Your villa 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.
- 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 in East Coast Season (November through May), when the winds turn offshore on this side of the island. Good breaks can be found in front of the Grand Bali and Sanur Beach Hotels, while other surf spots include Keramas (Komune Beach Club), Ketewel and Cucukan.
- Sukawati (9km) is famous for its cheap local arts and crafts market although better quality goods can be had in Ubud (art), Celuk (silverware) and Mas (woodwork).
- Le Mayeur Museum in Sanur (4km) is the former home of noted Belgian impressionist Adrian Jean Le Mayeur. The building is now a museum which, as well as showcasing the artist’s work, gives visitors an insight into what it must have been like to be one of Bali’s very first expats. Although in need of some maintenance, this remains one of Bali’s true hidden treasures.
- An annual international kite festival takes place at Padang Galak Beach (in front of Sanur Residence) every July. Traditional Balinese giant kites up to ten metres in length are made and flown competitively by teams from different villages around Bali. Originally, these kites were intended to send a message to the Hindu gods to create abundant crops and harvests. Aside from the festival itself, visitors will see many giant kites being flown in this area from June through to August.
- Bali Safari & Marine Park (13km) 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.
- There are several dive operators around Sanur, but this area is more suited to beginners or refresher courses. The better dive sites are further north in Tulumben, or out on the islands of Nusa Penida and Lembongan.
- Fashionistas and shop-a-holics should drive over to the west coast where you’ll find Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave, Seminyak (19km). Here, indulge in globally inspired gourmet restaurants, stylish boutiques and hipper-than-thou bars – including the much hyped Ku Dé Ta, on Seminyak beachfront.
- Don’t miss a trip up to Bali’s cultural and artistic hub, Ubud, a 20-kilometre 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 and world-class spas.