Which part of Bali is best for families? The answer to this question really depends on what kind of holiday you are after. The south is best for buzzing tourist towns and lots of entertainment. Central Bali is the best for nature lovers, spotting temples and rice paddy valleys. North, East and West Bali are ideal if you’re looking for a quiet place to have some family-only time. Here are some of our favourite family areas around the island.
Let’s start with the all-time favourite family destinations: Sanur. There are lots going on in this beach town and yet, the ambience is very relaxed and easy-going. No traffic jams, no loud tourist crowds coming to party, nothing too overcrowded and yet there is no lack of restaurants, cafes, shops and spas. In Sanur, you can go cycling, you can walk along the coastline and on top of that, the sea is perfectly safe for swimming. Watersports, beach clubs, beautiful family villas, Sanur has it all. Did you know Sanur is the original beach resort town in Bali? Somehow, this town never lost its Balinese flair and local charm. Sanur is also the main gateway to get to Nusa Lembongan.
No matter who you are, everybody loves Seminyak. A fabulous place for shopping, beach vibes, beach clubs, fine dining, coffee and surfing. Kids will love the beach, running around with their Bali kite, building sandcastles on the beach, playing in the sea and drinking their coconuts. You can go for a family surf lesson or watch the little ones catching their first wave while you are sipping your cocktail at La Plancha or any other beach bar. Seminyak is located close to the airport and it takes just a short drive to get to Canggu and Kuta. You can take the kids to Waterbom and Finn’s Recreation Club. Uluwatu and Sanur are great destinations for a day trip, taking 30-45 minutes to get there. Not to forget, there are many great family villas in Seminyak suitable for all holiday budgets.
Canggu is the next best family destination in Bali. This booming, trendy beach town has the most family cafes with fabulous playgrounds, waterpark, horse stables and more. Family surf lessons, lively weekend markets, excellent restaurants, beach clubs and spectacular sunsets, Canggu has got an amazing selection of family villas located in quiet, more remote areas (Pererenan, Seseh) but also in the heart of the action (Berawa and Batu Bolong).
Nusa Dua is a definite favourite for families. The area is very chic and it is home to stunning white-sand beaches such as Nusa Dua Beach, Geger Beach and the Benoa Harbour, famous for watersports. Nusa Dua has got fancy 5-star resorts with big names and also the most high-end luxury villas perched on clifftops. You can take the kids to see the spectacular Devdan Show with acrobats, live music, dancers and more at Nusa Dua Theatre. You can take them to The Pirates Bay for a treasure hunt and spend wonderful days at the beach. You can also stay in nearby Jimbaran for more affordable villas, calm water and the best seafood.
Ubud is great if you want to explore temples and rice fields. Kids 5+ will love the experience of whitewater rafting on the river. Or how about visiting a chocolate farm and factory and make their own chocolate elephant? Take them to the Sacred Monkey Forest or learn the basic skills of Balinese cooking together as a family. Ubud is also known as the cultural capital of the island. There are many museums and local artists and also many workshops ranging from Balinese dance to silversmithing, making your own Batik or ceramic vase. Plenty of things to see and do!
Up in the north of Bali, where villas are much more affordable than down south, Lovina is a charming, peaceful beach town. You can easily explore the town on foot but around the village, there are many places to visit. Natural hot springs, endless waterfalls and temples and it is also the only place where Bali where you can spot hundreds of dolphins our at sea. You can also go snorkelling or diving but for the most amazing underwater world, drive eastward towards Pemuteran to catch the boat to Menjangan Island (part of West Bali National Park). You can do this on a day trip but you can also stay in Pemuteran for a couple of nights to see more of what West Bali National Park has to offer.
Amed is a great place to slow down, relax and spend undisturbed quality time with the kids. There is nothing much to do but swimming, snorkelling and diving and it is just wonderful! Stunning views of the ocean and the almighty Mount Agung, staying in Amed is pure bliss for body, mind and soul.