The Best Beaches in Bali
Bali is known as the ‘Island of the Gods’ and upon first sight of the island’s spectacular beaches it’s hard to argue against its moniker. Thalassophiles are spoilt for choice in Bali, from the perfect golden sands of the south to the volcanic beaches fringed by reefs to the north, there’s a beach to match all interests. There’s so much choice it can often be difficult to pinpoint the best beach to match your needs. To make planning your trip a little easier we dive in and provide a guide to the best beaches in Bali.
Best time to visit Bali’s beaches
Bali’s dry season essentially runs from April until November which brings hotter weather and sunny days making it the ideal time to visit the beach. The most popular beaches and resorts in the south of the island become very busy in July and August. So visiting either side of these months is a fine time to enjoy the beach without the crowds. If you need to travel in July or August, we recommend avoiding the beach resorts on the south of the island if you wish to enjoy a quieter beach.
Best beaches for families
Bali is a great family destination with a large number of family friendly beaches dotted around the island. Here are our recommendations for the best beaches for families in Bali:
Best for: Fresh seafood meals on the beach
Long regarded as Bali's best beach, Jimbaran Bay is a wide golden sand beach with calm waters suited for families. Jimbaran has escaped the large-scale development which has hit other beaches on the south of Bali such as nearby Kuta beach. The beach still has a quiet atmosphere maintained by a high concentration of luxury beach resorts.
Its location just south of the airport makes Jimbaran Bay a beautiful and convenient beach option to bookend a family tour of Bali. This is one of the most popular beach locations in Bali so availability for July and August can book up quickly.
Recommended Hotel: Belmond Jimbaran Puri enjoys a central beachfront location on Jimbaran Bay’s excellent beach. Individual cottages and villas with gardens offer families uninterrupted sea views and quiet contentment in their own private sanctuary.
Best for: Sunset
Sanur offers everything a family would want from a beach destination – calm waters, great shopping, wide variety of restaurants, and easy connections with an international airport. While it was the first of Bali’s beaches to be developed, the development has been handled well with construction largely restricted to low rise hotels.
Protected by a natural reef the waters of Sanur are calm and provide a safe swimming environment for those of all abilities. Beyond swimming there’s plenty on offer to keep a family entertained including snorkelling, diving, and cycling excursions.
Recommended Hotel: Claimed to be Bali’s first boutique hotel, the Tandjung Sari retains an atmosphere blending Balinese and old-world charm. The hotel’s beachfront location, 50-foot swimming pool, and variety of shops and restaurants on its doorstep make it a great option for families. The family bungalow comes with two separate en suite bedrooms and is great for families with children of all ages.
Best For: Snorkelling, close to famous cultural sites
Candidasa is a peaceful beach area which has avoided overdevelopment and offers a tranquil escape amidst stunning landscapes and a traditional way of life. The area’s laid-back atmosphere, proximity to famous cultural sites, including the island’s ‘Mother Temple’ Pura Besakih, and selection of comfortable beach resorts make it perfect for families looking to combine the cultural heritage of Bali with time on the beach.
Recommended Hotel: Nestled on Mendira Beach, flanked by palm groves and mountain views, the Candi Beach Resort offers a comprehensive range of facilities ideal for families. Rooms are spacious with most able to accommodate two adults and two children under 12. For families after a bit of luxury, the sumptuous Private Pool Villas are highly recommended.
Best beaches for honeymooners
Is there anything more romantic than a sunset dinner on the beach? Bali’s epic sunsets, world class accommodation, shops, restaurants, and nightlife are just some of the reasons why Bali is a great option for honeymooners. These are what we consider the best beaches for honeymooners in Bali:
Best for: Beach club culture, dining options, private villas
Easily one of Bali’s trendiest districts. The world class dining, boutique shops and variety of entertainment options makes Seminyak Beach one of the best options for honeymooners and young couples. There is a wide selection of sophisticated and high-end beach resorts to choose from. But the real highlight is the many stylish villas dotted around the backstreets, which are ideal for honeymooners.
The stretch of beach here is lovely and manages to avoid the crowds which are drawn to nearby Kuta Beach. Lining the beach are various beach clubs, restaurants and world class hotels which come to life when the sun goes down. For those looking for a livelier scene the bars and clubs of Kuta are just a 15-minute taxi journey away.
Recommended Hotel: The Samaya is an all-villa resort offering a high level of privacy for those seeking a peaceful, romantic getaway. Its contemporary, chic style and close proximity to fashionable nightlife and boutique shops make it the perfect option for honeymooners and the young at heart.
Best For: Surfing (intermediate to advanced), dining options
The cool kid in town. Over the past five years Canggu and neighbouring Umalas have risen from a sleepy surfers’ beach to the hot spot for the young and trendy. Surrounded by beautiful rice fields and offering a black sand beach with good surf for intermediate and above. The food scene here is second to none with a variety of hip cafés, bars, restaurants, and beach clubs.
Best beaches for water sports
From perfect surf to numerous coral reefs, the inviting waters around Bali provide an excellent playground for enthusiasts of water activities. The following are what we consider the best beaches for water activities in Bali:
Best for: Snorkelling, diving, Bird watching in West Bali National Park, soft adventure
This laid-back coastal village is nestled off the tranquil waters of the Bali Sea on the north of the island. Its remote location has kept major development away resulting in the area going largely unnoticed as a beach destination.
A backdrop of high forested peaks and the nearby West Bali National Park make Pemuteran beach a dramatic setting for some world-class snorkelling and soft adventure. While it is possible to snorkel straight off the beach, the best reefs are found along the coast and in the pristine waters surrounding Menjangan Island.
Recommended hotel: In our opinion the best hotel to explore the underwater wonders of north western Bali’s coastline is the Menjangan. This peaceful retreat is located in the heart of unspoiled national park and offers fine snorkelling straight off the hotel’s beach.
Best for: Surfing (beginner to intermediate)
Balangan Beach is one of the finest natural beaches on the island of Bali. Nestled on the west of the Bukit Peninsula the beach has a unique setting which creates a great variety of waves. The waves are perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers alike making this an ideal location to learn or improve your surfing skills. The high number of high-quality surf schools here makes it the number one option for beginners who wish to learn to surf.
Recommended hotel: The La Joya Balangan Resort is a charming boutique resort and one of the best options for surfers and non-surfers alike.
Best For: Water sports, snorkelling, diving
Once best known for its traditional fishing and salt farming, Amed Beach is now a veritable playground both on and under the water. The varied dive sites, including the USS Liberty shipwreck in Tulamben to the north, makes it particularly attractive to divers and snorkellers. The water here is clear and calm making it an ideal place for swimming and many types of water sports. Several boutique hotels and resorts have been developed within a succession of seven fishing villages with the area maintaining an authentic vibe. Traditional outrigger fishing boats line the volcanic sand beach and early birds can watch them set out at dawn for the morning catch – a sight not to be missed.