West Bali’s Balian beach has long been popular with intrepid surfers, with the beach offering multiple breaks. While they’re mostly suited to experienced surfers, beginners can probably have some fun in the wash.
The black-sand beach has a rugged, somewhat desolate feel thanks to the thundering surf.
While it’s not really swimmer-friendly, it’s great for long contemplative walks and rummaging for flotsam and jetsam.
There are yoga retreats at the low-key resorts along the beach, and rental motorbikes for exploring the side road around Balian, where rice paddies tumble down to meet the sea.
At nearby Soka, a temple plays host to a massive cave full of bats that emerge at sunset.
Accommodation at Balian is mostly targeted toward surfers but some family-friendly as well as upper-end places are available. Expect a mix of surfer fare and local food at the guesthouses.