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Bali… just the mention of this tiny island buried deep in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago conjures visions of dazzling seascapes. Massive 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. Kuta is a swarm of activity. It’s overrun with tourists, touts, and traffic. But Bali has much more to offer for those willing to get off the beaten path. These 4 amazing beaches are sure to delight.

Yeh Gangga Beach – Tabanan Sub-District

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

Located 6 miles from Pura Tanah Lot, you’ll find Yeh Gangga Beach along Bali’s volcanic west coast. This gem is only an hour away from Kuta, but it feels a world away. The quaint villages that surround the area lend an air of tranquility. This stretch of sand gets few visitors, so it’s likely that you’ll have unobstructed views of the sunset. Yeh Gangga Beach is great for surfing, but swimming is not recommended since the waters offshore can be treacherous. Try horseback riding on the beach for an unforgettable experience. Or just relax and observe the locals who frequent this little slice of heaven. It’s the perfect way to end another magical day in Bali.

Want more? Rent a motorbike and explore the nearby villages. 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 Bali beaches would be complete without Amed Beach which you’ll find 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 shuttle from Candiasa. Once there, public transport is basically non-existent, so bring your own vehicle. The beautiful scenery along this rugged stretch of coastline is divine. Outrigger fishing boats sit patiently beside the water. In the distance, Bali’s highest peak, Mount Agung, towers overhead. By the way, it’s a volcano – an active one.  The spiritual significance and local legends associated with the mountain really add to the experience. Mount Agung is also home to the Temple of Pura Besakih, or Mother Temple. It’s the most sacred religious site on the island.

For the adventurous, Amed Beach has tons of water activities. The diving is excellent, with some amazing shipwrecks nearby. Other options include sailing, snorkeling, and stand-up paddle. For those who prefer to keep dry, there’s always yoga. And beachside 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. The port services a huge amount of traffic between Bali and neighbor islands, Lombok and the Gili Islands. Most travelers use it as a transfer point and nothing else. But the town has a lot to offer.

Padang Bai actually has 3 gorgeous beaches. The best 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 path leading down to the beach. There you’re 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. Grab a drink, kick back, and relax as you watch the waves crash against the shore.

Dream Beach – Nusa Lembongan

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

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 nowhere to be found. Tucked along the southern shore, 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 horizon.

What’s more, Dream Beach offers plenty of outdoor activities. 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