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Get to know the real Bali by leaving the beach behind for a couple of days and travelling to Ubud, Bali’s cultural heart and spiritual capital. Surrounded on all sides by lotus ponds, rice paddies and tropical forests, Ubud has a relaxed pace and an authentic atmosphere perfect for a 5-star holiday. Start with a visit to the temples in the sacred monkey forest sanctuary before wondering into the craft market, where dozens of talented artisans sell ornate woodwork, jewellery, incense and textiles. There are also a fabulous selection of restaurants and cafes selling Balinese and other cuisines of Asia. Don’t miss the delightful Babi Guling, a delicious local speciality of barbecued suckling pig served with a side of fiery sambals and sauces.

Lombok is quieter and less developed than its rather showier big sister, and a visit here offers a slightly different perspective to Indonesia. Many say it’s like stepping back in time, with its mostly rural, laid-back way of life. It also offers some of the region’s best diving, snorkelling and surfing. No visit would be complete without a trip to the Gilli Islands, three little gems off Lombok’s northern coast. These tiny islands offer tranquillity, calm and a chance to reconnect with nature, with excellent surfing, snorkelling and swimming facilities. The islands will also appeal just as much to those who simply want to top up their tan in delightfully blissful surroundings.

Make sure you include a visit to Jimbaran Bay at least once in your trip. This atmospheric stretch of local restaurants or ‘warungs’ serve charcoal grilled seafood including freshly caught lobster, crab and prawns, with tables right on the beach. The setting is utterly romantic and the views of the sunset are nothing short of spectacular. Arrive early to get a table at the front, but it’s still worth a visit even after sunset, when the whole bay twinkles by the light of the oil lamps on the tables, and the sound of the ocean provides the perfect soundtrack to a romantic meal.

Nusa Dua is a holiday haven, with a gorgeous stretch of white sand, framed by lush vegetation and some of the most fabulous hotel resorts in the whole of Bali. Set on a peninsula in the south of the island, the resort area is delightfully well-kept, with manicured gardens and excellent beaches. Sanur is another great base, famed for its white sandy beach, opulent hotels, and a great selection of local restaurants and bars for those who like to get out and explore. For the ultimate in chic and luxury, look no further than Seminyak, Bali’s upmarket resort with its extensive selection of boutiques, trendy bars and 5-star hotels lining the ocean.

BEST TIME TO GO...

Bali’s tropical climate means it has a rainy season between October and March, when rainfall can be heavy and humidity is high. The best time to visit Bali is between April and October. At this time, the days are pleasant and sunny with lower humidity and any rainfall is mostly confined to the evenings or early hours of the morning. Throughout this period there are a variety of cultural festivals, religious processions and spiritual celebrations, so you’re sure to get a taste of colourful Balinese life.

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FAST FACTS

Time difference: GMT +8 hours

Currency: Rupiah.

Language: English and Indonesian.

Flight time from the UK (London): Approximately 16 hours via Singapore.

Arrival Airport: Denpasar Airport Transfers take approximately 15-30 minutes and transfers to Tembok take approximately two hours and 30 minutes.

Entry details (for British passport holders): 30-day visa is required and can be obtained on arrival. Charges apply. Passports need 6 months validity beyond your date of exit. Before you depart, check the latest travel advice at www.fco.gov.uk.


HERE TO HELP

A local Signature representative will meet you at your arrival airport and escort you to your pre-booked transfer vehicle. You'll receive a welcome pack containing information on the local area and all contact details. A welcome meeting will be arranged at your hotel where you can find out more about the area you are visiting.


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