Bali has a number of places that are worthy of your time. Venture to Bali’s coastline for sandy beaches, sunsets, relaxation, surfing, and scuba diving. Inland, you’ll discover miles of trails, emerald rice paddies, flowing rivers, and spiritual sanctuaries. There are temples, art museums, handicraft shops, welcoming guesthouses, and spas in-between.
From beaches and temples to lush jungles, this 7-day best of Bali itinerary covers the major highlights this island has to offer:
Most travelers will arrive at Bali’s international airport in Denpasar. Check into your hotel or villa in Seminyak, a trendy town where boutique shops, restaurants, and clubs line the main roads. Have lunch at Old Man’s in Canggu, a happening beach town. Go for a short swim or surf before venturing north to arrive at sunset at Pura Tanah Lot, a temple on its own island. Drive back to Seminyak for an upscale dinner at Bambu.
From Seminyak, take a day trip to the Bukit Peninsula, spending the day surfing and sunbathing at the beaches of Bingin, Padang Padang, or Balangan. For a beach club experience, reserve a spot at Oneeighty° day club. In the afternoon, get a drink at Single Fin, an iconic bar on the cliffs of Uluwatu and a prime place to watch some of the region’s best surfers catch waves. Before sunset, find a seat at Pura Luhur Uluwatu to watch the kecak fire dance performance—just remember to hold your belongings close to keep them away from thieving monkeys.
Drive from Seminyak to the artistic town of Ubud, where the scene changes from chaotic to tranquil, beach to lush jungle. In the morning, wander through Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary and then drive a short way to Pura Goa Gajah, a temple with an elephant cave. Release stress and tension with a Balinese massage at a local traditional spa. Have dinner locally and go to sleep early to prepare for an early wake-up the next day.
Wake up at 2am for pickup and transportation to the trailhead of Gunung Batur. The hike starts around 3am and allows you to watch as the sun rises over Gunung Agung in the distance. On your return to Ubud, stop at Tegallalang Rice Terraces or Pura Tirta Empul. Relax back at your hotel and dine at Locavore.
From Ubud, drive to Sanur via the coastal road from Pantai Keramas, stopping at the waterfalls of Air Terjun Kanto Lampo and Air Terjun Tegenungan. Spend the afternoon watching surfers catch waves from the comforts of a beachside warung and dine on fresh food at Komune Resort and Beach Club. Then, head to the white sand beach of Sanur, a perfect place to get a beachside massage.
From Sanur, take a day trip to Nusa Penida by boat. You will want a private driver in Nusa Penida, as roads are poorly marked and can be stressful to drive in some parts. Stick to the island’s west coast and see points like Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, and Crystal Bay. Then, take the boat back to Sanur for dinner at Three Monkeys.
Wind down your week on the sandy shoreline of Sanur, where days are dictated by the incoming and outgoing tides. This is an ideal spot to lounge, practice yoga, sip seaside cocktails, and laze the day away. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can go into central Denpasar to check out the Bajra Sandhi Monument and shop at Kumbasari Market before heading back to Ngurah Rai International Airport for your flight home.
Start planning your adventure today: