The province of Albay is located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. Its capital city, Legazpi, is situated near Mayon Volcano which became famous because of its near perfect cone shape. Aside from this unique natural landmark, Albay also has a rich terrestrial and marine ecosystem. In March 2016, the province was declared as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Places to stay in Albay:
There are plenty of accommodation choices in Albay, from luxury hotels to family-run guesthouses.
The Oriental Legazpi - one of the highlights of this hotel is the amazing view of the Mayon Volcano that it offers. The Oriental Legazpi is a 15-minute drive from the airport, with spacious rooms and glass windows perfect for viewing the beautiful surroundings.
Third and Sean's Place - If you're looking for a more homely ambiance within the city, then Third and Sean's Place is the perfect choice. Located in Imperial Subdivision, this ancestral house turned tourist inn is within walking distance to Legazpi Boulevard, Gaisano Mall, and the bus terminal. The airport is also a 10-minute drive from here.
Things to do in Albay:
- ATV ride to Mayon Volcano - The best way to get near this active volcano is by renting an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) and driving through mud, rivers, and sand. Make your way to the Cagsawa Ruins as most ATV tour agencies are located here. You will be assigned a guide and there's a practice drive before the actual ride so it's perfectly safe for first timers.
- Visit Quitinday Hills - One of the newest tourist attractions in Albay is the Quitinday Hills found in the district of Camalig. This hill formation resembles the Chocolate Hills in Bohol.
- Taste the local food - The Bicol region in general is known for its spicy food. When in Albay, don't miss trying out local cuisine such as bicol express, pinangat, and sili ice cream. You may check out 1st Colonial Grill, Small Talk Cafe, and Biggs Diner, among others, for their dishes.
How to get there:
From Manila - There are flights from Manila to Legazpi. Flights to nearby Naga City are also available. You may also ride the bus, which usually takes around 12 hours.
Where to next?
- Calaguas - Calaguas is an island in neighboring Camarines Norte known for its long stretch of pristine beach and white sand. It's the perfect getaway for those who want to detach as there is no mobile phone signal. Pitch a tent and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
- Caramoan - Caramoan is part of Camarines Sur and is another top destination for beach enthusiasts. It has been quite popular as the television show Survivor has been shot here in the past.
- Sorsogon - On the south of Albay is the province of Sorsogon. It is a good spot for diving and has been known for whale shark sightings during the summer months.
About the writer: Michelle Caligan is an online content producer for a major TV network in the Philippines. When not busy writing about celebrities and television shows, Mikay travels, posts food shots on Instagram, and watches WWE. She has recently started solo traveling, but still goes on trips with her family and friends. For more of her travel stories, visit the Two Monkeys Travel Group. She is launching her personal travel blog soon.