Thomas Beach – best for secluded beach walks & sunbaking
Ever since a handful of cool Uluwatu restaurants opened at the entrance to this hidden bay, Thomas Beach is no longer a secret – though it’s still one of the quietest beaches on Bali’s Bukit peninsula (and arguably still the best beach in Bali!). Accessible only via a gravel lane and then a winding set of stairs, this secluded strip of white sand beach is well worth descending down the cliff for. Fringed by turquoise waters and dramatic boulders that protrude from the sand, this is postcard-perfection to a tee.
(Find Thomas Beach on Google Maps)
Sanur Beach – best for sunrise & cycling
If it’s a leisurely day out at the seaside you’re after, then head to sleepy Sanur for an easy-breezy day at the beach. Besides its seemingly never-ending stretch of white sand, Sanur’s main beachfront attraction is the coastal promenade that extends over 5km long. This ocean path curves past resorts, beachfront cafes, wooden fishing boats and some elegant old villas built decades ago by wealthy ex-pats who fell under Bali’s spell. Take a romantic stroll with your partner, or get some exercise on a bicycle with the family. Top tip: Sanur is in prime position for spectacular sunrises, so you’ll want to start early.
(Find Sanur Beach on Google Maps)
Amed Beach – best for diving & snorkeling
With black sands and soaring volcanoes on the horizon, Amed isn’t your typical beachfront vista. But boy is it a goodie. Sitting on Bali’s northeastern coast, Amed is known for its dramatic landscapes that guarantee awe-inspiring holiday pics. And if you’re into diving or snorkeling, Amed is also home to one of the island’s most vibrant reefs – a coral garden that’s as colorful as it is popular. An adventure beneath the waves here often involves a trip to nearby Tulamben too, to explore the sunken US Liberty Shipwreck that’s teaming with aquatic life and beauty. You’ll definitely want an underwater camera for this one…
(Find Amed Beach on Google Maps)
Bingin Beach – best for boho vibes & epic surf
Look out for the signs made of recycled wood, or follow the small groups of Bali’s cool crowds with surfboards in hand and sand-covered bare feet. Bingin Beach is a boho hideaway that can be hard to find unless you know where you’re going – or who to follow. With perfect waves and small sandy coves for swimming at low tide, this cliff-based beach is a favorite for Bali’s sun soakers and surfers. You’ll need to be relatively fit to get to and from the beach (there are uneven, rocky steps from the top of the cliff to the sands), but your efforts will certainly be rewarded. Dozens of affordable beach stays line the cliffside too, making this a good spot for budget trips or a no-frills sunset on a blanket. There are some great healthy cafés here too, perfect for a post-surf refuel.
(Find Bingin Beach on Google Maps)
Sundays Beach Club – best for VIP lounging
Another South Bali gem, Sundays Beach Club at The Ungasan Clifftop Resort is tucked away in a private white sand bay, with stunning turquoise blue waters and an offshore coral reef. Hidden discretely at the bottom of a dramatic cliff face, this paradisal spot is accessible via an inclinator that takes you directly down to this awesome beach club. Come hungry, because you’ll want to tuck into the delicious island-inspired menu here, and stick around until sunset for the magical bonfires on the beach. Just be sure to save enough time for some serious water-based frolicking, like snorkelling, stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking across the crystal clear waters.
(Find Sundays Beach Club on Google Maps)
Medewi Beach – best for sunset & surf
In prime position along Bali’s sunset coast, Medewi is a lesser-known beach on the west side of the island that offers a glimpse of Bali before tourism struck. With remote villages and wide open rice paddies lining the palm-studded coastline, come here for a tranquil escape, not an action-packed day at the beach. That is, unless you’re a keen surfer. Flocked mostly by visitors in search of uncrowded, world-class waves, Medewi is an isolated surfing destination that doesn’t require a flight to get to, but is far enough away from the crowds to guarantee a quieter sesh in the water. Stick around for golden hour, as that’s when Medewi’s west-facing magic really shines…
(Find Medewi Beach on Google Maps)
Balangan Beach – best for surf & sunbathing
Located in the South of Bali on the Bukit Peninsula, Balangan Beach is best known amongst the island’s surfing crowds and those looking for a laid back beach experience without the throng of touristic beach clubs. Ocean babies can enjoy the aquamarine waters, and sunbathers can lie beneath the many loungers and umbrellas that line the white sandy beach. This quiet strip is still fairly underdeveloped with just a few local warungs serving home-cooked Indonesian food and icy cold Bintangs. And since it’s blessed with awesome waves for both beginners and pros, Balangan attracts the surfy, backpacker types who prefer cool tropical vibes over a pumping party scene.
(Find Balangan Beach on Google Maps)
Blue Lagoon – best for spotting Nemo
The clue is in the name here. Blue Lagoon on Bali’s eastern coast is an azure, beachy bay with calm waters, white sands and a palm tree backdrop – the epitome of paradise. On either side of the lagoon, you’ll find rocky hills and lush knolls, perfectly framing the bay for those all-important holiday pics. In the heart of the lagoon, snorkelling and diving boats are on the lookout for Nemo, because beneath the aquamarine ocean, Blue Lagoon is home to buzzing coral reefs and teeming underwater wildlife – quite the contrast to the secluded sands and quiet nooks on the shore. And for when you’re ready to beach-hop some more, Blue Lagoon is right next door to the Padang Bai harbour, where you can hop on a boat to the Gili Islands, Nusa Lembongan, Lombok and beyond!
(Find Blue Lagoon Beach on Google Maps)
Padang Padang Beach – best for bay-watching
You might recognise this beautiful bay from the ever-famous “Eat, Pray, Love” movie, where Julia Roberts falls head over heels for her Brazilian hunk. Chances are, you’ll fall in love here too, not only with the bronzed surfer crowds, but with the calm cove-like waters rolling off the bright white bay, framed by dramatic rock formations and bordered by world-class waves. Though Padang Padang is a relatively small beach about 10 minutes north of Uluwatu, the setting is simply stunning. The best time to visit is early in the morning around sunrise when you can see Padang Padang in all its dazzling, natural glory – and before the throng of visitors descend on this spot in the hope of spotting Ms Roberts.
(Find Padang Padang Beach on Google Maps)
Balian Beach – best for black sands & surfing
Home to a growing number of expats and surf fanatics, Balian Beach draws in the cool crowds with its pounding surf, Instagram-friendly dunes and knolls, and new boho cafes and bars popping up every other day – all of which overlook the world-class waves. Whether you simply stroll along the sprawling black sands, brave the waves or kick back with a sunset beer post-surf, Balian Beach has an undeniable charm that keeps us coming back every other weekend. And it just so happens to sit in prime position on Bali’s west-facing sunset coast, too…
(Find Balian Beach on Google Maps)
Suluban Beach – best for secret swims
This dreamy destination sits directly below the famous Single Fin bar, and it’s also the main access point to the world-renowned Uluwatu surf break. But come low tide, this spot at Suluban Beach is a true hidden treasure, and the best spot for a secret swim. Set against stunning dramatic cliffs, the water here is as turquoise as it gets. To access this little piece of paradise, you’ll need to walk down the steps at Uluwatu, through the caves and onto the sand. Remember, when it’s high tide, this swimming spot is inaccessible, so you’ll need to check the tide times for your trip, and don’t forget to pack your bathers.
(Find Suluban Beach on Google Maps)
Karma Beach – best for beach-chic babes
Part of the stunning Karma Kandara resort, this luxury and private beach spot brings the vibes of a swanky Mediterranean island, along with crowds of trendy globe-trotters looking for exclusivity in a totally chic setting. The sea is a perfect shade of azure blue too – great for snorkelling and water sports. The crescent-shaped white sands are sprinkled with beach babes and their baes, sipping on designer cocktails and playing a spot of beach volleyball. Bronze beneath the beach-chic cabanas here and tuck into the delicious wood-fired pizzas from the natural bamboo restaurant. Here, heaven really is a place on earth…
(Find Karma Beach on Google Maps)
White Sand Beach (Pantai Pasir Putih) – best for road trippers
Pasir Putih, also known as White Sand Beach or Virgin Beach, is a remote, off-the-beaten-path beach that rewards the most adventurous of road trippers. It’s located on the east coast of Bali, near to the village of Candidasa, and with its pristine soft white sands that dramatically contrast to its volcanic black sand neighbours, it seriously stands out. When you see the “white sand beach” sign, follow the dirt track until you reach the carpark. You’ll spot the lineup of local seafood BBQ stalls (perfect for a sea view lunch) and the calm, clear waters that make White Sand Beach a lovely spot for swimmers, too.
(Find White Sand Beach on Google Maps)
Gunung Payung – best for postcard-perfect pics
Gunung Payung, once known as Secret Beach, is the epitome of a picture-perfect, postcard paradise. Think powder white sands, warm tropical waters that are as flat as a duck pond at low-tide, and a lush green backdrop that feels like you’re at the edge of the world. What was once a treacherous 301 step trek up and down (we counted) now has a smooth road carved down the cliff and even a shuttle bus for seamless access. You’ll also find a few sunbeds and umbrellas to keep cool, and even a friendly local selling refreshments. When it comes to hunting down the best beach in Bali, this one’s well worth a visit.
(Find Gunung Payung Beach on Google Maps)
Source: 23 best beaches in Bali: Where to swim, surf, soak up the sun and live the island dream