When we think of Bali, we envision idyllic, lush beaches with crystal clear waters. And paradise is exactly what we found. There’s a variety of different beaches in Bali to suit every personality type, from the action packed surfer to the all-day tanner. We took the time to really wind down and enjoy some quality R&R on its picturesque beaches so that we could tell you all about it, and these were our favourites:
1: Virgin Beach, Karangasem (a.k.a. White Sand Beach)
This was by far our favourite beach in Bali. In Balinese, it is called “Patir Putir” and is not very well known by tourists, and is actually a favourite spot for the locals/ some well-informed expats. It is one of Bali’s best kept hidden secrets and was the highlight of our trip! It was extremely clean and pristine- the kind of place you could put on a postcard!
In Bali we recommend making friends with a taxi driver, as if you stay loyal to them they will give you really good rates and also take you to their favourite spots. No one knows Bali better than the people that live there! We did this, and asked our taxi driver what his favourite beach was. He told us about the Virgin Beach, famous for its pure white sand. The surrounding beaches along the coast are known to have volcanic, black sand, which is what makes this beach stand out so much in the area.
Be warned that you have to pay a small fee to use the beach, but it is so worth it. There are a few reasonably priced restaurants/ cafes along the beach selling fresh fish and ice cold drinks, and if you buy something from them you can use their sun beds for free. We treated ourselves to some fresh coconut and spent the day lounging and taking in the glorious view. If you want a quiet, relaxing day in paradise, this is the beach for you!
2: The Gili Islands, Lombok
Although not technically in Bali, or a specific beach, the Gili Islands are the ideal spot to get some sun by the sea. A fast boat from Sanur will get you there easily, we went with a company called ‘Blue Water Express’ which was reasonably priced and we managed to haggle the price down quite a lot. Make sure you don’t go with the original asked price!! The only thing about this company is that we had an issue getting back to our hotel after as their shuttle bus service was extremely disorganised and we ended up on the wrong bus! So make sure you triple check that you are going to the right place!
All three islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) have absolutely beautiful beaches and no matter which one you go to you will not be disappointed. Gili T is more of a party destination, whilst Gili Meno and Air are more peaceful; you will feel like you have escaped to a remote desert island. The Gili Islands are the best place to go for snorkelling in Bali. You can go on a boat trip around the three islands for a very cheap price that will take you to all the best spots to see amazing sea life. We particularly loved swimming with the huge turtles in Gili Air, it is an amazing experience you should make sure not to miss! We highly recommend the Gili Islands.
3: Seminyak Beach, Seminyak
Seminyak beach is a huge, clean stretch of beach with small waves. This makes it the perfect spot to take a beginners surfing lesson! We tried this and fell in love with it, after all Bali is famous for its surfing! We highly recommend ‘Wayan Tembok Surf Lessons’, the guys were amazing teachers and made us enjoy every second of it!
The thing we love most about Seminyak beach is its atmosphere in the evening. The sun sets so beautifully on this beach, and you can get the most stunning photos- it is a photographers dream! Restaurants and bars line the beach, offering outdoor seating (often in the form of beanbags- AWESOME!) and uplifting, live music which creates the perfect holiday vibe. This was our favourite way to spend the evenings in Bali, sipping on cocktails on a beanbag watching the sunset. Don’t miss it.
4: Kuta Beach, Kuta
This is an extremely touristy beach, which can be quite off-putting for some people, but if you are a keen surfer and would like to ride some bigger waves, then this is the beach for you. It is not ideal for swimming as the waves really are quite big and the water is hot (not exactly going to cool you down after sunbathing for an hour); however this is the beach that gives Bali its famous surfing name. We met so many experienced surfers who came to Bali purely to surf in Kuta, and at the beach you will notice that the majority of stalls along the beach will be offering beginners surfing lessons.
Kuta is notorious for its party scene, and we can certainly think of worse places to be sleeping off a hangover! If you are interested in meeting other travellers, this would be a great place to do it, as cheap accommodation and bustling nightlife attracts a huge amount of backpackers to this area, making it one of the most popular beaches in Bali. Although there are many tourists and travellers at this beach (it is very busy) it is still kept extremely clean with clear waters. However, with this amount of tourists, come lots of people trying to sell to the tourists. So be aware that someone definitely will try and sell you a cold drink/ pair of sunglasses every ten minutes!
5: Batu Belig Beach, Kerobokan
At the beginning of our trip we were staying in a hotel close to this beach, and we fell in love with it. It’s quite out of the way (we couldn’t find it the first time, oops!) but it’s worth it when you get there. The beach and the water are both very clean; its waves are tiny compared to Kuta and Seminyak, making it better for swimming. Like most beaches in Bali, it looks amazing when the sun is setting. It is not as busy and hectic as Kuta and Seminyak, as it is less of a backpacker’s area. The beach is lined with expensive resorts and beach clubs, providing a much different atmosphere to the other beaches. One night we treated ourselves to dinner with a view (of the spectacular Indian Ocean) at ‘Mozaic Beach Club’. It was fantastic, but be warned, very pricey for Bali standards. For all our fellow chocaholics, we highly recommend the sharer dessert which the chef serves you at your table, it’s incredible!
No matter what beach you go to in Bali, we’re sure you will be blown away. It truly is a paradise island. We hope this article has managed to give you some helpful insight on the ideal beach for you.