This itinerary is for when you’ve been to Bali already and checked all the touristy things, or, you’ve never been to Bali and you want to squeeze in as much as you can from your trip. In this blog post, I’ll take you through the ultimate Bali and Gili Islands itinerary for 2 weeks.
I’ve done this itinerary a few times and I hope you will enjoy it too! Ready? Let’s dive in!
Day 1 to 3: Ubud to Lovina
Kickstart your Bali adventure with a visit to Ubud, the cultural heart of the island. Spend at least three days here to fully immerse yourself in its rich traditions and stunning surroundings. Ubud is about 1h hour away from the airport if there is no traffic. If there is traffic, it could take even 4 hours, but that’s Bali. You have to leave your expectations behind and embrace a different way of living!
Day 1: Get a Taste of Ubud!
Begin your exploration through Ubud’s bustling streets, lined with vibrant markets, art galleries and amazing temples. These streets are located nearby Ubud Palace which is lovely and free to visit! Dive into the local cuisine by trying traditional dishes like Nasi Goreng or Babi Guling at one of the popular warungs (local eateries). Don’t forget to visit the iconic Monkey Forest Sanctuary, where mischievous monkeys roam freely around ancient temples. Today you will literally get a flavour of Balinese culture, you will be walking a lot but you will love it!
Day 2: Ubud’s Rice Terraces and Temples
On day 2, embark on an early morning trek through the scenic Tegalalang Rice Terraces. Observe the emerald-green fields cascading down hillsides and breathe in the fresh mountain air. Afterwards, head to Tirta Empul Temple for a spiritual cleansing experience in its sacred waters. Round off your day with a traditional Balinese dance performance at one of Ubud’s cultural centres.
Day 3: Ubud and evening travel to Lovina
On day 3, indulge yourself with a wellness day in Ubud. Try a yoga class surrounded by lush greenery (my favourite place is The Yoga Barn) or treat yourself to a relaxing spa session offering traditional Balinese massages. For nature lovers, venture to the nearby Campuhan Ridge Walk and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys. In the evening you will move to Lovina where you will spend the night.
Day 4 to 6: Lovina to Amed
As I mentioned before, on day 3 you move up north to Lovina, a relaxing beach village known for its black volcanic sand beaches and dolphin sightings. After a few days, make your way to Amed, a hidden gem renowned for its stunning coral reefs!
Day 4: Full Day in Lovina
Stay in Lovina all day and enjoy the beautiful ocean views, crystal clear waters, and stunning sunsets. Whether you’re looking for a quiet beach getaway or an action-packed adventure, Lovina offers plenty of activities to suit everyone’s tastes. With its long stretches of grey/black sand beaches and lush tropical forests, it’s easy to see why Lovina is one of Bali’s most popular destinations. From snorkelling in the coral reefs to exploring ancient temples and traditional villages, there are countless ways to get immersed in the culture and explore all that this vibrant destination has to offer!
Day 5: Waterfalls and dolphin experience in Lovina
Rise early to catch a traditional outrigger boat tour that will take you dolphin spotting in Lovina’s calm waters. Witness these beautiful creatures as they playfully dance alongside your boat during sunrise. Book this experience through your hotel or here. Afterwards, spend the rest of the day lounging on the beach or exploring nearby waterfalls such as Gitgit or Aling-Aling.
Day 6: It’s time to move to Amed!
Today, head south along Bali’s eastern coast to Amed, early in the morning. Leave your bags at the hotel and go Snorkelling immediately! You can book this experience in advance through your accommodation. The warm, crystal clear water is inviting and it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of the coral around you. Your snorkelling adventure takes you past groups of fish, turtles, and other marine life. It’s probably the best place in Bali for snorkelling so make sure you make the most of it.
Day 7 to 10: Gili Islands
No trip to Bali is complete without a visit to the idyllic Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. These small islands boast crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, and a laid-back atmosphere that will steal your heart.
Day 7: Gili Trawangan
Wake up and get on the first speedboat to Gili Trawangan! Get ready to be transported to the ultimate tropical paradise. This beautiful Indonesian island is heaven for those looking for an unforgettable experience. With its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, lush green countryside, and vibrant nightlife, there’s something here to please everyone. Whether you’re into snorkelling or scuba diving, sunbathing on the beach or trekking through the jungle, Gili Trawangan has it all.
What I love the most about Gili Trawangan is that there are no cars! So this is your chance to totally recharge from your experience in Bali and take some time for yourself.
Find the full guide on Gili Trawangan here 🌴
Day 8-9: Island Hopping Bliss
Hop on a speedboat from Bali to the Gilis and spend four blissful days island hopping between Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. Snorkel with turtles in their natural habitat, explore vibrant coral reefs just off the shorelines, and soak up the sun while swinging on iconic ocean swings. Each island offers its own unique charm, so make sure to experience the best of all three. Boats to the Gilis run very often every day, not really need to book in advance. The only thing I would say is that if you are visiting during the rainy season, you might not find many boats. I would consider rainy season from November to February.
Day 10: Enjoy the island
Rent a bike in Gili Trawangan and go for a ride around the island! Explore Gili Trawangan’s stunning scenery and discover hidden gems like the secret beach. Renting a bike is an easy, affordable way to explore this beautiful island and get off the beaten path. Plus, you’ll be helping to support local businesses in Gili Trawangan while having an adventure. The island is quite small but there is a lot to explore, from internal to coastal roads you can cycle around for at least half a day!
Food on the island is delicious and embraces all cuisines, plus, what I love the most is that the majority of the restaurants have live music every day!
Day 11 to 15: Sanur and Uluwatu
As your Bali adventure draws to closing, spend your last few days exploring the tranquil beach town of Sanur and witnessing epic sunsets in Uluwatu.
Day 11: Move to Sanur
Wake up early and get the first speedboat to Sanur. There’s no better way to relax and enjoy the natural beauty that the coast has to offer. Whether you prefer sunbathing on the sandy shore or taking a leisurely stroll along the beach, Sanur is one of the most relaxing beach villages in Bali!
Day 12 Sanur:
On day 12 I’ll take you to an unforgettable snorkelling experience in Nusa Penida, an Indonesian island with some of the most incredible coral reefs in the world. Whether it’s your first time snorkelling or you’re an experienced diver, Nusa Penida has something to offer. With crystal clear waters and vibrant marine life, there’s nothing quite like swimming through this magical underwater paradise! Book this trip through your accommodation a few days in advance. This experience would normally last for about 6 hours and trust me the time just flies!
Day 13 to 15 Uluwatu:
This morning move to Uluwatu! Explore the beaches and temples. Visit the iconic Uluwatu temple, a must-see for anyone visiting Bali. Feel the spiritual energy of this stunning ancient cliff-side temple with panoramic views of Indian Ocean sunsets. Experience the thrill of an outdoor adventure at Padang Padang Beach, where you can swim and surf in some of the clearest waters in southeast Asia.
Shops, restaurants and cafes in Uluwatu are incredible! It’s probably one of the most hipster places you will see in Bali. I normally hang out there on a rainy day otherwise I wouldn’t move from the beach!
Uluwatu is very well known for its surfing scene and amazing sunsets. I would suggest to spend your last few days here. You will literally head to the airport promising yourself you will come back soon!
Alternatives: if you want to go for a less touristy experience, swap Sanur with Nusa Lembongan. This island is incredible, there are many food options and plenty of activities, such as snorkelling and diving. It is far less crowded than Sanur and yet still provides an unforgettable experience. The locals are friendly and welcoming towards tourists, so it could be the perfect spot for a relaxing getaway. Plus, you can easily get to Nusa Lembongan from nearby Denpasar or Sanur via a short boat ride!
FAQs: Answering your burning questions
How many days are enough for the Gili Islands?
To truly enjoy the magic of the Gili Islands, we recommend spending at least four days island hopping between Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, and Gili Meno. This will give you ample time to explore each island’s unique offerings and soak up their tranquil vibes.
Is 2 weeks too long in Bali?
Absolutely not! With its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and stunning beaches, Bali has something for everyone. Two weeks allows you to fully immerse yourself in Bali’s beauty without feeling rushed. You’ll have plenty of time to explore different regions at your own pace and truly experience everything this magical island has to offer.
Is it worth going to the Gili Islands from Bali?
Absolutely! The Gili Islands are a tropical paradise just off the coast of Bali that should not be missed. With their crystal-clear waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling, pristine sandy beaches ideal for relaxation, and charming island vibes that transport you into a world of tranquillity, visiting the Gilis is an unforgettable experience that perfectly complements any Bali itinerary.
Congratulations on crafting your perfect 2-week itinerary for exploring Bali and the Gili Islands! From immersing yourself in Balinese culture in Ubud to discovering underwater wonders in Amed and coming across island bliss in the Gilis, this journey promises unforgettable memories and incredible experiences. So pack your bags, embrace the warmth of the Balinese sun, and get ready to embark on a magical adventure on the Island of Gods!
Ciao for now,