Forget Hollywood – today’s road to Bali is one packed with surfers keen to catch the big one, sunworshippers in search of a tropical paradise and culture vultures keen to find out more about thousands of years of Hindu and Buddhist history. This tropical island paradise has regained its place as one of the top tourist destinations in Southeast Asia after recovering from brutal terrorist attacks a decade ago.
And in the bustling town of Seminyak, holidaymakers will find top quality holiday accommodation and rentals complemented by a long, sandy beach and a busy bar and restaurant scene for a Bali high that’s hard to beat.
Seminyak has come along way in a short time, transformed from a sleepy backwater into an upmarket resort that can lay claim to being the boutique shopping capital of Bali. The town is also home to a number of spas offering treatments that are often half the price customers would pay in a Western spa. The expansion of the resort has also seen a big rise in the number of holiday villas and apartments offered for rent, and anyone organising their own holiday accommodation can also expect to find in-villa spa services on offer.
Situated on Bali’s south-western coast, Seminyak is close to Kuta, one of the first and most popular tourist resorts in Bali and, in fact, is part of the greater Kuta conurbation as development has brought the towns together.
Tourists have been trekking to beguiling Bali for decades, drawn by its tropical climate and mystical ambience, and today more than 3 million visitors come to this Indonesian island paradise every year. They come for the pristine beaches, to swim and surf and dive on the coral reefs; to explore the thousands of temples that dot the hillsides and dwarf every village, town and city.
They also come to experience an extraordinary terrain – six volcanoes, including several active ones, are strung across its central highlands and the more adventurous travellers can trek into the mountains and through lush tropical forests to explore these natural phenomena at close hand.
But Bali’s appeal is surely still as an island paradise, idealised in Hollywood movies as a little piece of heaven on earth and those who return to its shores regularly are likely to agree. While Seminyak can’t boast the best beaches for surfing, its long, grey sandy shores offer a quieter, more relaxing spot for sunbathing or simply watching the world go by.
Seminyak is fast becoming the destination of choice for those looking for a more upmarket Bali resort and that is reflected in the upscale holiday rentals and accommodation available here. The town’s shopping features some of the best boutiques on the island, alongside some outstanding local arts and crafts that showcase the very best of Balinese skills and ingenuity.
Eating out is a treat, too – Seminyak has a fantastic restaurant scene with high-quality food, while its bars and clubs are considered the best and liveliest on Bali.
Travellers who fancy doing something a little more energetic with their Bali holiday than simply sunbathing or shopping might be tempted by bungee jumping – there are several bungee jumps operating in Seminyak with nothing between you and the ground but a very strong rope! Probably not for the faint-hearted but surely one of those holiday activities that’s hard to resist for many.
Much more relaxation is on offer at the dozens of spas around Seminyak. Luxury treatment centres sit side by side with more low-budget offerings but all provide a tranquil escape from the stresses of life, even if only for a few short hours.
Bali’s tropical climate means it enjoys a warm climate all year round – temperatures average 20-33°C but there is a monsoon season from December to March. Expect heavy showers and high humidity if visiting then. The peak tourist season in Bali is July and August, when humidity is low and though warm during the day, temperatures can be much cooler once the sun goes down. Sensible visitors will pack sunscreen AND a light jacket when venturing out from their holiday accommodation.
There are a large number flights from the UK that offer onward connections to Ngurah Rai international airport on Bali – look for flights from Heathrow and Gatwick, Birmingham and Manchester. Seminyak is around 20 minutes from the airport, which is close to the capital, Denpasar. Pre-booked taxis can be organised to make the trip for a decent price while those looking for a little more independence on their Bali visit may want to consider car or bike hire. All transport can be arranged when booking holiday rentals. UK travellers are advised to check up to date travel advice for Bali on the Foreign Office website.