The Indonesian island of Bali has long been a popular travel destination, known for its beautiful beaches, great food and incredibly welcoming people.
Another big Bali draw is the sunsets, and the plethora of stunning locations to watch them from. No trip to the island is complete without gazing (preferably with a cocktail or Bintang in hand!) from a beach, cliff or jungle as the sun disappears into a colourful haze.
I’ve taken three trips to the idyllic isle; here are my top spots in Bali to watch the sun go down.
The beautiful long beach in Seminyak is one of Bali’s most popular sundowner locations, and it’s home to a number of great bars and hotels. Potato Head Beach Club is a well known spot and sometimes has live music to accompany the views. You’ll often see people horse riding along the dunes bathed in a glorious golden haze.
A surfer’s paradise, Uluwatu is a real contender for the top sunset spot in Bali. One of my favourite parts of the island is Single Fin, a laidback clifftop surf bar overlooking the waves. For something a little more upmarket, head to the gorgeous bar and infinity pool at Anantara for a cocktail.
Uluwatu is also home to Pura Luhur Uluwatu, one of Bali’s nine directional temples that protect the island from evil spirits. High on the cliff, it provides a gorgeous silhouette as the sun goes down.
3. Jimbaran Bay
Jimbaran, a fishing village on the south west of the island, has a beautiful long golden sand beach that offers gorgeous views across the water. It’s the place to eat seafood, and is home to plenty of budget-friendly beach bars.
At the very south end of the beach is Sundara, which has an infinity pool overlooking the beach. Definitely one of the most beautiful spots to see the sunset (and they have a great happy hour!).
4. Tanah Lot Temple
Further up the coast is the Pura Tanah Lot, another directional temple. It’s located on a rock formation in the water and has become a big tourist attraction. You’ll have to share the experience with the crowds, but the sunsets here are pretty special.
5. Gili Islands
Whilst not technically in Bali, most visitors take a trip to the Gili Islands during their stay. The car-free islands have beautiful white sand beaches and are surrounded by clear blue water. Gili Trawangan (Gili T) is most visited of the three and is the location of the iconic Hotel Ombak sunset swing. Perfect for a sunset photo op! Gili Meno and Gili Air are much quieter, and offer a more tranquil experience.
Up in the hills surrounded by rainforest and rice paddies is the spiritual town of Ubud. Made famous by the book/movie Eat, Pray, Love, it’s become a popular spot with travellers to Bali, but don’t let that put you off. Whilst Ubud might not be the obvious choice for a sunset, there are some pretty specials spots to watch the sun go down, including the amazing roof terrace at The Four Seasons Sayan.
While in Ubud, don’t miss the opportunity for some shopping at the impressive markets – one of my favourite spots in Bali.
7. Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Puru Ulun Danu Beratan is a temple located on Bratan Lake, an incredibly picturesque spot in the mountains, known as the Lake of Holy Mountain. It’s a water temple, used to make offerings to the Balinese water goddess Dewi Danu.
8. Nusa Lembongan Island
A short boat ride from the east coast is Nusa Lembongan, a small island with some lovely beaches and a relaxed vibe. A great spot to watch the sun go down is Mushroom Beach, a beautiful white sand beach, with crystal clear waters. Hai Tide Resort has a great bar on the beach and plenty of beanbags.
On Bali’s north shore is lesser-known Lovina. It’s a chilled spot with some great value accommodation. Here you will often find dolphins swimming close to shore, which makes for a pretty special sight when combined with a sunset!
10. Mount Batur
A slight change for the number 10 spot – Mount Batur is actually a popular spot to watch the sun rise. You can take a guided trek up the mountain, leaving early in the morning and reach the top of the active volcano before the sun rises for a spectacular view.
Hayley Lewis is a British Travel Writer and Producer based in Sydney. You can follow Hayley’s travels at www.alovelyplanet.com or on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.