The Most Relaxing Beaches in Bali: Which is Best For You?
There are so many beaches to explore in Bali, but which one is the best? Read on to find out...
There are so many beaches to explore in Bali, but which one is the best? Read on to find out...
Bali, oh Bali, you never cease to amaze us with your sunny skies, warm sands, and those crystal-clear waters. But let's face it, with so many epic beaches, it can be hard to decide which one to frolic on.
Lucky for you, we've taken all the guesswork out and curated the ultimate guide to the best beaches in Bali for relaxing, no even better, the dreamiest Bali beaches perfect for rejuvenating your soul!
Whether you're craving some laid-back lounging or an adventure into the watery depths, our guide has got you covered. So, let's get our butts to Bali and start soaking up some serious sun!
1. Dreamland Beach (New Kuta Beach)
Forget Kuta Beach, and head to New Kuta Beach, aka Dreamland Beach, located in Pecatu on the Bukit Peninsula in Uluwatu, south Bali.
Access to this dream beach is nice and easy (unlike most beaches in the area that require going down millions of steps) as you can drive (or scooter) all the way to the beach - making Dreamland one of the best beaches in Bali.
Dreamland is famous for its stunning shoreline, white sand and towering limestone cliffs. The clear turquoise waters are perfect for water sports, swimming, sunbathing or just lounging around (you can rent sun beds and umbrellas on the beach for cheap too).
Just note that some days the waves and currents can be strong depending on the tide, so something to be aware of.
Dreamland is also a very popular spot for surfing of all levels (depending on how the surf is pumping that day!). You can hire a surf board or take some surf lessons as well.
Surfers will appreciate Dreamland especially because it is one of the rare spots in the area that offers both left and right-handers. The best time to surf Dreamland is probably at low tide, so check the tides before heading over.
But if surfing is not your thing, you should probably check out Klapa Beach Club, which is an awesome beach club with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean, various lounging options (day beds, round sofas, long chairs, you name it!), as well as a bar and restaurant.
They also have live DJs every Saturday and Sunday from 4.30pm, which is the perfect way to spend an evening, watching the sunset over the water, with a cocktail or two.
2. Bingin Beach
This picturesque white-sand beach may be small, but it sure packs a punch and is one of Bali's most popular beaches!
It is also located in the Bukit Peninsula but access to the beach itself is a little trickier. You'll need to park or be dropped off at the top of the cliffs, and then walk your way through alleyways, past some hilltop accommodation, and then down some stairs to the beach.
At first you might think you're going the wrong way but don't worry, soon the alleyways will open up onto amazing ocean views. Also worth nothing that there are few pathways that go down, but they all lead to the beach.
If you're a fan of surfing, Bingin Beach is another must-visit destination. It's one of Bali's most famous surf breaks, and the waves there are sure to make your heart race! There are a few surf shacks on the beach where you can hire a board, if you don't have your own.
The wave at Bingin Beach is famous for being a perfect left-hand barrel, but the tight take-off zone makes Bingin best for experienced surfers, as that can be challenging.
If you're looking for something more relaxing, there are some lovely beachside restaurants and warungs (small local eateries) where you can while away the hours, sipping on a cold Bintang while soaking in the stunning views.
Kelly's Warung is a really cool beach bar and warung serving up local fresh food, smoothie bowls, poke, burgers and more. They often have DJs playing on Friday evenings and when you mix up good tunes, great food, cold drinks, sunset views, golden sand, azure waves and happy vibes, you get a great combo! Note that this warung only accepts cash (something that is very common in Bali), so be prepared and have some cash on you.
3. Balangan Beach
Is this the best beach in Bali? Balangan Beach is certainly a hidden gem, located in the same Uluwatu area, just one bay over from Dreamland Beach, and is perfect for those looking for a quiet and secluded spot to relax. This stunning beach also has crystal clear water and pristine white sand giving it a surreal feel.
The access to Balangan is again a little trickier than other beaches (but well worth it) as you have to park at the top of the cliffs (note the car park is not free) and walk down a set of stairs.
Before you head down though, be sure to check out the awesome views from the top of the cliffs and explore the amazing rock caves.
It is best to try and visit Balangan when it is not high tide as the beach is quite small and you won't have as much space to spread out.
Balangan is another famous surf spot, with a long and very fast left reef break, and for this reason it is probably best for experienced surfers (especially at low tide).
But for people who don't surf but still appreciate watching surfers, this usually makes for some good surf watching!
There are a few warungs located right on the white sand beach. These are definitely not fancy by no means, but the food there is great, fresh and you can try some awesome local dishes that you wouldn't get in other touristy spots.
4. Pandawa Beach
This beautiful beach is tucked away behind towering cliffs and offers an almost otherworldly atmosphere with crystal clear waters and extra white sand, that will make you feel like you're in paradise.
It is located in the Bukit Peninsula as well but further south, about 30 minutes from Bingin. The road that leads to the beach comes to a fork and if you turn left it will lead you to the less touristy part of the beach with some great local warungs.
One thing to note is that there is an entrance fee for this beach which is currently about 20,000 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), just over NZ$2 per person, which is still pretty cheap and worth it. Plus, you have to pay for parking but again the fee is small.
For those who just want to relax and unwind (yes, please!), Pandawa Beach offers plenty of chill beachfront cafes and restaurants to indulge in some local delicacies while sipping on a refreshing drink.
Or you can just lay back on a sun-lounger (which you can rent), let your feet sink into the sand, and let the waves serenade you.
Or there are even places offering massages right on the beach where you could get a full hour massage from as little as NZ$10! Or a mani-pedi if you felt like it too.
Or for those of you wanting to stay active (why not!), you can hire a canoe and paddle out to explore the lovely turquoise waters. Or go swimming as the surf there is not as big as other beaches, however we recommend packing some reef shoes if you can, as the coral reefs can be very sharp.
One last great thing about Pandawa Beach is that it has fairly good wheelchair access as you can park close to the beach and there is also a boardwalk along the beach with one area with an accessible entrance to the sand.
5. Virgin Beach, East Bali
For something outside of the usual tourist areas, check out Virgin Beach in the eastern Bali region of Karangasem (close to Candidasa).
Although it's worth noting that this beach would only be somewhere you'd visit if you were staying on the east coast, as it's over 2 hours from Kuta Beach or Seminyak Beach one way!
This great beach is off the beaten path and definitely perfect for relaxing as it is so much quieter than the busy Bukit Peninsula.
The access coming from Candidasa is good, although the road can be rough in some places and the last bit of the road is more like a dirt track than a road, but don't worry you're going the right way! Carry on past the car park and towards the warungs until you get to this hidden beach.
There is a fee to access the beach here too, but again it's only about 15,000 IDR per person which is under NZ$2.
The beach is fringed by swaying palm trees giving it a more tropical feel. Just a heads up that the sand is not white as the area is volcanic so it is more a mix of black and golden sand; but us Kiwis are used to black sand so that shouldn't bother you!
There are some cute warungs along the beach, located right on the sand, where you can hire sun loungers and umbrellas for a few dollars for the day. And there are some local ladies offering massages on the beach for less than $10 per hour.
The waters off the beach are beautifully clear and warm, and as it is located on a reef you can go snorkelling there and see some great marine wildlife. You can even hire snorkelling gear from the local warungs. Again reef shoes are recommended here.
6. More of Bali's Best Beaches
- Nusa Dua Beach
If you're after a day of pampering, Nusa Dua is good as a lot of the big resorts are located there (think Sofitel, Grand Hyatt, St. Regis, Ritz, etc) and even if you're not staying at one of the Nusa Dua beach resorts you can go to the beach and then go and use some of the resorts facilities like eating at one of the resorts' fine dining restaurants and/or get a massage at one of the many resort spas (just make sure you book first). But please don't use their pool or any other facilities as that is not usually something resorts allow day visitors to do!
- Canggu Beach
Another surfer's paradise Canggu is one of the hippest spots in Bali. There are loads of cafes, beach bars or pool bars to relax at while enjoying a tropical drink in the sun. The beach clubs have become a popular spot for trendy locals and hipster worldwide visitors alike, but what sets Canggu Beach apart is the combination of serene, bohemian atmosphere with access to luxury amenities.
- Melasti Beach
Melasti Beach is another hidden gem in the Ungasan region of the Bukit Peninsula, with crystal-clear waters, sugary white sand, and incredible sunsets. One the cleanest beaches in Bali, Melasti is great for relaxing and swimming. Plus, the natural stone formations packed around the coastline are great for your Instagram! Oh and we also love and recommend La Palmilla Beach Club, a fairly new beach club with a stunning pool, cabanas, sun loungers, restaurant and bar open all day.
- Kuta Beach
Ok so if you want to avoid the crowds, this is probably not the right place for you as Kuta Beach is one of the most touristy and popular beaches in Bali. It is also famous for being a bit of a party place so beware if that's not your vibe either! It's one of the best places to watch the sunset (if you like crowds again!), and there are loads of restaurants and bars to enjoy along the waterfront. There are also all sorts of water activities you can do there including jet skiing or taking a surf lesson.
- Seminyak Beach
Similarly to Kuta Beach, this area is also very busy, so stay clear if you want peace and quiet! Seminyak is actually made up of several beaches including Seminyak Beach of course, but also Petitenget Beach, Batu Belig Beach, and Double Six Beach. The area is full of restaurants and bars and this is where you'll also find the famous Potato Head Beach Club.
- Jimbaran Beach
Located south of the airport on the west side of the island, Jimbaran Beach is another touristy spot and again not the beach for you if you're wanting to escape the crowds (especially at sunset when it gets packed!)! But what Jimbaran Bay is most famous for is its multitude of fresh seafood restaurants dotted along the beach with giant rows of tables set up right on the sand, so if that sounds like you, make sure you check it out.
- Sanur Beach
Sanur is located on the east coast, about a 30-minute drive from Ngurah Rai International Airport and is a lot quieter than its west coast cousins! Because of this, it is more family-friendly, especially as it still offers great amenities, beach resorts, restaurants and bars. And being located in east Bali, you'll get some of the best sunrise views on the island.
- Nusa Penida Island
This island located southeast of Bali is jam-packed with stunning, breathtaking landscapes. We are talking about epic sea cliffs, pristine beaches, and wondrous caves – all waiting for you to explore. What's really unique about Nusa Penida is that it's still relatively unexplored, so you'll be able to enjoy its natural beauty minus the hectic crowds. One of the most stunning and famous beaches in Nusa Penida Island is the very Instagrammable Diamond Beach, so if you're making the boat trip across, make sure you have it on your list.
Bali is an incredible island with so many beautiful beaches and we hope this guide will help you find the best beaches that are right for you. From trendy beach clubs to small warungs, epic surf breaks to lazy lounging, you can find whatever you're after in Bali.
Take your time and explore the island, its culture, try its delicious cuisine, and of course, enjoy all of its beaches. Visiting Bali is an awesome experience that you ought to relish. But whatever you do, make sure you relax and indulge in this stunning paradise with a cocktail or two. Happy travels!