As far as Thailand holidays go, idyllic islands in the south of are never short on beaches — and Phuket is no exception to the rule. With 36 beautiful beach choices lining the shores of the island, it doesn't matter whether you're looking for a place to paddle and drink cocktails or a jet-ski adventure – you'll find the right spot for you.
Situated a short distance north of the hustle and bustle of Patong, Kamala Beach is known to some as the Millionaire's Mile. Lined with luxury resorts and villas, by day you can relax and watch surfers enjoying the waves, or even have a go yourself.
The southern part of the beach, from the ornate temple to the main village area, has a gentle swell ideal for beginner surfers. Further up towards the popular Phuket FantaSea attraction, offshore sandbanks create three-metre high waves suited to more experienced surfers. And if neither of those sound appealing then don't worry, because you can rent a lounger and unwind in style with drinks brought to you while you tan.
Picturesque Nai Thon is part of the Sirinath National Park, a golden stretch of sand lined with casuarina trees that has escaped over-development thanks to its protected status.
While you won't find any real watersports here, you can try your hand at snorkelling just off the shore and be treated to unobstructed views of tropical fish and colourful sea anemones. The beach itself has no shops or bars, but just across the street from the peace and quiet you'll find a few venues where you can pick up refreshments.
A far cry from the main beach in Patong, Freedom Beach is a remote getaway that might make you feel like you've got the whole island to yourself.
If you don't fancy trekking through the jungle to get here, the easiest thing to do is take a boat from one of the other beaches - or better yet, book a boat tour that will spend a day taking you to all the best beaches on the island.
Despite its remote location, there are sunloungers hidden in the shade of the palms and a few small restaurants dotted along the powdery white sand, so if you visit in the high season you can still grab a cocktail between swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing sessions. Boats come ashore in the middle of the beach, with the north and south ends designated to aquatic exploring.
For jet-skis and banana boats, parasailing and windsurfing, Surin Beach is the place to head. This kilometre-long beach is just north of Kamala Beach and boasts clean sands and warm waters to complement its natural beauty.
A little livelier than some of the nearby options, Surin Beach houses a range of dining and drinking options to satisfy even the fussiest eaters, making it the perfect place to watch unforgettable sunsets with a cold drink at the end of a day in the sun.