Your villa manager, Nyoman, will have a wealth of information about places of interest and will help arrange transport and make any bookings required. Do also ask the staff about the area too. Most will live nearby and can give an interesting insight into some of the fascinating aspects of local Bali life.
In the meantime, here’s a taste of the many and varied activities on offer within reach of Villa Asmara.
1. The villa is close to the famous sea temple at Tanah Lot (9km). Although renowned for its sunset vistas, going early in the morning provides a better idea of the power of the location and the chance to see it undisturbed, apart from perhaps an offering ceremony.
2. A nice sunset alternative is to head down to Echo Beach (11km) where a number of cafés offer good sunset views and cold beer. Hotel Tugu, a very stylish and eclectic boutique hotel a few minutes further down the coast is also a good sunset spot. Note that the beach along this section of the coast is dark volcanic sand and the waters are better suited to surfing than swimming.
3. Fashionistas, trendies shop-a-holics and foodies should hot-foot it down to Seminyak, Bali’s most cosmopolitan enclave. Here, you can indulge for hours in the glut of stylish, chic boutiques and international restaurants and bars including, Potato Head Beach club, La Lucciola and Bali’s infamously trendy Ku Dé Ta. For furniture, antiques and homeware stores go for a wander around the streets of nearby Kerobokan.
4. Play a round at the unbelievably scenic Nirwana Bali Golf Course. Bordered by ocean and rice fields and just down from Tanah Lot sea temple, no wonder this championship-standard course (designed by golf legend, Greg Norman) is frequently voted number one in Asia.
5. Drive westwards to explore the charming Tabanan Regency, revealing terraced rice fields of emerald green, volcanic mountains and black-sand beaches dotted with fishing communities. Or head north to explore the volcanic lakes near the mountain town of Bedugul, including Lake Bratan with its photogenic and stunningly positioned Pura Ulun Danu – one of Bali’s most important temples.
6. Get up to some monkey business at Bali Treetop Adventure Park (next to Lake Bratan). Five adventure circuits, with heights ranging from two to 20 metres, challenge all level and ages on suspended bridges, spider nets, tarzan jumps and 12 flying foxes.
7. Explore the scenic rice-field landscape and rural villages by bicycle; a great way to get under the skin of the ‘real’ Bali. Stop off at a local warung (café) to sample some basic Balinese fare or cool off with a cold drink.
8. With its warm seas, almost year-round season, relatively uncrowded beach and reef breaks and suitability for all levels of experience, Bali surfing is world renowned. The beaches of Canggu (11km) are known for their world-class surf breaks, offering exposed reef breaks with consistent surf. May to October (dry season) is the favoured time for waves.
9. If you are a bold and brave bargain hunter, a spree within the heart of Bali’s bustling provincial capital is an exciting and rewarding experience. Visit the vibrant Denpasar markets, where everything and anything is available.
10. 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.
11. 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.