Bali is an amazing Island where volcanic peaks still dominate over the paddy fields where locals have grown their food for generations. However, its beaches and coral reefs have resulted in the growth of a huge tourist economy.
Tropical sunshine is guaranteed, and with clear, warm waters, Bali’s beaches are a great place for a holiday. When it comes to Bali, all we need are crystal clear waters, salty swims, and lashings of sunshine in our life. So grab your bikini and get ready to lounge. Here are Bali’s best beaches for your sun-soaked bucket list!
- Crystal Bay
This bay secluded cove with a 200-meter stretch of sand on the west coast of Nusa Penida Island. This sheltered cove is almost perfect: with blue-green waters, sloping palm trees, rocky islets just offshore and a hilly backdrop, it is also astoundingly undeveloped. With more cattle grazing than tourists lazing, it is so idyllic because it’s so isolated: on Nusa Penida island, an hour by speedboat from Bali, and only accessible by chartered vehicle or rented motorbike. With only a few laidback bungalows nearby and a handful of thatched-roof cafés on the sand, the reefs are popular among scuba-divers and snorkelers who mostly arrive by boat from more developed regions.
2. Balangan Beach
Balangan Beach is easily reached from Kuta, with many local hotels offering a handy shuttle service. It’s also just a kilometre away from another Balinese beach icon: Dreamland. When you arrive, refresh yourself with an ice-cream and/or ice-cold beer from one of the beachside warungs. Boasting more natural beauty than your average Brazilian supermodel on a good day, Balangan has an eye-popping, half-kilometre stretch of caramel-coloured sand, shielded by a greenery-clad limestone cliff that snakes into the water like a lounging crocodile.
Despite its proximity to the airport and all the hedonism on offer at Kuta, Jimbaran remains comparatively undeveloped. With stretches of the extended curved bay sometimes empty, it’s perfect for walking, and some modest surf can be found at the southern end. With a moderate range of places to stay, eat, drink and shop, Jimbaran is also a genuine village, home to an ancient temple and sprawling produce and fish markets. As well as an ideal base to explore southern Bali, a highlight of any trip to the island is a sunset dinner at a café along Jimbaran Bay, with fresh seafood a specialty.
Love or loathe the decadence and the frenetic malls, clubs, and bars, Kuta Beach is renowned across the world for a reason: it’s wide and sandy, and offers glorious sunsets, as well as surfboard rental, lounge chairs and drink stalls. Of course, the choice of places to spend money within a few minutes’ walk is legendary, but only a few hotels face the sea – and these also overlook a busy esplanade. The waves are popular among surfers, so Kuta is not always ideal for swimming, especially by children and novices.
5. Padang Bai
With potential overdevelopment thwarted by a mountainous backdrop, Padangbai still retains an adorable village vibe, despite the minibuses offloading island-hoppers for speedboats to the Gilis, and the non-stop ferries to neighboring Lombok Island. Lined with fishing boats, the scenic bay alongside the vehicle-free main street is more suited for strolling and sitting, but only 10 minutes away on foot are the lovable Blue Lagoon beach and Crusoe-Esque Bias Tugel cove. And Padangbai is perfect for exploring the rugged east coast, dominated by the omnipotent Agung volcano.
6. Padang Padang
Known mostly to hardy surfers, Padang Padang is one of a few undersized beaches along the craggy southern peninsula. While others are remote and often only accessible via rickety steps, Padang Padang is an easy daytrip from the southern resort regions, and a handful of hotels and a couple of cafés are perched among the cliffs nearby. The daunting waves are distant, so swimming is safe, and the younger ones can happily splash about the saltwater pools left in the sand by the outgoing tides.