A trip to Bali, the ‘Island of the Gods’, wouldn’t be complete without visiting one or two of its many diverse beaches. During the last month, I whiled away plenty of time lazing on golden sands and know firsthand that some beaches in Bali are much better than others!
When you think of Bali, white sand and crystal clear waters may spring to mind. But, what the travel guides don’t tell you is that some of Bali’s beaches are way less aesthetically pleasing than others! Don’t worry though, this article will help you weed out the overrated from the must-visits! No matter whether you want to surf, lounge, party or dive, there is a beach in Bali to satisfy everyone.
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12 Beautiful Beaches in Bali
1. Jimbaran Beach
This quiet slice of paradise is situated on the south coast of Bali, just past Denpasar Airport. The beach stretches on and on and has beautiful, soft white sand. The calming turquoise sea makes it perfect for swimming but you can also relax while listening to the waves lap gently at the shore.
This is one of Bali’s best-maintained beaches and regular clean-up duties are undertaken by the nearby hotels, meaning you won’t find any rubbish lying around. It is the perfect choice for families and couples.
Located in Jimbaran, Bali’s fishing hub, the beach and surrounding area is known for the amazing seafood. Why not book a table at one of the beachfront restaurants and watch as the sun slowly dips into the sea… heaven!
2. Amed Beach
Sitting on Bali’s northeastern coast in the quiet town of Amed, this unique and laidback beach offers volcanic black sands and awesome views of the nearby Agung Volcano.
If you’re a keen diver, this beach is likely already on your bucket list, as the surrounding ocean is one of the best dive sites in the whole of Bali! Beyond the shore, you’ll find an underwater playground complete with a historical shipwreck teeming with marine life.
If you’re not a diver, rent a snorkel from a local and explore the coral reefs lying just beneath the surface. Amed beach is also a breathtaking destination to watch the sunrise over Agung Volcano – trust us when we say that this is not to be missed!
3. Padang Padang Beach
You’ll find Padang Padang Beach on Bali’s southern coast in Pecatu Village, South Kuta. This beautiful beach is hidden away between some hollowed rocks and is only accessible by walking down the stairs in between them! Surrounded by limestone cliffs and huge stones, Padang Padang Beach feels really secluded.
This golden sand beach is fairly small, with one restaurant selling reasonably priced food and drink. Many of the beachgoers here are experienced surfers thanks to the huge waves. If you decide to swim in the gorgeous azure sea here, be careful as the corals are sharp and close to the surface in places.
Despite this, the beach is still a great spot for families – just keep an eye on the tide conditions that day. The entrance fee to the beach is approx. 15,000 IDR.
4. Bingin Beach
This surf haven also sits in Pecatu Village, on the southern coast of Bali. Famous for its powerful swells that can reach from five to eight meters during high tide, these waves are for experienced and professional surfers only! There are plenty of surf shacks dotted along the beach where you can rent a board for around 50,000 IDR for two hours.
There’s also plenty to do if surfing isn’t your thing… Grab some lunch at one of the many restaurants or walk south along the white sand in search of some smaller hidden gems! To get to Bingin Beach, head down the narrow walkways and then some steps. You’ll soon find that the view opens up to the beautiful blue ocean.
5. Kelingking Beach
One of the most recognisable and iconic beaches in Bali is Kelingking Beach. Although technically located on Nusa Penida, part of the Nusa islands, this island belongs to Bali and is only a 40-minute boat ride away!
Made famous by its towering cliffs which resemble the shape of a Tyrannosaurus Rex, its turquoise sea and fine white sand combine to offer an incredible beach escape.
Kelingking beach is challenging to reach and can only be accessed by walking down an uneven 400m cliffside. While this sounds pretty intimidating, there are bamboo railings in place. It takes around 40 minutes to get down and between 60-90 minutes to return, so this beach is only recommended if you can handle the hike!
This is not a beach for swimmers as the current is extremely strong, making it unsafe. If you don’t fancy the hike down to the bottom, the view from the top is still well worth visiting. This beach is great for the adventurous as well as anyone else who wants to take in the gorgeous view.
6. Pemuteran Beach
This underrated Bali beach lies in the northwest of the island. This area is much less visited than the south which gets very busy with tourists. Lined with glimmering black volcanic sand and boasting views of the green hills nearby, this beach is great for relaxing.
Just beyond the peace and tranquillity of the shore, you’ll find a shallow reef swarming with marine life. Keep an eye out for seahorses and frogfishes among other interesting sea creatures. Water enthusiasts will also be interested to know that there is a captivating underwater temple garden too. This amazing work of art is a must-see, no matter whether you’re snorkelling or diving!
7. Seminyak Beach
This golden sand beach is situated in the fashionable area of Seminyak, on the south coast of Bali. The beach is lined with luxury resorts, calming spas, chic bars and fancy beach clubs. As well as the lavish watering holes, there are also many beach bars on the cheaper end of the scale. They are much more backpacker friendly, providing beanbags where you can chill out and lounge in the sun. Stay there for the perfect spot to catch a picturesque sunset!
Seminyak beach isn’t just for partygoers and beach bummers. It’s also great for swimmers and surfers of all abilities. Always fancied trying your skills at surfing and never got round to it? It is time to book yourself a lesson on the beach and get started!
Also read: Top Party Places in Southeast Asia.
8. White Sand Beach (Virgin Beach)
The pristine White Sand Beach has been nicknamed Virgin Beach by tourists. This is due to it being much more secluded than many of the other beaches in Bali. In fact, it is so tucked away that some stay it still feels largely untouched in terms of its natural beauty!
Perfect for peace seekers and sun loungers thanks to the gorgeous surroundings of limestone cliffs and palm trees, Virgin Beach is a must-visit. Due to the calmer waves on the east side of the island, this beach provides the perfect place for swimming and snorkelling.
The beach is located in Candidasa, in the east of the island. This means that morning is the best time to go as the sun disappears around 4 pm, leaving the beach in the shade. The entrance fee for the beach is approx. 15,000 IDR per person and parking (if needed) is free.
9. Suluban Beach
Located in Uluwatu on the south coast, this secluded beach is something special. Nestled away inside a small cove, Suluban Beach is surrounded by dramatic cliffs and idyllic turquoise waters.
This hidden gem is great for swimming when the tide is low and is the ultimate surf break at mid-low tide. Be sure to check the tide times before you go because swimming isn’t possible at high tide. Due to this beach being encircled by cliffs, half of the beach is in the shade throughout the day.
To access this picture-perfect beach, you’ll have to make your way down some stairs from the street until you come to a cave opening. From there, continue down the steps through the cave and onto the sand… you have arrived in paradise!
10. Mushroom Bay Beach
Located on Nusa Lembongan, (another island belonging to Bali), Mushroom Bay Beach is secluded and quiet, making it the perfect place to chill out and catch some rays. From the second you arrive, the beauty of the landscape will hit you so hard that you’ll have to pinch yourself to believe that it’s real.
The sea here is peaceful and calm, making it great for families – you can even rent a snorkel to go check out the marine life! The beach is home to several cafés, restaurants and bars and it’s a brilliant spot to catch that iconic Balinese sunset!
11. Canggu Beach
Just north of Seminyak is Canggu Beach, a long stretch of black sand that is best known for its brilliant surf. Every year, experienced surfers flock here to ride the challenging waves. As such, some parts of the beach aren’t recommended for swimming due to the strong undercurrents (look out for the red and yellow flags).
One of the best things to do on Canggu Beach is to watch the striking sunset. Sit back and relax with a cocktail in one hand and barbecued corn in the other as you watch the hues of sunset bleed through the sky.
12. Blue Lagoon Beach
Blue Lagoon Beach, located northeast of Padang Bai Port in East Bali, is a 60-metre stretch of tropical paradise lined with swaying palm trees and surrounded by rugged green hills on both sides. This beach is barely touched by tourism, meaning it’s a great place to relax for the day!
The waters here are a diving hotspot with thriving coral just offshore and exotic sea creatures abound. If you’re lucky, you could see reef sharks, moray and blue ribbon eels, octopuses, napoleon wrasse and more! The water here is mostly calm, however, it is recommended you only swim and snorkel at high tide as the coral sits quite close to the surface at low tide.
3 Overrated Beaches in Bali
1. Kuta Beach
Although it’s one of the most popular beaches in Bali, Kuta Beach is also one of the most overrated! Overtourism has hit this beach hard and it’s become overcrowded and dirty as a result. Sadly, you’ll find tonnes of rubbish and waste littering the sands, which is a shame because Kuta generally is a great place.
As well as a high number of tourists, there has also been a big increase in the number of local sellers frequenting the area. Unfortunately, not everyone is trying to make an honest living and some tourists have reported being scammed.
2. Legian Beach
If you’re in search of a relaxing beach day, you should avoid this place! As with the beach mentioned above, the rubbish here is pretty bad, marring both the scenery and the environment.
A lot of travellers find that it is hard to relax on this beach due to constant attention from the many local sellers. Although we understand that they are trying to make money, these sale tactics can be quite draining!
3. Sanur Beach
Sanur Beach is another of Bali’s beaches which has been polluted by rubbish. Although this is a recurring problem all over the island, some beaches have been hit harder than others, and this is one of them!
Sanur Beach is one to avoid, not just because of the rubbish but also because the sand is not as nice as on some other beaches. It feels rough to walk on and is not as pretty as elsewhere.
Bali Beaches – Need to Know
Are there white beaches in Bali?
Although Bali is a volcanic island and the majority of beaches have black sand, there are many incredible white sand beaches which are perfect for relaxing and taking in the tranquillity! Some amazing white sand beaches include the gorgeous Kelingking Beach, Mushroom Bay Beach and Bingin Beach!
What is the cleanest beach in Bali?
The cleanliness of the beaches in Bali largely depends on the time of year. During monsoon season, tonnes of rubbish are being washed up on Bali’s shores, especially on the west side in Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu. Few beaches are pristine all year round but Virgin Beach comes pretty close. This is why Virgin Beach is considered the cleanest beach in Bali!
Where are the nicest beaches in Bali?
Bali has many idyllic beaches, however, the southern beaches tend to be the most picturesque offering the bluest seas, the chalkiest white sand and the most astounding scenery. You’ll find countless beaches boasting soft white sand and turquoise blue sea in Uluwatu on the south coast!
Despite the handful of overrated spots, there are loads of amazing beaches in Bali, each with its own unique character. No matter whether you’re heading to Uluwatu to catch those impressive surf breaks or enjoying a lazy beach day on Jimbaran Beach, you’ll be spoilt for choice in Bali.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your surfboard, slap on your suncream and don’t forget your snorkel… let’s go to the beach!
What is your favourite beach in Bali? Let us know in the comments!