In 2-3 days
Head to Kuta or Legian — a great base if you’re here for the beach, relaxed island vibe, shopping and/or nightlife. Hotels are a dime a dozen, from five-star luxury outfits to
budget £2-a-night rooms without a fan or fly screen. Spend the day lazing down at the beach, surfing the beachbreak waves, indulging in a massage and tucking into a tasty feed at one of the shorefront cafes.
Hire a bemo and head out to the rainforest retreat of Ubud, stopping on the way to check out the stunning Tanah Lot temple. If you’re up for a big night out on the town, head out to one of the dozens of pubs or clubs along the Kuta-Seminyak strip.
Head out to the Bukit peninsula and experience the stunning beaches at Dreamland or Belangan or check out the pumping reef-break waves at Uluwatu. Here, there’s another massive temple to explore, perched precariously on a cliff overlooking the ocean.
In a week
Follow the itinerary above, cramming in plenty of beach time.
Get to know Bali really well by spending a extra couple of nights in Kuta and then spending several nights out at Ubud. The Bukit peninsula is also a great place to stay — try the absolute beachfront bungalows at Bingin and you’ll feel like you’re in paradise when you wake up to sunrise over the ocean.
Haggle over sarongs and T-shirts at the markets in Kuta or Denpasar and indulge in a seafood feast at Jimbaran Bay.
Soak up the pumping nightlife with an extra couple of nights out on the town in Kuta, then head to Sanur on the other side of the island. Its after-dark scene also has plenty to offer.
In your last few days, catch a ferry across to Nusa Lembongan or
Lombok, or consider flying to the island of Sumbawa. These places are
off the tourist radar, offering a more traditional experience and an
insight into the simpler Indonesia, away from the neon tourist
districts of Bali.