The Best of Bali and Lombok



This trip starts in Ubud, where Balinese kings, benevolent to the arts, transformed their court seat of into a true global village. Ubud shops, galleries and craft shops blend traditional arts and crafts with modern design. Visiting European artists, attracted by the lure of an untouched tropical paradise, were encouraged by the Kings to stay. They gave new impetus to existing local arts, while creating exciting new forms in the process. This atmosphere reverbs to this day. A visit to Ubud means indulging in local arts, visiting temples and enjoying the archetypical Balinese surroundings of steep gorges and sculpted rice fields. Ubud is a great base to explore the hinterland of Bali.

Exploring Bali: Daily Life & Sacred Places

Today you will be introduced to the rich cultural inheritance of the Balinese people and their remarkable architecture. After a short drive, we visit a traditional village with an unusual layout. A split candi bentar temple gate overlooks a lane on a gently descending slope. The house compounds on both sides of the street are all similar in lay-out, but they reveal an interesting feature of Balinese philosophy. Then onward to Bangli, the location of an extraordinary Hindu temple. The gaze of a splendidly elaborated demon head above the main entrance, pierce the eyes of every visitor. The holy character of this dwelling is palpable. After passing true the first two terraces, the overdone and seemingly uncontrolled decorations continue to overwhelm even the casual visitor. On the next level, eleven merus point to the mountains, indicating that this is the most sacred part of the temple. Often one can see women dressed in their finest attire, carrying the heavy load of exquisite offerings up to one of the many shrines. Just before reaching Ubud, we descend into a steep valley. This is the location of the sacred Gunung Kawi, megalithic stone memorials to some of Bali's long forgotten God-Kings.

Ubud, Global Village Of The Arts & Crafts

No better place than Ubud to indulge into Bali's rich arts & crafts. Visit Neka Museum and proceed to one of Ubud's art galleries and shops with numerous artifacts, paintings and handicrafts on display. All villages surrounding Ubud excel in one or another handicraft. There are wood and stone carvers, silver smiths and painters. On some off-the-beaten track location people pursue the little known craft of egg painting. Do your shopping at Ubud's local handicrafts market. Observe Balinese women graciously balancing their merchandise on their heads or watch traders make an offering at the market temple to implorer yet another auspicious day.

From Central to North Bali: arrive in the North

Today you drive towards the north coast. Stop at Bedugul for a visit to the holy site of Ulun Danu temple at the shores of Lake Bratan. The temple effortlessly combines Hindu and Buddhist architectural elements. Dedicated to the Goddess of the Lake, it spiritually protects the source of water for a large part of Bali. Cross the mountain range dividing Bali in two distinct halves. You'll finally reach Lovina, located on the north coast a short drive away from Singaraja, the former capital of Bali.

A Day In The North

Lovina is an excellent base to discover the wonders of North Bali. A short drive away from Lovina, there is a true Shangri-la halfway up in the mountains. Friendly villages are tucked away between rice fields rolling down from heaven to sea. Hike a short while on coffee, clove & vanilla gardens. Have lunch while gazing over rice fields bordered by palm trees. Return back to Lovina in the late afternoon, after sipping some of the local grown coffee.

From North to East Bali

Today you'll drive on a scenic road to East Bali. Just outside Singaraja, a subak temple offers a humorous perspective on colonial times. Murals depict the life under the Dutch. In Penelokan, you'll have a spectacular view on the lake and smoldering cone, towering ominously over a volcanic caldera. Next stop is Besakih, a sprawling complex of shrines and temples, dedicated to the thousands of Hindu deities. On auspicious dates, this massive temple draws tens of thousands of pilgrims. After passing enchanting rice terraces, your journey will end in Candi Dasa, the perfect spot to explore the eastern hinterland of Bali.

Candi Dasa: Explore The Far East Of Bali

Drive further east. Your first stop is Tirtagangga, surrounded by arguably the most beautiful rice fields of Bali. Its main attraction however, is the so called Water Palace, an open air pleasure garden built by the last raja's of Karangasem. It certainly proofs their near obsession with pools and fountains. Well-restored, it features a terraced area with numerous pools, water channels and fountains, set in a well-maintained garden with large stone statues, depicting traditional Balinese mythological figures. In the center of Karangasem, you can visit the beautifully restored city palace from the former East Bali raja's. Numerous elements refer to a time and age when God-Kings ruled much of Bali, some of which even conquered parts of Lombok. Before returning to your hotel, you will visit a remarkable village. Shielded from the rest of the world by a walled perimeter, the first settlers of Bali continue a life of adherence to strict and ancient traditions. Up to this day, the Bali Aga are master handlers of double ikat, an extremely difficult method of weaving. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.

from Bali to Lombok

Drive a short distance to Padangbai, a mere small cove with a white sandy beach, lined with fishing boats. It used to be the old port to Lombok. A speed boat will shuttle you straight into into Trawangan, one of three tiny islands in front of the north west coast of Lombok. There are no motorcycles or cars on the island. With its superb white sandy beaches, clear water, colored fish, beautiful coral reefs, this tiny tropical paradise has a great laidback atmosphere of. Rest of the day you are free to enjoy the magnificent surroundings.

A Day On Gili Trawangan

Ample time for beach activities or snorkeling. Get on a glass bottom boat and travel slowly from one island to the other one. You may stop as often as you like to snorkel or swim, perhaps even amongst large sea turtles.

From Trawangan To Senggigi Beach, Mainland Lombok

Today you will travel to the "mainland" of Lombok. After a short speedboat ride, the car will take you on a scenic coastal road with splendid views on numerous inlets and coconut grooves. The sea is dotted with colorful triangular sails as the fishermen set out for a lucky catch. Check-in in one of the finer resort hotels of Senggigi. The rest of the day is free.

Exploring Central Lombok

Today you are heading to the central and southern parts of Lombok, the heartland of Sasak culture. Various stops at a local market, traditional villages with their typical houses and lumbung or rice barns, the dazzling white sand beaches of south Lombok. Enough time for swimming and relaxing before heading back to Senggigi.

leaving Lombok

This trip ends when checking-out of your hotel in Senggiggi around noon time.