With its exotic culture, friendly people and tropical climate, the Indonesian province of Bali has long been a favourite travel destination. The main attraction for the more than 2 million international tourists who visit the area every year are the beaches, especially those on the main island, also named Bali. There are a huge number of beaches to choose from all around the island and no matter what your taste, you’ll find at least one that you like.
Party central: Kuta and Seminyak
Kuta Beach is probably the most famous of Bali’s beach destinations. The beach here stretches for more than 3 miles and is very popular with surfers. If you don’t want to ride the waves, the white sand and waving palm trees are the perfect backdrop for sunbathing or getting a relaxing massage right there on the beach.
Seminyak lies just a little to the north of Kuta and its beaches are a little quieter than their more southerly neighbours. With the many luxury hotels, spas and boutiques here, Seminyak has an air of sophistication to it.
Both Kuta and Seminyak offer spectacular sunsets at their west-facing beaches. Once the sun has dipped below the horizon, it’s time to put on your party clothes and hit the nightclubs and bars. The nightlife here is legendary. Be sure to take a few minutes to pay your respects at the Bali Bomb Memorial in Kuta, though, to honour the victims of the 2002 bombing of one of the popular clubs in town.
Surfing and seclusion: Green Bowl
There are several more secluded beaches in Bali if you need to get away from the crowds. One of these is only a couple of miles south of Kuta but feels a world away. To get to Green Bowl Beach, you need to make your way down a long stairway but what greets you at the bottom is sheer paradise: a quiet, white sand beach with turquoise waters and waves that have made this one of the top surfing spots in the area. If you need respite from the sun or simply want to feel like a pirate, there are bat caves to explore too.
Black sand and diving: Amed
Amed is a relatively quiet stretch of coast about 8 miles long on Bali’s east coast. There are several little fishing villages here, among them the village of Amed. Here you’ll find a beach lined with outrigger fishing boats, making for some great photo opportunities. The beach here has coarse black sand but at the beaches more towards the east, the sand becomes finer and softer. The Amed area is particularly good for diving and snorkelling, with a reef and several shipwrecks quite close to the shore.
Swimming and dolphins: Lovina
While the beaches of southern Bali are great for surfing, the pounding waves make them less desirable for swimming. The waters are much calmer on the island’s northern shores and one of the great beaches for swimming is Lovina with its black sand and palm trees. It’s a great beach for families, with a relaxed atmosphere and rather low-key nightlife. For many visitors, the highlight of a stay in Lovina is a dolphin-watching trip at sunrise.
Bali is one of the great destinations for a beach holiday, whether you want a bustling tourist resort or a quiet hideaway and whether you’re an active traveller or just want to lounge on a deckchair. The peak season for holidays to Bali lasts from June to September and around Christmas, when the beaches can become very crowded. However, dry season, when the weather is at its best, lasts from April to September, so if you go around April or May, you’ll miss the oppressive humidity of rainy season but you’ll still be able to benefit from the