Bali, just off the eastern tip of Java, is easily the best known of the 17,000-odd islands that make up Indonesia - the world's largest archipelago. This tropical, volcanic island offers beautiful beaches and scenic landscapes of terraced hills, together with cultural attractions, all kinds of water and land-based activities and a number of top-quality hotels to choose from on your Bali holiday. Soaking up Bali’s strong spiritual culture is also a must as you pass by colourful flower offerings and enjoy visits to tranquil temples (there are an estimated 10,000 in total on the island). Acquaint yourself
with the island’s iconic flavours as you savour sate lilit (a coconut flavoured meat skewer) and babi guling (roasted pork) and for something sweet, tuck into a refreshing mangosteen fruit. Known as the ‘island of the Gods’ for good reason, tailor-made Bali holidays promise everything from active peaks that emerge from the watery depths and inquisitive monkeys swinging overhead to the countless pockets of secluded serenity that feel far removed from the tourist hordes. Experience the deep-rooted spirituality and natural charm of this captivating pint-sized islet with a holiday in Bali, that’s sure to be unlike any other..
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Holly made excellent suggestions and creates the perfectly balanced trip that ticked all our boxes. The Concierge was very helpful throughout and the absolutel highlights were seeing monkeys and deer on Manjangan Island, and watching the sunset from the magnificent tower.
What can you find in Bali that you won't find anywhere else?
Bali is a predominantly Hindu island in the middle of the world's largest Muslim nation. The Balinese coast is home to excellent beaches and of course beach hotels and resort locations offering a wide range of water sports, with the south coast particularly good for surfing and windsurfing. Of course, with tailor-made Bali holidays it doesn’t have to be all water-based fun, as there’re plenty of activities to be enjoyed back on land, whether that’s some indulgent spa themed luxury, temple finding, forest hike fun or jungle exploration, there’s something for all.
While the south is quite developed and continues to attract the crowds, there are still pockets of peace and serenity to be found in Bali, or you can simply enjoy the wealth of fantastic restaurants and bars, and independent boutiques springing up almost weekly, in the trendy enclaves of Seminyak and Jimbaran. Needless to say, a holiday in Bali shouldn’t be confined to just one location, as there are plenty of hidden havens that are rife for exploring scattered across the island, so wherever you travel you’ll be sure to find something to sate.
Cultural and religious traditions are still at the heart of everyday life in Bali, from the floral offerings found at the door of every dwelling, to the myriad ceremonies and celebrations occurring almost daily. Those who take the time to travel inland can explore ancient temples and local villages, great lakes and dormant volcanoes, all with a breath-taking view you’ll be longing to snap up and remember.
Meanwhile, the north coast offers some of the island's best accessible snorkelling and diving, from the USS Liberty wreck at Tulamben, to the aquarium-like coral gardens of
After some time exploring Bali, beach lovers may like to hop over to the neighbouring island of Lombok, with its laid-back sandy beaches, and equally great snorkelling and diving opportunities. Alternatively, explore the world class temples and active volcanoes of Java. Bali is easily accessible and can therefore be combined with other destinations within Indonesia, as well as further afield in South-East Asia.
Who is Bali best for?
Bali holidays make perfect
honeymoons. Effortlessly romantic, undeniably beautiful and culturally rich, it is guaranteed to delight newlyweds, but with its beaches and rainforests, this tropical paradise is also well suited to a Family holiday. Delight your little ones with plenty of snorkelling, tree climbing and kite flying and don’t be surprised when they refuse to board the plane home afterwards. The island’s rich culinary culture will lure plenty of foodies, while its buzzing nightlife is sure to appeal to fun lovers. Surfers will feel at home, while art lovers will enjoy the traditional crafts, ornate furniture and ancient antiques in the colourful markets. The truth is, there is something here for everyone.
Which experiences is Bali best for?
For such a small island, Bali certainly delivers on tropical pleasures. Head to Ubud, a town surrounded by rainforests and rice paddies, to experience Bali’s traditional crafts and dance along with a rich culinary scene and plenty of charming properties. For natural wonders, walk along one of the distinctive black sand beaches dotted along the island’s east coast, venture into the mangrove forests neighbouring the small fishing village of Pemuteran and admire the water palace of Tirta Gangga. Indulge in culture and culinary delights as you browse the Sanur Night Market and make relaxation your order for the day as you laze on one of the island’s many beautiful beaches and live out your castaway fantasies on the salt-white sands of the Gili Islands.
Special experiences in Bali
-Attend a festive full moon party (yes, they're not just for backpacking gap year-takers!) and dance the night away on one of Bali’s stunning beaches
-Take a cooking class with a Balinese family and learn to craft some of the region’s most mouth-watering dishes
-Dive underwater to explore the 160-metre-long wreckage of a US cargo ship - USS Liberty wreck, as above - which sank during World War II. Located at a shallow depth, divers of all abilities can venture down to the wreck and see the myriad fish that now inhabit it.