Beautiful Bali holidays
Beautiful Bali lures all sorts of characters to its tropical shores – from spiritual seekers to surfers. The coastline is a big draw, and many of the best beaches can found down in the south – namely around Jimbaran, Kuta and the Bukit Peninsula. But there’s more to this Indonesian isle than its milky sands and gently breaking waves.
In the heart of the island, mountains give way to rolling hills. Bali’s highest peak, Mount Agung, is both an active volcano and the country’s holiest place. In fact, locals believe it’s the central axis of the universe. Thousands trek here each year to visit the isle’s most sacred temple, Pura Besakih, which calls the Agung slopes home.
For a true sense of Balinese culture, consider a stay in Ubud, where rice fields, lotus ponds and wellness centres collide. Or look to fashionable resorts like Seminyak for luxury hotel beach clubs and designer boutiques.
It’s one of the most sought-after beach destinations in the world, famed as much for its sublime spiritual beauty as its dizzying nightlife. You can still find the Bali of your dreams if you know where to look…
You’ll get a real insight into the Balinese way of life in the spiritual heart of the island: Ubud. It may bustle with art galleries, craft shops and tempting restaurants, but Ubud also soothes the soul with its renowned health and wellness centres. On your journey to and from the town you’ll see picture-postcard Bali - rainforest and terraced rice fields dotted with Hindu temples and shrines.
Seminyak shows you the other side of Bali with its hippy chic bars, luxury hotels and beach sunset scenes. There’s certainly fun to be had here, particularly after the sun goes down when its high-end bars and nightclubs come into their own.
Also known as the Bali Fire dance, this is one of Bali’s most iconic visual displays. Expect colourful costumes, extraordinary sounds, thrilling stories and – yes – fire, as the dancers tell the epic story of Ramayana in ritual movement. Kekac is performed all across Bali, but the most famous show is on the cliffs at Uluwatu, where the drama of the dance is made even more memorable by the beauty of an Indian Ocean sunset.
If you’re looking for a beach holiday in Bali, the weather is finest and most settled between May and August. The wet season in Bali is from November to March, although temperatures can still be high at around 30OC.
Two official languages are spoken in Bali: Indonesian and Balinese, although English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
The currency used in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah. Many places accept card payments, but this may not always be possible so it’s worth carrying a small amount of cash with you. You’ll find ATMs in most tourist areas.
Tipping is always appreciated in Bali for good service, but it is not necessarily expected. Many service workers don’t earn a high salary, so even small tips can make a big difference to a person’s standard of living.
Bali has one international airport: Ngurah Rai International, which is in the south of the island.
Currently there are no direct flights to Bali from the UK. Most flights stopover in Dubai or Singapore.
Total flight times from the UK to Bali will depend on the route taken, but on average it will take about 17 hours from London.
Yes, British passport holders do need a visa to go on holiday to Bali. You can apply for an e-visa before you travel on the official Indonesian Immigration website or apply for one on arrival at a cost of 500,000 Indonesian Rupiah (about £25). The visa is valid for 30 days. Please note entry conditions can change and visa scams are increasing in Indonesia, so we recommend you check the requirements well before you travel by using the tool at CIBT Visas and read the travel advice at GOV UK.
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