| |

The Perfect Road Trip In Bali: Your Ultimate 4-Week Itinerary 2024

simple disclosure amazon

Deciding to do a road trip in Bali was probably the epitome of our travels around Southeast Asia; deciding to take it during the wet season maybe not as great!

However, we left prepared, and in the end, we had some of the best adventures, made lifelong friends and created incredible memories.

A road trip around the island of Gods is the best way to discover a more authentic Bali. There are plenty of things to do, from purification ceremonies, incredible waterfall treks and ancient temples to hiking volcanoes and learning about the Balinese culture; you could even take a Balinese cooking class!

If you’re thinking of taking a road trip around Bali, do it!

Discover The Best Of Bali On A 4-Week Road Trip Around The Coast!

Road trip in Bali.
The start of our road trip in Bali.

In this post, I’ll share our epic 4-week road trip in Bali itinerary. I’ll talk about the best places to stop, things to do and why you should add it to your Bali road trip. 

Is A Road Trip In Bali Worth It?

Since the island of Gods is well and truly on everyone’s bucket list it’s a place which gets a lot of tourism and places like Ubud and Canggu can be really heavy on the crowds. This is great if you’re in the mood for a party, but if it’s a tranquil and cultural Bali that you’re after, the best way is on a Bail road trip. And, to make it even more fun, do it on a scooter!

In fact, we hadn’t planned to take a road trip around Bali, but we wanted to explore the more rural areas, and after 5 months in Canggu, it was time to fly the nest!

Taking that Bali road trip was exactly what made our trip there so memorable, and if anyone asks I’ll tell them the truth. A road trip in Bali is totally worth it!

Jack and I sitting on scooters down a dirt track in Bali countryside
Get ready to ride down some bumpy roads!

👉 Do you know what the national animal of Indonesia is? Find out: What Is The National Animal Of Indonesia?

Summary Itinerary: Scooter Route In Bali

A quick summary of this 4-week Bali itinerary so you can see exactly where we are going. (Full itinerary below)

  • Start Point: Denpasar. This itinerary assumes you are flying into Denpasar. Visit Jagatnatha Temple, which is the biggest temple in Denpasar.
  • Stop 1: Canggu. This is where we stayed for most of our time in Bali, it’s great for a laidback, sunkissed, beach-chilled, party vibe.
  • Stop 2: Medewi. The sleepy fishing town of Medewi – it’s got one of the best waves for learning to surf. 
  • Stop 3: Ijen. Head over to Java to climb the first volcano on this Bali road trip. Mt. Ijen is famous for its blue fire and stupendous views.
  • Stop 4: Pemuteran. Pemuteran, in the north of Bali, this is where you’ll truly start to experience rural Bali.
  • Stop 5: Lovina. Takes us over to the beach town of Lovina where you can visit one of the top natural hot springs in Bali – Banjar Hot Springs.
  • Stop 6: Kintamani. The best way to do this is on the Mt Batur sunrise hike!
  • Stop 7: Amed . Amed is my favourite place in all of Bali! There are so many amazing things to do in Amed, such as shipwreck diving!
  • Stop 8: Ubud. Head to Ubud for some downtime and re-balancing. Visit the Camphuan Ridge Walk or take part in a purification ceremony. Explore centrally and visit Ubud Market, Royal Palace and Kajeng Rice Fields.
  • End Point: Uluwatu. And finally, finish in Uluwatu, where you can say goodbye to Bali with a cocktail overlooking the cliffs at Ulu Cliffhouse.
Nunggalan beach in Uluwatu.
Nunggalan beach in Uluwatu.

Planning Your Bali Road Trip

You’ll need to plan (roughly) your Bali road trip route but this 4-week itinerary is pretty easy as it follows the coastal ring road around the island. We go inland a few times and hop over to Java to climb Ijen Volcano but the rest is coastal paradise!

👉 Related Post: if you’re serious about planning a road trip around Bali why not do it on a Bali scooter as we did? Learn everything you need to know about renting a scooter in Bali here.

Medewi, Bali Road Trip: the beautiful and quiet beach town of Medewi.
the beautiful and quiet beach town of Medewi.

How To Get Around Bali

Firstly, you’ll need to decide if you’re going to do your road trip around Bali in a car or on a scooter. The biggest thing to think about is accessibility. If you want to go off-road, life is much easier on a scooter but of course, a car is more comfortable.

✅  Good to know: It’s easy to rent a vehicle in Bali but you will need an international driving license.

How Long Would It Take To Drive Around Bali?

Depending on how many stops you want to make on your Bali road trip and how long you want to stay in each place will determine how long it takes to drive around Bali. 

You can drive from one end of Bali to the other in about 3 hours, which is what a lot of tour companies will offer if visiting areas like north Bali from say, Denpasar. These are long day trips but great if you’re short on time and want to explore more of Bali.

In theory, you can drive around Bali in a couple of days but the reality is, that would suck and be super tiring. For a road trip around Bali, you’ll be looking at 3 to 4 weeks to make it worthwhile. For me, 4 weeks was perfect as we got to see the best of Bali while spending a few nights at each destination without feeling rushed!

Is Driving In Bali Easy?

One question we got asked a lot by friends and family when we returned to the UK was if driving in Bali is easy. For me, It was mostly easy (mostly being the keyword here) but I have a history of riding motorbikes, Jack, on the other hand, found it challenging at times.

With no prior experience with scooters, it was his first time riding them in Bali. But, he took to it well, and after a few near collisions and one rocky relationship with a rice field, by the time we left for our Bali road trip, he was a pro!

The main roads in Bali will have lots of potholes, however, most of the coastal ring road was smooth enough. Inland can be a problem for some and once you hit the mountains it’s a true adventure. 

Good to know: taking any detour down smaller roads is exciting, as you never know how that’s going to turn out… usually dirt tracks and gravel, which are not ideal for your two-wheeled friends – so take it easy if you find yourself on sandy paths.

Get ready for some bumpy roads on your road trip in Bali!
Get ready for some bumpy roads on your road trip in Bali!

4-Week Bali Road Trip Itinerary

Stop 1: Canggu

Length Of Stay: 3 nights
Accommodation Suggestion: Frangipani House & Spa
Good For: Party and surfing

Canggu is the trendiest part of Bali right now. It’s where you want to go to experience those wonderful sunsets and surfing vibes. It’s got a fun, laidback beach feels with a lot of western influence thrown into the mix.

It is great but chaotic. It’s a fun place to start your road trip in Bali to soak up some sunshine and get into the holiday spirit, but you won’t experience much of the beautiful Balinese culture in Canggu. 

Day trips from Canggu are popular, but of course, you won’t need to do those, so kick-back, enjoy a cocktail and take it all in, the adventure starts on day 4! 

Other Useful Information For Canggu

Batu Bolong beach at sunset.
Batu Bolong beach at sunset.

Stop 2: Medewi

Length Of Stay: 4 nights
Accommodation: Medewi The Point 
Good for: Surfers

Medewi is a small fishing village on the west coast of Bali around 70 km north of Canggu.

It’s really popular with surfers and especially beginner surfers (like Jack and me) as it has a beach break and decent waves. The area is small and unless surfing is your thing a few days there would be enough.

There’s some great sightseeing. One of my favourite waterfalls in Bali is there, there’s an enormous fig tree which is known as Bunut Bolong and an incredibly well-priced eco-lodge and spa resort to spend the day.

The food in Medewi (and Bali is very cheap) with most dishes including juice around 50,000 IDR (£2.77) only!

Other Useful Information For Medewi

  • Travel Information: 1hr 40 mins from Canggu / 67.2 km
  • Sightseeing: Bunut Bolong Free Entrance, Juwuk Manis Waterfall, Dajuma Eco Lodge & Spa Resort
  • Places To Eat: Mal Malu, Nal’s Kitchen, Wake Wakey Coffee Shop, Kejcuk Restaurant

✅ I’ve searched but I can’t find this waterful to visit on a tour – even more reason to take a  Bali road trip! You Can Search For Other Waterfall Tours In Bali By Clicking Here. FYI Bali has AWESOME waterfalls!

Waterfalls in Bali, Terjun Juwuk Manis
Juwuk Manis waterfall.

Stop 3: Mt Ijen

Length Of Stay: 2 nights
Good for: Hikers and mountain lovers 

Mt Ijen is an active volcano with a summit reaching 2,769 meters. It’s a fantastic volcanic climb and on good days the volcanic lake at the top alights with an electric blue fire! 

The volcano is on the island of Java which is just next to Bali, so you will have to catch a ferry to reach it. You shouldn’t have any problems, sometimes rentals can be funny about taking a vehicle over to another island so just check that they are okay with this. You will need a copy of the insurance which your rental company will provide.

Good to know: we didn’t check with our rental company before going and reached Java by ferry crossing at Gilimanuk port on the northwest tip of Bali. Luckily, we had no issues. It was straight onto the ferry and a thirty-minute crossing.

The park entrance is reachable by scooter, car, local bus or taxi and costs 100,000 IDR (£5.54) p/p since 2022. It takes about four hours to climb, mostly along a tarmac slope of a medium gradient. 

Other Useful Information For Ijen

  • Travel information: (Pemuteran to Ijen) 2 hr 40 mins / 81 km. Follow the ring road East to Gilimanuk port. Catch the ferry over to Ketapang Harbour in Java.
  • Sightseeing: Jagir Waterfall, Mt Ijen Sunrise Hike
  • Places to eat: Warung Pondok Asri 2

✅ If you’re not up for the drive to Java then you could take a day tour to hike Ijen this 24h trip to Kawah Ijen & local Javanese breakfast, is similar to the one we did plus you get breakfast!

The top of Mt Ijen in all its beauty! It was one of our favourite stops on our road trip.
The top of Mt Ijen in all its beauty! It was one of our favourite stops on our road trip.

Stop 4: Pemuteran

Length Of Stay: 3 nights
Accommodation: Angga Guesthouse (From £4 a night)
Good For: Scuba Diving & Jungle Treks

Pemuteran is a large village in north Bali on the edge of West Bali National Park. The town is built up around scuba diving, snorkelling and national park treks with countless offices lining the main road.

This is a great place to go hiking and once off the main road, the trails into the mountains offer fantastic views. It’s also a good stop for a day trip to the beautiful Menjangan island, which shouldn’t be missed on your 4-week Bali itinerary!

To get the most out of this stop, explore both the mountain trails and the beach, along with a couple of dives at Menjangan and a trek around West Bali National Park. 

We stumbled upon a turtle hatchery at one of the resorts which had managed to remain open during the pandemic! This was really nice and with a small donation, you can walk around the small sanctuary and view all the baby turtles.

While exploring Pemuteran during our road trip in Bali we found this random helicopter!
While exploring Pemuteran during our road trip in Bali we found this random helicopter!

Hotel shoutout: We stayed at Angga Guesthouse which is secluded down a small farm lane among the fields with mountain views. We had the most authentic Indonesian breakfast there, which was delicious!

Other Useful Information For Pemuteran

  • Travel information: 1 hr 35 min / 82.2 km 
  • Sightseeing: Pura Batu Kursi temple, Pemuteran beach, Turtle Hatchery, West Bali National Park, Menjangan Island
  • Places to eat: Kubuku Eco Dive & Restaurant, Rasta Warung 

✅ Menjangan island has to be on your list if you’re heading North and it just has to be explored underwater, the coral reef is breathtaking. Try this Snorkeling & Trekking at West Bali National Park tour so you can hit both activities!

Exploring Pemuteran - road to temple: Rural Bali at its best! Make sure you stop there on your Bali road trip!
Rural Bali at its best! Make sure you stop there on your Bali road trip!

Stop 5: Lovina

Length Of Stay: 3 nights
Accommodation: Lovina Loca 
Good For: Nature Lovers 

Lovina is a large fishing village on the north coast of Bali renowned for its beautiful beach, coral reefs and dolphin watching. It’s best if you stay close to or on the beach, this place should be great for travellers wanting to escape the fast-paced lifestyle of Canggu.

We actually didn’t have the best time in Lovina, but I blame the pandemic. Lovina seriously took a hit with the town almost deserted. I could see the potential which is why I’ve kept it in this 4-week Bali itinerary!

Something to think about: Dolphin tours are popular here but after some research we decided against a dolphin tour as they are not particularly ethical, boats chase the dolphins. You can make your own minds up. 

Instead, fill your days exploring the beach and surrounding areas, this includes a visit to the Banjar Hot Springs. These are natural thermal pools tucked away into the jungle and are believed to cure ailments – it was a highlight of our road trip in Bali! 

Banjar Hot Springs Lovina: I loved the warm waters at the Banjar Hot Springs in Lovina!
I loved the warm waters at the Banjar Hot Springs in Lovina!

Other amazing places to be visited near Lovina include one of the highest waterfalls in Bali, Gitgit waterfall, and the largest Buddhist Monastery in Bali.

The monastery is overlooking the mountains with panoramic views of the ocean, it’s certainly worth a visit on your Bali road trip!

Don’t miss out: book your north Bali attractions here, including waterfalls, temples and jungle treks!

Other Useful Information For Lovina

  • Travel information: 1 hr 20 mins / 47 km from Pemuteran
  • Sightseeing: Banjar Hot Springs, Aling Aling Waterfall, Gitgit Waterfall, Buddhist Monastery
  • Places To Eat: Georgian Restaurant, there’s also a large international supermarket to stock up at.

Only have one day in the north of Bali? Try This North Bali Tour: Wanagiri Hills, Waterfall, Banjar Hot Spring and Buddhist Monastery!

Buddhist Monastery in Bali
Entrance of the Brahmavihara-Arama Monastery also known as Vihara Buddha Banjar.

Stop 6: Mt Batur / Kintamani

Length Of Stay: 2 nights
Accommodation Suggestion: Black Lava Hostel & Lodge
Good For: Hikers and mountain lovers 

We actually went to Amed and then Kintamani (I’ve suggested Kintamani before Amed in this itinerary). For us, it was fun but long, mostly because we took a shortcut which ended up not being a shortcut! The road was so bad we had to turn back.

Luckily, we were directed to the correct road which took us up and over the mountains so high that we went into the clouds. We passed through farms, fields and villages and came out overlooking lake Batur.

One of the more exhilarating things you will do on your road trip in Bali is the ride downhill, it was rapid! I would recommend sticking exactly to the GPS and not trying any shortcuts though.

Glimpses of Lake Batur during our ride.

Kintamani is a large town at the base of the volcano on the edge of Lake Batur, predominantly used for the farming of fresh vegetables and fruit.

It’s also used as a base for the Mt Batur trek with many tours operating out of the town. We managed to find a charming eco-friendly guesthouse very close to the start of one of the trails.

The hike was fantastic, a little harder than Mt Ijen (even though it’s smaller) but most definitely worth it! The panoramic views were magical, overlooking the entire village and lake with views of Mt Agung in the background. 

Other Useful Information For Mt. Batur

  • Travel information: 1hr 40 mins / 59 km
  • Sightseeing: Mt Batur sunrise hike, Lake Batur, Volcanic rock garden 
  • Places To Eat: We didn’t go to any restaurants except the small warung at our guesthouse. Which was very simple. (Fried chicken, noodles or rice)

✅ Maybe you’re interested in hiking Mount Batur too? If so, I’ve found this Mt Batur Sunrise Trekking with a Licensed Guide which is really similar to the one we did!

igoa-adventure, Mt Batur volcano view sunrise:At the summit of Mt. Batur during the sunrise hike, you can see Mt. Agung in the distance.
At the summit of Mt. Batur during the sunrise hike, you can see Mt. Agung in the distance.

Stop 7: Amed

Length Of Stay: 4 nights
Accommodation Suggestion: Soka Amed Beach Hotel
Good For: Diving & Snorkelling

Amed is a fantastic rural village on the east coast of Bali. It’s popular for its brilliant dive sites such as the USS Liberty shipwreck, which many people visit for day dives but there is so much more to discover in Amed! 

We stayed for a week in Amed, it being our favourite stop on the whole of our Bali road trip! That being said, your 4 nights are enough – we just wanted a few extra days of doing nothing!

Amed is surrounded by mountains with stunning views of Mt. Agung, the tallest volcano in Bali. The little village is really somewhere you can just fall off the face of the earth.

The area is incredible for snorkelling and swimming, and late-night beach walks and it’s close to one of Bali’s most popular temples – Pura Lempuyang otherwise known as Heaven’s Gate! 

Looking for where to stay in Amed? We’ve got you covered with the Ultimate Amed Hotel Guide here, plus the 13 Best East Bali Day Tours 2023 (Temples, Beaches & More!)

Other Useful Information For Amed

  • Travel information: 2 hr 15 mins / 88 km from Lovina
  • Sightseeing: USS Liberty Shipwreck, Heaven’s Gate, Vienna Beach, Mountain walks
  • Places To Eat: See You Again Cafe, Green Leaf Cafe Amed, Chill Bar and Grill 

✅ Not quite ready to scuba dive? The next best thing and something which is equally rewarding is snorkelling. If you’re heading to Amed check out this Amed Bali Snorkelling: Japanese Shipwreck & Vienna Beach – Full Day Tour.

Visiting Amed in Bali was a great way to stick to our Bali travel budget
Jack looking out at Jemeluk Bay in Amed, Bali.

Stop 8: Ubud

Length Of Stay: 5 nights
Accommodation Suggestion: Wina Ubud b&b 
Good for: Vegans and Yogis 

The ride down was so easy and scenic. You will enjoy this part of your Bali road trip around the coast. You will need the extra days there! Ubud is perfect for a spiritual cleanse and re-balance.

While in Ubud make sure you visit Ubud market and Ubud Palace. We went on a nature walk around Kajeng Rice Fields which was great and Campuhan Ridge Walk; explored waterfalls, ancient temples, and forests and ate at some amazing vegan restaurants.

Make sure you get breakfast included while your visiting Bali on a budget!
Breakfast at the Wina Ubud B&B, this guesthouse was superb!

Hotel Shoutout: Once you’ve reached Ubud check into Wina Ubud B&B, we were so happy with our guesthouse, it was great and served a delicious breakfast.

Other Useful Information For Ubud 

✅ If you’re heading to Ubud and looking for a day tour, I’ve found this one which highlights the Best Of Ubud: Private Day Tour, which might be of interest to you!

Why is Bali so cheap Jack at a purification ceremony in Ubud under a waterfall
Jack at a purification ceremony in Ubud.

Stop 9: Uluwatu

Length Of Stay: 2 nights
Accommodation Suggestion: Bingin Bienvenue Guest House
Good For: Relaxing and surfing

Your final stop, and the best place to end your road trip in Bali is Uluwatu. It’s famed for its cliff side beaches and sunset spots which look out to sea. Check out the traditional Kecak sunset fire dance at Uluwatu temple!

For your final day head to one of the secluded beaches, which are fantastic and fun to get to. Bingin beach and Nungglan were two of my favourites. Afterwards, head to Ulu Cliffhouse where you can sit on some comfy bean bags and watch the sunset on your final day.

Other Useful Information For Uluwatu

Some of the best-secluded beaches can be found in Uluwatu like Nunggalan beach.
Some of the best-secluded beaches can be found in Uluwatu like Nunggalan beach.

More Options For Your Road Trip In Bali

Some other places in Bali that we didn’t visit which you might want to add to your road trip include Munduk, Sunar and Nusa Lembongan & Nusa Penida.

How To Get To Bali?

The easiest way to get to Bali is to fly directly into Bali’s international airport. It’s now possible to fly from London to Bali directly. Most major airlines, if not flying direct, will change in places like Bangkok, Singapore or Dubai.

Another way is to fly into Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, and arrange for an internal flight to Bali. There are numerous flights leaving from Jarkarta to Bali daily and in some instances, this can work out cheaper than flying direct to Bali.

If you’re already in Indonesia, it’s easy to catch internal flights to Bali from any national airport. Another way is to drive to Bali, Bali has a decent enough network of ferries to get you across the islands, you could even take a road trip through Indonesia visiting countless islands, temples and magical sites dotted throughout Indonesia!

What Month Is Best To Visit Bali?

Most people will visit Bali during the dry season which runs from April to September. August is Bali’s driest month and if you’re in search of the perfect beach holiday then this is the best month to visit Bali, however, it’s also the busiest. 

May and September are less crowded and also great times to visit Bali as it’s still warm and sunny. The wet season falls between October and March and although it rains almost every day in the middle of the rainy season, it is rare to see rain all day, every day. Instead, you can expect short bursts in the morning. 

For a budget-friendly visit to Bali, consider going during October or March, these months are known as shoulder months. Prices of tours and accommodations generally decrease during the wet season however the shoulder months can still be relatively dry and sunny!

How Many Days In Bali Is Enough?

If it’s a road trip in Bali that you’re looking to do then most people would agree it’s possible to do 2 weeks of touring to enjoy popular sites. However, to really experience Bali’s culture and heritage give yourself those extra two weeks! 4 weeks in Bali is the perfect amount of time to soak up the best of Bali and say you’ve seen it all.

Conclusion: Road Trip In Bali, 4-Week Itinerary

I hope by now you are super excited about taking a road trip in Bali and that this itinerary has been useful. There will always be changes to make to any suggested itinerary but from experience, this Bali route really was wonderful. 

We got to see the other side of Bali that holiday-goers don’t generally get to see, meet locals and do activities which we could have only dreamed of. Once you get out of the tourist hubs, the island of Gods is truly a magical and spiritual place. 

My favourite of all our stops was Amed. Whatever you do, don’t miss out on Amed, here are 21 fantastic things to do in Amed for when you visit!

igoa-adventure travel blog
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions shoot me a message.