Things to do
The Istana’s manager will have a wealth of information about nearby places of interest, and do also ask other staff about the local area too; many of them 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.
- Perched on a cliff 70m above the roaring Indian Ocean, Uluwatu Temple (Pura Luhur Uluwatu) is one of Bali’s nine key directional temples. Facing west and with steep headlands on either side creating an unbelievably dramatic setting, sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight not to be missed.
- Soar above the spectacular southern coastline of The Bukit Peninsula on a paraglider. Paragliding courses and solo flying for the experienced are available at Exo-fly as well as tandem flights in the safe hands of experienced instructors. The training centre is at Timbis Beach on the south coast of The Bukit.
- A seafood feast at Jimbaran is a must for every holiday in Bali – dozens of seafood warungs (cafés) line this west-facing beach, perfect for a sunset dinner. Fine dining options are available at most of the big resort hotels in this area too; notably PJ’s, the charming beachside restaurant at the Four Seasons, serving Mediterranean-styled cuisine.
- Uluwatu is the place for surfing enthusiasts. Most of the breaks are only suitable for advanced or expert surfers – the waves are big here. Particular highlights are Uluwatu, Dreamland, Padang-Padang, Bingin, Impossibles and Suluban.
- The 18-hole Bali Golf and Country Club Nusa Dua is one of the best courses on the island. Play takes place past creeks, canyons and waterfalls, through a mature coconut grove to the beach and back to the clubhouse alongside a lake.
- At Jenggala Keramic in Jimbaran, visitors can browse and buy from a vast range of handcrafted ceramics and glassware. Jenggala also runs ‘Make and Paint a Pot’ sessions where ‘Children’ of all ages are encouraged to get creative.
- 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.
- Fashionistas, trendies and shop-a-holics 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. There is a wide choice of fine dining, mid range, and cheap ‘n cheerful restaurants in Seminyak too: fine dining venues include Sarong, the famous Ku Dé Ta, Mama San, La Lucciola, Sardine and Métis.