Bali: things to do in just one week’s time in Indonesia


Visiting the Elephant Cave of Bali.

One of the places to visit in Bali is the famous site of Goa Gajah. According to legend, this sanctuary was created by the nails of a giant called Kebo Iwa. It likely dates to the 11th century. It is carved in a rock wall and it is accessed through the huge mouth of a demon.

Visiting Goa Gajah is one of the things to do in Bali.

Having an adrenaline rush with some water sports

I love sports. Even more so, I enjoy adventures sports. And if adventure sports get to be anywhere near water, then I am in for the fun. Those who visit Bali all agree that it is among the best places in the world to surf. I don’t surf, but I was keen to try other sports such as water paragliding and the banana boat.

Eating some delicious food

People who visit Bali always point out how delicious the food is there. I am not what people would call “a foodie”. In fact, while I do enjoy good food, I am actually quite picky. Annoyingly picky. “I want my sauce on the side, and can you please hold the onions and the peppers” picky. Can’t blame me, really – I am Italian and good food here is the norm.

 Seeing the sunset in Kuta Beach

I did not like Kuta Beach, to be honest. I found it too commercial, too crowded, too congested and too dirty for my taste. Yet, I admit that walking down the beach in Kuta at sunset time was a real treat. I could not resist posing for some incredible sunset pictures. There is no denying that seeing the sunset in Kuta Beach is one of the best things to do in Bali.


I am not what Sophie Kinsella would call “a shopaholic”. Given the choice, I would rather use all my money to fund my travels. Having said this, I do like browsing through local markets for curious finds, local crafts and souvenirs and bargains. Not to mention, through traveling I have developed some great haggling skills and I really enjoy practicing just to make sure I don’t forget how to do it. People who visit Bali often shop till they drop.

From high street shops to shopping malls, from the big famous brand stores found in Denpasar and Kuta to the lovely small boutiques of Ubud and the local markets, there is something for everyone in Bali. There is little doubt that one of the top things to do in Bali is shopping.

Partying at a fantastic club

I said many times before that of all places to visit in Bali, Kuta Beach is the one I enjoyed the least. Yet, there is one thing that Kuta Beach is really good for: partying! The number of clubs to go to in Kuta is enormous. The best ones are all by the beach, like the exclusive Potato Head Beach Club, which has access to a pool and is perfect to enjoy a wonderful sunset while dancing away and sipping a delicious cocktail. Partying at a beach club is definitely one of the top things to do in Bali.

Getting a massage

Bali was the last stop of a very demanding press trip across Indonesia, for me. I arrived completely exhausted and in need of some pampering. The good news is that both Ubud and Kuta Beach are packed with places where it is possible to walk in and get a massage, a foot rub, or a head rub for a real steal. Getting a relaxing massage is definitely one of the best things to do in Bali.

Relaxing in a fabulous resort

The number of beautiful hotels and resorts available in Bali is just incredible. The best ones are well hidden gems, far away from the traffic and the noise that plague the island. My choice was Ubud Dedari Villas, a gorgeous boutique resort in Bedulu, at about 20 minutes drive from Ubud and really close to the Elephant Cave, one of the places to visit in Bali. I knew from the minute I walked in that I was in for a real treat. The personnel immediately welcomed me and showed me to my beautiful room. In order to get there I had to walk through a lush garden where other villas were also located, right next to the infinity pool.

All of the villas have their own veranda and a stunning view over the forest and the hills. My room was plush: a huge bed, a beautiful balcony with sun beds where I enjoyed a delicious breakfast every morning, and an enormous bathroom with a lovely shower and a jacuzzi too.

Ubud Dedari Villas is very quiet, something that should never be taken for granted in Bali – the only noise that can be heard is that of the creek that runs below and of cicadas living in the trees. There was a free shuttle service that took me to Ubud any time I needed, so if I wanted to go out I knew I would not have to haggle to get a taxi.

Staying in a fabulous resort is one of the best things to do in Bali, and Ubud Dedari Villas is definitely one a great one.

Other places to stay in Ubud are Sri Ratih Cottages and Gajah Biru Bungalows.

Other things to do in Bali – for those who stay longer than a week!

Biking around

Most locals and even tourists in Bali ride scooters. Traffic is insane and the pollution gets worst by the minute. I am all in favor of protecting the environment, not to mention that I actually love biking. Had I had a bit more time, I would have definitely opted to do what is supposed to be one of the best things to do in Bali. I would have rented a bike to explore the surroundings of Ubud or, even better, I would have taken part in a biking tour, going to the most rural parts of the island and getting close to some of the places to visit in Bali such as the rice patties.


Among the best things to do in Bali, there supposedly are some fantastic hikes. Unfortunately, with my limited time on the island I haven’t had a chance to try any of them, but rumor has it that the trek to the Gunung Agung volcano, the highest peak of Bali at over 3100 meters, is a challenging yet amazing one which offers spectacular views.

The hike to Gunung Batur volcano, another one of the places to visit in Bali, is also supposed to offer fantastic sights. However, many people I have talked to have reported that the attraction is terribly mismanaged. Large numbers of visitors (perhaps more than the attraction can take), harassing vendors and (unreliable) guides may make the trip less than worthy.