Ultimate Bali Itinerary, including Gilis & Nusas
7, 10 and 14 day itineraries to make the most of it
Many people idealise Bali as a ‘small island’. It is not. With almost 5,780 square kilometres, it takes a while to go around the island. So how should you cover Bali’s must-sees in a short amount of time? A lot of people ask us this question.
Which sights have to be included in your itinerary depends on the length of your holiday. Are you wondering what to see, and what can you skip?
How exciting is planning your Bali trip? Guides, pictures, and recommendations. Everything looks beautiful. You are truly looking forward to setting foot on Bali soil, leaving all your worries at home and travelling to a paradise island to sip cocktails on a pristine beach. Yes, we all have the same thoughts.
But when it comes to details, planning can quickly become stressful. Indeed, there are so many spots to see and so little days of vacation. You have to make the most out of it. So, where to go? What to see? What to do in Bali? In which order? What are the Bali must-sees?
We’re here with the answers to these questions. We worked on three optimised Bali itineraries for you, so you can see everything in your timeframe.
7 Day itinerary
Monday – SEMINYAK
Seminyak is the perfect place to start your Bali trip. Here you will find a beach, a wide range of restaurants and lots of very cute shops. Spend a day to relax and recover from the time difference! The next step will need all your attention.
- Try surfing in one of the most well-known surfing destinations
- Get a Balinese massage in one of the many parlours
- Try your first local meal in a warung, a local restaurant
- Walk in the city streets and do some window shopping
Tuesday – UBUD
Ubud is one of the most popular spots in Bali. Why? Nature, architecture, culture, wildlife, and handicrafts. You can find everything in Ubud, putting it high on Bali’s must-sees.
- Take a dip in the refreshing and scenic Tegenungan waterfall
- Get close with Monkey Forest’s inhabitants, but be aware that they might get cheeky
- Take in views of Ubud’s landscape on Campuhan Ridge Walk
- Immerse yourself in Bali’s traditions with dances at Ubud Palace
Wednesday – UBUD
Your second day in Ubud will have a particular atmosphere, with very powerful landscapes and temples.
- Admire a magical sunrise in Tegalalang rice terraces (Carry small notes to not upset locals, as they often ask for money to get around the terraces)
- Wander through Pura Gunung Kawi, a picturesque temple and funerary complex
- Bathe in Pura Tirta Empul, a Balinese water temple
Thursday – UBUD
We realise that Mount Batur might seem a long way away, but we believe the sunrise there will be a highlight for your Bali trip.
- Soak in beautiful sunrise view on Mount Batur, and tell us if it is worth it
- Have a glimpse of all the handicrafts in Ubud’s market
- Head to Canggu
Friday – CANGGU
Canggu might look a bit like Seminyak, but there’s something in the atmosphere here. You just need to feel it to understand. Plus, it’s a nice break between Ubud and Bukit and the perfect place to spend your Friday night.
- Try some of the countless vegan options
- Improve your surfing skills on Echo beach
- Head to Tanah Lot Temple – charming temple close by and overlooking the ocean
- Watch the sunset with a drink on Batu Bolong beach
Saturday – BUKIT
Bukit is the peninsula in the very South of Bali. Here you will find beautiful beaches, cliffs and great sunset options. And it’s close to the airport. Sounds like the perfect place to end your Bali trip? We think so, too.
Get mesmerized by Uluwatu temple, nested on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Beware of the cheeky monkeys here!
- Walk an adventurous trail to Padang-Padang beach
- Visit Uluwatu Temple, one of the six key temples in Bali, and watch traditional Kecak dance at sunset
- Order some food in a cliffside restaurant
Sunday – JIMBARAN
Enjoy the sunset & seafood with fireworks at Jimbaran beach to end your trip with a magical moment.
- Have a walk on the most romantic beach on Bukit peninsula, Tegal Wangi beach
- Shop for some souvenirs at Jimbaran for your loved ones
10 Day itinerary
For the 10 day itinerary, we think you should have an island getaway on the Gilis! The Gili Islands belong to Lombok, which is mainly Muslim. Please be considerate while visiting these islands.
We suggest you take the 7 Day Itinerary and add these extra three days between Ubud and Canggu. It’s easier to leave Bali from Padangbai and come back to Bali in Serangan. This will reduce your travel time. Learn more about Gili Trawangan, Gili Air & Gili Meno.
Monday – GILI TRAWANGAN
Head to Gili Trawangan from Padang Bai!
- Cycle around the island in the afternoon and enjoy beautiful beaches all around
- Watch the sunset from Ombak hotel’s swing – take a picture and tag us on Instagram
- Have delicious, cheap and local food at Gili Trawangan’s night market
Tuesday – GILI MENO
Take a boat to neighbour island Gili Meno – the most romantic Gili.
- Enjoy a walk on the saltwater lake path
- Snorkel around the famous underwater nest sculpture
Wednesday – GILI AIR
Take a boat to Gili Air, a great compromise between Gili T’s nightlife and Meno’s minimalist vibe.
- Cycle around the island and snorkel with turtles
- Try scuba diving in one of the dive shops!
14 Day itinerary
Let’s add Nusa Islands to your Bali trip – Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida! We suggest you go to the Nusas straight from the Gili Islands before going back to Bali in Serangan.
Get more information about the Nusas here.
Thursday – NUSA LEMBONGAN
Lembongan belongs to Bali, yet the atmosphere here is quite different from her big sister.
- Have a cruise into the mangrove forest and learn more about these superhero trees
- Get amazed by the ocean’s power at Devil’s Tear
- Visit Gala-Gala underground house, the result of a local farmer ’s inspiration by the Hindu Mahabharata tale (He built his house for 15 years with just a crowbar!)
- Sleep in a Lumbung (traditional rice barn)
Friday – NUSA CENINGAN
Nusa Ceningan is the tiny island between Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida. It is easily accessible from Lembongan by its very famous yellow bridge.
- Cross Nusa Ceningan’s yellow bridge and admire the view halfway
- Cliff jump from Mahana point
- Gaze at the infinite shades of blue from Blue Lagoon, and cliff jump here too
- Head to Penida
Saturday – NUSA PENIDA’S WEST COAST
Nusa Penida is undoubtedly the biggest and the richest of the 3 Nusa Islands. That’s why it is better to spend at least two days there.
- Float in the Angel’s Billabong rock formation’s crystal clear water at low tide
- Stare at the waves moving through Broken Beach’s arch
- Try to find the T-Rex at Kelingking Beach
- Rent a mask and snorkel at Crystal Bay
- Book a snorkelling trip to see the highlights of the western coast of Nusa Penida and enjoy a swim with manta rays!
Sunday – NUSA PENIDA’S EAST COAST
Nusa Penida’s east coast has stunning views and incredible beaches to offer.
- Get spiritual in Goa Giri Putri troglodytic temple
- Relax on Atuh Beach, an epic beach with an arch
- Fall in love with Diamond Beach – one of the most scenic beaches in Bali
- Lose your breath at Thousand Islands viewpoint
These itineraries are quite intense, but so is Bali and so will be your Bali trip. We tried to combine all the Bali must-sees in these itineraries, and it might seem like a lot. But Bali does have a lot to offer.
We highly recommend you to take the time to enjoy the places you feel comfortable in. Please adjust your favourite itinerary for a more laid-back, personal adventure!
Here are the stops that we would skip to gain time: Batur, Canggu, Seminyak, Jimbaran or one of the Gili islands.
However, if you feel like this is not enough, here are the stops you can add to your Balinese adventure: UNESCO-listed Jatiluwih rice terraces, Ulun Danu Beratan temple on Lake Beratan and Taman Ayun temple! These sites are easily accessible from Canggu and Ubud.
Booking tours are a great way to save time, too. You can easily find a snorkelling trip that will allow you to go around all the Gili Islands in one day. Tours combining Nusa Penida, Lembongan and Ceningan are available too!
Want to know the easiest and safest way to go to the Gilis? Read it here.
Hope you have all the inspiration you need to plan your perfect Bali trip and don’t hesitate to post a comment if you have any questions!
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Written by Virginie Fauquant
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