Gede, Villa Samadhana’s manager, has a wealth of information about nearby places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask other staff about the local area. Invariably some of them will live nearby and will be able to give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of Bali life.
In the meantime, here is a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of the villa.
- If you’ve always dreamt of galloping along the beach at sunset, now’s your chance. Saba Bay stables, can arrange horse riding trails along the black sands and crashing waves at nearby Saba Beach, passing bamboo and alang-alang plantations and local temples.
- You’re just a 20-minute drive from the historical village of Sanur, Bali’s original tourist enclave. Its lovely broad expanse of golden sands sheltered by a reef makes this for the perfect spot for safe swimming. Make the most of the diverse array of water sports available and some excellent eating places along the five-kilometre seafront promenade.
- Don’t miss a trip up to Bali’s cultural and artistic hub, Ubud, a 25-minute scenic drive. This is the best place to catch traditional Balinese dance performances – especially at the town’s Royal Palace, magically illuminated at night. Ubud has also recently evolved as an upmarket destination, boasting cutting-edge restaurants like Mozaic and world-class spas such as award-winning Como Shambhala.
- You can purchase plenty of arts, crafts and souvenirs in Ubud, but why not get them at source, at Ubud’s outlying traditional artisan villages? There’s wider options at great value to be found at Celuk, famous for silverware, Batubulan for stone carvings, Mas for wood carvings and Sukawati, for its arts and crafts market – all just 10- to 20-minutes’ drive away.
- Just off the mainland are the islands of Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida – both famous for their scuba diving and snorkelling, with excellent dive sites and rich marine life. Boat trips from Sanur or Padangbai can easily be arranged. Further along the east coast, Amed and Tulamben offer isolated reefs – the latter, also has shipwreck diving.
- Bali Safari & Marine Park (7km) offers a fun family day out. Home to hundreds of amazing animals representing more than 50 species, it presents a tram ride through the animal enclosures, a marine aquarium, a theatre, animal educational and entertainment shows, as well as the Fun Zone where visitors can get wet and wild in the Waterpark or embark on a Jungle Cruise.
- Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should drive over to the west coast – around 45 minutes away – where you’ll find Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave, Seminyak. Here, indulge in globally-inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish boutiques and hipper-than-thou bars – including the much hyped Ku Dé Ta, on Seminyak beachfront.
- Covering 3.8 hectares of tropical parkland in Kuta, Waterbom Bali has 16 water slides (including The Climax with its 360 degree loop) to entertain the young and the young at heart. A great family day out, but go early to beat the crowds.
- The stretch of beach between Sanur and Ketewel is well known as a surfer’s heaven (especially from November to May, when the winds turn offshore on this side of the island), but beginners should beware of strong, swirling currents. Good breaks can be found at Keramas, Ketewel and Cucukan.
- Pulau Dive Charters offers luxury boat charters around the beautiful islands and waters surrounding Bali. They specialise in private fishing, surfing and diving charters and also offer unique personalised day trips to Nusa Lembongan. Perfect for a family day out on the water or with a group of friends.