Sun, sea, sand, and a book that you have wanted to read for a long time – a beach vacation can’t get better than that, right? Well, Bali beaches add more fun to the holiday recipe with palm-lined coastlines, limestone cliffs, sunset cocktails, world-class surfing, and a plethora of water sports to keep the young and young-at- heart busy. Bali is blessed with several postcard-perfect bays that present sandy adventures to the travelers of discerning tastes and preferences. Whether you are looking for an adrenalin rush or soaking in the sun is your idea of vacation, here are the 10 best Bali beaches that can fulfill all your fantasies.
Rows of sun loungers tempt beach lovers to an afternoon of lazing. Image: sevenstonesindonesia.com
Nusa Dua is an upscale and ‘all-inclusive’ beach resort that houses some of the best international-chain hotels boasting beachfront locations. The well-planned layout includes everything from a shopping complex to a lavish 18-hole golf course within a short distance from your hotel. If you don’t like crowded areas, relax on the private beach of the resort. Some resorts also have kid’s clubs that make Nusa Dua a perfect destination for families. Other than the idyllic beach and amazing facilities, Nusa Dua also features some cultural attractions such as temples and a museum housing a rich collection of arts and artifacts.
The stunning white sands of Kuta beach shown here are dotted both with rocks and tourists. Image: allindonesiatourism.com
Kuta’s gorgeous stretch of golden sandy beach has evolved over the years from a sleepy Balinese fishing village to a sought after holiday destination. Surfing is considered as the key contributor to the rise of tourism in Bali, and it all started from here. The beach is home to some of the most luxurious resorts, multi-story shopping malls, thriving bars, and nightclubs. Despite the urban and classy appearance of Kuta, it has retained its authentic appeal. Go surfing with the tides, relax with a ‘spa treatment’ on the beach, or just soak in the beauty of the sunset.
Gazebos at the tip of stone-made peninsulas iconically mark Sanur Beach. Image: alliance-indonesia.fr
The pristine Sanur Beach spans an area of 8 km along the south-eastern coastline of Bali. It is made up of several tiny and secluded beaches that are collectively known as ‘Sanur beach’. The Padanggalak beach is at the entry point and it serves as a beachfront location for the Bali Kites Festival held annually. The popular beaches of Sanur are located towards the south where you can see most of the fun taking place. Besides the superb beach facilities, Sanur also presents you with the opportunity to explore the ruins of Taman Festival Bali, a mysteriously abandoned amusement park.
A surfing hotspot, Balangan is also well known for its picturesque white sands and towering limestone cliffs. Image: guide.baligolive.com
Studded with palm trees along its coastline, powdery white sand, and azure sea, the Balangan beach looks like a gorgeous surfing paradise. It attracts surfing enthusiasts from around the world to popular surfing sites along the southwestern Bukit coastline, along with Padang Padang, Impossibles, Dreamland, Uluwatu, and Suluban further to the south. While this is primarily a surfer’s playground, the non-surfers can enjoy the breathtaking coastline and relax on the sun beds.
A clifftop temple serves as a backdrop while a family enjoys the sandy shores of Geger beach. Image: guide.baligolive.com
We know it’s tough to find tranquility in a popular beach destination, but if you are looking for a secluded area to watch the sun rise and set in peace, Geger beach is the answer. This stunning stretch of glistening golden sand is where the locals hang out so you can expect to see fewer tourists. It presents breathtaking seascapes, serene waters, patches of seaweed farms where you may spot locals working, and a clifftop temple that completes the picture. The friendly waves are good for swimming and surfing. The way to this secret beach is through a muddy footpath covered by tall plants and it is located next to Geger Temple.
(TIP: Geger Beach isn’t the only place on the island where you can see a temple right by the sea. Check out these 10 Must-Visit Temples in Bali.)
Waves roll into the Bias Tugel, a short stretch of sand between two rock formations. Image: thebalibible.com
Situated away from the madding crowd, this gorgeous beach location can be easily reached via a road from Padang Bai. If you are looking for a place to escape the hustle-bustle and spend a day relaxing on the powdery sand, Bias-Tugal beach is the perfect location. While you can read a book and soak up the sun, the kids can have fun playing in the tiny rock pools. Swimming is allowed at the beach but the tides are strong so you must be an experienced swimmer if you wish to race with the waves. Others can indulge in turtle spotting or enjoy a relaxing massage at the beach.
The setting sun blankets the cliff face of Padang Padang beach in a marvelous golden hue. Image: jonnymelon.com
Locals lovingly refer to this beach as ‘Pantai Labuan Sait’ and they named it twice so that the beautiful beach stays etched in your mind forever. This spectacular lagoon became popular after it was featured in Julia Robert’s epic movie ‘Eat Pray Love’. It is also famous for being home to the legendary Ripcurl Pro Padang Cup. Whether you are looking to catch some waves or just get some cool breeze in your hair, Padang Padang beach is one of the best Bali beaches to be.
Bali’s Lovina earned its popularity not for the actual beach, but the graceful dolphins that pass through its waters. Image: balitripguide.com
Lovina is not Balinese. It is derived from two words ‘Love’ and ‘Indonesia’, which practically sums up what the place is all about. The beach is a collection of a string of smaller beaches and a few local villages in North Bali. It is a quiet and secluded alternative for those who wish to escape the touristy and popular areas in the south of Bali. In this part of the paradise, you will be greeted with serene sandy shores, pleasant sunrise, sunset, dolphin sightings, great seafood, and a nightlife scene.
Hours of trekking to Nyang Nyang beach are rewarded by a pristine ocean shore unspoiled by tourists. Image:surfindonesia.com
This is one of the best-kept secrets of Bali and as they say, you need to work hard to enjoy the fruits of labor. Hence, you need to go on a long trek to reach this beautiful beach located in the southern Bukit peninsula. This is a prize destination for the day skippers and beach lovers seeking tranquility amidst awe-inspiring views of limestone hills covered in flowering bushes and verdant grass. As you walk along the coastline, you can only listen to the sound of waves as there are no other tourists around. You may only see some seaweed farmers and lone surfers on your way.
Dream beach in Nusa Lembongan
“Welcome to Dream Beach” Image: mileandsmile.com
The dream beach does justice to the name as it looks like a dream come true with blue water, dramatic rock formations, and low lying cliffs. Climb up to the cliff and enjoy a panoramic view of the secluded beach or dig your feet in the soft sand and appreciate in nature’s glory. There are beachfront hotels and villas located on the western side of the beach. The blue waters are clear and great for swimming or surfing during low tides. Go swimming or just enjoy a wonderful sunset with a drink in your hand – life can’t get better!
There you have it. That’s our list of the 10 best Bali beaches for you to explore. While you’re out there, you will also discover a myriad of beachside places where you can rest your feet, dine or enjoy a drink. Check out our list of the 5 best beach bars in Bali as well as our rundown of Bali’s infamous beach clubs. So pack your sarong, holiday playlist, favorite books, and lots of sunscreens because you won’t want to leave the beaches soon!