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Find your spiritual side
Known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is a deeply religious destination boasting thousands of Hindu temples, known as pura. Statues of gods and sacred animals can also be found around most corners; look out for canang sari, the colourful offerings left before them on a daily basis. Head to the sacred slopes of Mount Agung volcano to visit Pura Besakih (Mother Temple), the holiest on the island. Explore the split-level stairs and courtyards of 23 individual temples in this ancient complex before reaching the sanctuary of Pura Penataran Agung.
Admire temples set against dramatic backdrops
Of the many sea temples that edge the island, Tanah Lot is Bali’s most iconic. An hour from the port, on the coast near Beraban village, you’ll discover this postcard-perfect landmark perched upon a rocky outcrop with sunset views and surrounded by crashing waves. The similarly impressive Luhur Uluwatu in the south west sits on a clifftop with sweeping stairs carved into the cliff face. Troops of inquisitive macaque monkeys sneak out from the nearby forest to eye up visitors’ possessions, while surfers make the most of the ‘blessed’ waves on the beach 70 metres below.
Learn about local history and innovation
When it comes to water temples, some of Bali’s ancient structures, such as Pura Taman Ayun, are the focus of a complex irrigation system known as subak. Take a tour of Jatiluwih Green Land to appreciate how this ninth century development has long been used to assist the growth of rice across the island’s central paddy fields. With both beauty and brains, the area is recognised by UNESCO as a site of cultural importance.
Visit the local tourist hot-spots
To learn more about the island’s heritage, stop off in cultural Ubud to browse its museums, market and art galleries. Don’t miss your chance to enter the dramatic Goa Gajah Elephant Cave through a stone demon's mouth, or the cheeky inhabitants of the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary.
Cast your eye over the idyllic coast
Relaxation is also one of Bali’s major draws so don’t forget to spend some time sipping a chilled drink as you live out your tropical dream. South of the port, on the eastern side of the Tanjung Benoa Peninsula is Nusa Dua, a hotel-lined stretch of golden sands, calm waters and optional water sports. For a more authentic experience, take a stroll along the seafront boardwalk at Sanur, passing the colourful boats of hard-working fishermen, or visit the secluded coves on Bukit’s west coast. For a fun-filled finale, join the crowds in Kuta to watch the sun sink into the Indian Ocean.