If you've spent a bit of time in Manila, you're probably clawing to get out to the countryside for some fresh air and relaxation – as many locals and ex-pats do on weekends. Surprisingly, you don't need to go too far to leave the city and most of its traffic behind.
South of Manila, the volcanic lake below hilltop Tagaytay is a highlight and there are some sea- and townscapes worth visiting, notably Anilao Peninsula and Taal.
Head north and you’ll find the most notorious volcano of them all, Mt Pinatubo, in the underrated Zambales Mountains. The free port of Subic Bay offers a surprisingly diverse range of activities from diving to hiking, and the Bataan Peninsula is a fascinating historic site.
Though it's possible to do day trips, getting in and out of Manila can take hours, so it makes sense to do overnight stays.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Around Manila.