A 7-day itinerary to explore in and around Bali

Putting together a 7-day itinerary to Bali has been quite a herculean task. Honestly, this Indonesian Hindu island has got so much to experience and explore that a couple of weeks could easily be dedicated to just lazing around the beaches and indulging in the water sports activities. While another couple of weeks visiting at least a handful of volcanoes and temples that this island is peppered with!

No doubt that Bali is a backpackers’ paradise, an exotic honeymoon destination and a digital nomad’s dream. However, as a family traveller, I found the tropical paradise of Bali – a perfect family destination too. Well, if you are rolling your eyes wondering, ‘ Why the heck will I take my family to a place like Bali which is a solo traveller’s dream?’…Ahem, Ahem…Maybe your spouse is also reading this write-up.

So, here is a comprehensive guide and a 7-day itinerary to explore in and around Bali. I’ve tried to include as much as insider’s information as possible. This itinerary is suggested keeping the Kuta neighbourhood as a base, due to its proximity to the airport.

A 7-day Bali itinerary to explore in and around the Hindu island

Before I dwell into what to see and where to stay details, let me give a brief idea as to where Bali is.

A little about Bali

Bali is one of the 17,500 islands that make up Indonesia and the largest archipelago in the world. Out of these, just a mere 6000 islands are said to be inhabited. And, many islands might be getting created slowly as you are reading this, due to constant volcanic activities around the region. And, no, Bali isn’t the capital, but a province in Indonesia!

Day 1 of Bali itinerary

The first day in Bali may just go in shaking off your jet lag depending on the region and country from where you’ve travelled. It’s quite a long flight from India with a stop-over at Singapore or Kuala Lampur or Bangkok depending on the airlines and the flight route. On our trip to Bali was by Singapore Airlines with a super-impressive service. I suggest extending the layover time at Singapore, to avail of the free city-tour offered by Singapore’s Changi airport as well as to explore Jewel Changi Airport. It’s a world in itself!

Upon reaching the airport in Denpasar, we stayed at a property in Kuta, a pleasant buzzing neighbourhood with a beach. It’s just a 15min drive from the airport and is quite accessible at any time of the day and night. A short walk around the neighbourhood, a relaxing family time along the beach or indulge in water-sports activities could be a perfect way to end Day1.

Bali-itinerary-GWCulturalPark
The massive Garuda statue at Garuda Wisnu Cultural Park

Alternately, if you aren’t jet-lagged and want to kickstart your Bali trip right away, then hop into that car of yours and drive towards Garuda Wisnu Cultural Park to spend quality hours exploring this architectural marvel. Catch the setting sun at the picturesque Tanah Lot temple or one of the beaches in the Uluwatu area.

 

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Perched on a small rocky island is the revered Hindu site of Tanah Lot temple, at Baraban village, 30km from Denpasar town in Bali, Indonesia. * Tanah lot in Balinese language translates to ‘Land in the sea’, and the temple is dedicated to sea god – Dewa Baruna. This 16th century temple was constructed during the reign of King Dalem Baturenggong under the guidance of Dang Hyang Nirartha ( Pedanda Shakti Wawu Rauh) a Shiva devotee and a religious figure of the Shaivites in Java. * . Interesting to note: Brahmins of Bali are known as Pedanda! * . #travelphotography #travelguide #indonesian #wonderfulindonesia #bali #bali🌴 #hindutemple #hinduism #balinese #temples #architecturephotography #archilovers #agameoftones #natgeotravel #fodorsonthego #freelancewriter #travelgram #travelblogger #seaside #seascape #teampixel #pixel_ig #pixel #flowerstagram

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One can also opt to explore Nusa Dua, an upscale area with a lot of 5-star accommodations, relaxing Spas and fun water-sports adventures.

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MSpa in Nusa Dua

Recommendation: A great stay option could be the Ramayana Hotel which is centrally located to the market, money exchangers, ATMs, shopping markets, restaurants and pubs.While the Kuta beach is just a stone’s throw away!

Another property that I found very functional, uber chic and a great value for money is Sol, Bali.

Bali_stay-Sol
The eclectic interiors of Sol House Bali

Day 2 and 3: Explore in and around Ubud

Drive towards Ubud in the early hours of the day to escape the famed Bali traffic. Ubud has got a lot to offer in terms of shopping, sightseeing and serenity. The famed terrace rice-fields flood this area and so do the coffee outlets of Luwak coffee. You could spend hours in the Monkey sanctuary or just walk through the narrow lanes of Ubud with rice fields and temples for constant company. While here, do experience the famed swing of Bali.

Here is a mini-list of places to visit in and around Ubud.

Pay obeisance to Saraswati, Goddess of Wisdom and knowledge, at Pura Taman Saraswati and also explore the Goa Gajah temple, an 11th-century cave complex with Hindu and Buddhist influences and figurines.

Saraswati temple Bali
Source: Pixabay
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Source: Pixabay

Take a brave walk inside the 12.5 hectares of lush greenery dotted with ancient temples in Ubud Money sanctuary

Bali temple
Source: Pixabay

Heal naturally at the sacred springs of Tirta Empul temple

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Source: Pixabay

Visit the beautiful Ubud Palace, that’s just beside the market area.

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The entrance of the Ubud Palace

Go shopping at the Ubud market

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Spend an afternoon at Alas Harum Agrotourism centre, Ji Lunga Tegallang in Central Ubud

Bali-itinerary-Luwakcoffee

 

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The Luwak coffee , a speciality of Bali; popularly also called the civet coffee, the Kopi Luwak beans are the partially digested coffee beans defecated by the Asian Civet, that are sun-dried, its dry skin is peeled out by hand, and, then dried further to be roasted to this deep brown colour and the unmistakable aroma of coffee beans. They are further pounded in a mortar to be made into its finer form of th famous Kopi Luwak coffee powder. * . No, I didn’t taste it for sure 😀 * . #wonderfulindonesia #coffee #kopiluwak #luwakcoffee #travelphotography #travelwriting #travelwriter #indonesia #exploreindonesia #fodorsonthego #agameoftones #passionpassport #nature #naturephotography #travelgram #travel #travelblogger #mediatrip #morningcoffee #polkapics #bali🌴 #bali

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Watch an exhilarating performance of Kecak fire dance

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Have an afternoon meal with a volcano view at Kintamani Highlands

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A meal with a view
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The landscape around Mount Batur

Visit the floating temple of Ulun Danu Beratan

Bali-floating-temple

Tip: Ubud market is flooded with souvenirs, silver jewellery and other paraphernalia at throwaway prices. Do not forget to slash the quoted price to 75%. And, yes, bargaining is encouraged in Bali.

Are you a vegetarian/ vegan like me and are looking out for some great places to eat in Ubud? Then check out these adorable Vegan restaurants in Ubud, Bali

Day 4 and 5: Island hopping, natural wonders and water adventures

Now that you have spent exploring the land of Gods- Bali, it’s time to embark on sea adventures. The most gorgeous natural wonders and non-touristy white beaches are to be found around the Nusa islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. The nearest harbour to catch a ferry to these islands is at Sanur. It usually takes a good 30-45 mins to reach Nusa Penida from Sanur by boat.

Sanur-harbour
A view of the Sanur harbour
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Row row row your boat across the Indian Ocean

Nusa-Penida

Nusa Penida is the largest of the three islands. Spend a day exploring the island by staying overnight. Angels’ Billabong, Broken Beach, Kelingking Beach and crystal bay are worth your time.

Nusa-Penida

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Devil’s tears!
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The ferocious yet cute Tyrannosaurus Rex @ Kelingking Beach

Recommendation: We stayed overnight at the beautiful Star Semabu resort in Nusa Penida, that offers mesmerizing views of Mount Agung and the Indian ocean.

Nusa Lembongan has got pristine white beaches, mangroves and water-sports activities to indulge in. Dream beach is the most popular white stretch while the nearby’s Devil’s tear shouldn’t be missed. A mangrove tour and an overnight stay at Mahagiri resorts are highly recommended. Do not miss to catch the sunrise and sunset while here. The island offers beautiful views of Mount Agung (the highest volcano in Bali).

The best place to indulge in world-class snorkelling and scuba-diving is here.

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Mahagiri resorts with its own private beach!

Day 6 and 7: Shopping, Batik and silver jewellery

Spend time exploring Celuk, a village of silversmiths and shop for exquisite Bali silver jewellery. En route, stop at one of the many Batik centres to have a first-hand account of the intricacies of making this handloom.

Bali-itinerary-Batik

Shopping for souvenirs is best done at the Krisna Oleh Oleh shopping mart. They have a wide range of options from clothes to wooden artefacts to handwoven mobile covers and of course, everyone’s favourite- fridge magnets and keychains!

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Shoppers’ Paradise

Hope this itinerary guides you in planning your upcoming trip to Bali. Feel free to send me your queries, suggestions and feedback by using the contact form.

Alternate Bali itineraries.

Bali Itinerary- 2

Day 1, 2 and 3 – In and around Ubud

Day 4, 5 – Nusa islands

Day 6 – Nusa Dua, Tanah Lot and Wisnu Garuda cultural park

Bali Itinerary- 3

Day 1 – Kuta, Nusa Dua, Tanah Lot and Wisnu Gardua cultural park

Day 2 and 3 – Nusa Islands

Day 4, 5, 6 – In and around Ubud

This post is just the first part of the series on Indonesia travels. Thanks for reading and do keep a watch on my blog for such informative posts. Ciao!

Disclaimer: This Bali trip was in collaboration with Indonesia Tourism office New Delhi, Om Tourism and Singapore airlines. However, as with my other posts based on media trips, the views expressed in this write-up too are my own and are not influenced by the sponsors.

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Bali itinerary | Indonesia | Asia | SE Asia | Travel | Architecture | Family Travel | Travel Blogger | Travel Writer | Bali Shopping | Indonesia Islands | Nusa Penida | Nusa Lembongan

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12 Comments

  1. I love your blog. I literally do. All those pictures speak for itself. It is as if you are indeed taking us to Bali <3

  2. Bali is always on everyone’s list. And your pictures say it all over again. Just the perfect place for relishing nature up close.

  3. You managed to pack quite a bit into the four days that you were there and I am saying this coz Bali is notorious with distances. I am glad to see some of my favorites here – like the Tegalalang Rice fields and the famous Kecak dance. Nusa Penida in your pictures looks awesome. I completely second your choice of that as one of the days in Bali. In fact, a visit here makes you want to stay there for the night. Don’t you agree?

  4. Never heard about this Kewal fire dance , this must be interesting . I am yet to visit this super touristic yet an important place in Indonesia only contemplating that how many days should I budget for Bali alone .. this post helps indeed . And yes batik buy are very important ..few of the things even I recommend to acquire while shopping for exquisites .

  5. Yukti Agrawal says:

    I am always confused for how to start with Bali trip and it is great you listed some amazing tips and full 7 days itinerary and with this information, now I can easily plan my trip. First of all I loved your hotel selections, the first one Ramayana and it really looks interesting with that huge mural of Lord Ram. Also another sleek and chic one – Sol, Bali is beautiful too. Even looking out some local handicrafts by stopping at Celuk is a good idea and I love such artisan villages. I am bookmarking your post.

  6. Wow, you managed to pack in quite a lot during your 7 days. I’ll have to rent a car next time I’m in Bali so I can explore more. I stayed in Nusa Dusa and relaxed on the beach, which I rarely do. But I’m skipping the Luwak coffee. 🙂

  7. Indrani says:

    Well prepared itinerary. I was eager to start exploring right from day 1, but had to give up the idea due to jet lag. I was in Bali twice but sadly Ubud market evaded me both the times. Next time I hope to get there particularly for the hand made souvenirs. Island hopping is a great suggestion and visit to Nusa Penida most rewarding!

  8. I’m in the US and haven’t been to any part of this area. The flight scares me, I think I would go stir crazy! Yet there’s so many things to see and do I really want to visit. Of course time by the water is essential but Ubud is calling my name… monkeys, rice fields, that swing and fire dancing!

  9. Bali is beautiful and your pictures bring out the best. Indonesia is high on my list as islands fascinate me. This is such a lovely guide which I am going to use. Would save me precious time on planning.

  10. I havent been to Indonesia (and Bali) yet and it is on the plans to take my family there maybe in the next year or two (just waiting for my little one to grow up a bit first). I am really glad you have done this guide as you have added stuff on here which I wouldn’t have even thought of like the Tanah Lot temple, which does look really beautiful. I think when i get to this part of the world, I may end up staying for at least a month! Bali and the Nusa Islands really look beautiful.

  11. I’ve been wanting to visit all the far-eastern countries including Indonesia as well. I hope to plan a trip in 2 years. So, thanks much for this detailed itinerary.
    Tanah Lot temple looks so fascinating. Just its setting in the rocky terrain on the beach makes it so pictureesque!
    I generally don’t shop while traveling but here it would be an exception. I need to buy some traditional Batik fabrics!

  12. Oh my God, Meenakshi! Bali is on top of my travel bucket list for years. We plan but something or the other always comes up. As you mentioned, why to wait for the spouse, I now think! Beautiful pictures and I’m bookmarking this for the future.

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