Bali usually brings to mind one of two images – partying, or relaxation. Personally, the latter is what I really love the island for, and today I want to show you some of the ultimate stretches of sand to unwind on during your break.
Just as a quick tip, if you’re planning a longer tour of south-east Asia, I think Bali is the perfect destination to round things off. If you’ve booked a holiday to Burma, say, and you like the sound of spending a little time soaking up the sun before heading home, flying to Indonesia to relax on Bali’s beaches is ideal.
If you’re looking for the perfect spot to unwind, it’s pretty hard to beat Amed. Perched on the north-east coast of Bali, this region is quiet and less developed than other parts of the island. Along the coast you’ll find some beautiful black-sand beaches, as well as clear waters and colourful marine life.
Padang Bai beach
Padang Bai is in the subdistrict of Manggis, and it’s tucked away behind some hills. In fact, it is one of the island’s most important seaports, and the beach here is so lovely because the hills shelter it. It’s also very scenic, making it a great spot to sit back, relax and simply enjoy the sunshine. And if you do fancy getting up, there are some decent cultural attractions nearby, like Penataran Agung temple.
Jemeluk Beach is the place to go if you prefer active relaxation as opposed to lying on the sand – chiefly because it’s a wonderful place for snorkelling and diving. The tropical fish here are a joy to watch, there’s beautiful coral and the water is wonderfully clear. Things are pretty scenic above the surface too, with Mt Agung, hills and valleys creating a gorgeous backdrop.
My next suggestion is Jimbaran Beach, which spans several kilometres. One of my favourite things about this place is how perfect it is for foodies, because as well as enjoying those classic beach attractions of sun and sand, you can also take advantage of the amazing local fish market and seafood restaurants. In fact, you should find there are tables right on the sand where you can tuck into fresh catch while relaxing in the sun.
Over in west Bali is the charming Soka Beach, which is arguably one of the prettiest on this part of the island. Hills and mountains form a scenic backdrop, making the place feel every inch the desert island paradise. Plus, there are some vast coral stones here that are shrouded in legends – and at about 30 cubic metres in size, they’re pretty hard to miss!
Sanur is a wonderful place to unwind. The eastern side of this beach gives you a great view across south Bali, which is particularly scenic thanks to the mountains that line it. Alongside the lovely scenery, what I particularly like about this beach is how calm the water is – something that makes the whole place feel particularly tranquil.
Last on my list is Balangan Beach, which is the kind of place that probably springs to mind when you think of Bali – utterly picturesque and with a somewhat undeveloped feel. Don’t expect there to be loads of facilities here aside from a few cafes in shacks and sun umbrellas, but this is all part of its charm. Perched at the base of cliffs, this white-sand beach is not to be missed.