Bali has something to offer a very broad market of visitors from young back-packers right through to the super-rich. Each beach area has it’s own “flavour”, be sure you choose one that suits your palette.
Famed as the “Island of the Gods“, with its varied landscape of hills and mountains, rugged coastlines and sandy beaches, lush rice terraces and barren active volcanic hillsides all providing a picturesque backdrop to its colourful, deeply spiritual and unique culture, stakes a serious claim to be paradise on earth. With world-class surfing and diving, a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, and an enormous range of accommodations, this is one of the world’s most popular island destinations and one which consistently wins travel awards. It’s not difficult to see why Bali is loved for destination weddings and honeymoons.
Bali’s most prestigious resort area, Nusa Dua is where the tourists will find international, world class luxury hotels like the Mulia Resort, St Regis and Grand Hyatt elegantly lining beautiful white sands. Located on the Bukit peninsula, approximately 10 km from the international airport. It is quiet and exclusive with superb facilities.
Crystal clear water and stretches of white sandy beach of Nusa Dua makes it a perfect spot for luxurious resorts to which exhausted bodies will want to rest. You can tee off into the sunset, while watching the gentle waves come from the blue sea that caress the banks surrounding the luscious greens. Tranquil swimming pools under the coconut trees seem to be one with the distant blue sea. Art galleries and numerous shops surround them.
Nusa Dua is about taking it easy and relaxing in total luxury. The Bali Golf and Country Club, an immaculately landscaped 18 holes ocean view course. The Bali International Lawn Tennis & Lawn Bowls Club next to the Galleria Nusa Dua, a spacious shopping mall with boutiques and up market restaurants. Close by Chandra Koka Amphitheatre provides a venue for traditional entertainment including arts festivals like the Nusa Dua Arts and Culture Festival. Stroll to the northern end of Nusa Dua for parasailing, jet skis, snorkeling/diving trips or better still, head for Tanjung Benoa.
Tanjung Benoa peninsula is a scenic 5 kilometres of coconut palms and fine sand and home of luxury hotels including the Conrad, Grand Mirage and the Tanjung Benoa Beach Resort, private villas, fine restaurants, open-air cafes and water sports facilities.
Right at the tip of the peninsula is the quiet port of Tanjung Benoa, with its village like alleyways and rows of traditional fishing boats and yachts. Offshore “Turtle Island” is the site of a sacred sea temple.
Tanjung Benoa has something for everyone -especially if we are a water sport fun. Snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, water skiing, powerboats, banana boats and reef fishing. (The reef is just 200 meters from the shoreline at the north eastern tip)
Jimbaran is directly south of the airport, on the way from Denpasar towards Nusa Dua. Jimbaran village is the narrow neck of Bali Island, and thus it has two remarkably different beaches. On the west, Jimbaran Beach faces the Jimbaran Bay, recently lined by new luxurious resorts. On the east, the beach faces the body of water sheltered by Benoa Harbour.
Jimbaran is a sleepy cove where fleets of fishing boats colour the scene. Formerly a relatively quiet area, its image has improved dramatically with the opening of the beautiful Jimbaran Puri Bali Resort and the Inter-Continental. The last couple of years, it has become even busier still with grilled seafood restaurants going up at a rapid pace along the beach, attracting local families and tourists in droves.
Once a lonely little village on the road from Denpasar to Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now the tourist Mecca of Bali, popular mainly among the young and adventurous attracted by it’s shopping, nightlife and party vibe. Kuta beach is one of the first beaches discovered by tourist. Coconut trees line the sand beach as far as the eyes can see.
The sunsets in Kuta are the most breath-taking. Kuta Beach bustles with tourists’ vendors and locals. It’s the most popular beach in Bali and the island’s number one party zone. The beach stretches as far north as the eyes can see. As short walk away north, the waves will invite to surfing. Rapid development and an influx of visitors haven’t kept the surfers away and Kuta still remains one of Bali’s best surfing beaches and a great place to enjoy a beach lifestyle. There are a good mix of accommodation including the Hard Rock Hotel – Bali.
Close to the Kuta action but far enough for some down time, Legian is less hectic than downtown Kuta but still has a funky nightlife zone. Legian is a no-holds barred beach where locals, expatriates and tourists mingle. Sunset is peak time, when bars fill and the locals knock off work.
Legian and Seminyak were small villages over the last few years, accommodation has expanded around Legian with many simple family-owned guest houses; complemented by boutique style hotels and first class hotels like the Magani Hotel and Spa or the Bali Mandira Beach Resort.
Sanur is one of Bali’s biggest traditional villages but it’s also one of the most established tourist areas. Sanur was Bali’s first beach resort but still retains its Balinese character and old style village ambiance. Sanur beach is easily reachable from Denpasar, about a 5 to 10 minute drive. Offshore reefs protect the beach against the waves, and make it popular for windsurfing, boating, and other water sports, while still only a stone thrown away from the beach, ancient temples stand as solemn as they have been in centuries past.
Located 85 km north-east of the airport, Candidasa is a relaxing beach area close to cultural treasures like Pura Besakih (“Bali’s Mother Temple”) While the beach is not one of Bali’s best, the tranquility of Candidasa has attracted a number of exclusive hotels like the Nirwana Resort, Alila Manggis and the Rama, Candidasa.
Candidasa is most often compared to Kuta as it was some 20 years ago. The comparison has some merit -Candidasa is a small village with few inhabitants on the beach with a several, mostly inexpensive hotels that cater to the more adventurous tourists looking for a more laid back atmosphere to explore the cultural heritage of Bali.
Many travellers prefer Candidasa, calmer than Kuta, cheaper than Sanur, and the best place to stay to explore the oriental part of Bali.
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