Bali: One week itinerary

Sanur at sunrise. (Photo: Richard I'Anson / Lonely Planet Images)
Sanur at sunrise
With a week you've got plenty of time to explore Bali's best beaches, sites and food. Follow this itinerary and you're sorted.

Day one

Begin at Sanur, a fishing village before it boomed into the present day quiet beach resort area that attracts mainly families and retirees. Watch the sunrise from the beach and watch the locals fish as they have for centuries.

Then seek out a stone pillar inscribed with ancient text from the 10th century, the oldest recorded writing on Bali, at the Prasasti Blanjong temple on Jalan Danau Poso. The text details the arrival of a Javanese king from the Mahayana Buddhist kingdom, which brought great cultural and religious influence to the island.

Rent a jungkung, or traditional wooden boat, and go snorkelling in the afternoon. Otherwise, walk about a kilometre south from the boat landing to Serangan Island for snorkelling off the east coast. You can also visit Pura Sekanan, an important temple of the area. Stop at the Turtle Conservation & Education Centre to discover efforts to increase the dwindling numbers of turtles on the island. Or visit the Mangrove Information Centre to find out the importance of mangroves then take a walk through one over two boardwalks.

Food wise, there are numerous eateries along Jalan Danau Tamblingan, that offers various international options for meals. Some noteworthy stops include Massimo Italian, Cafe Smorgas (sandwiches) and Ryoshi (Japanese).

Day two

Head to via a 30-minute ferry ride from either Sanur beach or from Benoa Harbour, about a 10-minute drive south of Sanur. You can snorkel or dive in the crystal clear waters replete with marine life, get a tan on the beach, surf at one of the three breaks of Playgrounds, Shipwrecks, and Lacerations, and tour Jungut Batu Village. Spend the night at one of the beach resorts (Batu Karang Lembongan Resort & Day Spa, The Tanis Villas, or Hai Tide Huts) or return to Sanur for the night.

Day three

Head to Klungkung, the former seat of the Javanese kingdom where the Balinese royal bloodline comes from. View the ceiling murals depicting what happens to sinners at Kerta Gosa (information from Klungkung Tourist Office, phone +62 362 3662 1448), a restored 17th-century complex that was the former Royal Courts of Justice where the king meted out punishments. Continue to Pura Goa Lawah, or bat cave temple, which is (not surprisingly) inhabited by a large number of bats. Arrive in Candidasa for the night.

Days four and five

From Candidasa, you can visit the surviving Bali Aga aboriginal community at Tenganan Village; tour traditional palaces and the ruins of the Taman Ujung Water Palace in Amlapura, visit the Pura Besakih, or Mother Temple, considered the most holy temple of Bali, or take a dip in the hot springs near Lake Batur at the base of Mount Batur, an active volcano. Make sure to spend a morning on Candidasa's beaches.

Day six

Travel south to surf or tan on relatively quiet Balangan Beach. In the late afternoon, head down to Pura Luhur Uluwatu, which stands on a black coral rock cliff. Attend the kecak, or monkey dance, performance as the sun sets. Have dinner on Muana Beach of Jimbaran Bay, where fresh seafood caught daily from the ocean is barbecued over a fire made from coconut husks. Stay overnight in Jimbaran or Nusa Dua.

Day seven

Watch farmers collect seaweed from the sea off Geger Beach in Nusa Dua, then check out Bali's coastline in a hot-air balloon Bali Eye. Head to Desa Seni Village resort in Canggu for lunch. Here you can wander around the property and take part in a yoga lesson. Spend the afternoon along Jalan Raya Seminyak at the boutique shops window browsing for souvenirs, clothing and handicrafts. Alternatively, sip coffee or tea at one of the roadside cafes. There are heaps of dinner options nearby down Jalan Laksmana, Jalan Batubelig and Jalan Petitenget.

Have you tried any of the places on this itinerary? Got any ideas we haven't thought of? Have your say using the comments form below.

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User comments
Love the suggestions above however… Having lived in this small paradise area for over 5 years, and having built a small boutique hotel…here in Bali’s Southern West coast, certainly a surfing destination and a paradise destination at that. Uncrowded beaches no hawkers no hassles at our little piece of Bali paradise. A must for the serious traveller wishing to see a bali of yesteryear. Relaxed Peaceful environment, mountain backdrop and a must on your next Bali adventure.. come stay with us search our name above for details.
It has been 22 years since I have been to Bali. I am sure it has changed, so any itinerary would be great.