The image of Bali as a beach destination has likely taken hold from its surf-dominated origins back in the 1970s. And while there are many beautiful stretches, they are less typical and planning your beach trip requires thought -- not least because the rip and swell that lure surfers pose a less hospitable attraction for swimmers.

  • Kuta Beach at 66 -- While this is not necessarily the prettiest place to lie nor indeed the safest place to swim, Kuta Beach at 66 attracts people from all of the world to soak up the atmosphere and rays and watch the bods on the beds. Settle down on a sun lounger and the world will pass by.
  • Ku de Ta -- While more a bar than a beach, treat it as the latter and book one of the four-person sun loungers and kick back for the day with top-drawer service on tap.
  • Sanur Beach -- Similar in style to Nusa Dua, Sanur retains its old-world charm and connection to a more authentic Bali than Nusa Dua, with mile after mile of traditional warungs competing with top-class resorts set on the boardwalk. This is a great spot for sailing, kite surfing, and kid-friendly swimming.
  • Bingin Beach -- Of all the amazing golden beaches on the Bukit, this remains as charming and original a spot as you can get. Untroubled to date by overzealous developers, and with surfers doing a daily show out front, this is a perfect beachside experience.
  • Nusa Dua Beach -- As perfect, friendly, and enticing a beach setting as anywhere. The offshore reef provides the protection, and the never-ending five-star hotels fronting the boardwalk provide the setting for lazing on or by the beach with immaculate service immediately at hand. Dinghies and kayaks abound.
  • Pantai Pasir Putih (White Sand Beach) -- This idyllic spot, off the tourist trail, is a closely guarded secret. Just beyond Candidasa, it is a perfect crescent beach protected by two high promontories with a dozen picturesque warungs serving cold beer and prawns. It is the closest Bali comes to the Caribbean with azure waters and gentle breezes.
  • The Gili Islands -- Near perfect, soft white sand beaches surround the Gili islands. Quite how they managed to retain their innocence for so long is a mystery. Take a 3-day break here.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.