Sports enthusiasts should head to Bali’s prestigious Canggu Club
(a 5-10 minute short cut through the rice fields or 15 minutes by car) with its state-of-the-art gym and tennis and squash courts. After work-outs, reward yourself with gourmet goodies at the nearby Deli.
A string of naturally beautiful beaches, some renowned for their surf, are all within relatively easy access along this southwest coastline. Nearest is Batubelig Beach, around 10 to 15 minutes by car, but for the area’s premier surf, head to legendary surfer’s haunt, Echo Beach (8km), which also provides handy post-surf sunset drinking. Whichever beach you choose, all are in prime position for fabulous sunsets.
Alternatively, if you want to learn to surf
, head down to Legian Beach, (25-30 minutes drive) and its Double Six area, home of reputable Rip Curl School of Surf
. With the surf school’s long experience and Legian’s manageable waves and sandy bottomed seas, this is a great spot for novice surfers, plus excellent brunches along the beachfront.
How convenient! Bali’s first horse riding stables
(established 1995), Umalas Equestrian Resort
is a neighbour. These stables offer small group horse-riding tours through local rice fields, along Batubelig Beach and picturesque villages, as well as children’s pony rides.
Built in traditional Indonesian-style, with amazing antique wood dwellings, eco-friendly Desa Seni Village Resort
(a 5-10 minute short-cut through the rice fields or 15 minutes by car) hosts excellent yoga and spiritual workshops in open-air pavilions. This acclaimed resort also boasts a health-giving, organic restaurant in rustic surrounds.
Make the de rigueur pilgrimage to sacred Pura Tanah Lot
(a 25 minute drive), one of Bali’s biggest tourist magnets. Perched high on a craggy wave-lashed rock, this ancient sea temple is best savored at sunset; make sure you receive a blessing from the Hindu Priests.
Alternatively, view Tanah Lot from the 12th hole of Nirwana Bali Golf Club
. Bordered by the Indian Ocean and rice fields just down from the sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course designed by golf legend, Greg Norman is frequently voted Asia’s number one.
Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should hotfoot it down to Bali’s hippest suburb, Seminyak
, a 20-25 minute drive south. Here, you can indulge for hours in the globally-inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish designer boutiques and chic bars – including much hyped Ku Dé Ta
, on Seminyak beachfront.
Drive westwards to explore the unchartered West Bali region, where the charming Tabanan Regency reveals terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black sand beaches dotted with fishing communities – treasures that Bali is famed for.
For a day of culture and dramatic landscapes, drive directly north from the villa for a couple of hours, up towards the mountain town of Bedugul. From here, explore three volcanic lakes, including Bratan, with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.