Noted for its innate peacefulness, the lush green holiday island of Bali inspires a feeling of calm and relaxation as soon as you step off the plane, thanks to the beautifully fertile volcanic landscape and warm climate.
With delicious cuisine, serene hotels and gracefully charming locals, there’s plenty of down-time to be had, if it’s pure relaxation you’re after. Equally, adrenaline-junkies are spoilt for choice too, with excellent hiking, diving and surfing on offer.
To discover the real charm of island, escape the tourist-trodden resort of Kuta and head inland to explore stunning temples and emerald paddy fields. Don’t miss Tirtagangga Water Palace – a royal watergarden built around natural springs – or the spiritual carved stone temple Pura Meduwe Karang in Kubutambahan.
After a tour of the lively Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, lunch at Ibu Oka’s Warung food stall, where you can sample authentic Balinese fare. Then hunt down fab arty finds, like handcrafted furniture and silver trinkets in the nearby market.
Come sundown, head to the glam beachfront Ku De Ta in Seminyak, serving up awesome fusion food and top tunes by the in-house DJ.
While you’re there...
Hang in the gardens
Ubud Hanging Gardens offer a taste of luxury high above the rugged rainforest, with a lauded Asian-French restaurant and amazing spa, along with cookery, painting and yoga classes.
There’s no better way to see the Balinese countryside than on a mountain bike tour. Start at Mount Batur volcano and wind your way down through Balinese villages, lush rice fields and ancient temples.
Enjoy an elephant safari
Set in two hectares of exotic landscaped botanical gardens, surrounded by national forest, the Elephant Safari Park is a must-visit, where you can get up-close and personal with the incredible animals.