simply hit the beach old-school style.
Tip: It’s a perfect spot for swimming in the high season (December to April) as it can get rough during the low season.
If you wish to stay close to this beach, you can't go wrong with the gorgeous (but pricey) The Surin Phuket. If you prefer more affordable options, Surin Beach Resort has budget-friendlier prices and offers family-friendly features.
5. Kamala Beach
Hugged by steep tree headlands, the gorgeous Kamala Beach is unmissable on a list of Phuket’s best beaches.
This 2 km long stretch of sandy paradise provides visitors with stunning views of the bay and surrounding greenery. Without the hype on some of the more ‘touristy’ beaches, this beach has a relaxing and laid-back atmosphere.
Its calm shoreline makes it a lovely swimming spot, and you can even rent boards from Surin, then hop on over to Kamala for a surf.
It also has a strong local touch with restaurants, cafes, and massage shops behind the beach. Everything from the forested fringe to the quaint atmosphere makes Kamala Beach the charming place it is, and it definitely runs for the best beach in Phuket.
Because Kamala Beach is so popular, you will find a massive range of hotels close to the beach. If you want to stay in a resort that is on the beach (rather than a few blocks away), we highly recommend that you check out the very popular Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach Hotel (we all know Novotel is a good brand) or we also love the Kamala Beach Resort – A Sunprime Resort.
6. Bangtao Beach
Looking for one of the best beaches in Phuket for family trips? This quieter, long beach is one for families, with tons of beach toys for sale and plenty of shade from its fringe of gorgeous trees.
Plenty of restaurants along the beachfront and massages are on offer for a perfect touch of relaxation. Despite being one of Phuket’s biggest beaches, Bangtao Beach feels secluded and untouched.
With virtually no rocks near the shore, it’s the ultimate place for a dip in the inviting Andaman Sea. During the high season, the water is especially calm, which makes it perfect for water sports (you can even rent a jet ski on the beach).
This 6 km long beachscape looks every inch the island destination with some top-notch beach clubs dotted along the promenade.
We stayed at this beach during our last visit to Phuket. We were traveling with our 2-year-old and stayed at Sunwing Bangtao Beach. This hotel is brilliant for families.
They even have rooms that they call “Happy Baby” because it comes with a stroller, cribs, high chair, baby baths, and everything you might need for your stay. Pools have slides, and there are regular kids' activities too. If you are traveling with a baby, check out our guide to finding the best baby beach gear here – so you can come prepared.
Recommended for families: Find our full list of the best family resorts in Phuket here.
7. Karon Beach
Boasting turquoise waters and the fine, golden sand that’s made Phuket so popular, it's easy to see why this idyllic beach is popular. Despite its popularity, it’s hard to tell it’s crowded as it’s the third-longest beach in the area — providing everyone ample space.
Can You Swim At Karon Beach In Phuket? Between November and April, the waters at Karon beach are tranquil and provide the best opportunity for swimming.
Unfortunately, the beach doesn’t remain this way all year round. Between May and October, Karon experiences turbulent waters that aren’t suitable for swimming, especially for young children.
The shore at Karon beach is dotted with lifeguards ready to jump into action should they be needed. Between May and October, exercise increased caution and take note of the warning flags planted on the sand to guide you where it’s relatively safer to swim.
When you aren’t in the water, this slice of paradise has natural shade along the shore provided by a row of green trees. If you arrive late, you can still rely on small umbrellas sold by vendors for between 300 and 600 THB.
There are also tons of diners selling authentic Thai and international cuisine nearby.
Tucked between the Patong and Kata beaches, Karon is a little less popular. However, it doesn’t lack fun activities for parents and kids alike.
Join in on the fun via waterskiing, parasailing, and snorkeling. For something more relaxed, bring the children along on an ocean trip atop a kayak or a banana boat.
The Centara Grand Beach Resort is an incredible family resort that will appeal to kids of all ages. In addition to the family rooms, this hotel offers babysitting services, a playground, a kids club, and a swimming pool.
8. Kata Beach
Palm trees, turquoise waters, and a 1.5 km stretch of soft sand make Kata Beach a scenic vacation destination. It features calm waters during peak season (November to April) and an impressive list of activities and facilities, so you can see why it’s so popular.
When you aren’t swimming, you can go on kayaking voyages, parasailing trips, or join in on scuba diving fun.
Prefer something a little more relaxing? Perfect. Kata Beach’s shoreline is lined with trees offering natural shading while you watch your little ones build the sandcastles of their dreams. You can also buy umbrellas and beach mats for a couple of hundred bahts.
You can also get a massage by the shore to take the experience further — and it’s open for all ages too!
Street vendors can also be found here selling all sorts of snacks. If that’s not enough, a variety of restaurants sell various dishes for something a little more filling.
For a stay, we recommend OZO Phuket for its family-friendly amenities. Included in that list is a swimming pool suited for kids, a playground, and babysitting services if you’re traveling with toddlers. Adults have an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, an in-house bar, and an exercise area for fun.
9. Haad Laem Singh
Haad Laem Sing is a hidden gem between Kamala and Surin beach. Unlike those two, this beach is isolated and feels like you’re on an island shared with a few others. It was closed to the public until recently due to a land dispute, but it’s open now.
The idyllic beach has beautiful waters as well as soft sand with palm trees and other greenery leaning over it. There are quite a few rocks on the shore, but that won’t affect sunbathing fun or fun in the water.
While the kids wade in the waters or build an impressive row of sand properties, you can enjoy a massage right on the beach — how cool is that?
Outside of that, there’s a cozy restaurant perched on a wooden terrace overlooking the beach. The view is incredible, and the food is just as good, with the menu made up of Thai delicacies.
Due to its seclusion and prior land issues, there aren’t any accommodation spots directly by the beach. The closest hotel to Laem Singh beach is the Surin Sunset Hotel, which is located on Surin Beach. Alternatively, you can choose a stay at Kamala Phuket Suites & Resort by Kamala Beach.
10. Ya Nui Beach
The rather tiny Ya Nui Beach is the perfect location for families, although it’s more of a cove than a beach. The water is calm and the sand soft, and lifeguards are also found here.
Kids can collect seashells to take back home as souvenirs, although you can also buy toys from the vendors.
In addition to swimming, snorkeling, bodyboarding and kayaking are some of the activities Ya Nui offers.
Unfortunately, this fantastic beach is home to some jellyfish for which the lifeguards have set warning flags. If you or your child just happen to get stung, here are some treatment methods to keep in mind.
The Windmill Phuket Hotel sits just a few minutes from Ya Nui and is our top accommodation pick. Free Wi-Fi and car parking await, along with a swimming pool and playground for children. There’s also an in-house restaurant for when you and the gang are feeling peckish.
FAQs About Phuket Beaches
Here are answers to some common questions we’ve seen people ask about the beaches in Phuket.
1. Can You Swim On Phuket’s Beaches?
In short, yes, you can swim at most Phuket beaches, including the ones we mentioned above. The waters are relatively warm and usually calm, setting the perfect scene for a day in the water.
Unless you’re a Michael Phelps of sorts, you have to exercise caution to ensure you’re totally safe. This is particularly true during the rainy season between May and October when the ocean is rougher than usual.
And unfortunately, only Kata, Karon, and Ya Nui have active lifeguards to ensure your safety.
2. Which is the most popular beach in Phuket?
Patong beach is the most popular and, therefore, busiest beach in Phuket. This sandy, crescent-shaped beach is also the longest beach in Phuket.
It is a great beach for those who love to stay busy on the beach as it has plenty of parasailing and jet ski operators, boat drivers, beach vendors, and masseuses approaching travelers trying to relax on the sand.
There are also plenty of cafes, restaurants, and bars lining the beach. And of course, the ‘very interesting' nightlife scene of Bangla Road, where you can find nightclubs, beer bars, go-go- bars, cabarets, and more, are found close by.
If Patong is not for you, Kata beach (Kata Noi and Kata Yai) are very popular as well.
3. Which Is Better: Karon Beach or Patong Beach?
Don’t get us wrong, these beaches are incredible, but Karon Beach edges it for us.
Karon Beach is quieter (and cleaner) than Patong, resulting in less crowding. It also enjoys a central location with dining, shopping, and nightlife options within easy reach. Plus, Karon is just 20 minutes from Patong should you need to liven up your vacation.
4. Which Is The Cleanest Beach In Phuket?
Many of the beaches we listed above generally have spotless shores and clean waters, but some are cleaner than others.
At the top of this list is Ya Nui beach, which boasts serene, clean water. The small beach has an unspoiled shore lined by nothing but lush greenery and shells ready for your little treasure hunters to collect. It’s a small beach that doesn’t attract too many people either, which may just explain how it maintains its beauty.
Final Words on the Top Beaches in Phuket
If you’re looking for some of Thailand’s best beaches, Phuket is the place to find them. With a combination of an oceanside oasis to vibrant hubs filled with water sports and the rhythm of Phuket, you’ll find the perfect beach for you.
You can also grab a list of some adventure Phuket activities to add to your list as well. And don't forget to check out our one-day Phuket itinerary to see some of the most popular sights in Phuket.
We hope you enjoyed our list of the best beaches in Phuket – let us know what your favorite Phuket beach is!
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