When it comes to the islands of Thailand, there is a word that returns in all the speeches to describe its beauty. This word is "paradise." After all, some of the most beautiful islands on the planet are located here. White sand, amazing seabed, emerald sea are the common thread of this dream world.
Unspoiled nature opens up to your curiosity. Swimming or diving? On the beaches you can also just relax, not forgetting that here we are in the homeland of massage, where regenerating the body is an art. From wonder in wonder, behind these beaches there is a lush vegetation to discover and explore, maybe on a safari on an elephant. Those who want to get to know the culture of these places will be satisfied by visiting magnificent temples.
Phuket it's the most famous island on the west coast, full of life in its waters. And in its nights! With beaches for every wish. "Koh" is the word that in Thai means island. There are as many as 500 islands in Thailand. Here we offer you an accurate selection. Costa allows you to discover them on many excursions to your desire, for you to seize the best of paradise. Here's our guide to the 20 most beautiful islands.
Thailand: the 20 most beautiful islands
- Koh Samui
- Koh Phangan
- Koh Phi Phi
- Koh Panak
- Koh Tapu
- Koh Panyee
- Koh Rang Yai
- Koh Yao Yai
- Similan Islands
- Koh Lipe
- Koh Lanta
- Koh Racha Yai
- Koh Tao
- Koh Samet
- Koh Tarutao
- Koh Chang
- Koh Hae
- Koh Mak
- Khao Phing Kan
Koh Samui gives the name to an archipelago of 80 islands. The main island is home to wonderful beaches, the most popular of which is Chaweng, a long stretch of white sand overlooking crystal clear waters. The Costa excursions lead you to experience the tranquillity of this sea and that of special places related to the spirituality of the indigenous people.
The Kunaram Temple, to the south of the island, exhibits the body of the monk Luang Phor Daeng, who was mummified in the characteristic meditation position of the "lotus flower". To the north, on the rocky island of Koh Faan, atop an 80-step staircase stands the Great Buddha, a gigantic statue visible from afar, which has become an important destination for pilgrims, from where you can enjoy a beautiful view.
Phuket Thailand's largest island, one of the world's most famous beach destinations with beautiful beaches like Kata Beach, California. Expanses of white sand, very fine, alternate with quiet rocky bays bathed in clear waters in shades of green and turquoise. Don't miss the Nai Harn beach, to the south, amongst green headlands, jealously guarded by monks.
The Phang Nga Bay with its pinnacles of rock is a natural sight absolutely to be seen. Not forgetting the work of man. Wat Chalong is the most important temple on the island. A must, even on Costa excursions. Phuket preserves Sino-Portuguese and English architecture reminiscent of a colonial past.
Koh Phangan is the second island in size of the Samui archipelago. An island that is still untouched. A real paradise. And this is where Costa accompanies you with its excursions.
One the most beautiful and comfortable beaches is Thong Nai Pan Bay, drawn like a double horseshoe in the rock, well sheltered from the waves, with a shallow seabed that makes it easy to enter the sea. For more than twenty years, Koh Phangan has been home to "the festival of the full moon", which is not a religious celebration, but an internationally famous gathering involving thousands of young people coming here from all over the world.
Koh Phi Phi
The islands of Phi Phi, very close to Phuket, are an archipelago of islets in the Andaman Sea. Phi Phi Don is the largest island, some of the most fascinating in Southeast Asia. Paradise! With two long arched beaches almost touching each other, the islet sits in the middle of a crescent bay, full of resorts and restaurants. Together with its "sister" Phi Phi Leh, ii i known to film lovers as the set of the film "The Beach" with Leonardo di Caprio.
Costa excursions take you here, discovering beaches surrounded by palm trees, extraordinary rock formations, crystal clear waters filled with the colourful tropical marine flora and fauna.
The Bay of Phang Nga offers stunning natural scenery. The beauty is that you can admire them from the inside, with an unforgettable experience. With Costa excursions you can in fact climb aboard a canoe for an itinerary between lush mangroves and limestone rocks to discover Koh Panak.
It will be an emotion to cross these natural landscapes studded with sea caves, stalactites and stalagmites. To contemplate the purest beauty in a timeless environment. Holidays are made for living moments like this.
Phang Nga Bay offers fantastic unique scenarios, which is worth exploring by boat between mangroves and canals. You find yourself admiring a myriad of limestone towers rising from the sea, until you reach Koh Tapu, a tiny yet high, tapered islet. That's why its name translates as "the island of the nail"!
Koh Tapu has been an unforgettable setting for high prestige perfume adverts. With Costa excursions on these shorelines you will feel like you are in a film, because the islet is right next to the famous "James Bond Island” Koh Ping Ghan, together with which it creates an unmistakable panorama.
Fishing is one of the main activities in these islands, often the only one. Today as in times gone by. In Koh Panyee you can go on a journey through time visiting an ancient fishing village on stilts.
A village where you can also admire a beautiful mosque with an impressive minaret and where there are stalls and shops to discover, perhaps during one of your Costa excursions.
Koh Rang Yai
Among the many islands near Phuket Rang Yai, an island surrounded by crystal clear waters, as is customary around here, deserve a short visit. The ideal size for snorkelling in the rocky part, but also for sweet doing nothing on holiday on the beautiful clear sand beach.
There's also a Costa excursion that takes you to this relaxing island surrounded by lush nature. For those interested in the traditions of the place, a visit to the pearl factoryis highly recommended. A valuable experience.
Koh Yao Yai
Koh Yao Yai, which means "big long island", is perfect for those who love quiet, away from crowded places. It is distinguished by the alternation of islands, islets and limestone rocks that emerge from a crystal clear green water. While down there, coral reefs, multicoloured fish face that give life to a different show.
The descendants of the Muslim Sea Gypsies still live on the island. They are simple and friendly population, who live by fishing or collecting rubber.
An archipelago of 9 islands, by number and name: Similan derives in fact from the word sembilan, which in Malay means precisely this number. Islands surrounded by waters full of life, one of the best diving sites in the world.
The marine park was established to protect the wide variety of fauna, the beauty of corals, alcionarias and fan gorgonias. Here tuna, lionfish, angelfish and other fish of all colours are at home. An extraordinary natural aquarium.
On 3 of the 9 islands, access is prohibited to avoid disturbing the spawning by turtles.
Koh Lipe, in the Andaman Sea, is part of the Tarutao Marine Park, which includes more than 70. It offers three beautiful beaches and a special sea for diving.
Snorkelers can easily do so from the main beaches. Restaurants, bars, shops and massage centres are concentrated mainly in one street, The Walking Street, and the nightlife doesn't reach crazy levels. So Koh Lipe reveals itself to be the ideal place for families who want peace of mind and for all those couples who dream of a romantic place for their holiday.
Koh Lanta is one of the most fascinating islands in the Andaman Islands and is part of an archipelago of 52 islands. It is thin and long in shape and is really full of topics of interest. Koh Lanta is home to several beaches that promise rejuvenating baths in warm, crystal clear waters. The best are along the western part of the island and always offer the prospect of beautiful sunsets.
In addition to the beaches, there's all the excitement of discovery entering the rainforest that conceals beautiful caves.
Koh Racha Yai
Beaches, palm trees and coral reefs. Koh Racha Yai has the typical ingredients of a true tropical paradise. A perfect destination for diving and snorkelling fans. With an increasing number of visitors and facilities.
On the west side of the island we find the most beautiful beach, with its distinctive white sand and crystal clear sea, nestled between two valleys in the shape of a horseshoe. At the top of the hill on the south side of the bay, you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the whole island.
Koh Tao in Thai means "Turtle Island", because in the past hundreds of turtles came to lay their eggs on this very little island. Today it is considered one of the best sites in Thailand for scuba diving thanks to the beautiful bays of crystal clear water.
The beach of Sairee is the most popular and most frequented by holidaymakers. The beautiful beach of Chalok Ban Khao, on the other hand, because of the shallow seabed, means swimming enthusiasts have to move away from the shore for find the right depth. This beach offers a very characteristic angle, Haad Saal Chao, a perfect little strip of sand for relaxing in the sun.
Once called a "jewel island" for its precious white sand, Koh Samet owes its name to the very popular tree of the same name in Thailand. Although today for many it is "the beach of Bangkok" since it is the closest to the capital. Most of the island's territory belongs to the Khao Laem Ya-Mu Ko Samet National Park. The Koh Samet coves were once the base of pirates who peered over the sailboats on the route between China and Siam.
On the east coast, Hat Sai Kaeo, "The beach with diamond sand" is located, with clear emerald waters, a favourite of families with children.
Koh Tarutao is the largest island in a dream archipelago. It is no coincidence that it has become Thailand's largest national marine park. Deserted beaches, clear sea, lively corals, deep caves, noisy waterfalls and a thick jungle, are things to preserve. And to experience!
At the time of World War II, this island hosted a penal colony. The road between Talo Udan Bay to the south and Talo Wao to the east was built by the inmates. From here you can continue on to Phante, which houses the park's visitor centre and a beautiful white sandy beach.
In the early 2000s, Koh Chang, "Elephant Island" was highly developed, to the point of also being called "the Phuket of the East". It is part of the Ko Chang National Marine Park, along with the many islets that surround it.
Its territory is mainly made up of Rainforest, near the shore abound the mangroves that give way here and there to wonderful white beaches. The most famous is the longest Hat Sai Kao, to the north. Hat Klong Phrao, further south, is perfect for those who want to isolate themselves. From the latter you can start on a walk to Klong Plu Waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls to visit in Thailand.
Koh Hae, is a beautiful holiday resort very close to Phuket. Its main beaches Banana Beach and Long Beach are perfect for snorkelling.
In particular, swimming off Long Beach there is a chance to be enchanted by an extraordinary coral reef. Just for this reason Koh Hae is also called "coral island". A great reason for a full immersion.
Koh Mak, in the Ko Chang archipelago, is a real gem, located in the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand. Many of the island's owner families have decided to pay attention to the environment by committing to sustainable development. The result is a quiet and less eventful resort than other islands. Koh Mak boasts long stretches of white sand, dotted with palm trees and bathed in crystal clear waters that host multicoloured coral reefs. Koh Mak has about 26 km of coastline, most of which are rocky or populated by mangrove forests.
As the island is rather small it is easy to find your ideal place, and enjoy a piece of beach just for yourself. Ao Kao Beach, 5km long, is the most romantic on the island, overlooking beautiful sunsets.
Khao Phing Kan
Khao Phing Kan, located in one of Thailand's most striking marine parks, has huge limestone rocks overhanging the sea. The island, completely covered with vegetation, is part of an archipelago of a dozen islands in Phang-nga Bay.
The main island, along with the small Koh Tapu, was made famous by the 007 film "The Man with the Golden Gun" and has since been renamed James Bond Island. A tiny island of rare beauty, which you can also visit on a Costa excursion.
Discover Thailand with Costa Cruises
Experiencing the beauty and relaxation of the Thai islands: a unique and memorable experience for the well-being of the body and mind. Experiencing Thailand is a heavenly holiday with Costa.