ABOUT BALI

What keeps me going back to Bali time after time for the past 20 years? Here’s a few of the many reasons Bali draws me back.

Value for money. For hotels, restaurants and shopping it’s really hard to beat. When compared to the Pacific Islands, USA and Australia there’s just no comparison.

The unbeatable service and smiling faces of the Indonesian staff within the resorts.

The beaches, the beauty of inland Bali and the local dishes add unique qualities that make Bali an award winning destination

Bali Destinations

UBUD

  • March 13, 2018
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If you've ever seen photos of the amazing Balinese terraced rice paddies then you've got an insight into some of the beauty of Ubud. This village is about an hour or so drive from Kuta and is set at the foot of Gunung Batur, a sacred mountain in the north of Bali. The drive up to Ubud is picturesque and certainly deserves some shots from the camera. Ubud has a cooler climate than the beach but still tropical. The area is very lush, with huge trees shading the many rivers that grace the land. Ubud is an easy place to fall in love with - the slow pace of life, the arty shops, cafes and restaurants and above all, a magical atmosphere. I'd recommend you spend a few days of holiday in. It will add magic to your holiday!
 The Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary Wander around the walkways through the forest filled with monkeys. It’s a great experience for the whole family. Try feeding the monkeys some bananas for some extra excitement! Walk the Rice Paddies Ubud’s hillside location makes for amazing panoramic views of terraced rice paddys, rivers, coconut palms and forest. Award Winning Restaurants Some of Bali’s top restaurants are in Ubud serving up the best of international and local cuisine. There are also excellent healthy food options here Cooking Classes Learning the secrets of some of the delicious Bali and Indonesian dishes will make you popular back home! Zoos The Bali Bird Park is home to over 250 species of bird and also home to the infamous Komodo Dragons. The award winning Bali Zoo makes for another lovely day trip. They also have options for Elephant expeditions and overnight stays in luxury accommodation. Traditional Dancing and Musical Performance at the Royal Palace Ubud is home to the royal family and regular traditional Balinese dance performances are held within the palace compounds. Don’t miss the experience of a Balinese Gamelan Orchestra with classical dancing. White Water Rafting Passing through Class II and III rapids down the Ayung River, the journey takes you through some of the most spectacular tropical rain forests, past waterfalls and valleys. Ubud Market Go early in the morning to experience what a 'real' market is, when the locals go to buy their fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. Mid morning the market converts into more of a tourist market selling local handicrafts. Art Museums There is an abundance of art museums featuring paintings of a developed and practiced style specific to Ubud, as well as modern art.
For a rough layout of Ubud, the centre is mostly flat. The further out you get the hillier it gets. Many of the luxurious resorts and villa complexes are located further out of town where the views are of unspoilt valleys and rice paddys. Within walking distance of Ubud centre you'll find a variety of 3 and 4 star hotels we recommend. Our favorites near the centre include the Komaneka Monkey Forest, Warwick Ibah and Komaneka Bisma. About 20 minutes walk to the market is one of our all time favorites - the Hotel Tjampuhan, which opened in 1928. Think thatch roof, overgrown trees and picturesque surroundings. Not everyone's cup of tea but definitely ours! Luxury resorts abound and many come highly recommended.  

TANJUNG BENOA

  • March 13, 2018
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Tanjung Benoa is a peninsular that extends north from Nusa Dua. While enjoying the same views over the ocean as Nusa Dua, Tanjung Benoa is quite a different place. The area has a lovely, relaxed local feeling about it. There is one main road running the length of the peninsula and dotted on either side are restaurants, dive shops, water sports centres and hotels.   Like Nusa Dua, for a better choice of shops, restaurants and nightlife head to the Seminyak side of Bali.
Swimming and Sunbathing. The beach is long, beautiful and not too busy. It's a safe beach for small children to swim as it's calm when the tide is in. Watersports. Non-motorised and motorised options available including jetskis, parasailing etc. Golf. Bali National Golf Club is rated as one of the best in Asia and is located nearby within the Nusa Dua complex. Most Other Day Tours can be booked for your stay in Tanjung Benoa. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
As the beach is the main feature of Tanjung Benoa, we recommend staying on the beach. We recommend the Novotel Bali Benoa, Holiday Inn Resort Bali Benoa and the Hotel Nikko. For 5 star luxury consider the Conrad Bali or for villa opulence the Royal Santrian.

SOUTH KUTA

  • March 13, 2018
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South Kuta (or Tuban) is the original village between the Airport and Kuta. It's a lovely beachfront area, somewhat sheltered from the surf by a reef (the south end around the airport is surfable).   The area houses some of the nicest beachfront resorts in the whole Kuta area with acres of tropical gardens, huge pools and luxury rooms.   South Kuta is constantly developing with tourist facilities, classy restaurants, shopping centres, nightlife and western fast food. To walk from the most southern hotel near the airport to Kuta Square should take about half an hour along the beach walkway, otherwise an inexpensive taxi might be a more tempting option.
Waterbom Park The Waterbom Park is one of the best in Asia! It’s a fun place to spend the day for the whole family with loads of waterslids, a lazy river and big pools. The Beach Artificially protected from the ocean waves it’s a pleasant place to swim. A boardwalk runs along the beach which is relatively quiet compared to Kuta. Other Activites Many activities around the island can be added to your stay in South Kuta including white water rafting, cycling tours and outer island day trips.
We enjoy staying beachfront here and there’s a good range of 4 – 5 star resorts to choose from. Bali Garden Beach Resort, located next door to the Discovery Shopping Mall has a beautiful pool complex and restaurant right by the beach and comes with a great atmosphere. Bali Dynasty (not quite on the beach) is one of the most highly rated family resorts in Bali and comes with kids suites, a kids club and a fun family vibe. Discovery Kartika Plaza has a fantastic choice of accommodation and beautiful gardens or further out consider the luxurious Patra Bali for a quiet resort that’s not too far from the action. There’s a hidden gem set amongst the large beachfront resorts – have a look at this tiny all suite hotel – the Sandi Phala.

SEMINYAK

  • March 13, 2018
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Seminyak is the upmarket area of Bali with a myriad of luxury and boutique resorts, villas, spas, high-end shops and fashionable restaurants. To the south is Legian and to the north disappearing into the balmy mist are Kerobokan and Canggu. Seminyak is about 2 ½ kilometres long if you walked along the beach.   Many expats have made their home in Seminyak and live in plush villas. You'll find European fashions available in shops and European style clubs and cafes.   The beanbag beach cafes are definitely worthwhile, especially around sunset where you can relax with a cold Bintang beer and chilled music while watching the life on the beach as the sun goes down beyond the surf.
Boutique Shopping. Many expats operate trendy shops here. Dining. You'll be spoilt for choice with some of Bali's most fashionable restaurants with international menus. The list of the top 10 regularly changes as competition is intense. Surfing, swimming and sunbathing. Like Kuta and Legian, Seminyak is also a hot spot for beach activities. Nightlife. There are some nightlife options in Legian plus you've got all of Kuta and Seminyak's options close by. Walking, Running and People Watching at the Beach. In the morning you'll find many expats and locals running and walking along the beach at sunrise. Jump on a beanbag at one of the many beachside eateries for sunset and a great atmosphere. Most Other Tours can be booked for your stay in Kuta. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
Much of what we sell here is luxury  4 – 6 star resorts and villas. There are some beautifully designed architectural masterpieces here, some right on the beach including the modern Double Six Luxury Hotel, the Anantara Seminyak and the W Bali. Classical luxury resorts include The Seminyak Beach Resort and The Legian Bali. Taking up a large expanse of beachfront, the traditional Oberoi Bali is a beautiful example of Balinese architecture and gardens. Other are set further back from the beach, surrounded by trendy restaurants, bars and shops. We suggest staying within walking distance of the attractions that appeal, for example, the beach or the restaurants and shops as traffic can get congested at times. For 3 star hotels have a look at the Pelangi Bali is right on the beach and is great value compared to its luxurious neighbours. The choice of villas is immense, most with their own private pool. We can assist in selecting the right villa for you.

SANUR

  • March 13, 2018
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Traditionally a fishing village, Sanur has managed to keep that lazy seaside feeling. The main street is lined with a mix of quaint little shops selling Bali knick-knacks mixed up with restaurants that have a real Balinese atmosphere and various types of accommodation. Sanur beach is sheltered by a reef which can be surfed when there's a good swell. During low tide it's too shallow to swim but it's still picturesque with an abundance of coconut palms and gold sand. There’s a wonderful walking track weaving its way along the beach. High tide turns the beach into a fun place of water sports and swimming. Sanur is a good place for families who are looking for a safe beach for the kids to swim at and for couples that want to get away from the crowds but don't want to be isolated. At night food stalls appear out of nowhere in the market area and sell local delicacies at a fraction of restaurant prices. This is a fantastic place to experience some amazing Indonesian dishes in a more authentic environment.  
Swimming and Sunbathing. The beach is long, beautiful and not too busy. It's a safe beach for small children to swim as it's calm when the tide is in. Watersports. Kayaks and jetskis are available to rent. Kite surfing and wind surfing are also popular. Most Other Day Tours can be booked for your stay in Sanur. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
Many of the hotels here are locally owned by Balinese families. We recommend staying on the beach or across the road from the beach. The beach is the main attraction here so why be far from it! Sanur offers a choice of 3 to 5 star beachfront hotels and resorts. Most popular around the 4 star mark are the Griya Santrian and Puri Santrian resorts. Besakih Beach Resort is a solid 3 star. For luxury we recommend the Maya Sanur Resort and the Fairmont Sanur Beach Bali. For a good value option across the road from the beach the Swiss-Belresort Watu Jimbar has an enormous courtyard pool.

NUSA LEMBONGAN

  • March 13, 2018
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A 25 minute speedboat from Sanur Beach will take you across the incredibly deep Badung Strait to Jungutbatu Beach, Nusa Lembongan Island. Here the pace of life is slow and relaxed. It's a small island, about 8sqm in total.  Nearby, making a cluster of three islands is the small Nusa Ceningan and the larger Nusa Penida. Traditionally Nusa Lembongan is a seaweed farming island. With its impressive reef breaks, the island attracted the surfers, then not long afterwards the hotels, resorts and villas arrived. Outside the accommodation and restaurants, the island facilities are basic and fairly rural, it really does feel like a village.
Relax and Unwind. You may think that Bali is the place to unwind - it really doesn't compare to the level of unwinding you'll do here! Snorkelling and Kayaking in the Mangrove Forest. Surfing. With reef breaks with names like Lacerations and Shipwrecks you need to know what you're doing! Scuba Diving. Plenty of dive shops here Visit Nusa Penida for some inspiring coastline to photograph.
The Bukit villas and hotels overlooking Jungutbatu Bay and the Badung Strait have views that are second to none. Here you can watch the waves rolling in over the reef during the day and glorious sunsets in the evening. Mushroom Bay has some rustic options right on the beach. Note this it the main bay for day trippers so it's busy during the day and quiet from about 3pm.

NUSA DUA

  • March 13, 2018
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This is Bali's top end beach resort area. Within the exclusive Nusa Dua area of beautifully manicured gardens, immaculately clean roads and walkways connecting some of the finest 5 star hotels in Bali. The area is encompassed on one side by an international 18-hole golf course and the other side by a dreamy gold sand beach. The beach is sheltered from the ocean swells by a reef, so when the tides in, the beach is a great place for swimming in the warm tropical waters.   Within the Nusa Dua compound, the Bali Galleria shopping centre is a conglomeration of air-conditioned shops, restaurants and banks although you’ll find the choice is much better in Seminyak. Unlike the rest of Bali, there's an absence of hawkers. The area is often used for international conferences with facilities and capacity able to cater for thousands of delegates.
Swimming and Sunbathing. The beach is long, beautiful and not too busy. It's a safe beach for small children to swim as it's calm when the tide is in. Golf. Bali National Golf Club is rated as one of the best in Asia and is located within the Nusa Dua complex. Most Other Day Tours can be booked for your stay in Nusa Dua. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
You’re spoilt for choice with luxury 5 star large beachfront resorts. For opulence choose the St Regis Bali Resort or Amanusa. The Mulia is one of the largest resorts and is often rated among the best. Or take your pick of international branded hotels including Starwood and Accor. Club Med is one of our favourites with loads of activities, gourmet meals and drinks included.

MENJANGAN

  • March 13, 2018
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Menjangan Island forms part of the remote West Bali National Park. The island name means deer in bahasa Indonesia as a sizable population of Javan Rusa and Indian Muntjac deer live wild in the park there. Blessed with beautiful marine life and some of the world’s rarest species, Menjangan is one of the top dive spots in Bali. Located at the north western point of Bali it’s not far to the coast overlooking Java.  Because of this it makes a great stopping point when travelling overland from Java. It’s about a 3 hour drive to the resort areas of South Bali.
Diving and Snorkelling. Menjangan Island lies just off the coast of Bali. In the marine reserve you'll find colourful coral reef gardens and diverse fish life. Explore the National Park. Birdspotting, walking, mountain cycling and horse riding options available in the forest.    
Our pick is The Menjangan, located within the West Bali National Park and overlooking Menjangan Island. It's luxury in the forest.

LOVINA

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
Lovina is a quiet beachfront village spanning about 8km on the North Coast of Bali. Nothing much happens here which I guess is an asset is some ways. The nights are quiet; only a few bars and restaurants are open and are few and far between.   With its north-facing vantage point, Lovina gets to see the spectacular sunrise and sunset daily - weather permitting of course.   The sand is black here and the sea is calm. Step out in the water and you'll realise that it's clear water that can be snorkelled. Traditional outriggers called perahu pulled up on the shore are a reminder that Lovina is a fishing community at heart.   At night, the fishing boats come out and with their spot lights hunting for squid.   Dolphins also cruise around these waters and a morning boat trip can be taken to find some. Tickets for the boat ride can be purchased at the hotel or no doubt, someone will try and sell you one.   Typically Lovina would be a stopping point for a few nights while exploring Bali.
Read a book and relax. Lovina is quiet and this is the reason it appeals to many. Swim. The beach is black sand but the water is clear. Dolphin Sunrise Tour. This is the most famous tour option there. Head out in a small boat to spot the dolphins.
Around the 4 star bracket head for the Puri Bagus Lovina which is built right on the shores of Lovina in beautiful manicured gardens. For luxury head for either The Lovina for an inspiring beach resort experience or 4km inland with sweeping views over the ocean, The Damai is sure to please.

LOMBOK

  • March 13, 2018
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LEGIAN

  • March 13, 2018
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Legian, just north of Kuta Central and south of Seminyak fuses nicely with its party brother to the south and more chilled counterpart to the north. Legian takes up about 1 ½ km of coastline with surf, deckchairs and relaxed atmosphere dominating the area.   A paved walkway runs the length of Legian between the hotels and the beach making it easy to walk to the edge of Seminyak and Kuta. At the northern end of Legian there are several restaurants along the walkway serve great food in a utopian atmosphere overlooking the beach.
Surf, Sunbathe and Swim. Easy beach breaks make Legian ideal for learning to surf. It's also safe enough to swim and lifeguards are present. Shopping. The roads are wall to wall shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Nightlife. There are some nightlife options in Legian plus you've got all of Kuta and Seminyak's options close by. Walking, Running and People Watching at the Beach. In the morning you'll find many expats and locals running and walking along the beach at sunrise. Jump on a beanbag at one of the many beachside eateries for sunset and a great atmosphere. Most Other Day Tours can be booked for your stay in Legian. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
There’s a great range of 3 – 5 star near-beachfront resorts to choose from. The luxurious Padma Resort Legian has beautiful pools and gardens. Bali Niksoma is well known as the boutique ‘couples’ hotel. Hotel Jayakarta is a large 3 star, 3 pool  resort popular with Australian families. The smaller Kumala Pantai and Puri Raja are popular choices in the 3 star range too. Check out the newly opened Bandha Hotel too, for a modern 4 star option.

KUTA CENTRAL

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
Kuta Central is probably the area that most people think of when thinking about Bali. Kuta is where tourism began in Bali, starting out as a transit point of those seeking enlightenment in India. That was back in the 60's. Then the Australian surfies based themselves here to surf the breaks and from that time until now, Kuta has become the ever developing, ever changing tourist capital of Bali. Kuta Central is crammed into a tiny area of about 1 ½ km by 500 metres sandwiched between South Kuta and Legian.   These days many of the restaurants have international gourmet menus. Shops are becoming more boutique and exclusive but you're still going to find great bargains, restaurant, bars and entertainment that flows into the night.   The place is always on the go and it's easy to see why so many people go back year after year. It's got everything you want - the great choice of hotels of budget to luxury, the shopping experience, the beach and the non-stop buzz and excitement.  

You'll always see surfers paddling their boards in the waves and the odd one catching a goodie, there'll be some Bali locals renting surfboards, selling fresh pineapple and cold drinks, the old massage ladies and plenty of sunbathers from around the globe. The beach disappears into the mist at either end and is a lovely place to walk in the early morning hours.

Surf, Sunbathe and Swim. Easy beach breaks make Kuta ideal for learning to surf. It's also safe enough to swim and lifeguards are present. The beach is wide and long so grab your towel and set yourself up for a day at the beach. Shopping. The roads are wall to wall shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Go crazy! Nightlife. Bali is famous (and infamous) for it's Kuta nightlife. There are so many options here to suit your taste. Walking, Running and People Watching at the Beach. In the morning you'll find many expats and locals running and walking along the beach at sunrise. Sunset brings out the local boys playing beach soccer and the beach fills up with creating a festive atmosphere. Most Other Tours can be booked for your stay in Kuta. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
When you stay in Kuta the beach, bars, shops and restaurants are all within a few minutes’ walk. For luxury consider the hotels across the road from the beach including Sheraton Bali Kuta Resort next to the Beachwalk Shopping Mall or the Hard Rock Hotel and Cafe if you like big pools and a good atmosphere. Also worth considering is The Stones and The Pullman Legian. Within the crazy concrete jungle in the blocks behind the beach you’ll find a myriad of good value hotels ranging from budget to mid-range. Popular choices include The White Rose, Dewi Sri and Ida Hotel.

JIMBARAN BAY

  • March 13, 2018
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Jimbaran Bay is one of the prettiest bays in Bali, with calm blue waters and a beautiful beach. The bay is located just south of the airport and while planes can be seen flying majestically in and out, disturbing noise does not reach the beach. There's not much in the way of facilities for tourists outside the hotels here, except for the seafood restaurants that open up at night on the beach selling delicious BBQ'd seafood. Even if you're not staying in Jimbaran Bay, make sure you head down here for dinner one night. It's fairly basic, usually plastic chairs and tables out in the sand, but the setting is perfect, especially at sunset and it's one of my Bali highlights.
The BBQ Fish Restaurants on the Beach. Fairly basic but lovely to enjoy during sunset. Swimming. Jimbaran Bay is the perfect bay for swimming. Most Other Day Tours can be booked for your stay. Many tours will pick you up from your hotel.
Jimbaran Bay caters well to the upper end of the market. The iconic award winning Four Season Jimbaran continues to rank highly. In the bay, our favorites include the large Intercontinental Bali Resort and the more intimate Belmond Jimbaran Puri. Further around the coast you’ll find the Ayana Resort set above the ocean with breathtaking views. The Ayana is famous for its Rock Bar, worthy of a sunset drink on your next visit.

GILI ISLANDS

  • March 13, 2018
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text about the gili islands

CANGGU

  • March 13, 2018
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Canggu is a casual beach resort town about midway between Seminyak and Tanah Lot. It's surrounded by terraced rice paddies and known for the surf beaches like Canggu and Echo. Villa accommodation is set amongst the rice paddys. Finns Beach Club with its absolute beachfront location in front of the famous Berawa surf break draws nightly crowds from afar. Perfect for lazy days too with the infinity edge pool and swim up pool bar. Stay here for your whole Bali trip for a more chilled experience or spend part of your time here and the balance in Ubud or another beach area.
Surfing. Canggu has become increasingly popular, including Echo Beach and Berawa Beach. Nightlife. Lower key compared to Seminyak. Spend the day at Finn's Beach Club. For cocktails, food, pool, music and a festive atmosphere.
The artistic beachfront Tugu Bali is the top pick for a luxury experience with a twist. Villas abound with an impressive choice on offer. Let us know your requirements to match you to the right villa.

CANDI DASA

  • March 13, 2018
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Not too many people make it up to Candi Dasa. You could say that it's quite a shame many people are missing out on such a slow paced tropical hideaway. Or on the flipside you could argue that because not many people get there, it remains a tropical hideaway. I've stayed there several times - granted, I didn't do much more than sunbathe, read a book, wander through the few shops and wile away a sunny afternoon at a local cafe, but that's what holidays are all about - relaxing. Candi Dasa (pronounced Chandi Dasa, although Candi does sound sweet and appealing) made it onto the tourist map of Bali back in the 1970's as a good dive and snorkelling spot. There’s not so much of a beach here but beautiful views looking over the ocean. Snorkelling and diving are good options for day trips at sea or inland it’s a good place to base yourself to explore North East Bali. As a general rule, tourists stay two or three nights here and the rest of their time at one of the main beach areas Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua etc) or else continue travelling around exploring Bali with stops in Lovina and Ubud.
Snorkelling and Diving. Further north in Amed you can enjoy swimming among the tropical fish. Great base for Exploring Inland and Further North. There are hidden treasures in Bali that so many miss if they only stay in the south. Cut out the driving time and stay in Candi Dasa instead.
We recommend the Puri Bagus Candi Dasa and the Rama Candi Dasa Resort for good value 3 ½ to 4 star oceanfront experiences. For more of a luxurious getaway then consider the Karma Royal Candi Dasa or for opulence choose the Amankila.

BUKIT PENINSULAR (THE BUKIT)

  • March 13, 2018
  • alins_zir
This limestone peninsular, located south of Jimbaran Bay and west of Nusa Dua, encompasses some of Bali's best beaches including Balangan and Uluwatu. The Bukit is one of the latest areas to be developed and is home to many exclusive cliff top resorts and 2 18 hole golf courses. Due to it's more remote location The Bukit is an ideal place to base yourself if you intend to stay within your villa or resort and not take too many day trips. The endless Indian Ocean views from the resorts and the surf below are what draws romantic couples this way. It's a great place to get married!
Surfing. Impossibles, Uluwatu, Padang Padang, Bingin, Dreamland, Balangan and more. There are plenty of surf spots here. You don't need to stay in The Bukit to access these surf spots. Staying somewhere else, eg: Legian or Nusa Dua will be fine to take a day trip from. Visit Uluwatu Temple. Perched on a steep cliff 70 metres above the Indian Ocean. Be Inspired. Due to its clifftop location, many of the resorts here have the most amazing views over the Indian Ocean. Some resorts have access to small, almost private beaches. Cocktails at Sunset at the Rock Bar. One of Bali's most iconic bars, built on a rock 14 metres above the Indian Ocean. Guests at The Ayana receive preferential entry.    
The idea here is to choose a resort that will give you the best views and facilities that's within your budget. The Karma Kandara is one of our favorites - a villa resort with stunning views and a beach only accessible from the resort. The modern Anantara Uluwatu offers a variety of suites and villas. Ayana covers hectares of ocean front property. It's a large resort that can easily handle large conferences but caters well for couples and families. Bulgari Resort is among the most luxurious resorts in Bali.  

AMED

  • March 13, 2018
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Amed is a long coastal strip of fishing villages in North East Bali. Once known for its traditional salt farming it’s now known as a low key dive spot – in fact it’s one of the better underwater playgrounds in Bali with an historical shipwreck as one of the attractions. The beaches are lined with traditional jukung outriggers that are used daily by the local fishermen.  The pace of life here is slow and relaxed.  Nearby attractions on land include Mount Agung, Besakih Temple and Tirta Gangga water palace.
Diving and Snorkelling. With a shipwreck and plenty of tropical fish, this is one of Bali's best underwater spots.
There’s a smattering of hotels and villas to choose from here from budget through to private luxury villas. For the very best lock in the Griya Villas and Spa.