Is a 2-week trip enough to explore Bali? Many people asked me this after my trip. Believe me, our two-week itinerary is enough to get a taste of the most important places in Bali! This itinerary gives you time to explore a few different locations, whilst guaranteeing a relaxed pace with plenty of time to enjoy some well-deserved rest. As first-timers in Bali, two weeks was a great length for our first trip. That being said: holidays are never long enough… I definitely left this place wanting to explore more! Go ahead and use our Two-Week Itinerary to get some ideas of amazing things to do in Bali and wonderful places to stay.
Day 1-3: Jimbaran – Uluwatu
Welcome to Bali! It’s a good idea to start your holidays in Jimbaran, as it is located close to the airport (ca. 15min drive). With Jimbaran as starting point, you can explore the southern part of Bali. Fortunately, taxis are not expensive at all. Alternatively, you can buy a local SIM card and have access to Uber at all times!
What to do:
- Uluwatu: one of the most famous Balinese temples with stunning cliffside views of the Indian Ocean. Make sure you arrive early in the morning!
- The Rock Bar: part of the Ayana resort, you can reach this renowned bar via the cliffside inclinator. Expect stunning astonishing views of the Indian Ocean. Although they say the (VIP) Round Deck is the best spot, you better book a table on the upper deck facing the Round Deck: this is the real thing!
- El Kabron Beach club: the ideal afternoon hangout spot, including swimming pool, marvelous sunset views and delicious Spanish tapas.
- Padang Padang beach: one of Bali’s most famous surf spots; it has a 100 meters sandy beach in between the cliffs. Expect a picture-perfect beach but also an entrance fee and lots of tourists.
- Cuca Restaurant: this amazing restaurant is famous thanks to ex-El Bulli chef Kevin Cherkas and his excellent cuisine. His carefully conceived dishes meant to be shared will make your taste buds explode! (Address: Jl. Yoga Perkanthi, Jimbaran).
- Don’t forget to enjoy a delicious seafood barbecue on the beach. Plenty of choice in Jimbaran!
Where to stay:
- Mövenpick Jimbaran: Mövenpick opened its very first resort in Bali in January 2017. Inspired by the traditional 5 elements of Balinese design and reflecting the natural wonder of the region, the Mövenpick Resort & Spa Jimbaran is an idyllic heaven. Set amid meandering pools and lush landscaped gardens, this hotel is located at only 100m from Jimbaran beach.
Day 4-6: Seminyak – Canggu
Let’s ignore touristic Kuta and drive up north towards Seminyak and Canggu. Don’t expect loads of culture and rice fields here, this area is all about luxury, gastronomy, surfing and relaxing!
What to do:
- Seminyak has a vibrant shopping scene with the most creative designs in the region. Think inventive boutiques, eclectic bars and the most cutting edge beach clubs with comprehensive cocktail menus;
- The area is popular for surfing, also for beginners such as us! Careful with so-called “private surf teachers” stopping you from the moment you enter the beach and asking way too much money. We paid 600.000 IDR (ca. 38 EUR) for a private session for two people during ca. 3 hours.
- Book a morning yoga class: Plataran Canggu Resort offers guided meditation sessions amid the lush Balinese gardens. The sessions are conducted by a professional wellness expert. After class, you can enjoy a freshly prepared jamu, a traditional herbal juice made from natural ingredients.
- Ready for some action? A less than 20 minutes drive brings you to the world of W Bali and its thrilling atmosphere. Sip a fancy named cocktail in the Woobar, take a refreshing dive in the incredible three-tiered pool, and don’t forget to enjoy a seafood barbecue in the Starfish Bloo restaurant. This magnet for the well-heeled and glamorous also allows day trippers not being a hotel guest. You can enter the pool free of charge, as long as you consume drinks and/or snacks in the Woobar.
- Drive 10km north from Seminyak and explore Canggu, Bali’s new hotspot with loads of hip youngsters and a cool, alternative undercurrent with less crowds and mass tourism. Somehow you could compare it to Tulum in Mexico!
- Go surfing or soaking up sun on Echo Beach (‘Pantai Batu Mejan’).
Where to stay:
- Hotel Indigo is a brand new hotel in Seminyak. The hotel opened its doors in July 2017 and succeeded in capturing both the ancient and modern zeitgeist of Seminyak in all its color, energy and tradition. It combines the best of both worlds: a peaceful retreat right next to the beach and in the middle of the buzzing village.
- Plataran Resort: Located in Canggu, this resort is a tranquil sanctuary amidst the bustling Canggu streets. Plataran Canggu Resort has great access to all beautiful beaches along the southwest coast (Canggu, Seminyak, Petitenget, Echo Beach), making it great for surfing and enjoying the stunning Bali sunsets.
Day 7-10: Ubud
The drive from Seminyak to Ubud will take you between 1,5 and 2 hours, depending on traffic. Get ready for Bali’s cultural hub! Ubud is a wonderful place full of picturesque rice terraces, authentic local stores and markets and lush nature.
What to do:
- On your way from Seminyak to Ubud, you pass the Millennium Bridge, the largest bamboo bridge in Asia. It has a span of 23 meters and an impressive Minangkabau inspired roof.
- Sacred Monkey Forest is an obligatory stop when visiting Ubud! This sanctuary is inhabited by a band of over 600 grey-haired and greedy long-tailed Balinese macaques who are king in this forest.
- Pura Taman Saraswati: a beautiful water temple in central Ubud. The temple is an ideal stop while strolling through Ubud town.
- Tegallalang Rice Terrace: although Ubud area is full of gorgeous rice paddies, Tegallalang is an obvious choice!
- Restaurant Locavore: this restaurant has caused a massive buzz throughout Bali’s dining scene since it opened in Ubud early 2013. It is renowned for its unique approach to food, using locally-sourced produce to create outstanding cuisine. Make sure to reserve a table!
- If you feel adventurous, try out a white water rafting tour!
Where to stay:
- Royal Pita Maha: Designed by Ubud’s royal family, this hotel really is an unforgettable place. This is the kind of resort that succeeds in combining absolute luxury with an incredibly Balinese touch. Designed to celebrate the traditional culture of Bali, The Royal Pita Maha features a collection of private pool villas overlooking the breathtaking Ayung River. Expect uninterrupted views of lush tropical greenery and overwhelming aesthetic details!
Day 11-14: Gili Meno
You just spent 10 days in bustling Bali with its omnipresent and maddening motorbikes… You are longing for the perfect break away from the tourist hordes… Gili Meno is what you need! It’s the smallest of the three Gili islands and located right next to Lombok. Away from Gili Trawangan’s crowded nightlife, this island gives you a real Robinson Crusoe experience.
What to do:
- Scuba diving: The Gili islands are famous for its underwater life. Rent a pair of fins/flippers and a snorkel and go scuba diving! The good news is that you don’t need to pay an expensive boat trip: most of the snorkel areas are accessible from the beach.
- Massage on the beach: approach any vendor on the beach and she will most likely be willing to give you an (affordable) massage on the spot. Although you shouldn’t expect the best Balinese massage ever, the complete experience with the sound of the waves and the rustling of the palm trees is absolutely worth the money!
- Try out the authentic Indonesian Rijsttafel (“rice table”), which refers to the Dutch colonial period. Several Indonesian dishes are served in the center of the table surrounding a large basket of steamed white rice. Popular side dishes include egg rolls, sambals, satay, fish, fruit, vegetables, pickles, and nuts.
- Walk towards the northern side of the island and you will have the most spectacular sunset show you have ever seen with a perfect view on Mount Agung and Gili Trawangan!
- Careful with choosing your transport to Gili Meno! Read on about the best way to get here…
Where to stay:
- Karma Reef: One of the best places to stay in Gili Meno is Karma Reef, a stylish and sophisticated yet relaxed resort with a laid-back atmosphere. You can either choose between a five-star villa and a luxurious safari tent dotted along your private beach.