The sand between your toes, palms swaying over the sand, a good book and a refreshing drink. Kuta Beach is the stuff of legends, but there’s loads more sandy patches on the island that are worthy of that new bikini and those flash sunglasses, and some hidden, secret spots too if you're up for an adventure.
One for the absolutely gorgeous list, Balangan is located opposite the lush fields from Uluwatu. As with many of the island’s secret, but well worth the trip hideaways, pass locals and their grazing cattle, and swim in peace at low tide when the currents aren’t so fierce.
2. Petitenget Beach
Seminyak’s Petitenget Beach, framed by fashionable, trendy resorts and restaurants is the hip and happening place to swim, with beach/lounge playlists emanating throughout the neighbourhood. You’re more likely to enjoy it from one of the aforementioned hotspots, where you can wine and dine in style after a quick dip.
3. Southern Nusa Dua
The majority of southern Nusa Dua’s beaches are lined with large, upmarket resorts and each segment of beach is well kept and pristine. There’s a huge number of watersport action, from kitesurfing to jet skiing, and the serious holiday spirit is well and truly vibrant.
4. Geger Beach
On the way to Nusa Dua, Geger Beach is a beautiful swimming beach, with small warungs lining its shores. Watch the seaweed farmers work, and enjoy the clean white sand. As with all of Bali’s beaches, caution should be taken when swimming, as the majority are unpatrolled.
Sanur has a relaxed, village atmosphere, quite removed from its west coast counterparts, and was actually Bali’s first seaside resort. Less of a party scene, and more a picture postcard of beach-lined sunbeds with small, traditional resorts and restaurants, and the occasional hawker passing by. Stretching a few kilometres, it’s a perfect swimming beach, lined by a long, shallow reef.
6. Amed area
Around a two to three hour drive north of Sanur, Amed consists of a number of seaside fishing villages, and more popular for its snorkeling and diving, than beach lounging. Still it’s a special spot and the drive there and back provides a great glimpse of local life and the real island.
7. Jimbaran beaches
On the southwestern coast, Jimbaran has a number of private nooks and stretches, as well as the famous seafood restaurant strip. Many five-star resorts have taken parts of a rather spectacular beach, and day passes can often be obtained, even if you’re not a 'resort resident'.
8. Canggu beaches
Canggu, just north of Seminyak, comprises a number of volcanic black sandy beaches, including Berawa, Batu Bolong, Batu Mejan (Echo Beach), Seseh, Pererenan and Mengening. Amongst the lush green rice fields, there’s some great surfing and hence great surf camps, bars and restaurants making it a popular location of residence for expats.
9. Keramas Beach
Around a twenty minute drive north of Sanur, Keramas Beach has been a favourite with serious international (and local) surfers for some time. Long, leaning palm trees line the sand, and a number of small warungs fed the hungry surfers for many years. Many a pro international surfing tournament has been held here, and now with the addition of Komune Resort and Beach Club, you can comfortably lay back on large sun lounges, sip cool drinks and watch all the surfing action poolside. A stunning spot.
10. Kuta Beach
Kuta Beach stretches some distance, and is the most famous of Bali’s beaches. True it has its own unique character, with wandering locals allowing you to shop from your sunbed for anything from a beautifully handcrafted fan, to a set of steak knives. It’s a great spot to take some surfing lessons, or just chill and watch all the activity.