Bali Holidays: An Overview

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 for your luxury holiday to Bali.

Bali is a predominantly Hindu island in the middle of the world's largest Muslim nation. The Balinese coast is home to excellent beach hotels offering a wide range of watersports, with the south coast particularly good for surfing and windsurfing.

Whilst the south is quite developed, there are still pockets of peace and serenity to be found, or you can simply enjoy the wealth of fantastic restaurants and bars, and independent boutiques springing up almost daily, in the trendy enclaves of Seminyak and Jimbaran.

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 of 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.

The north coast offers some of the island's best accessible snorkelling and diving, from the SS Liberty wreck at Tulamben, to the aquarium like coral gardens of Menjangan Island.

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 great snorkelling and diving. Alternatively, explore the world class temples and active volcanoes of Java. Bali is easily accessible, and is therefore easily combined with other destinations within Indonesia, and further afield in South-East Asia.

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Sunrise at Mount Batur
If You Do Three Things
Scale Mount Batur at Sunrise

Witness Bali's famous sunrises from the top of the dramatic Mount Batur volcano. Steal out before daylight and scale its slopes illuminated by torchlight. It takes two hours to hike to the summit through volcanic ash and lava forms. At the top, you can watch the day break over the sea and take in mist-swaddled vistas. Walk around the crater rims before descending for a dip in a hot spring.

Gunung Kawi
If You Do Three Things
Temple Exploration

Hop onto a VW convertible for a day roaming central Bali's ancient temples. Visit Gunung Kawi, a moss-draped 11th-century temple with ten impressive rock-cut shrines and views of rural rice terraces. Next stop, Pura Tirta, a water temple which draws thousands of Balinese Hindu worshippers. Take a soak in its holy spring water pouring from its stone fountains.

Kecak Dance
If You Do Three Things
A Kecak Dance Concert

Up in the tropical hills of Ubud, immerse yourself into authentic Balinese culture. Sit back in a candle-lit amphitheatre and watch a Kecak dance concert, a visually stimulating traditional form of Hindu dance and drama. Watch in awe at this trance-inducing performance, with chanting as well as thrilling displays of fire kicking. Afterwards treat yourself to a local-style feast at a chic restaurant with views over the endless rice paddies.

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Where to go

What to do

When to go

Where to stay


When to go

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
North Bali
Seminyak & Southern Bali
East Bali
Ubud & Central Bali
North Bali
Seminyak & Southern Bali
East Bali
Ubud & Central Bali
Best time
Low season
Off season

Map of Bali

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A Note on Price

A combined beach and cultural holiday in Indonesia is really great value for money, and starts from £2000 per person for two weeks, including flights.

Itinerary Suggestions

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