Your villa manager will have a wealth of information about places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the area too. Most will live nearby and can give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of local Bali life.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of Villa Bali Bali.
- Make a pilgrimage to sacred Pura Tanah Lot, one of Bali’s biggest tourist magnets. Perched high on a craggy, wave-lashed rock, this ancient sea temple is best savoured at sunset; be sure to receive a blessing from the Hindu Priests (and watch out for the monkeys, who are very adept at helping themselves to anything from snacks to sunglasses and even cameras!)
- Play a round at the unbelievably scenic Nirwana Bali Golf Course. Bordered by ocean and rice fields and just down from Tanah Lot sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course (designed by golf legend, Greg Norman) is frequently voted number one in Asia.
- Drive westwards to explore the charming Tabanan regency, revealing terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black-sand beaches dotted with fishing communities. Or head north to explore the volcanic lakes near the mountain town of Bedugul, including Lake Bratan with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
- If you’ve always dreamed of galloping along a beach or riding through villages bordered by rice fields, now’s your chance. Bali Horse Adventure and Kuda P Stables (both in Pererenan) can arrange horse riding tours, as well as children’s riding lessons and horse-drawn carriage outings.
- With its warm seas, amost year round season, relatively uncrowded beach and reef breaks and suitability for all levels of experience, Bali surfing is world renowned. Accessibility to the different surfing areas is also a big plus – you can hop on a scooter and get from side of The Bukit to the other in 20 minutes, making sure you don’t miss any of the action.
- Covering 3.8 hectares of tropical parkland in Kuta, Waterbom Bali has 16 water slides (including The Climax with its 360 degree loop) to entertain the young and the young at heart. A great family day out, but go early to beat the crowds.
- Fashionistas, trendies and shop-a-holics should hot-foot it down to Seminyak, Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave. Here, you can indulge for hours in the glut of stylish, chic boutiques. For furniture, antiques and homeware stores go for a wander around the streets of nearby Kerobokan. There is a wide choice of fine dining, mid range, and cheap ‘n cheerful restaurants in Seminyak too: fine dining venues include Sarong, the famous Ku Dé Ta, The Living Room, La Lucciola, Sardine and Métis.
- There’s a strip of restaurants and cafés at Echo Beach offering a wide range of dining options from chic and sceneful to cheap and cheerful. Try The Beach House for fresh seafood BBQs every night and live music on Sundays, and do check out Café Dian, and Mandira for their great fish ‘n chips.
- Visit the mystical Hotel Tugu (Bali’s first museum-hotel) studded with priceless Indonesian artworks and antiques and its award-winning spa offers age-old Eastern therapies. If you’re planning a honeymoon, this makes a wonderful first night venue. The hotel’s restaurants offer authentic Chinese and Indonesian fine dining, as well as an international menu, in a variety of unique settings. At the rustic Waroeng Tugu you can taste the traditional Javanese and Balinese cuisine of bygone centuries.
- Explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages by bicycle; a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink.