If you think that Bali is a solely for beach bums you are very much mistaken. Bali, “The Island of Gods”, has become a worldwide-famed destination for several reasons; endless stretches, tropical jungles, fuming volcanoes, mystic temples, spellbinding culture and divine food. Indeed, Bali is a magical place and its fantastic reputation is well-deserved.
The good thing is that there is a way how to explore the highlights of this wonderful island independently in as long as 9 days!
Bali is renowned for arresting culture, traditional dance and art
A BRIEF SCHEDULE OF OUR SUGGESTED ONE WEEK ITINERARY:
DAY 1 (KUTA, LEGIAN, SEMINYAK)
- Arrive at the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar and catch the reliable “Bluebird” taxi to Kuta and accommodate in a desirable guest house
- Rent a scooter at your guesthouse
- Explore the vibrant quarters of Kuta and have a meal in one of the warungs (“Warung” is the Indonesian name for “Tavern”). Try the local “Gado Gado”, “Nasi Goreng” or “Mie Goreng” and you will not regret.
- Take a long walk along the iconic Kuta Beach dotted with pubs, bars and clubs and search around the stylish malls and graceful promenades along. Especially, the top-rated “Beach Walk Mall“, offers trendy shops, smart cafes and modern restaurants.
- Catch a wave at Kuta Beach, ideal for the surf beginners and get ready for a long night out
- Enjoy a welcome dinner in one of the beachfront restaurants of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak and their bars and clubs, e.g. The Cocoon Beach Club (Legian), The Potato Head Beach Club (Seminyak), The Sheraton Pool Bar (Kuta) or the famous Sky Garden Disco Club in Kuta, offering freed drinks for the Westerners at night
Potato Head Beach Club, Seminyak
DAY 2 (JIMBARAN, ULUWATU)
- Stay at the same guesthouse (it makes it easier) and after the morning swim in the pool head down south (direction Uluwatu) until you hit the fine coastline of the Bukit Peninsula. Stop at the fabulous Jimbaran Beach, the Balangan Beach and the Dreamland Beach (brilliant surfing beaches)
- Afterwards continue to Uluwatu – the surfer`s paradise of Bali, where you can enjoy some jaw-dropping views which will stay in your memory forever. There is a really cool cafe “Single Fin” with great smoothies, fresh beer and funky atmosphere. Have a quick swim at the nearby popular Padang Padang Beach.
- Do not skip having a lunch in a local warung on the way and taste the local specialities
- Uncover the secrets of the glorious cliff-top temple Uluwatu and watch the impressive Balinese “Kecak” dance at sunset
- Return to the guesthouse late night
Pantai Suluban, Uluwatu
DAY 3 (UBUD)
- Take off and drive to the peaceful town of Ubud, accommodate yourself at one of the plentiful guesthouses
- Feel the powerful spirit of the jungle and get lost in the legendary Monkey Forest but be careful the monkeys can be fairly intrusive. Avoid feeding them or wearing eye-catching objects like jewellery or sunglasses – they are the best thieves ever!
- Ride around Ubud and get lost in the countryside to see some of the most wonderful rice terraces in the world and treat yourself with a locally made lunch in the middle of the rice fields
- Explore the unique ambience of the evening markets and artisan workshops in Ubud and enjoy your dinner in one of the relaxing nearby restaurants or a few drinks and water pipe at “XL Shisha Lounge Bar” that is open till late
Monkey Forest, Ubud
Day 4 (JATILUWIH & BRATAN)
- Stay at the same guest house and in the morning ride to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jatiluwih (rice fields)
- Take a ride to Bedugul to search around its inspiring water temple “Pura Ulun Danu Bratan” and the stunning Kebun Raya Eka Karya Botanic Garden
- Stop by at the admirable water temple complex Pura Ulun Danu on Lake Bratan
- Return to Ubud before dusk and enjoy the delightful night atmosphere of this jungle town
Jatiluwih Rice Fields
Day 5 (KINTAMANI & BESAKIH)
- Do not leave Ubud yet, but head out at sunrise and drive to Besakih, relishing the morning aroma at mild temperature and relaxed Balinese pace. The beauty of Pura Besakih temple will surely amaze; the monument expanding along the foggy hills of Mount Agung, the highest point of Bali, is really exceptional
- Look in on one of the coffee plantations on the way to the Kintamani Mountains and taste one of the most exquisite civet coffee in the world “Kopi Luwak”
- Explore the hilly town of Kintamani; its eerie volcano and the magnificent Lake Batur are stretching in the middle of volcanic ranges. Remember that here you will need a warm jacket
- Chill-out through the last night in Ubud
Day 6 (PADANGBAI)
- Pack your backpack and set out on a journey to the eastern shores of Bali, situated just under the slopes of the volcanic Mount Agung, passing through the busy market city of Gianyar where you can have a break if you are a city person or keep driving to the relaxed coastal town of Candidasa where you can take a break and have some fresh seafood
- Arrive in Padang Bai and find a guest house. This is a placid fishermen town known as a gateway to the idyllic Gili Islands & Lombok. Padang Bai features a very pleasant atmosphere and nice taverns, e.g. Topis Inn offers delicious food and funky environment. Take a short walk to the Blue Lagoon, where you can snorkel, swim or have some rest. Enjoy the quiet night on the beach watching the Pelni Ships, arriving and departing in the horizon
Virgin Beach, Candidasa
Day 7 (AMED)
- Next morning head out to Amed and the first stop will be the picturesque Secret and Virgin Beaches famous for their sugar-white sand and the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” with Julia Roberts
- Afterwards, pay a visit the marvellous Ujung Water Palace – a former royal palace from the times of the Dutch East Indies that features a beautiful park set amidst several pools and ponds
- Slowly continue to Amed, following the winding coastline route and feast your eyes with the striking views; passing through several outlying villages you can see the real nature of Balinese people and probably the most dramatic scenery on the island
- Arrive in Amed and find some accommodation if you are after snorkelling or diving. Amed is well-known for its great snorkelling and diving spots; hence you totally need to dive into its underwater world. Most of the visitors come here to dive into the waters of the Bali Sea in search of the offshore shipwrecks and their underwater coral gardens. TRAVEL TIP – take the coastal drive when driving to Amed, it might be longer but it will give you the chance to see the other face of Bali
- Stay overnight and you can either dive or snorkel or just relax on the beach
Amed, Mt Agung in the background
DAY 8 (LOVINA)
- Get up early as this will be a long driving day so get yourself ready! You will need to drive along a half of the east coast to reach Lovina
- In Lovina, you can take a dolphin tour or see one of the waterfalls (Git Git Waterfall or Sing Sing Waterfall)
- Depending on the time and whether you either stay in Lovina overnight or continue driving to Bubunan where the road turns inland towards the mountains
- Stop by at the sacred hot springs ‘Air Panas’ in Banjar set in the amid of the jungle in a beautifully landscaped tropical garden
- Further up, you will come across the Blahmantung Waterfall and keep riding towards Tabanan. It might be quite chilly up here so always have some warm clothes in your bag
- Stay overnight either in Selemadek or Tabanan (alternatively wherever you will have to after it gets dark)
The sacred hot springs of ‘Air Panas’ near Lovina
DAY 9 (TANAH LOT & NUSA DUA)
- From Tabanan, the road turns to the coast where you can admire one of the best temples in Bali – the sacred sea island temple of Tanah Lot (try to arrive early morning to avoid the crowds and take some photos)
- Drive towards the south-east coast of Bali – Benoa Bay, in order to research the posh part of Bali – Nusa Dua
- Hunt for souvenirs, spoil yourself with a blissful Balinese massage in one of the neighbouring spa retreats and have a romantic sunset dinner on the beach to say farewell to Bali
- Return to your previous guesthouse in Kuta to hand out the scooter and spend here the last night (unless you changed your mind in the meantime and extended your stay 😉
- Departure (Book the reliable “Bluebird” cab ahead enough to get to the airport to avoid any hassle)
Tanah Lot Temple
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Bali lies near the equator and it features tropical climate with an average temperature around 30 degrees of Celsius. High humidity can be expected during the wet season, especially between December and February (hence do not travel in these months if doing a road trip).
Dry and sunny weather hits the island in May and goes on until October and that is also the best time to visit Bali.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to the International airport Denpasar/Bali that is well-connected to most Asian and Australian airports.
For all international flights go to www.momondo.com or www.skyscanner.com