Featured image: Imagine waking up here in Uluwatu… yes please!
Cherished for its abundance of mesmerising landscapes, turquoise oceans, exotic jungles, luxe accommodation, and unique culture, it’s no secret why Bali makes for the perfect honeymoon destination. Ready to escape to paradise? We’ve got you sorted with the ultimate 12-day Bali honeymoon itinerary that will ensure you see the best of this stunning island — including some top spots for a little R&R.
Day 1-3: Sanur
So, you’ve landed on the Island of the Gods, what now? We suggest easing into your 12-day Bali honeymoon or romantic holiday in beautiful Sanur, just a half-hour drive from the airport. It’s hard to go past Maya Sanur as your first port of call: a gorgeous seaside resort boasting a range of dining options, including the chance to indulge in a private rooftop dinner (so romantic).
Related article: Your first time? Check out our first-timers guide to Bali
While the pace in Sanur is super relaxed, Maya Sanur offers plenty to do — provided you can tempt your love off the sun lounger of your private pool suite! The resort’s divine spa is likely to become a favourite sanctuary for the next few days so why not book the ‘Sunset at Maya’ wellness package and enjoy an evening of aromatherapy and fine dining. Or you can salute the morning sun with a complimentary class at the nearby yoga studio.
Can’t wait to throw down a towel? You’re in the right place. Sanur Beach is known for its calm shallow waters and vibrant traditional jukung fishing boats. Picture perfect. Craving something a little more action-packed? Kitesurfing is one of the most popular water activities here, with lessons available for beginners and numerous rental shops along the beach for more experienced surfers.
Often called ‘the Bali of old’, Sanur offers a gentle introduction to this magical island and visitors fall in love with the lazy beach days, quaint beachfront restaurants, and low-key local markets. It’s the authenticity of this sleepy area that’s guaranteed to captivate you and have you easing into Bali-time.
· Treat yourselves to Maya Sanur’s Floating Journey: a blissfully romantic ‘immersive’ dining experience presented on floating trays in your private pool.
· The Sanur Night Market, located on the town’s main road, offers epic street food at super affordable prices! Don’t miss the pisang goreng (a local fried banana dish) for dessert.
· Take a stroll (or two) along the seaside promenade which is dotted with great restaurants and cafes with postcard-ready views of traditional jukung boats and the ocean beyond.
Find your dream honeymoon accommodation via our Bali directory
Day 4-6: Ubud
It’s time to swap those beach walks for green hues and tropical jungle vistas. Just follow the sounds of gamelan music and scent of incense to Ubud (under an hour’s drive from Sanur), home to lush landscapes, secluded day spas, and an extensive array of luxury villas, some perched over the sacred Ayung River. While it’s tempting to laze your days away in the privacy of your luxury villa (seriously, there are so many breathtaking accommodation options in Ubud!), the township and region beyond have an incredible array of activities.
Ubud is well-known for its wonderful arts and crafts, with many of the island’s most creative artisans calling this home. Browse the multitude of galleries and boutiques in the bustling town or book yourselves an art tour to discover the best spots to view and buy local masterpieces. The streets are dotted with restaurants and cafes, inviting you to enjoy local food and take a breather from sightseeing. Bali is also renowned for its traditional dance performances and we highly recommend catching one of these in your travels.
When you’re ready to escape the buzz of the town centre, a wealth of gems awaits nearby. Take in iconic Ubud views from the Campuhan Ridge Walk: a nine-kilometre track best enjoyed in the relative cool of early morning or timed to catch the sunset. Our recommendation? Follow the signs towards the breathtaking 8th century Pura Gunung Lebah temple for a dose of beautiful Balinese heritage or treat yourselves to a massage at the Karsa Spa, located on the Campuhan Ridge. You’ll also be close to the stunning Saraswati Temple. Dedicated to the Hindu goddess Saraswati, this is one of those ‘see it to believe it’ spots that looks lifted straight from a movie set, with ponds of blooming lotus flowers enhancing the serene experience.
And no trip to Ubud would be complete without wandering the beautiful rice fields and terraces. Our tip? Book a bike tour to learn more about these areas from a local guide — and be sure to factor in a photo op at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces UNESCO site. Stunning.
· Goa Gajah (or elephant cave) is a must-see historical site dating back to the 11th century, with entry via the carved mouth of a demon!
· Pampering for two at any of the amazing spas in Ubud. You’ll even find some surrounded by rainforest or overlooking a river valley below.
· Ubud’s Insta-famous Bali jungle swing is a photo op you don’t want to miss. Our tip? Make a day of it and book the swing with a combined tour of attractions including Goa Gajah and the Tegenungan Waterfall.
· If you’re looking for a high-energy honeymoon adventure, try white-water rafting. Ubud is known for it!
· A traditional cooking class is a Bali must-do, and Ubud has countless excellent options to teach you a few new moves you can practise at home.
Day 6-9: Seminyak/Legian
Ready for the west coast? Thanks to Bali’s compact size, you’ll be back on the beach in around an hour. Find two of Bali’s most famous stretches of sand, Seminyak and Legian, right next door to one another plus a huge range of gorgeous resorts and retreats, legendary beach clubs, and incredible local shopping.
Seminyak is a busy neighbourhood that happens to be home to some of Bali’s hippest dining spots and epic nightlife. You’re spoiled for choice here, so why not change it up each night? Many beach clubs are also open during the day, meaning the party vibe never has to end! Some resorts have their own complimentary club, but day rates tend to be very affordable across the board.
The surf is excellent off Seminyak Beach, but if that’s not your thing, just relax and take in the scene. With numerous local stalls selling cold drinks and fresh coconuts (you can even rent a sun lounger!), it won’t take long to feel at home. Just make sure you’re beachside for a legendary Seminyak sunset before dinner and drinks at a local restaurant.
Want to take things down a notch? Look to Legian, one of the island’s main tourist destinations but with fewer crowds and a more low-key feel than Seminyak. The beautiful waters here are guaranteed to delight, so why not book a surfing lesson with your loved one? This area has a reef-less seabed, making it ideal if you’re just learning to catch a wave. Ready to shop? Lose a few hours in the Merta Nadi Art Market, one of Legian’s myriad shopping streets which sells everything from knock-off handbags to local handicrafts and authentic souvenirs.
· Potato Head is easily one of Bali’s most iconic clubs. Enjoy two infinity pools, daybeds, epic food and drink, and pumping music — all beachfront.
· Pop into Nyaman Gallery for a contemporary mix of Bali-based emerging artists and international names.
· The legendary KU DE TA bar serves world-class food, drinks, and tunes all day: but stick around because the real magic happens after sunset.
· Ground Zero Memorial is a must-see when visiting this region, built in memory of Bali’s 2002 terror attack.
Related article: Skip the tourist traps and check out our top 5 Secret Bali experiences
Day 10-12: Jimbaran/Uluwatu
Get ready for an unforgettable three days to complete your trip! At the south-western tip of Bali, about half an hour from Seminyak if the traffic is light (Bali’s traffic is unpredictable and at peak times it could be longer!), the dramatic Bukit Peninsula is home to Uluwatu and the beloved Uluwatu Temple (or Pura Luhur Uluwatu). Perched 70 metres above the waves, this clifftop Hindu sea temple is arguably the most enchanting site you’ll visit on your honeymoon to Bali. And it takes on an incredibly magical quality at sunset when the sky is ignited with colours and the rousing Kecak fire dance performance begins in the amphitheatre.
Ocean calling you back? Perfect, as although Uluwatu has long been a magnet for surfers, there’s also plenty of beautiful beaches and hidden coves to discover here. And because nothing says romance quite like a sunset cruise, we highly recommend experiencing this gorgeous region on a private boat. Or perhaps a fishing charter where you can have your freshly caught fish cooked into a simple yet memorable feast.
Now, we may have saved the best for last because just north of Uluwatu you’ll find Jimbaran Bay and what many believe is the best beach in Bali (stroll its crescent of clean white sand and you’ll soon see why). The sensational sunsets, relaxed fishing village vibe, and string of seafood warungs (food stalls) right on the beach make this a top spot to enjoy your last days on the island. And despite its low-key feel, Jimbaran is home to a handful of luxe resorts and boutique retreats (we love Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Villas & Spa) to cap off your romantic Bali honeymoon.
It’s always hard to say goodbye to this captivating isle — but chances are you’ll be planning your anniversary trip on the plane home!
· Had enough of dancing your way through the nights? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Jimbaran’s iconic Rock Bar showcases Indian Ocean views from 14 metres up with entry via AYANA Resort & Spa’s epic cliffside inclinator! A honeymoon highlight if we ever saw one.
· Seek out Suluban Beach (north of Uluwatu Temple), a tiny gem sheltered by limestone cliffs and accessible only by a winding path of steps.
· Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park, or GWK park, is one of Bali’s most iconic landmarks and a great way to see more of the beautiful local culture.
· Break up the sun-drenched days with a duo spa experience in the comfort of your resort.
If you’ve got more time to spend in beautiful Bali, you could easily extend your days and spend longer in any one or all of these destinations.
Why not venture further afield and jump on over to Lombok, or head up north to Mejanagan or Bali’s eastern region where you’ll find Candidasa and other areas offering well-preserved ancient villages, mysterious temples and beautiful beaches?
And if you are keen divers, you may be familiar with the USAT Liberty shipwreck, a renowned shore-based dive about two hours north of Sanur in Tulamben. Whether you’re a newly certified diver or a complete pro, this site is worth the trip for its ease of accessibility and excellent visibility.