Bali… just the mention of this tiny island buried deep within the heart of the Indonesian archipelago elicits visions of an exotic culture and dazzling seascapes. Towering volcanoes, lush vegetation, and sweeping coastal views fill the fantasies of aspiring visitors. And Bali doesn’t disappoint. That is, if you know where to look. The main attraction, Kuta, is overrun with tourists, touts, and traffic. Still, Bali holds many secrets. For those willing to get off the beaten path, pristine treasures await. Take a look around and you’ll soon discover how it earned the name, “Island of the Gods.” Here are 4 amazing Bali beaches off the beaten path that are sure to amaze.

Yeh Gangga Beach – Tabanan Sub-District

Yeh Gangga Beach sunset in Bali, Indonesia
Photo by I Nengah Januartha / CC BY

Located 6 miles from beautiful Pura Tanah Lot you’ll find Yeh Gangga Beach along Bali’s volcanic west coast. This amazing Bali beach is just an hour away from Kuta, but it feels a world away. The quaint villages that surround the area lend an air of tranquility to the scene. This expansive stretch of pristine beach sees few visitors, so it’s likely that you’ll enjoy unobstructed views of the stunning sunset. Yeh Gangga Beach offers surfing for the more active beach-goers, but swimming is not recommended as the waters offshore can be quite treacherous. For an unforgettable experience, try your hand at some beach-side horseback riding. Or just relax and observe the locals who frequent this little slice of heaven to perform their traditional ceremonies. It’s the perfect way to end another magical day in Bali.

Want more? Rent a motorbike and explore the nearby villages, which are devoid of tourists. Keep in mind that public transport around Tabanan Sub-District is limited. You’ll need your own ride to and from the city, but the reward is priceless.

Amed Beach – Karangasem Regency

fiery sunset behind Mount Agung volcano at Amed Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Photo by Jesse Wagstaff / CC BY

No list of amazing Bali beaches would be complete without this little gem found along the laid-back northeast side of the island. The village of Amed is way off the beaten path, a 2-3 hour drive from Kuta. It’s accessible via taxi from the airport or by way of a shuttle from Candiasa. Once there, public transport is scarce. It’s recommended that you bring your own vehicle. That is to say that you plan on leaving Amed Beach, which you may not want to do once you lay eyes on the beautiful black sand. The scenery along this rugged stretch of coastline is divine. Outrigger fishing boats sit patiently by the sea. Off in the distance, Bali’s highest peak and active volcano, Mount Agung towers overhead. The spiritual significance and local legends associated with the mountain add an otherworldly aura. Mount Agung is also home to the Temple of Pura Besakih, or Mother Temple, the most sacred religious site in all of Bali.

For the adventurous, Amed Beach is chock-full of water activities. The diving is excellent, with some amazing shipwrecks found nearby. Other options include sailing, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle. For those who prefer to keep dry, go for the yoga and stay for the beach-side massage!

Bias Tugal Beach – Padang Bai

Bias Tugal Beach - Little Beach in Padang Bai, east Bali, Indonesia
Onward to Lombok!

The small town of Padang Bai in east Bali would be nothing more than a sleepy little enclave if not for its busy ferry terminal. This port services a huge amount of traffic between Bali and neighbor islands, Lombok and the Gili Islands. Unfortunately, most travelers use it as a transfer point and not much else. But take the time to look around and the payoff is rewarding.

Padang Bai actually has 3 gorgeous beaches, the best of which is Bias Tugal Beach (aka Little Beach). After a quick 15-minute walk off the main strip, you’ll find a dirt road that leads past an unfinished construction project. Perched high atop a bluff overlooking the sea, you’ll find a well-traversed path leading down to the beach. Finally you are greeted with a pristine 400-foot stretch of sand. A rocky outcropping at the far end is gradually eroding away, leaving behind fine black grains that fade into the bright white sand. There are a few small warungs (restaurants) only steps away. So grab a drink, kick back, and relax as you watch the waves crash against the shore at Bias Tugal Beach.

Dream Beach – Nusa Lembongan

Dream Beach overlook in Nusa Lembongan near Bali, Indonesia
Photo by Aussie Assault / CC BY

This next amazing Bali beach is definitely off the beaten path! The island of Nusa Lembongan is a 25-minute speedboat ride southeast of Bali, across the Badung Strait. The entire island is only 3 square miles, making it walkable for those in search of do-it-yourself adventure. Limestone caves and cliffs abound, and the notorious traffic that plagues south Bali is nonexistent.

Nusa Lembongan is blessed with many world-class beaches, but one in particular offers the serenity and seclusion that makes you feel as if you’re sitting at the end of the world on the brink of eternity. Tucked along the southern shoreline, Dream Beach lives up to its name. Its brilliant, clear waters glisten with an azure hue that will leave you speechless. The fresh air and slow pace of life make it feel as though your every worry is far beyond the distant horizon. This is the best of Bali.

But Dream Beach is more than just a pretty face. It’s also packed with tons of outdoor activities to keep you moving. The most popular are diving, snorkeling, and surfing. And what better way to end your adventure than by sitting on the sand and watching nature put on one of its finest shows? This place is famous for its sunsets, and you’ll soon find out why. Gazing out across the deep blue expanse, you can’t help but feel part of something greater than yourself. The sky ignites in a fiery palette of pastel colors. You take a deep breath… exhale, and smile to yourself. In that moment time stands still, and everything is right with the world.

Wherever you go, go with all your heart.

– Confucius

Which amazing Bali beach has your heart? I’d love to hear about your favorites in the comments below.

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