Bali is consistently voted one of the best islands in the world to visit; it is the epitome of the tropical island idyll with incredible beaches and beautiful scenery.  But, if you are going to make the long journey to Bali, make sure you do it justice by spending at least a few days in Ubud.  The country’s cultural and spiritual heart is located amongst terraced rice paddies, dense forest and steep ravines making it a truly magical area.

Arts & Crafts: Wonder amongst the town’s alleyways and explore the art galleries and craftmen’s workshops that this town is renowned for.  The Ubud Art Market is the place to barter for your holiday souvenirs, it is filled with silk scarves, shirts, bags, hats and carved statues all made locally.

Raft, hike, mountain bike or trek:  The incredible landscape will be beckoning you to explore more.  A guided trek through the beautiful terraced paddy fields at Tegallalang will be unforgettable – or if that’s too energetic for you, what about an Elephant trek?  Or a bike ride or walk along the Campuhan Ridge offers an escape from the bustling streets of Ubud to enjoy cool, fresh air and beautiful hillside views.

The Sacred Monkey Forest: On the fringes of Ubud is the home to the grey long-tailed macaque.  Along with watching the playful monkeys swinging through the trees or lazing in the shade, you can explore the ancient temples in the forest.  Top Tip – hide your jewellery and hang onto your bags as the monkeys like to nab them off you if they can!

Temples and Shrines – This iconic landscape is dotted with Hindu temples and Shrines.  Ancient holy sites include Gunung Kawi, one of the largest monuments with its 10 rock-cut shrines.  As you make your way down the stone steps towards the site the views of the rice fields alone make the trip worthwhile! Only 1 km away there’s the Pura Tirta Empul – Temple of Holy Water, so they can both be easily visited in one day.  The temple gets its name from the Holy Springs that fill the temple pool and fountains.  This is a working temple where you can purify yourself in the pool – but do remember to be respectful of the locals.  Also located in the very heart of Ubud is The Water Palace with a beautiful pond overflowing with lotus flowers.  The temple’s carvings are in honour of the Goddess of Knowledge and Art.

The 9th Century Goa Gajah or ‘Elephant Cave’ is one of Bali’s most impressive archaeological sites and only 6km south of Ubud.  The stone entrance to the cave is carved with menacing creatures and down a flight of stairs you will discover a relic-filled courtyard, bathing pool and meditational cave.

When visiting Bali, why not consider combining a few nights in Ubud with your stay at the beach. It’ll make an amazing twin centre experience. Check out our tailormade holidays  to Bali & Ubud or further details.

Michelle Porter Senior Travel Consultant

Michelle started with us here at eShores in early 2015, but has worked in travel most of her working life. Michelle has a wealth of knowledge from across the globe, so no destination is unknown to her. Although she does love booking trips to Asia, Australia and New Zealand, after falling in love with the region when she lived there.

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