So, if you are on holidays, you probably have so many things you want to do: You want to exercise, go hiking, get to know new people and a new culture … Or, you can lay down on the beach. Five Weeks in Bali gave us the opportunity to visit all sorts of beaches and while we can’t claim to have visited every beach on the island, we can say that we have a good overview which beaches are good and worth visiting and which beaches might not be the best choice for you.
Firstly, we should make a few things clear though:
Bali has many, very different beaches. A lot of visitors for example visit the island because they want to go surfing – after all, some of the most beautiful beaches for surfing can be found here. At the same time, there are many other kinds of visitors, you can go snorkeling, just lay down in the sun and so on.
The first part of this article now will focus on the beaches near Denpasar. Next, we will take a look at the beaches around Uluwatu, where we found some very secluded and natural beaches. In the end of this article, we will tell you about two small villages further out, that we liked to visit to go snorkeling.
For the first two parts, you can reach these destinations very easily in a day trip – in fact, you might not even need a scooter. For the later destinations however, you will definitely need to take one and we recommend to stay overnight. If you haven’t seen them yet, we recommend to take a look at our introduction about Bali and out guide about riding a scooter here.
The Surfer Beaches from Jimbaran to Canggu
These are the most famous beaches around Bali and you might have heard about them before: Jimbaran, Kuta, Semyniak and Canggu. This is where all the parties in Bali are happening and where the surfers show their skills on the waves.
I don’t want to offend any surfers, but while I did like all of these beaches, I couldn’t really see a difference between them. These beaches were all the same to me.
If you never went to a surfer beach before, please be aware that these beaches have their name for a reason. The waves are stronger than lets say most places in the Mediterranean that I visited and they can in fact knock you over.
By the way, my deficit in knowledge about surfing did not stop me from renting a surfboard myself and going into the waves (without instruction). I was thinking, as a sailor and somebody who already knows how to skate and snowboard, how hard can it be to do the same thing on the water? Very hard. If you don’t want to make a fool of yourself like I did, get yourself an instructor 😉
This should be obvious for everybody who likes water sports but as a warning for everybody else: The sun is a lot stronger on the water, so get yourself some stronger sunscreen.
Our first home and our favourite place to stay in Bali was Sanur, a small town in the east of Denpasar. You’re pretty far away from the crowds in Kuta, but you can still find many small restaurants and a quiet beach where you can relax. The Water around Sanur is actually quite shallow and in many places, you can find sea grass.
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend the boat tours that are offered here. Ours was quite expensive and brought us to a turtle island and a diving spot not too far away from the beach.
The diving spot was nothing special at all – there were quite a lot of fish, but I can’t report on a huge diversity that you can only spot here.
The tour to the turtle island however was quite nice, only the fact that there is a bridge that you can take to get there disturbs me quite a lot. If you have the time, go to the “Turtle park” in Pulau Serangan. This is a turtle reserve, where injured turtles are taken care of when they have an injury.
We had a tour through the small station and were told about the fate of these animals around Bali. The whole project is funded by the Indonesian government, however it also needs to rely on the donations of visitors so if you have some time, go and check it out!
Uluwatu is one of the most important hinduist temples on Bali and is located on the peninsular south of Denpasar. Behind the airport, the city is gradually making way for nature here and the further you go, the more secluded the beaches become. The Beaches in the north (Dreamland and Nusa Dua) both belong to hotels, while the others are further away. For most of these beaches, you either have to pay an environmental fee or an entry fee for the hotel.
Most of these beaches are also used for surfing, so watch out!
Dreamland beach belongs, as the name suggests, to the dreamland resort.
Getting there can be a little bit complicated, we recommend to follow the road from the Airport to Uluwatu until you reach the golf course. Here you take a right and follow the road to the third roundabout. At this last roundabout, you take the first exit on the left and follow the street around the golf course for about 300 meters. Then, you take a left and follow the street to the beach.
Since this is one of the beaches that belong to a resort, you can also meet a lot of other people here – this won’t be the case for the following ones 😉
Padang Padang Beach
Padang Padang is the first really quiet beach near Uluwatu. It is located at the foot of a big cliff, so if you arrive by scooter, park your scooter on top and take the stairs to the beach!
Nyangnyang Beach is on the southern side of Uluwatu and probably the most secluded beach on this list. What makes this beach so special is the high cliff with a lot of space before the actual beach. All these conditions make this the perfect location for paragliders on Bali.
Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl Beach is in my opinion the most beautiful beach for surfers. As mentioned, I don’t know too much about surfing, however I did enjoy the nature around this small beach. It is located at the most southern tip of Bali and they road there leads you through a little jungle (pay attention for the monkeys!).
In Nusa Dua we are out of the jungle and back to the resorts. You can find many holiday resorts here, in which you can go to different beaches. Nusa Dua means two islands and got its name from the two peninsulars that you can find here. These peninsulars split the beach into 3 sections. This is a great place just to relax and enjoy a quiet afternoon, however we also want to recommend to have a small walk around here. There are quite a few things to discover here, like for example this big statue on one of the islands.
On the countryside …
As mentioned, the previous destinations are easy to be reached within a day, even by taxi you can reach them easily. The following beaches however will take a bit more time, you should definitely use a scooter to reach them and while you can also reach them in a day trip, we recommend to stay over night.
Padangbai is a small village on the southeastern coast of Bali. From here you can reach the Gili islands, but that is not the only reason to come here. The blue lagoon is to be found right next to the village and is a great destination for everybody who wants to go snorkeling.
To get to the blue lagoon, you will just have to drive through the village, drive up the hill and park your scooter on the parking lot (there is a small entrance fee to be paid here). From there, you just have to go down the stairs and there you are, the blue lagoon!
Amed on the other hand is even further, on the north eastern coast of Bali. Since you will have to pass Padangbai to get here, we recommend to combine both destinations into one tour.
If you want to go snorkeling here, you will have to go to Jungut Bay, a small bay with a coral reef right in the middle, easy to be reached by snorkeling.
We stayed at the blue star hotel right at the beach, a beautiful, small hotel with good prices.
We hope that this article was helpful to you and wish you a wonderful stay in Bali!