The Indonesian Island of Bali is, for good reason, a firm favourite on many travellers’ bucket lists.
The paradise isle is full of contrasts, and you can go from beach to rainforest to mountain all within a couple of hours.
Not to mention the excellent food and incredibly friendly locals.
If it wasn’t on you’re travel wishlist before, here are 13 reasons Bali should be your next holiday destination:
On the southern coast of Bali is Uluwatu, home to Pura Luhur Uluwatu – an iconic temple perched on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
It is known for its excellent surf and has become a haven for surfers from across the globe.
The cliff-side bars have incredible views over the water, and it’s a beautiful spot to watch the sun go down.
Bali has some excellent restaurants, and it’s difficult to find a bad meal on the island.
The local ‘warungs’ are usually very cheap and offer Balinese specialities including Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Mie Goreng (fried noodles).
You will also find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options across the island, as well as smoothie bars and health food restaurants.
Rice is Bali’s staple food and the locals often eat it for every meal.
There are rice paddies all over the island, and guides who will take you on a trek through the fields, as well as teaching you how the rice is planted and grown.
Ubud is Bali’s spiritual and cultural capital.
It’s long been a retreat for fans of meditation and yoga, and has gained even more popularity following the movie Eat, Pray, Love.
In the centre there is a huge market full of clothes, food, jewellery and furniture, which you can easily spend a day (or five) exploring.
A short walk from the market is the impressive Ubud Water Palace.
Ubud is surrounded by rice paddies and rainforest, and scattered within these are some stunning hotels.
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Julia Roberts, head to the Four Seasons Sayan, which hosted Julia and crew during the filming of Eat, Pray, Love.
The 5 star hotel has gorgeous villas overlooking the rice paddies and amazing infinity pools.
Bali is covered in Frangipani trees and you’ll find the beautiful white flowers everywhere you go.
The Balinese also make floral offerings to the gods each day, often in little baskets, which you will see all over the island.
Bali is a shopper’s heaven.
As well as the huge Ubud markets, there are boutiques all over the island selling clothes and jewellery by local designers, as well as workshops full of beautifully hand carved wooden furniture.
The only problem is fitting it all in your luggage!
Jimbaran is a fishing village on the south west coast of Bali.
The long white sand beach is home to a selection of upmarket hotels and resorts as well as some cheap and cheerful restaurants.
This is the spot to eat fish, and there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from, including Sundara, a bar and restaurant with an infinity pool overlooking the bay.
Bali has become one of the go to destinations for yoga lovers, and there are endless classes to improve your downward facing dog and cobra poses.
For the more adventurous, you can also now try anti gravity yoga, which involves performing some of the traditional yoga poses while suspended from the ceiling.
Kuta is the main party town in Bali, and admittedly it isn’t for everyone.
However there are plenty of other options for a night out.
Seminyak up the coast has plenty of great bars, including the well-known Potato Head Club, located on the beach.
If you’re in Bali for more than a few days, then it’s definitely worth heading out to one of the nearby islands.
The closest is Nusa Lembongan, which has great beaches and a very relaxed atmosphere.
Or you can head further afield to the Gili Islands off Lombok.
These three car free atolls are fringed with gorgeous white sand beaches, and each has it’s own character, with Gili Trawangan the busiest and Gili Meno the quietest.
Bali has been a surfing mecca since the 70’s and the island has over 60 great surf spots.
Beginners should head to Kuta or Legian and for the more advanced surfer, Uluwatu, Padang Padang and Dreamland are considered some of the top breaks on the island.
The best time to surf is during the dry season – April to October.
Bali has over 10,000 temples and each is unique.
One of the most well-known is Pura Ulun Danu Beratan, located on the Beratan Lake, with a mountain range backdrop.
One thing you can’t help but notice in Bali is how friendly and welcoming the people are. The Balinese are incredibly hospitable and want you to love the island as much as they do.
Whatever your budget, there are some great hotels in Bali, from local guesthouses to high-end resorts.
Many of these feature some spectacular pools.
In Uluwatu, Anantara has a gorgeous pool high on the cliffs with stunning views of the coastline and rooms there start from £232 a night.
Many of the pools in Ubud are surrounded by rainforest, including the beautiful pool at The Kayon Resort, where rooms start from £196.
And for total luxury, the Four Seasons Jimbaran Bay villas have their own private infinity pools, but come with a heftier price tag, starting at £575 per night!