If you’re planning a trip to Bali and the Gili Islands in 2023, you’re in for a treat. You’ll be exploring ancient temples and lush rice terraces, as well as snorkeling with turtles and diving among coral reefs. There’s something for everyone to enjoy.
We’ve put together a 10-day itinerary to help you make the most of your time in Bali and the Gili Islands. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, this itinerary will take you on a journey through the most breathtaking sights and experiences Bali and the Gili islands have to offer. So, pack your bags and get ready to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure in Bali and the Gili Islands!
Overview of the 10-day itinerary for Bali and Gili Islands
- Day 1: Arrival in Bali
- Day 2: Exploring Ubud
- Day 3: Water adventures in Bali
- Day 4: Bali’s temples and landmarks
- Day 5: Nusa Penida Island
- Day 6: Transfer to Gili Islands
- Day 7: Gili Trawangan Island
- Day 8: Gili Air Island
- Day 9: Gili Trawangan Island
- Day 10: Departure
This itinerary is designed to give you a taste of Bali and the Gili Islands in 10 days. Feel free to change it according to your preferences and schedule. Without further ado, let’s dive into the itinerary and start planning your dream vacation in Indonesia!
The Best Tours To Book in Bali and Gili Islands
If you want to make the most of your trip, it could be a good idea to book a tour! Here are some of our favourites:
Discover the center of tradition and art in Bali on a private tour of Ubud. Experience its spiritual heritage with a visit to Batuan Temple.
Watch the sunrise from the top of Mount Batur on an early morning hike up Bali’s most emblematic mountain.
Discover Bali on a customizable day trip to its most recognizable locations. From the Gate of Heaven to rural Ubud’s rice fields, experience firsthand photos you’ve seen already on Instagram.
10 Day Itinerary For Bali And The Gili Islands
Day 1: Arrival in Bali
After a long flight, it’s time to finally begin your 10-day adventure in Bali! When you arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport, your private driver will be waiting to transfer you to your hotel. Hiring a private driver is the best way to get to your hotel comfortably and conveniently, especially after a tiring flight.
During the 30-60 minute drive, you can get a glimpse of Bali’s bustling streets, lush greenery, and stunning landscapes.
After checking in to your hotel, you can relax and settle into your accommodations. Take a refreshing dip in the pool, unwind in your room, or indulge in a spa treatment to ease your jetlag.
In the evening, head out for a local dinner to experience the flavors of Bali. Seminyak and Kuta have plenty of great local restaurants and street food stalls. If you’re looking for a more upscale experience, check out some of the restaurants in Ubud or Canggu. We recommend trying either nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (fried noodles), or satay (skewered and grilled meat) for a taste of traditional Indonesian cuisine.
Day 2: Exploring Ubud
On the second day of the itinerary, it’s time to explore Ubud. After breakfast, you’ll head out to visit some of the most popular tourist attractions in the area.
The first stop of the day will be the Tegalalang Rice Terrace, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These picturesque rice paddies are perched on the hills and provide stunning views of the landscape. You’ll have a chance to walk around the terraces, take photos, and learn about their irrigation system that’s been in use for centuries.
Next, you’ll head to the Ubud Monkey Forest, which is a nature reserve and temple complex. As the name suggests, it’s home to many monkeys who live freely and interact with visitors. You’ll have a chance to see these playful primates up close, feed them, and take photos. There are also several temples in the forest that are worth exploring.
After lunch, visit the Ubud Traditional Art Market. This is a bustling open-air market selling a wide variety of traditional handicrafts and souvenirs. Here, you’ll find beautiful batik fabrics, wood carvings, paintings, and much more. It’s a great place to pick up souvenirs and gifts for family and friends back home.
Day 2 is all about experiencing the cultural and natural beauty of Ubud. By the end of the day, we hope you’ll have a greater appreciation for Bali’s unique customs and traditions.
For dinner, read our list of the best restaurants in Ubud
Day 3: Water adventures in Bali
If you’re looking for some adrenaline-packed water activities, then day 3 of your Bali itinerary is perfect for you! Start your day with a thrilling white water rafting experience on the Ayung River, located in Ubud. You will navigate through the rapids with an experienced guide, surrounded by the beautiful tropical forest.
After your white water rafting adventure, it’s time to visit the Tegenungan Waterfall, which is located about 30 minutes from Ubud. Go for a swim in the waterfall’s crystal-clear pool and enjoy the breathtaking views of the surrounding greenery.
Next, head to the Bali Swing. This is an iconic attraction that offers visitors a chance to soar above the jungle canopy on a giant swing. Get ready to feel the wind in your hair and the rush of excitement as you swing over the jungle.
At the end of the day, return to your hotel and unwind with a relaxing spa treatment or a dip in the pool.
Day 4: Bali’s temples and landmarks
Bali is known for its stunning temples and natural landmarks. On day four of the itinerary, we will explore some of the island’s most impressive sites.
We will start our day at the Tirta Empul Temple, located in the village of Tampaksiring. The temple is famous for its holy spring water, which is believed to have healing powers. Visitors can take part in a purification ritual by immersing themselves in the water and praying at each of the 13 spouts.
Next, we will visit the picturesque Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, located on the shores of Lake Beratan in Bedugul. The temple is dedicated to the goddess of the lake and is surrounded by lush gardens and mountain views. This serene setting is perfect for some peaceful meditation or reflection.
Our final stop for the day is the stunning Jatiluwih Rice Terraces. These terraces have breathtaking views of the rice paddies, which cascade down the hillside. Visitors can take a stroll through the rice fields, enjoying the fresh air and tranquil scenery. This is a perfect place to capture some memorable photos of Bali’s natural beauty.
After a full day of exploring, we will head back to our hotel to relax and reflect on the experiences of the day.
Day 5: Nusa Penida Island
On the fifth day of your Bali itinerary, you will be exploring the picturesque Nusa Penida Island. The tour starts with an early morning hotel pickup and a transfer to the harbor for a speedboat ride to Nusa Penida.
Upon arrival at the island, head to Angel’s Billabong. This is a beautiful natural pool formed from the eroded rocks. The crystal clear water of the pool is surrounded by lush greenery and white sandy beaches, making it a must-see attraction in Nusa Penida. You can swim and snorkel in the pool, but be careful as the rocks can be slippery.
The final stop on this Nusa Penida tour is Kelingking Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali. The beach is famous for its stunning panoramic views and its iconic rock formation, which resembles a T-Rex dinosaur. You can hike down to the beach if you have enough time, or enjoy the stunning views from the top.
After an exciting day on Nusa Penida Island, you will be transferred back to your hotel in Bali.
Day 6: Transfer to Gili Islands
After five exciting days exploring Bali, it’s time to pack up and head to the stunning Gili Islands. We’ll start the day with a scenic speedboat transfer from Bali to Gili Trawangan, the largest of the three Gili Islands.
The speedboat ride takes around two hours, so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding islands.
Once we arrive on Gili Trawangan, we’ll check-in to our hotel and take some time to relax and unwind. The island’s laid-back atmosphere is perfect for getting into holiday mode and taking things at a slower pace.
Later in the evening, head out for a local dinner and try some of the island’s fresh seafood and traditional Indonesian dishes. The Gili Islands are known for their delicious food, so this is the perfect opportunity to sample some of the local delicacies.
After dinner, you can take a leisurely stroll around the island, soaking up the relaxed atmosphere and enjoying the cool ocean breeze.
Day 7: Day Trip to Gili Meno
Take a day trip to Gili Meno, the smallest of the three Gili Islands, for some amazing snorkeling. You can rent snorkeling gear from one of the local shops and swim with the colorful fish and even see sea turtles. The crystal-clear waters around the island offer an abundance of marine life and colorful coral reefs. You can spot a variety of fish species, sea turtles, and even small sharks. Gili Meno is known as the best spot for snorkeling, and it’s only a short boat ride from Gili Trawangan. Make sure to bring your underwater camera to capture this incredible experience.
In the afternoon, head to Ombak Sunset Swing to enjoy the stunning sunset views over the ocean. Swing above the water and take in the magnificent colors of the sky as the sun goes down. It’s a perfect spot for some stunning photographs, so don’t forget to bring your camera.
As the day turns into night, explore the vibrant Gili Trawangan Night Market. This is where you can sample the local cuisine and indulge in some of the freshest seafood on the island. Try some grilled fish or seafood skewers, satays, or local Indonesian dishes such as nasi goreng or mie goreng. You can also find a variety of souvenirs, handmade crafts, and clothing at the market.
Day 8: Gili Air Island
After a relaxing breakfast at the hotel, hop on a boat to explore the neighboring islands of Gili Air. You will have the chance to snorkel in the crystal clear waters to see the colorful marine life and coral reefs. Visit the famous underwater statue, Nest, and the Turtle Garden, where you can swim alongside these gentle creatures. Take in the stunning views of the islands and enjoy a refreshing drink before heading back to Gili Air.
In the afternoon, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding. Glide over the calm waters of Gili Air and take in the scenery of the island from a different perspective. This activity is perfect for all skill levels and is a great way to get some exercise while enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
In the evening, head to Manta Dive, one of the best spots on the island to watch the sunset. Sip on a cold drink and enjoy the beautiful colors of the sky as the sun sets over the horizon. If you’re lucky, you might even spot some manta rays swimming in the waters below. After the sunset, enjoy a delicious dinner at a local restaurant and unwind after a fun-filled day
Day 9: Gili Trawangan Island
On Day 9, get ready for an unforgettable diving experience at Shark Point. This dive site is home to various species of sharks, including blacktip and whitetip reef sharks. You’ll also find manta rays and other marine life. With crystal clear water and a diverse underwater landscape, this is a must-do for diving enthusiasts. You can book a dive tour through one of the local diving centers, such as Blue Marlin Dive or Manta Dive.
After your diving adventure, head to the Gili Trawangan turtle sanctuary to learn about the conservation efforts for these majestic creatures. The sanctuary is home to various species of sea turtles, including green and hawksbill turtles. It provides a safe environment for their rehabilitation and release into the wild. You can even adopt a turtle to support the sanctuary’s conservation efforts.
Finish off your final night on Gili Trawangan with a beach barbecue. You can choose from various seafood and meat options, including grilled fish, prawns, squid, and chicken. Enjoy your meal under the stars while listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. It’s the perfect way to end your island adventure before heading back to Bali.
Day 10: Departure
On your final day, check-out from your hotel on Gili Trawangan and get ready for your speedboat transfer back to Bali.
Take a speedboat back to Bali and enjoy the scenic ride across the turquoise waters of the Lombok Strait. The journey takes around 2-3 hours, depending on the weather and sea conditions.
Upon arrival in Bali, head to the airport for your departure flight. If time permits, you can explore Bali a bit more before leaving.
Recap of the 10-day itinerary of Bali and Gili islands
Over the course of 10 days, you’ve explored the best of Bali and the Gili Islands. You’ve seen a lot of Bali’s beautiful landscape, from the heart of Ubud to the natural beauty of Nusa Penida and the white beaches of the Gili Islands. You’ve experienced everything from adrenaline-pumping water adventures to leisurely bike rides and beachside relaxation.
Depending on your interests and schedule, you can make modifications or extensions to this itinerary. For example, you could spend more time exploring Bali’s cultural and historical landmarks, such as the Besakih Temple or the Tirta Gangga Water Palace. Or, you can add more island-hopping adventures to your Gili Islands itinerary, such as a day trip to Gili Meno or Gili Air.
Where to Stay in Bali
Bali has a wide range of accommodations, from budget-friendly hostels to luxurious resorts. Here are some of our top recommendations based on your travel preferences:
Seminyak: For luxury accommodations and upscale shopping
Seminyak is known for its high-end boutiques, trendy bars, and upscale restaurants. It is a great base for travelers who want to experience Bali’s luxury side.
The Legian Bali
This beachfront resort features elegant suites and villas with private pools and stunning ocean views.
The Samaya Bali
This villa resort offers luxurious accommodations with personalized butler service, a spa, and a fine-dining restaurant.
Ubud: For a cultural and nature experience
Ubud is the cultural hub of Bali, with a rich history, lush rice terraces, and spiritual retreats. It is a great destination for travelers who want to immerse themselves in Bali’s cultural heritage.
Mandapa, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
This riverside resort features elegant suites and villas, a world-class spa, and an organic farm-to-table restaurant.
This eco-friendly resort offers stunning views of the Ayung River Valley and features contemporary Balinese architecture, a spa, and a hillside infinity pool.
Canggu: For surfing and beach vibes
Canggu is a laid-back coastal town known for its surf breaks, beach clubs, and rice paddies. It is a great destination for travelers who want to experience Bali’s beach lifestyle.
COMO Uma Canggu
This beachfront resort features stylish rooms and suites, a spa, a yoga studio, and a farm-to-table restaurant.
This boutique hotel offers a unique blend of contemporary art, design, and hospitality, with spacious suites, a restaurant, and a pool bar.
Nusa Dua: For a relaxing beach vacation
Nusa Dua is a peninsula in southern Bali known for its white-sand beaches, calm waters, and luxury resorts. It is a great destination for travelers who want to unwind and recharge.
The St. Regis Bali Resort
This beachfront resort features luxurious suites and villas, a private beach, a spa, and a fine-dining restaurant.
Grand Hyatt Bali
This sprawling resort offers spacious rooms and suites, a lagoon-style pool, a spa, and a variety of restaurants.
Jimbaran: For a romantic getaway and seafood dining
Jimbaran is a fishing village in southern Bali known for its stunning sunsets, fresh seafood, and romantic atmosphere. It is a great destination for couples and honeymooners.
Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay
This oceanfront resort features luxurious villas, a spa, a beach club, and a variety of dining options.
Belmond Jimbaran Puri
Spacious cottages and villas with walled terraces and indoor/outdoor bathrooms. It has an outdoor pool, 3 dining options and a beach spa.
Where to Stay on the Gili Islands
If you’re planning a trip to the Gili Islands, we highly recommend staying on Gili Trawangan. Compared to the other two Gili Islands, Gili Trawangan offers more activities and amenities for tourists. While Gili Meno and Gili Air have their own unique charms, they are smaller and less developed than Gili Trawangan.
If you’re looking for a luxurious stay on Gili Trawangan, there are several upscale resorts that offer a private and indulgent experience. Here are two of the best options:
This resort features traditional-style villas with thatched roofs and outdoor bathrooms, all set in a lush tropical garden. The property is located on the beachfront, so you’ll have easy access to the turquoise waters of the Gili Islands. You can also enjoy the resort’s spa, restaurant, and pool.
Kokomo Resort Gili Gede
This boutique resort is located on the nearby island of Gili Gede, a short boat ride from Gili Trawangan. The property features just 21 villas, each with its own private pool and outdoor living area. The resort also offers a beachfront restaurant, a spa, and a range of water activities.
Getting Around Bali and the Gili Islands
The mode of transportation you choose can greatly impact your experience while exploring Bali and the Gili Islands.
Hiring a private driver gives you the flexibility to plan your own itinerary and take your time at each attraction. It’s also a comfortable option as you won’t have to worry about navigating the busy and often chaotic roads of Bali.
For those looking for a more adventurous and affordable option, renting a scooter is a great way to explore Bali on your own. But, it’s important to remember that traffic in Bali can be heavy. Be sure to stay safe by wearing a helmet and following the local traffic laws.
Taxis are a convenient option for shorter trips or airport transfers. They can be slightly more expensive than other modes of transportation. The Blue Bird Group and Grab are both reputable taxi services in Bali.
For those who prefer a more leisurely and eco-friendly option, renting a bicycle is a great way to explore Bali’s quieter areas or the car-free Gili Islands. Bali Go Bike and Gili Bike are both recommended bicycle rental services.
Choosing the right mode of transportation can greatly enhance your experience while exploring Bali and the Gili Islands. Be sure to plan accordingly and prioritize your safety while on the roads.
Overall, Bali and the Gili Islands offer an unforgettable travel experience. They combines stunning natural beauty, rich culture, and adventure. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or an adrenaline junkie, there’s something for everyone. Just make sure to respect the local customs and traditions, be mindful of the environment, and savor every moment of your journey.