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Bali: our itinerary

Tanah Lot

Bali has been our summer big trip this year. A vacation so desired we hardly believe it really happened.

Do not believe it has been an extremely expensive trip! I organized the whole trip myself, choosing every single aspect of it, from the airlines to our hotels to our excursions.

But where did I start? How did I choose what to do, what to see, where to stop? On today’s post I want to share our daily itinerary with you, helping you in case you want to follow our steps and organize a trip to Bali all by yourself!

First of all, I’ve booked our flights. Living in Verona, the most convenient airports for us are Milan or Venice. We choose Venice because is closer and the flight was cheaper. When choosing an airline, I always compare these three different sites: Expedia, Skyscanner and Kayak. Usually for long distance flights, I book in advance, from three to four months before the trip.

This time we got a little late, I was constantly checking the airfares but one of us got the ok of vacation dates almost last minute, so we paid a little more than I expected. This is because the day before the lowest fare was still available and the day we booked we didn’t find it anymore. Well, good job airline revenue manager! As an hotel revenue manager, I understand the series of events, but still I am disappointed I didn’t get the fare I saw earlier on time!

Said that, a little clarification: from Italy is hard to find direct flights to Bali. Usually there are stops in Jakarta, where we arrived, Singapore or Bangkok. We also had another stop in Abu Dhabi. We’ve flown with Alitalia and Etihad and then booked an AirAsia flight from Jakarta to Bali. Of course all this subject depends on your departure country and city but let me give an advice: check more than one solution, it is possible to save something only changing the departure airport or adding a small stopover.

Let’s now talk about more interesting stuff: our itinerary.

Day 0: ARRIVAL

we arrived at our hotel in Ubud late at night so we didn’t have the chance to see anything besides a quick first dinner (there pretty much every restaurant closes around 10 or 11 pm, so be careful at your arrival time if you still have to eat!) and a very needed night of sleep

Day 1: UBUD

On our first day in Ubud we decided to do the things we wanted most: Sacred Monkey Forest. An amazing experience, surrounded by the jungle and its friendly monkeys. The atmosphere there is peculiar, very special. As the beginning of our Indonesian experience we were very happy. Later that day we walked around the center of Ubud, stopping to see the temples, Ubud Palace and the market.

Sacred Monkey Forest

Day 2: CELUK, GOA GAJAH, GUNUNG KAWI, TEGALLALANG, TIRTA EMPUL, SATRIA PLANTATION

Yes, as you may see it has been quite a full day. We booked our excursion directly in Ubud the day before with the agency Bali Heart while walking around Ubud. In case you are wondering, we paid 500.000 IR for the whole day for a private tour. The day started in Celuk visiting a Silver Smith, then went to Goa Gajah also called Elephant Cave and Tirta Empul famous for the purification ritual in its sacred waters.

We stopped for lunch in a very nice warung and then went straight to visit Satria plantation, a stunning place submerged into the jungle where you’ll have a brief explanation on how they produce their coffee and a nice tasting of their teas and coffees. Last but not least, the place I liked most, Tegallalang rice terraces. Simply magical.

Celik silver smithGoa GajahTirta Empul TempleTegallalang rice terraces

Day 3: UBUD

We visited Bali in August, it is said to be the best month because there’s almost no rain…well, we got a lot of rain! On our third day we wanted to do another excursion visiting Jatiluwih rice terraces and Tegenungan waterfall but the weather didn’t agree with us. So we enjoyed and relaxed a little bit in our hotel, went back to do some shopping in Ubud market and got a balinese massage in one of the many local spas.

ubud-palace

Day 4: UBUD

Same as above, we tried to do our excursion but once again the weather didn’t cooperate and trust me, in Bali when it rains is hard to not get soaked in like 2 minutes!

Day 5: UBUD – GILI MENO

We departed early in the morning, destination the port of Padang Padang to get the fast ferry boat to Gili Meno. Arrived there for lunch, after a ride from the port on a cidomo (their typical horse cart, the only mean of transport on the Gilis), we spent our first afternoon on the island relaxing and exploring the surroundings of our hotel.

Day 6 – 8: GILI MENO

On our first whole day on the island we decided to leave early in the morning and walk all the way around the island. An amazing experience you can complete in about 2 hours. Be sure to stop in the desert beaches you find along the way and have a swim. The island is stunning and most of the time you’ll find yourself alone with nobody around!
The second day on the island has been reserved to relax. We enjoyed the facilities of our hotel and the ocean and the beach right in front of it.
Our last day on Gili Meno has been AMAZING! We took part on a snorkeling tour that took us to the most beautiful and famous spots around the three Gili islands. We swam with turtles, lots of colored tropical fishes, between corals and saw the point where the reef becomes a wall and goes deep into the high waters of the ocean. An incredible experience that made our stay in Gili Meno.

Snorkeling in Gili MenoGili Meno beaches

Day 9: GILI MENO – SEMINYAK

We’ve spent the last few morning hours on our hotel’s beach and then left for a whole day journey that took us to Seminyak. I didn’t expect to be such a long journey, we arrived in Seminyak after the whole afternoon spent on the ferry boat and on a shuttle bus…exhausting!

Day 10: SEMINYAK

First day in Seminyak, we left the hotel and explored the area. We reached Seminyak beach and started walking. We stopped for photos, a quick drink at Potato Head beach club and a delicious, but bothered by bees, lunch at La Plancha. Then we decided to wait for sunset on the beach while enjoying a Bintang and finished the day eating something with our feet still in the sand. Basically, we stayed all day at the beach, relaxing, enjoying the day and the landscape.

Seminyak beachSeminyak beach

Day 11: TANAH LOT AND ULUWATU

Last day in Bali, we left early in the morning for an excursion to the temples of Tanah Lot and Uluwatu. An amazing and interesting day of temple hopping, enjoying the view, the chats with our local driver and the landscape outside the car windows. It took the whole day to go to these two temples being on opposite side of Seminyak and due to heavy traffic, but still we enjoyed the journey and our last day in Bali.

Uluwatu temple

Day 12: SEMINYAK – UP IN THE SKY

A long journey destination home in Italy.

That has been, with some hitches, our itinerary in Bali. The most important thing is not let  some stops along the road overwhelm you, just relax and enjoy everything Bali gives you, even if it’s rain and a change of plans. Bali is a peaceful place, leave worries behind you and focus on the moment, enjoying little things and every minute of your stay. Of course we’re sorry we didn’t get to see everything we planned, but decided to focus on the good things we got, that’s why we’ll remember this as a perfect time in our first trip to Asia.

If you get to stay more days, I truly suggest you to take yoga lessons, or Balinese culture or cooking lessons, enjoy a dance show or take a hike that lets you explore the wildlife outside Ubud. Also, Bali is a big island, there’s still so much to do, like swimming with dolphins in Lovina, go see the waterfalls, other important temples around the island… there’s so much to do, you only need to choose the activity that best suits you and your interests.
Stay tuned for other posts related to all the places we’ve visited and all the details of our hotels and transportation!

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