Information before you go
Most of the beaches in West Bali are hugging the main road from Gilimanuk to Tabanan. Even though this road is one of the main roads on the island it is still worth going as you'll not only encounter deserted beaches, coconut plantations, sleepy fishing villages, Bali's only National Park but also the best island for diving and snorkeling.
Soka Beach is hard to find as the only thing you'll see is a huge restaurant with a garden that faces the sea.
This place is visited by Indonesian day tourists from Java and it's one of the first restaurants you come across when you are on your way to Denpasar from Gilimanuk.
Anyway, if you want to go to the beach you have to pay an entrance fee, which is pretty ridiculous for an area which is mainly a garden with places to sit and have a picnic, the beach is not even accessible.
So time to skip this place...
Peace and quiet at this beach...
Nonetheless about 50m south there's a great stretch of beach. Turn left on the first road you see after passing the restaurant. The road looks pretty steep but is accessible by motorbike.
The beach has black sand but looks gorgeous with the long row of palm trees. I wouldn't go swimming here even though it's deserted. There might be strong currents and since there are no other swimmers and surfers here, there will be nobody to rescue you.
Balian Beach is a hidden treasure if you are looking for a place to leave the dirty south behind. Here you can catch some waves, have a BBQ when the sun goes down and chill at those low-key restaurants lining the beach.
Another advantage, there are no hawkers along the beach and everybody seems to mind his own business.
It is a bit cumbersome to get here, since there are no signs but if you arrive in Lalang Linggah village keep your eyes peeled for the Gajah Mina resort sign. Right next to the sign is a narrow road that takes you straight to the beach.
Nowadays there is a lot of accommodation to choose from ranging from luxurious villas owned by Russians to much cheaper bungalows owned by local Balinese.
Balian Beach is a good surf spot for intermediate and advanced surfers. There are left and right breaks at the river mouth. They say that if Kuta beach is having a 1m or 2m swell, then at Balian it is 3m or 4m.
Enjoying a snack...
If you explore the long and wide beach more you might be able to find little caves, tunnels and bays. So if you are lucky you might find a fantastic patch of beach all to your self.
Balian Beach is definitely worth a visit and if you go, you should spend one night (or more) to experience it to the fullest.
One of the many quiet beaches in Bali...
With its rocky beach, Medewi is probably the least attractive compared to the other beaches. People come here for only one thing and that's surfing.
We arrived at Medewi Beach late in the afternoon and at that time there was a small crowd of spectators eating mie-kuah (noodle soup) from a warung nearby while watching a couple of surfers catching waves.
Despite its low-key atmosphere this beach has the longest point break in Bali and is known for its long left hand wave that offers rides around 200-400 meters long. So it's kind of a surprise that there isn't a steady stream of surfers coming here all day long.
There are a couple of accommodation options along the west coastal road leading to the beach. Starting first with small home stays and ending right at the beach with the huge Medewi Beach Cottages which is badly in need of a face lift.
Medewi Beach is a perfect escape from other surf beaches in the south. It's a long trip to get here, but if you have the time it's a great place to surf while hanging out with local surf dudes.
On the north coast of Bali you can find Pemuteran village with its beach resorts and beautiful secluded beaches.
Since the water is very calm and the underwater world still very good, these beaches are mostly used for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Pemuteran village doesn't attract a lot of visitors (which is a good thing ;-) and most tourists in this area prefer to stay in Lovina beach. During the wet season you'll hardly run into anybody, which is even better.
From most of the resorts' beaches the underwater world is just a stone thrown away so it wouldn't look weird walking around in your diving or snorkeling gear. But the best place for snorkeling. and diving is called Menjangan island, which is part of West Bali National Park, a short drive from Pemuteran.
Walk straight into the water from your resort...
If you really want to see something special, this is the place to go. We had been in Amed already and were not very convinced when the boatman said that Menjangan was even better.
But once down-under you'll get the picture...
Menjangan, for the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Bali.
While Lovina beach might not attract a big crowd as the beaches in the south, it is a nice place to visit. Only if 'loosing the crowd' is something you were planning to do.Read more
The beaches in East Bali offers the biggest variety. Calm oceans ideal for surfing, stunning beaches perfect for lounging and one for advanced surfers only...Read more
These beaches are 30min by speed boat from Sanur beach. Go for a day trip or stay longer to discover the nice beaches and snorkeling possibilities there.Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.