Ubud - Royal Palace
Bali is a small island in Indonesia known not only for being a tropical paradise but also a place of deep spirituality, where you can enjoy the silence and quiet, the sea breeze of the ocean and the mountain views. The people of Bali always smile even when they are engaged in the simplest daily activities. Ubud is the heart of Bali, a magical place where you can immerse yourself in the lush nature of the emerald rice terraces. Seminyak in the Eastern part of the island with its beaches and hidden corners is the ideal place to surf the waves or simply relax in the sun and sip an aperitif at sunset in one of the many beach clubs.
The North and West Coast
Although Bali's western and northern coasts are not as developed and visited as the South of the island, it is not difficult to find a luxury hideaway to relax a couple of days exploring the local villages, snorkeling off the Java Sea or spotting herds of dolphins jumping through the waves along the coast of Lovina. Also the Bali Barat National Park, is a spectacular mountainous area of rainforests and coral islands with ancient Hindu temples. Many endangered species can be found here, the Bali starling and other animals such as the Sambar, the Java macaque, flying foxes and the giant black squirrel. In Pemuteran, the Turtle Hatchery Project will let you come close and observe the turtles hatching their eggs and releasing the baby turtles into the ocean.
Ubud - The heart of Bali
In traditional Balinese architecture the courtyard is the heart of the whole building. Likewise, Bali expresses its beauty, with a volcanic soul covered in lush vegetation and brightly coloured flowers, where the terraced rice fields seem to follow the soft contours of the hills. It is no coincidence that such fertile land has seen art and culture flourish in abundance. The main road going North of Denpasar is dotted with villages of craftsmen specialized in various forms of art: the village of Celuk is renowned for goldsmiths and silversmiths; Batuan for figurative arts and dance; Mas for woodcarvers. Ubud, an artistic and cultural centre and its surroundings are a must on a trip to Bali.
Between 1920 and 1930 the royal family of Ubud welcomed some visiting guests and started the development of the city on the international art scene. Since then, many European artists have lived and worked in Ubud for many years, contributing to its fame. Today the city is home to numerous art galleries, craftsmen's workshops and bistros and retains authentic charm and authenticity despite the huge flow of tourists. The rhythm is calm, peaceful, marked by the quietness of the places. Most visitors go shopping, attend a show of traditional legong dances at the royal palace, stop by the home of the famous artist Nyoman Lempad, or immerse themselves in Balinese art in the halls of the Puri Lukisan and Neka museums. The lush, green surroundings invite you to take long walks through the Monkey Forest Sanctuary, home to macaques and Hindu temples, or along the banks of the Ayung River, for an exciting cycling or adventurous rafting experience.
The East Coast
On the east coast of Bali you can feel a sense of still, timeless calm, as if time had stopped. Silent roads wind tortuously through banana groves and coconut palms along the green paddy fields. Scattered here and there on the slopes of Gunung Agung, the largest volcano on the island, you can glimpse ancient settlements such as Tenganan, an authentic Bali Aga (Balinese village). The paths climb up the pineapple-covered hills until they reach temples, streams and waterfalls. The most characteristic thing about the eastern part of Bali is the authentic and untouched rural life that flows languidly and quietly. Even the beaches in this area are not typically tropical and the further east you go, the darker and blacker the lava sand becomes.
The Southern Coast
The area South of the capital Denpasar offers the most beautiful beaches and the most luxurious resorts. Fortunately, the architecture abides by the style and soul of the island and no resort can exceed the height of a coconut palm tree while still guaranteeing discreet luxury that is perfectly integrated with its natural surroundings. A stay on the southern coast allows you to visit two of the most famous and evocative temples of the island, the temple of Uluwatu, not to be missed at sunset when the sun literally dives into the ocean and the temple Tanah Lot, inaccessible, perched on a rock in the middle of the sea and therefore absolutely unique. Heading South, Jimbaran and the enclave of Nusa Dua offer the best in Bali in terms of comfort and luxury, while Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu are the favourite destinations for young people who love their hectic nightlife.