Most people go to Bali because of its collection of beaches. There is something for everyone: long stretches of white sands in the south, black sand beaches in the west and little fishing village beaches in the east. Unfortunatley many travellers only end up visiting the touristy and not-so special beaches of Kuta, Seminyak, Sanur and Jimbaran , but with a map in tow, wheels under you and a penchant for adventure you can find some real hidden gems.
Balangan is a quite small, not so crowded hideaway beach flanked by rocky cliffs. At high tide it´s great for swimming and surfing and at low tide good for a stroll on the shore. Although a recent big fire destroyed most of the buildings on the beach there are still a few accommodation places and warungs. Located between Ungasan and Uluwatu, follow the sign from the main road to the beach.
Sawangan beachfront is partly used by some luxury hotels but there are still plenty of secluded spots to the left. The waters are crystal clear and the atmosphere relaxed. The beach is located between Grand Nikko Hotel and Mulia Hotel in Nusa Dua. Next to it lies another beautiful beach called Geger beach, the shallow waters and reef life of which make it perfect for snorkeling.
Nyang Nyang in the Bukit peninsula is one of the secret beaches of Bali. You need to go through a small jungle part and down 550 steps to get to the beach but what awaits you is an almost empty beach with white sands and clear waters. This beach also offers a good surf break for intermediate to advanced surfers.
Green Bowl, named after its algae-covered rocks at low tide, is a hidden paradise reached after some tricky turns down the roads and hundreds of steps down to the beach. A magnificent example of Bali´s natural beauty, this beach is also home to hundreds of bats living in the beachside caves. Located in Ungasan, to find it just follow down the road Jalan Bali Cliff.
Gunung Payung is a small, secluded secret beach that is known amongst locals as a topless sunbathing spot. From Nirmala supermarket in Jimbaran take a left turn from the intersection and continue on Jalan Dharmawangsa until you see a sign for Pura Gunung Payung. Access to the beach is located right next to it.
Bias Tugal, also known as Pantai Kecil (little beach) is a deserted beach close to Padang Bai harbor on the east coast. Stretches of white sand and water in varying shades of turquoise await you hidden behind a 500m trek down a rocky path. The currents here can be strong but you can still play in the waves and enjoy the solitude.
Pasir Putih (white sand beach) owes it secluded reputation to its location on the east coast, about 4,5 km east of Candidasa. On this long stretch of white sand you can swim in turquoise waters, rent a sunlounger to chill out on and enjoy some local eats. Reaching it takes you on an adventure through a tiny village, down an unmarked road and along a rough, sandy track. Look for signs saying Pasir Putih, White sand beach or Virgin beach.
Amed, a set of 7 small fishing villages located on the east coast, has long stretches of black sand beach due to volcanic deposits in the coastal soil. The seas here are calm and have an abundance of underwater life, which makes Amed a perfect place for diving or snorkeling. Also the views of Mount Agung and the green hills are amazing. You can reach Amed by driving along the road between Karangasem and Singaraja and turning east at the village of Culik.
On the island´s west coast, situated at the mouth of a wide river, lies Balian beach. It offers a beautiful stretch of black sand, world-class waves, some warungs and accommodation options. It can be reached by heading west towards Selemadeg district in Tabanan and looking for the sign to Balian beach.
Dream beach is located on the southern shores of nearby island of Nusa Lembongan, only a 30-minute speedboat ride away from Sanur harbour. It is a small white-sand beach located between cliffs, and has a dreamy Robinson Crusoe feel to it. To reach it, look for signposts saying “Devil´s Tear”, “Café Pandan” and “Dream Beach Bungalows”.