The best beaches in Bali for swimming surfing & sunbathing

The tropical island of Bali has many suitable beaches. Most beaches are accessible and free to visit. Some beaches belong to a beach club or resort and are required a (hefty 35$) entrance fee. I am avoiding those since there are plenty of other beaches and awesome places in Bali for swimming, sunbathing and surfing. Keep in mind in order to access some of the beaches there is a small fee to pay, often less than a dollar. Besides these activities, it’s also a great opportunity to improve your creative photography skills.

Bali map with the best beaches

From the map below, you can see that most of the beaches are located south. If you like to see more of the island I suggest planning a trip around Bali. This might take weeks but it will be well worth. Not just only for the beaches but to appreciate all the different things that Bali has to offer. When you tap on the icons on the map it would sometimes mention the word Pantai, this is the Indonesian word for Beach.

Green Bowl Beach

Green Bowl Beach entrance
Green Bowl Beach by Vladimir E on Visual hunt / CC BY

Overcome 300+ flights of stairs and you will get to enjoy a beach without much crowd. There are parts where the beach is a bit rocky, so wear appropriate footwear for this one. Bring some water or beer with on on this beach trip but be sure to keep it clean after you leave. (Thanks!)

Padang Padang

Padang Padang Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
The Beach at Padang Padang Beach by Rohit Tripathi from Pixabay

This beach is located about 15 minutes from Uluwatu Temple. It’s a surfers beach where the competitions are held in Bali. High waves, and a rocky bottom. Not a place for beginner surfers. The entrance fee of this beach is 10k IDR (0.70$), not a hefty one, and the money is used to keep the beach clean and provide toilets. The view there is pretty enjoyable but it can become a pretty crowded beach as it is popular.

Bingin Beach

Bingin Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
A view from the top of Bingin Beach by Jumilla on / CC BY

Bingin beach is a small beach with a beautiful view. Up until now, it is not super crowded, but I am unsure how long this will last. The waves are more for the advanced surfers however they offer lessons for beginners as well. There are some other places for first-time surfers. Bingin Beach also offers some seafood restaurants to try. You can stay the whole day enjoying this beach.

Suluban Beach

Sulaban Beach and seaweed farms. Mesmerizing beach
Seaweed farms at Suluban Beach alex hanoko on / CC BY-ND

Suluban Beach has a cave which is a must-see when you are here. Go there on low tide and you can swim easily in the natural pools. This place is also great for surfers. To describe Suluban, it’s a nice little beach with a mesmerizing cave and views. Another thing that most people like that went here, it’s not a crowded spot.

Balangan Beach

Balangan Beach great for beginning surfers
Balangan Beach Surfers about to ride the waves by tboothhk on / CC BY

Finally, a place great for beginner surfers. Do you want to start surfing or do you want to try it? It’s a beautiful gold sand shore beach with a scenic view that will imprint in your memory when you visit this place. Not to forget but also mention-worthy is that the waters are crystal clear. If you are done with surfing head to one of the nearby warungs/bars and relax.

Pantai Pandawa

Pandawa Beach of of the best beaches in Bali
Photo credit: bendi63 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

A beach for relaxing and sunbathing. There are plenty of warungs on this beach where you can just enjoy the panoramic view. During the ceremonies, this is one of the beaches used by the locals to do offerings and praying. When you came to enjoy the beach but you see a ceremony, just enjoy the cultural experience.

Melasti Beach

Melasti Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Melasti Beach by bendi63 on Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

Are you looking for a beach which is not too crowded? Spacious as well? Well, Melasti beach is great for that. Clear waters, but a bit the sea can be a bit tricky. Rent a parasol and a chair, relax on this beach. It’s a breathtaking view to enjoy.

Nusa Dua Beach

Nusa Dua one of the best beaches in Bali
Image by Michelle Maria from Pixabay

Nusa Dua beaches are beautiful and well maintained by the luxury resorts. There are some watersport activities, jetski, banana boat, and some others. The neighborhood of Nusa Dua is kind of luxurious. Depending on where you want to go you can end up spending a bit more than the other beaches. If money is not on your mind, then enjoy the luxurious beaches of Nusa Dua.

Greger Beach

Greger Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
A Cloudy day at Greger Beach in Bali Schristia on / CC BY-SA

Looking for the beach that will give you the vacation feeling you want? A massage on the beach under the parasol on a lounge chair. A coconut beside you to drink from. A beach where you can swim and enjoy your holiday in Bali to get away from the other busy places.

Jimbaran Beach

Jimbaran one of the best beaches in Bali
Jimbaran looks calm: satujamsaja on Visualhunt / CC BY

Jimbaran is known for many great seafood restaurants. At nights the beach become a busy place with all the restaurants expanding to the beach with tables serving many guests that want to experience what the Jimbaran fishermen caught that morning. Yes, Fresh Fish! I myself did not like fish that much myself but at Jimbaran that opinion of my change. Maybe it can change yours too. Besides all this, the beach is hot during the day like most beaches in the south of Bali, but they have a stunning sunset.

Kuta Beach

By far one of the more popular beaches in Bali. I think it is so popular because it is so easily accessible. There can be thousands of people there at the same time. When I pick up friends from the airport in the early afternoon and they say they want to go to the beach for a sunset, Kuta beach is the easiest. A fun thing to watch here is the Giant turtle with eggs inside. Free entrance for this turtle conservation. Donations are to help to keep the place running.

Legian Beach

Legian beach is the same as Kuta beach. They are next to each other. Plenty of husband daycare centers for the women to go shopping nearby and the husbands can be left on the beach with bears. In most cases, the wife joins to enjoy the beach.

Seminyak Beach

Even though it is crowded here on a daily basis, I do like the beach for its vibes, fairly priced food, and drinks. Bean bags on the beach to enjoy and sit a day and have that feeling of a vacation. At nights La Plancha is the place that is most crowded to sit and enjoy a drink. This beach is also great surfing.

Petitenget Beach

Petitenget beaches are far calmer than Kuta/Legian and Seminyak. Prices here are similar, just less crowded. Great for a swim and enjoying a beach away from the busy places.

Canggu Beach

Canggu beach is consisting of several different beaches together: Brawa (know as Finns Beachclub), Eco Beach and Batu Bolong. It can be rocky at these beaches and it is also great for surfing. I went surfing myself at Batu Bolong. After surfing, from 5 pm-6 pm enjoy the happy hour at Old Mans. Which I visit often.

Padang Bay Blue Lagoon

Padang Bay one of the best beaches in Bali
Photo credit: dionhinchcliffe on / CC BY-SA

In the East of Bali, there is this little beach. If you are not doing a roundtrip and visit Permuteran or any other islands, this is the place for snorkeling. It is 250k IDR ($17.50) per person and you get to go on a boat and visit 3 places, In total, you will be busy around 2 hours before you head back. You will leave from the Padang Bay. You can also just start swimming immediately yourself from the shore of Padang Bay. It gets deep though so be careful!

Sanur Beach

 Sanur Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Sanur Beach by Gerard Mak from Pixabay

Like Nusa Dua, Sanur is an upscale place with some 5-star resorts. (Yes Jimbaran as well but not really mention-worthy). Their beaches are great for sunbathing and swimming but mind the boats there. There are plenty of shops around, but with an upscale neighborhood keep in mind that the prices can be steeper than other places.

Virgin Beach Candi Dasa

Candi Dasa Virgin Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Candi Dasa, a beautiful beach by laurent7624 on Visualhunt / CC BY-SA

This beach is has a stunning white sand beach view. Like most beaches, here are some sellers as well with souvenirs. This beach is nice for sunbathing, relaxing (get a massage), and swimming.

Amed Beach

Amed Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Boats on the beach of Amed satujamsaja on Visualhunt / CC BY

When I went to Amed beach/Tulamben, it was to snorkel for the Liberty Shipwreck. This is a black sand and stone area due to the volcanic eruption from 60 years ago or so. It is a lot quieter than the beaches in the south. It’s great and calm. You can also do the liberty shipwreck dive.


Tulameben beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Tulamben Beach by stupidhead on / CC BY-SA

Next to Amed we have Tulamben, making it a very similar beach. Very popular for divers to come and explore the shipwreck. A lot of big fish to see as well. With snorkeling, I was not able to reach the shipwreck so I came back as a diver. Discovery Scuba allows you to dive without Padi to -12 meters.

Pantai Lovina

Lovina Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Lovina Beach by Dennis S. Hurd on Visual hunt / CC BY

Lovina Beach is famous for the dolphins. Early birds get on a boat and tour around the beach to view dolphins. However, when you wake up this early and go for this tour, you’ll be together with dozens of other boats chasing dolphins wherever they pop-up and if they would even show themselves. I have heard that August is a busy month when the dolphins could make an appearance.

Pantia Balian

Balian Beach one of the best beaches in Bali
Balian Beach by Dennis S. Hurd on Visual hunt / CC BY

Balian Beach is at the west of Bali and away from the busy sandy shores from the south. There are some surf activities going on and you could make some great pictures of this black sand beach

Pemuteran Beach

Permuteran Beach
In the North West of Bali, Permuteran Beach EduardMarmet on VisualHunt / CC BY-SA

When I was staying at Taman Sari at Pemuteran I fell in love with this place. The beach was very calm, I was alone there. When I was swimming I could see some kind of device in the sea which is supposed to make life in the sea more sustainable. Coral growth and places for the fish to be. When you are here you could do a snorkel/diving tour to Menjangan island. This place is the most beautiful place at Bali I swam. Yes, I saw Gili islands as well and also been swimming at the island from Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. Permuteran has a great place for drinking called Joe’s resto-bar

Are you traveling through Indonesia? This could be an interesting read as well.

What are your favorite beaches in Bali?

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