Bali is a beautiful island with plenty to explore and do. With palm-fringed beaches, towering volcanoes and ancient temples, there's something for everyone. Whether you're looking for culture or adventure, relaxing on the beach or partying the night away, this must-see week-long itinerary will help you turn your vacation into a memorable one.
Introducing Bali, Indonesia
Indonesia is a Southeast Asian country made up of over 17,000 islands and home to some of the world's most beautiful beaches. Bali is an Indonesian island located at the western end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. Bali is one of Indonesia's 33 provinces, with the provincial capital in Denpasar towards the south of the island. Sanur is a coastal town on Bali's southeast coast. It was one of Bali's first tourist areas and remains popular with tourists and expatriates alike.
Bali is one of Indonesia's most popular tourist destinations, and for good reason. This small island has it all: stunning scenery, friendly locals and plenty of activities to keep you busy. Whether you want to explore rice terraces, soak up the sun on the beach, visit surf spots, ancient temples or hike volcanoes, Bali has something to offer every visitor.
For this one-week stay, we planned a trip combining nature, temples and beaches. To take our time and make the most of each place, this week was divided into two key destinations: Ubud and Sanur.
Ubud & Sanur
Ubud and Sanur are two of the most popular regions to visit in Bali. Ubud is known for its rice terraces, while Sanur is known for its beautiful beaches. Both regions offer a variety of activities and attractions, making them perfect for a week-long itinerary in Bali.
- Ubud is located in the central part of Bali, about an hour's drive from the airport. The town is surrounded by rice terraces, jungle and rivers, making it a very picturesque place to visit. There's plenty to do in Ubud, including exploring the town's markets and temples, hiking the rice terraces and visiting the monkey forest.
- Sanur is located on Bali's east coast, about 30 minutes from the airport. The town is best known for its beautiful beaches, perfect for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. You'll also find numerous restaurants and cafés along the waterfront, as well as souvenir and local craft stores.
How to get to Bali
Assuming you're travelling from Asia or Europe, there are several ways to get to Bali. The most common is to fly into Denpasar airport (DPS), which offers direct flights from many of the world's major cities. You can also fly into one of Indonesia's other airports, then take a short flight or ferry to Bali.
If you're planning a trip to Southeast Asia before or after your stay in Bali, it may be a good idea to fly to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia. From Jakarta, you can take a short flight on one of the many low-cost airlines serving the Denpasar route.
You can also fly to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, then take a low-cost airline like AirAsia or Tigerair to Bali. This may be cheaper than flying direct to Denpasar, but it adds an extra step to your journey.
If you're coming from Australia, there are direct flights from most major cities, including Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. These flights usually pass through one of Indonesia's airports, such as Jakarta or Surabaya, before arriving in Denpasar.
Getting around Bali
Bali is an island full of surprises. Once you've arrived, it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get around. The best way to get around and discover all that Bali has to offer is to rent a motorcycle or scooter. These are the most common means of transport. They can be rented directly from most hotels or hostels. This allows you to explore at your own pace and make stops along the way.
If you're not comfortable driving a motorcycle, there are plenty of other options for getting around Bali. You can take a bemo (minibus) or ojek (motorcycle cab) just about anywhere on the island. Prices are negotiable, so don't hesitate to haggle! Another option is to rent a car, which can be done easily at most hotels or car rental agencies.
Some recommendations before travelling to Bali
It is advisable to change money into cash before leaving for Indonesia, to avoid high exchange rates and exchange office scams. It's not uncommon to have to pay in cash for excursions, cabs and souvenirs, and it can be difficult to find reliable cash dispensers in Indonesia. If you need to change money or withdraw cash, do your research beforehand to find out how to identify genuine exchange offices and reliable cash dispensers. Excluding flight costs and hotels already paid for by credit card, a sum of €500 should be enough to enjoy the activities, stores, markets and restaurants.
It's important to negotiate and define the fare before getting into a cab in Indonesia. Use official Blue Bird Group cabs to avoid scams. Check that they are marked "bluebird.com" or "Blue Bird Group" before getting into a cab. However, these cabs are not authorized at the airport, so you have three options for getting around from the airport:
- negotiate a trip with a private driver
- walk to the official blue cabs on the street
- book a trip in advance with a specialized service provider
Finally, please note that rabies vaccination is generally not necessary in Indonesia, unless you plan to trek for several days without access to a hospital within 24 hours.
Our one-week itinerary in Bali
Day 1 : Ubud
On the first day of your Bali vacation, you'll want to head to Ubud. This charming town is located in the central highlands of the island and is known for its artistic and cultural scene. There's plenty to see and do in Ubud, so you'll want to make sure you have a full day to explore.
Among Ubud's highlights, you can visit the monkey forest, stroll through the rice terraces and explore the many art galleries and museums. You'll also find plenty of places to eat and drink, so don't forget to sample the local cuisine.
After spending a week exploring Bali, you'll have experienced the very best this Indonesian island has to offer. From beautiful beaches to stunning rice terraces, friendly locals and delicious food, Bali is truly a paradise. This week-long itinerary offers the perfect balance of activity and relaxation, allowing you to make the most of your time on the island.