How to spend 10 days in Bali – the ultimate Bali itinerary

When I was thinking what my first sentence of the Bali stories should be, I was lacking ideas desperately. The truth is that it’s not hard to attract someone’s attention to one of the most heavenly islands on Earth. It could be challenging to pick the right words to express your feelings when you visited the place you dreamed of. A place which some might visit once, others will return to every year. A place that makes your every friend jealous. We decided to put together an itinerary of 10 days in Bali so you can enjoy the island on a regularly-sized vacation.

Bali is not just beautiful nature, unique culture and customs. It is also the beauty of the people who live there. Visiting the island without touching the rich souls of the people is a sin. What makes Bali charming is the harmony between the warm weather and the warm people.

We spent a whole of three weeks there that were not enough. Anyway, we did visit known and unknown spots on the island. We hired a scooter motorbike for transportation. Sometimes we hired a guide with a car. Some places enchanted us with the locals’ stories, with their lifestyle. In some places, we discovered interesting facts about everyday life and the culture on our own. We slept in three different parts of Bali and we couldn’t sleep waiting for the sunrise, moving to dolphins’ natural performance stage or being in a hurry for the next adventure.

We left Sofia with 4 suitcases, 2 of them empty. On our way back we filled on of them with presents, the other with strong emotions and vivid memories. It is Bali’s fault that we started this very blog, The Magic of Traveling!

Amed

Once you arrive in Bali, head to Amed. That’s what we did and woke up to the most amazing sunrise over the ocean. Amed is a good place not only for relaxation on the beach, but also for active adventures like exploring the nearby villages and sailing, and it’s a wonderful welcome to the island of Bali. Here’s our post on our favorite things to do in Amed.

Sunrise in Amed, Bali

Tulamben

We chose Tulamben for our diving experience in Bali. The shipwreck is home to tons of colorful fish, and the local companies provide great value and assistance to all levels of divers. Diving in Tulamben is definitely a highlight of our time in Bali.

Taman Tirttaganga and Pura Goa Lawah

During the previous days in Amed, we met locals on the beach and started chatting. These were people who did not work for any hotel, and alone, they tried to make a profit from the tourist services they offered. The local boss convinced us to hire a person from his team to transfer us to Ubud, or rather, to make the local people happy. The hotels in Amed are mainly owned by Australians. For each service, they received a great percentage of the deal, while all the work was carried out by the local people. In fact, they sent us a young boy for a driver who did not speak a lot of English, but he was driving very carefully. We arranged two stopovers on the way – Water Palace (Taman Tirtagangga) and Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple).

Taman Tirtagangga (Water Palace)

The first stop not coincidentally had been the residence of the king – a magical place with multitudes of small ponds, dragonflies, resting on exotic flowers, and gorgeous bridges to admire everything from above. We managed to reach the holy water spring whose effect is yet to be determined and felt. For the humble amount of around 50,000 Indonesian rupees (8-9 BGN), we hired a local guide who told us so many things about the history of the place, the royal dynasty, and the local customs of the people. Not to mention that he was always offering to take photos of us here and there. This is typical of all guides on Bali – they would do anything to make you happy and satisfied.

The Water Palace in Bali

Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple)

The Bat Cave Temple was the first place where we met the insistent, commercial approach of the locals. It is normal that on an island, where the main occupation is tourism, there are many souvenir (and other objects) sellers. It is a fact that even next to temples in small villages, where only a handful of people pass by every day, there was at least 1 merchant, offering his goods at affordable prices. After the not-so-advanced trading in Amed, we found the women with sarongs in the Bat Cave overly insistent.

In the temples on Bali, one should always cover his/her knees before entering – a sign of respect to the Gods. Even if your clothes conceal your knees, in some places, it is necessary to tie a sarong around your waist to enter inside a temple. Whether or not, we did not have sarongs, this was our first temple so we decided to pour some rupiahs into the local economy. We ended up getting two sarongs for 120,000 IDR (around $9). Then, I realized that those were high-quality sarongs so we had not wasted our money. In the temple, there was almost no one, and the cave, attached to it, was unapproachable. One could see, or rather smell, the aroma of multitudes of bats that have “parked” themselves inside. From one place to another, they were moving in hundreds and in a noisy manner.

Ubud

The next stop in our Bali visit and something we would definitely put in 10 days in Bali itinerary is Ubud. Even when we visited it some years ago, it was still very lively, bustling and a bit overwhelming. Still, we suggest spending a couple of days to explore the jungle, the town, its markets, the cool vibe, maybe even the Monkey Forest or even better – the amazing surroundings of Ubud. Keep in mind some interesting temples are quite nearby, for example, Pura Desa Temple and Goa Gajah (The Elephant Cave). Here’s how we spent our time in Ubud.

Bali on a bike

Probably the best local and adrenaline experience on the island – a “Bali on a bike” tour would be a highlight of your 10 days in Bali, too. You’ll pass endless rice fields with hard-working people, mesmerizing views (including the majestic Mount Batur and Lake Batur), you’ll pedal through everyday life, temples, and schools and meet the most amazing friendly Balinese people. The tour ended with a meal at the house of our tour guide Made and that was the perfect ending of a memorable day! Follow our advice and just do Bali on a bike!

Tanah Lot, Seminyak and Legian beach

It’s time that we move to another part of the island. We chose to base ourselves in Canggu (but back then it was just e peaceful tiny village). So you have options to look around and choose something else in the western part of Bali.

Tanah Lot

We spent a whole day combining the Tanah Lot temple with Kuta beach, but we recommend a spiritual experience in Tanah Lot (go very early for fewer crowds) and then choosing a beach or two out of Seminyak and Legian to finish the day.

Seminyak beach

Our host Morgan drew a map for us to show us how to get to any cool beach or POI in any direction. It worked like a charm to reach Echo beach but now it was time to go further. So it was a total mess. Good that we had a GPS navigation. Navigation + scooter = we were unbeatable. The whole island was ours to explore.

We headed to two of the Western towns in Bali and their beaches. First, we landed on Seminyak where it was calm and hard to meet anyone. The wide sandy beach greeted us with small breakfast cafes. Little tiny crabs were shuttling. The early-bird surfers were already warming up. We hit the best weather for a beach walk – the cloudy weather!

Seminyak beach, Bali

Legian beach

From the neighboring beach of Legian, you can see the landing airplanes. It is a little more crowded than Seminyak but it’s still nice and calm. Perfect for sunset! A cheerful guy works as a painting salesman. While we were having another beer on the beach, he approached us. The conversation started with the ordinary “Hello, how are you?”, we continued with talks about accommodation, how long we stay in Bali, are we on a honeymoon? The usual talks you get from someone trying to sell you something. However, this young man just wanted to talk with us.

He took a seat next to us and ditched the painting. His working time was over. What he does is to wander across beaches all day long. In the evenings he returns home with his scooter to have drinks with friends. He doesn’t have enough money to live by the sea that’s why he lives in the capital Denpasar. There was a guy next to him who was thrilled when he heard we came from Bulgaria. It was impossible to convince him that this is not next to Nigeria in Africa. We tried to explain different continents with no success.

After our funny and delightful conversation about football (which we know almost nothing about), we felt enlightened. The people from Bali are big fans of this game and are quite keen on European soccer/football. So they have heard about Bulgarian achievement in football. Wow! The only thing they knew before they met us!

Legian beach, Bali

A day trip from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan and dinner on Jimbaran beach

As you only have 10 days in Bali, we’ll have to combine highlights to fit all the amazing things you can do on the island in such a short time. So the plan for the day is a quick walk in Sanur, the sail to Nusa Lembongan dor some adventurous water activities, and then a romantic dinner on Jimbaran beach.

Sanur

The beach promenade of Sanur is a long paved alley good for walks and biking. We were naive to leave the motorbike at one of the ends so we had to walk the whole promenade of 8 km twice. Still, we were hardened to like a place for hanging near the beach. All the hotels and villas were two-storeyed at max and, therefore, keeping the Balinese charm. So the signs for evacuation in case of tsunami advised that you go to any of the higher hotels away from the beach. Being popular is not a good thing sometimes – we noticed a lot of garbage in some spots. But the shallow waters reveal those magnificent reefs with seaweed, and quays housing yoga and relax huts. Idyllic!

Half-day trip to Nusa Lembongan

A trip from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan will be full of speedboat adventure, underwater marine walking. kayaking, sailing. Make sure to check out this adventurous island!

Dinner romance in Jimbaran beach

Beach walks in the dark are romantic. But they also require you to be alert. We realized that yesterday when we had to speed-cross the whole beach of Jimbaran to get to our motorbike. But it all started with a day full of freshness, new impressions, and experiences. That’s like pretty much every day in Bali.

Jimbaran is located on the south part of the island, that’s why we had to cross the stuck area around the airport, also the narrowest one. So if you are coming from north to south the only option is the way to the airport which is busy with lots of roundabouts and traffic jams, and dynamics.

The first thing we did when we arrived was to enjoy the beach, the breakfast, the bargain for a massage from a cool Balinese grandma. It took 80,000 rupiahs (9-10 USD) for 2 massages and then, relaxed and happy, we were ready to kill our thirst with a beer and swim in the calm seas. You might have noticed that we mention BEER a lot, it was one of the most expensive things to buy though. The positive side is that big beer is actually 620 ml, and you get it for around 5 BGN or 2.5 EUR. But that night on Jimbaran was all about seafood delights served on a table on the sand with a view towards the sunset. And it was all accompanied by a music band performing international music while engaging us in their show. 

Another gem was trying to escape the high tide on our way back to the scooter. We were stepping in the dark not knowing what fauna might come out. Тhe only ray of light was the fishermen’s flashlights. The more we hurried, the more the waters were trying to rise and capture us! We noticed people taking unwanted baths in the first rows of tables of some restaurants. High tide refreshment or lost romance? You decide.

North Bali day trip

Today is all about exploring the northern part of Bali which is often underestimated. A northern Bali day trip would include a sunrise dolphin watching at Lovina beach, visiting Gitgit waterfall, Danay Beratan Lake and its temples, eating lots of fresh fruit, even going to the spa. Just get a local driver/guide to enhance your experience.

South Bali in a day

That’s a tough job, but you can explore the more touristy and bustling south of Bali in a day. out of your 10 days in Bali. Although we spent a couple of days exploring Tunjung Benoa Bay, Turtle Island, Nusa Dua, Secret beach, Uluwatu Temple, Padang Padang beach, and Dreamland beach, we recommend Uluwatu Temple for a majestic sunset and Kecak ceremony and a beach of your choice before that.

Last day in Bali – wherever your heart takes you

The end of your story on Bali would be best if you visited places that you didn’t have time for in the previous days or just do something that your heart desires. Get some inspiration from our last day on Bali, when we visited some arts and crafts stalls, the Ubud market, Pura Desa temple, Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), and dressed up with traditional Balinese wear to finish our time on Bali with style and authenticity!

Bali - dressed like locals, traditional costumes

So this is our proposal on how to spend 10 days in Bali and have the best out of your time and this magical paradise island!

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