Sun, sea and serenity

Bali is the definition of a tropical holiday island, with beautiful, enticing beaches, and delicious local cuisine available at every corner. Bali also has a fascinating culture to explore, including excellent museums, beautiful craftwork, and an easygoing island atmosphere filled with humor and charm.

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Enticing attractions in Bali

Bali is a varied and gorgeous island with many highlights, but there’s no better place to start than Ubud, a welcoming, cultured place, and home to many arty expats.

This is the town made famous by the bestselling Eat Pray Love, and walk for a few minutes and you’ll find tranquil rice fields to soothe the soul. Ubud remains one of the prime attractions in Bali, and a few days here gives you a taste of the island at its laid-back best. This is also home to the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, where around 600 well-fed Balinese macaques will be eagerly waiting to see if you have food to share.

Ubud also has a host of quality museums and galleries, including the Neka Art Museum, offering a compelling introduction to traditional and modern Balinese painting. It’s also home to the Blanco Renaissance Museum, which displays the surreal work of the eponymous Spanish painter Don Antonio Blanco, who settled in Bali in 1952. Museum Puri Lukisan has well curated examples from each Balinese art movement – including the modern school, which first rebelled in Ubud from depicting traditional religious subjects.
Puppetry is a key part of religious and traditional ceremonies on the island, and the Setia Dharma House of Masks and Puppets makes for one of the most entrancing things to see in Bali. Reachable by taxi from Ubud, the collection comprises tough leather figures made for the rigors of shadow puppetry, as well as carved wooden puppets and striking masks for traditional dances, all well explained in English captions. The setting — a Javanese wooden house surrounded by lotus ponds and banyan trees, amid a rice-farming village — all helps to create one of the most alluring attractions in Bali.

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