Beautiful beaches are one of the main reason, visitors from all over the world decide to visit Bali. In 1957 a Dutch sailor named Aernoudt Lintgens was stunned by the beauty of Kuta Beach and wrote a journal “The Last Paradise”. Even though Bali was fairly known back then, from thereon Bali became increasingly popular. A couple of decades later, Alby Falzon and David Elfick created a classic surf film about Kuta and Uluwatu called “Morning of the Earth” which finally invited many other surfers from around the world, to enjoy the incredible waves and wide beaches in Bali.
Every beach in four coastal areas of Bali has its own uniqueness. There are many different elements, such as the colour of the sands, the waves, seabeds, and other elements that make them all unique.
Beaches in the South of Bali (Bukit, Balangan, Ungasan, Nusa Dua, Jimbaran)
The beaches at the southern tip of Bali’s peninsular (Bukit) are arguably the best on the island when it comes to “tropical feeling). Almost all of them feature white sands, with great waves for surfing. However, often, only intermediate and advanced surfers are recommended to surf here. The beaches north of Uluwatu (west coast) are wonderful with breathtaking views from the formation of limestone cliffs, like Balangan and Melasti beach. Here, you can also watch excellent sunsets, while enjoying cool drinks in beach clubs, bars or cafes or wooden beach shack bars. Slightly more hidden beaches like Gunung Payung, Green Bowl, Nyang-Nyang and Suluban are magical, but, beware of hundreds of stairs that you must sometimes master, before finally arrive at the beach. If you are travelling with family, beaches at Nusa Dua (West Bukit).
And don’t forget Jimbaran Bay (south of the airport), where some beautiful resorts such as the Four Season welcome their guests. Jimbaran is particularly famous for the many seafood restaurants, that open during sunset hours till late evening, serving fresh seafood bbqs, which is something that should be at the top of your “things to explore”-list, if you fancy seafood.
Beaches in the South West (north of the Airport)
These beaches are the best known, and most popular for international visitors and also locals, who usually come for the weekend to hang out, play and enjoy the sunset. Due to the fame of these favorite holiday destinations such as Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu the accessibility and also infrastructure (parking, restaurants etc) is excellent.
In a way you can imagine one coastline stretching from the airport (Tuban up to Canggu. The beach is wide, the colours are between white, beige and dark brown, becoming darker the further north you get, which is due to the volcanic sands. This coast features great waves for beginners up to intermediate surfers and awaits with stunning sunsets. Swimming is most times possible, even though you need to be aware of the tides and waves; it can get dangerous if you are not a good swimmer and underestimate the currents.
Beaches at the West Coast of Bali, north of Canggu
If you want to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach with much fewer visitors, then the west coast borth of Canggu is perfect for you. Many beaches along the West Bali, specifically between Canggu and Tanah Lot (Tabanan regency) have black sands and moderate waves. Some of the beaches are unique, as we can see the view of the ocean in the west and relaxing rice fields in the east. Good access roads have been built, only a few beaches like Nyanyi and Pig Stones have a small road that only motorbikes can pass by. Some villas and restaurants are now starting to pop-up in the area of Soka beach, Yeh Gangga and Kedungu. Don’t forget to bring enough cash with you when exploring West Bali as the ATM can be hard to find in some areas. West beaches are great for both watching sunrise and sunset. You can also join on fun activities like motocross, and ATV rides here.
Beaches at the East Coast of Bali
Sanur is the most famous destination in this area and the beach and coast line is stunning. Very calm and safe to swim due to the coral reef lining the shore. Overall, the East coast of Bali has so many beautiful and somewhat underrated beaches and even scuba diving / snorkelling spots if you go towards Padang Bai, which is a prvious fishermen village, that also functions as a harbour with many boats scheduled every day to take you to Penida, Lembongan, Gili Islands and even East Indonesia.
Another extension of Padang Bai is Bloo Lagoon; it is located a few kilometres away to the north. To reach this hidden beach, you need to walk down steep stairs and go through some beach bars and local housings; the efforts will be paid with blue crystal water and colourful reefs at the bottom of the sea. Other two famous beaches Amed and Tulamben share similar features like Padang Bai, white sands, clear waters, and various underwater biotas. Candidasa is a peaceful town with a great relaxing vibes and interesting ancient villages to visit, however the beaches have been list due to corals been taken out of the see for construction of houses and walls since the 80ies. Many locals in East Bali are working as fishermen (Nelayan), so you will find many jukung or traditional boats anchored along the beach and most of the restaurants serving delicious seafood on their menu.
Beaches at the North Coast of Bali
There’s not much beach destination at the north coast of Bali. Lovina stands out the most with its unique activity of dolphins watching. The area has few decent hotels and diving resorts; many tourists come there to join on a boat trip usually, half an hour before sunrise, to enjoy the view of sunrise and pods of dolphins frolic in the bow waves. It might be an enjoyable activity for your family; however, concerns on this activity have raised among the community of animal lovers. The presence of tens of boats can be dangerous and increasing the stress factors, which indirectly will affect the dolphins. Lovina is a black volcanic sand beach with pleasant surroundings; when the sky is clear, you will be able to see the silhouette of volcanoes in Java during the sunset hours. Another beach in the north-west that you shouldn’t miss is Pemuteran. The beaches in the Pemuteran area near Menjangan island are white-sands and so gorgeous. It is merely one of the best spots for snorkelling and diving in Bali, where you can see the un-spoilt corals and colourful fishes underwater. It is also relatively safe for swimming because the waves are pretty steady. If you don’t bring your equipment for snorkelling or diving, there are many rental shops nearby at an affordable price.
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