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Volcanic peaks, swirling waves, jungle-fringed shores and ornate temples on your visit to one of Indonesia’s most popular islands.

Lush, laid-back and gloriously scenic, Bali combines its legendary white sands and big surf with a rich tapestry of volcanic peaks, vivid green paddy fields and temples. The island's vibrant Hindu culture is a defining aspect of its character with traditional music and dance, elaborate ceremonies, and gamelan concerts everywhere you go. Away from the coast, the volcanic interior is blanketed in dense forests that sweep down to colonial hill towns and meandering rice terraces that snake around the hillsides. Here you'll get an authentic insight into Balinese life and the island's people.

What I love most about Bali is its diversity. You get all the sun, surf and sand you want, beautiful hotels and spas, active volcanoes and tranquil paddy fields as well as an incredibly vibrant local culture.

Indonesia Asia specialist Chris

Things to see and do on your holiday to Bali

Climb Mount Batur volcano to watch the sunrise

One of Bali's most sacred mountains, Mount Batur is an active volcano dramatically set inside two concentric calderas. At its summit are three smouldering peaks, which rise above a beautiful blue caldera lake.

Although it's a relatively easy climb during the day, the mountain is best tackled before dawn so that you arrive at the summit to see the sun rise over the surrounding mountains.

On your descent, you can bathe in hot or cold springs near the lake shore before enjoying lunch overlooking Lake Batur and the sacred mountain.

See the Jatiluwih rice terraces, Pura Batukaru Temple and Lake Bratan

The Water Temple, Lake Bratan
Leaving the busy south coast behind, you'll soon discover the sleepy charm and traditional lifestyle of Bali's lush interior.

In remote Jatiluwih, a swathe of glistening rice terraces coils around the hillsides overlooked by brooding mountains. Nearby, on the forested slopes of Gunung Batukaru is Pura Batukaru, one of Bali's most beautiful temple complexes with a series of small pagodas and tiered shrines.

Ascending further into the hills you approach Lake Bratan, where the 17th century Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple, with its tiered spire of roofs, sits on a small island near the edge of the lake.

See a kecak dance

Based on the Hindu epic poem Ramayana, Bali's kecak dance is a spellbinding combination of synchronised chanting and clicking performed by a large troupe of men. The dancers are surrounded by the troupe and accompanied by syncopated, undulating rhythms that reflect the changing mood of the story.

Two of the best places to see a performance are the Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah, where the show is followed by a traditional Balinese dinner overlooking the rice paddies, and Uluwatu Cliff Temple, where the dance begins after sunset and plays out against a backdrop of ocean rollers.

Scuba dive the Liberty wreck near Amed or at Menjangan Island

Bali's majestic underwater world offers diving for both novice and experienced divers. The island's most well-known dive site is the USAT Liberty wreck, which lies just 80 feet (25m) from the shore at Tulamben in the northeast. It's extremely popular by day, but come for a night dive and you'll see shoals of humphead parrot fish, massive groupers and moray eels hunting smaller prey.

Menjangan Island in the Bali Barat National Park is another excellent dive location with steep drop offs, caves, slopes and lagoons that shelter turtles, groupers, barracudas and sharks as well as bright triggerfish, lionfish and fusiliers.

Surf in Seminyak

Bali has long been renowned for its surfing and is home to some of Southeast Asia's best breaks such as the Pandang Padang pipeline. But it's also an excellent place to learn to surf, and the gentle waves and sandy shores around Seminyak are a great place to start.

The water is warm, the atmosphere is chilled out and the lessons are great fun yet very professional. The surf schools cater to all abilities and promise to have novices standing within an hour so you can legitimately claim to have surfed in Bali.

Visit Munduk

Canoe on Lake Tamblingan, Munduk
Surrounded by tropical rainforest, rice terraces and farms, Munduk is an old Dutch colonial hill station that makes a wonderful mountain retreat. Its jungle landscape and cool climate means it is ideal for trekking or cycling with numerous routes to waterfalls, traditional villages, coffee plantations, and sacred lakes.

The whole area has a languid charm and life here ticks by in a very traditional way. You can walk and cycle along mist-clad hills, swim in natural pools, learn about coffee production and canoe to ancient lakeside temples.

Take a sailing trip to Nusa Lembongan

A tiny island fringed by white sand beaches, Nusa Lembongan is an escape from the busy south coast. Its sleepy atmosphere, clear waters and coral gardens make it an ideal place to sit back and relax or snorkel and dive.

The island can be visited on a day trip from Benoa, where you board a catamaran for the one and a half hour journey. Once you’ve retreated to your hotel – we suggest either the Nusa Bay Lembongan or the Batu Karang Nusa Lembongan Resort – you can use the pool, kayak, snorkel or join a tour of a local seaweed farm.

Festivals, events and seasonal reasons to visit

  • Held over five days in late March or early April, Bali Spirit is a celebration of world music, spirituality and wellbeing with yoga, meditation and healing workshops, concerts and live entertainment.
  • Nyepi, Balinese New Year, is celebrated on the lunar new year, usually in March. It begins with an evening of parades where grotesque effigies are carried through the streets to ward off evil spirits. At dawn the following day, the whole island shuts down for a day of silence and introspection, which is followed by a day of temple ceremonies and celebrations.
  • Galungan celebrates the victory of Dharma over Adharma, or good over evil, and is a chance for ancestral spirits to visit the Earth. The festival takes place over ten days with intricately decorated penjor (bamboo poles), laden with harvest fare outside every house. It's a very photogenic time to visit with towns elaborately decorated and streams of people in traditional dress carrying carefully arranged offerings to the temples.
  • Kuningan is the last and most important day of Galungan when the ancestors return to the heavens. It’s a day of prayer across the island with sacred dance performances and rituals performed at Sakenan Temple on Serangan Island. Dates for Galungan and Kuningan are dictated by the 210-day wuku lunar calendar and change each year.

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel Specialist Alix

Start planning your tailor-made trip to Bali by contacting one of our Indonesia specialists

Suggested itineraries featuring Bali

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Bali, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists.

Map of Bali

Places & hotels on the map

    Places in and around Bali

    Photos of Bali

    Accommodation choices for Bali

    We’ve selected a range of accommodation options for when you visit Bali. Our choices usually come recommended for their character, facilities and service or location. Our specialists always aim to suggest properties that match your preferences.

    • Spa Village Resort Tembok

      Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali

      First Class

      A dramatic three-hour drive through mountains and villages leads you to this resort, a serene and secluded property; far from the busy beaches of southern Bali.

    • Amankila, Candidasa

      Amankila

      Opulent

      Part of Aman Resorts, widely considered one of the best hotel groups, Amankila is an excellent example.

    • Aerial view of Candi Beach Resort & Spa

      Candi Beach Resort and Spa

      First Class

      The Candi Beach Resort & Spa is a charming resort located on the outskirts of Candidasa, by Mendira Beach. Its expansive grounds offer a tranquil place to stay and relax in while exploring the attractions of eastern Bali.

    • Deluxe Oceanview Villa, The Four Seasons, Jimbaran

      Four Seasons

      Deluxe

      Located on the hillside, this resort affords stunning views over Jimbaran Bay. The beach, although not private, offers peace and tranquility away from all the hawkers found on other beaches.

    • Village Bungalow, Tandjung Sari, Sanur

      Tandjung Sari

      Medium

      Set in the relaxed beach town of Sanur, Tandjung Sari offers traditional elegance as well as excellent value for money. One of the oldest hotels in the area, it is renowned for its fine food and friendly staff.

    • Deluxe one bedroom pool villa, Jimbaran Puri Bali, Jimbaran

      Belmond Jimbaran Puri

      First Class

      The Jimbaran Puri Bali is a luxury resort hotel with a simple, unpretentious and supremely romantic style. Individual luxury cottages and villas with private gardens promise the luxury of seclusion and uninterrupted sea views, beside the soft white sands of Jimbaran Bay.

    • Puri Dajuma, Medewi

      Puri Dajuma

      Medium

      The 18 cottages at Puri Dajuma are located in lush tropical gardens that meet an expansive beach, home to row upon row of colorful fishing boats that head out past the breaking waters every day.

    • Munduk Moding Plantation, Munduk

      Munduk Moding Plantation

      Medium

      Munduk Moding Plantation is a boutique hotel and spa found on a working coffee plantation that has one of the most picturesque locations in central Bali.

    • Damai Pool

      Damai Lovina

      First Class

      The Damai consists of just eight private bungalows, all of which feature antiques, fine woods and beautiful textiles recreating ancient Indonesian patterns.

    • Kemiri restaurant, Uma, Ubud

      Uma by COMO

      First Class

      Uma By Como combines a contemporary style with the feel of a traditional Balinese village, surrounded by lush foliage and just a short drive or 30 minute walk away from central Ubud.

    • Tepih Sawah, Ubud

      Tepi Sawah

      Medium

      A great value property with a traditional Balinese style , Tepi Sawah is full of character and charm. The villas are set amidst tropical gardens only a short walk from Ubud town.

    • Wapa Di Ume, Ubud

      Wapa Di Ume

      First Class

      A charming traditional style Balinese Resort, situated amongst the emerald green rice terraces just 5 minutes outside of Ubud town center.

    • Infinity pool with views to Menjangan Bay, Naya Gawana Resort & Spa

      Naya Gawana Resort and Spa

      Medium

      Naya Gawana Resort & Spa is located on the north west corner of Bali Barat National Park, a quiet and peaceful part of Bali. The resort is the ideal base for those looking to enjoy all of the natural activities that the area has to offer.

    • One Bedroom Villa, Alila Villas Uluwatu, Bukit Peninsula

      Alila Villas Uluwatu

      Deluxe

      The contemporary Balinese villas are designed to make the most of these stunning views and all have a private pool looking out over the Indian Ocean.

    • Amanusa, Bukit Peninsula

      Amanusa

      Deluxe

      Without doubt the most stunning property in Bali's arid Bukit Peninsula. It has just 35 luxurious suites, all with four-poster beds and round tables for private dining, a sunken indoor bath, outdoor shower, a garden courtyard and a terrace.

    • Views from The Menjangan residence, Bali Barat

      The Menjangan

      Medium

      The Menjangan is spread over four locations within Bali Barat and is ideal for those looking for luxury in an idyllic, natural setting.

    • Blue Moon Villas

      Blue Moon Villas

      Simple

      Set in a lush tropical garden with two swimming pools overlooking the ocean, Blue Moon Villas is the perfect place to relax in Amed, East Bali.

    • Swimming Pool at Palm Garden Amed

      Palm Garden

      Medium

      The property is owned and run by a Swiss-couple and has only ten air-conditioned rooms, all simply decorated but clean and comfortable.

    • Pool, Matahari Beach Resort & Spa, Pemuteran

      Matahari Beach Resort & Spa

      First Class

      Hidden in a quiet part of Bali, Matahari echoes a traditional Balinese village and is a perfect place for those seeking a relaxing stay. It's also A great choice for keen snorkelers.

    • Superior room, Alila Manggis, Candidasa

      Alila Manggis

      Medium

      Set amidst a coconut grove, the resort is nestled between the sea and the majestic Mount Agung, Bali's most sacred mountain. All rooms and suites face the ocean.

    • Main pool, Taman Sari Cottages, Pemuteran

      Taman Sari Cottages

      Medium

      Taman Sari blends wonderfully with nature, the simple cottages and suites were built using natural indigenous materials in a relaxed setting surrounded by tranquil gardens and ponds.

    • Private, Puri Ganesha, Pemuteran

      Puri Ganesha

      First Class

      Each of the villas are individually furnished with interesting antique pieces from all over the archipelago and the soft furnishings have been specially printed or woven locally to Diana's designs.

    • Garden Villa bedroom, Pavilions, Sanur

      Pavilions

      First Class

      A wonderfully stylish property with 23 villas situated in peaceful gardens behind the beach resort of Sanur.

    • InterContinental Bali Resort, Jimbaran

      InterContinental Bali Resort

      First Class

      The InterContinental is blessed with an endless stretch of white sandy beachfront as its stunning backdrop and the resort itself integrates ornamental ponds, a winding lagoon and esthetic stonework which give it a Balinese feel.

    • Deluxe Garden Room

      Sudamala Sanur

      Medium

      This small boutique property has 34 rooms which are all finished to a high standard with a touch of traditional Balinese design.

    • Premiere Villa at Ametis Villa Bali,Seminyak

      Ametis Villa Bali

      Deluxe

      Located in the sleepy coastal village of Canggu, Ametis is a contemporary villa resort offering a choice of exclusive private, pool villa compounds that cater for up to eight guests.

    • Villa Mathis, Seminyak

      Villa Mathis

      First Class

      Surrounded by rice fields, Villa Mathis is a stunning 22 room property located in the village of Umalas. There is a free shuttle during the day to Seminyak for shopping, beaches and restaurants plus complimentary Wi-Fi, mountain bikes and afternoon tea.

    • One bedroom pool villa, Dusun Villlas, Seminyak

      Dusun Villlas

      First Class

      A fantastic all villa property in Seminyak. Whilst not directly on the beach, you are only a short stroll away and the villas more than make up for its lack of beach location.

    • One bedroom deluxe villa, Maca Villas, Seminyak

      Maca Villas

      First Class

      Although not on the beach, the hotel represents excellent value for private pool villas and some of the best restaurants in Seminyak such as Sarong and Metis are on your doorstep.

    • One Bedroom Garden Pool Villa, Samaya Seminyak, Seminyak

      Samaya Seminyak

      Deluxe

      Situated on the quiet side of Seminyak Beach and bordered by the Indian Ocean, the Samaya Seminyak is set amidst lush tropical gardens only five minutes walk from the stylish restaurants and boutique shops of Seminyak.

    • The Legian,Seminyak

      The Legian

      Deluxe

      The Legian is one of Bali's finest beach hotels and being so close to the sophisticated area of Seminyak it has numerous superb restaurants just a short walk away.

    • The Oberoi Bali, Seminyak

      Oberoi Bali

      Deluxe

      Pure indulgence. A friendly relaxed atmosphere on a pleasant stretch of beach surrounded by understated elegance.

    • One bedroom pool villa private pool, Chedi Club Tanah Gajah

      The Chedi Club at Tanah Gajah

      Deluxe

      This hotel is located ten minutes outside Ubud amongst lush rice paddy fields, in some of the most picturesque grounds of any hotel in Bali. It oozes style whilst remaining small and intimate and is superb value for money.

    • Komaneka Tanggayuda, Ubud

      Komaneka at Tanggayuda

      First Class

      An excellent value boutique option for those wanting to take advantage of beautiful valley views only a short drive outside Ubud.

    • Private Pool, Sandat Glamping Tents,Ubud

      Sandat Glamping Tents

      First Class

      Set on a quiet rice terrace outside Ubud, the Sandat Glamping Tents are the first of their kind in Bali to blend luxurious safari-style tents and traditional Lumbung with contemporary Italian design and green philosophy.

    • Swimming pool, Alila Ubud, Ubud

      Alila Ubud

      First Class

      Alila Ubud is a tranquil and secluded hillside retreat that sits high up on the edge of the rich green Ayung River valley in Bali’s central foothills.

    • Komaneka Bisma, Ubud

      Komaneka at Bisma

      Deluxe

      The Komaneka at Bisma is located upon the hillsides by the Tjampuhan river valley just ten minutes walk from central Ubud.

    • Duplex, Tegal Sari, Ubud

      Tegal Sari

      Simple

      Hidden away in the paddy fields just south of central Ubud, this is a real favorite and represents outstanding value.

    • Pool suite, Amandari, Ubud

      Amandari

      Opulent

      Amandari is perched above the verdant Ayung River gorge outside the artist’s community of Ubud, it overlooks natural forest and an emerald green cascade of rice paddies, tilled as they have been for centuries.