Here’s news to banish those winter blues. For the first time you’ll be able to board an aircraft in Britain and step off in beautiful Bali, Indonesia’s best-known paradise island.
So if you’ve ever been tempted by Bali’s idyllic scenery, tropical seas and friendly people — now there’s one more reason to visit in 2019.
Garuda Indonesia flies non-stop to Bali on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, starting from Tuesday 22nd January 2019.
Flights depart Heathrow Terminal 4 at 21:55 and arrive in Denpasar, Bali, at 21:30 the following day. Flight time is just over 15 hours.
Booking for the route is already open and two ticket classes are available. Return flights from Bali continue to operate via Jakarta.
With its lush greenery, golden beaches, unique Hindu culture and sultry climate, Bali welcomes everyone – from pensioners to party animals and backpackers to billionaires.
The island is one of the world’s top surfing destinations. Local wildlife highlights include tropical reef fish, sea turtles and three types of dolphin.
The southern resorts are well developed, offering a truly international selection of restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Head west for the best surfing spots, or east for calmer waters ideal for diving or snorkelling.
Less energetic types may prefer to practise yoga, tour ancient temples or enjoy the many Balinese art forms, from dance to batik to pottery and painting.
There’s more laid-back entertainment to be had on the nearby Gili Islands, whose miles of white sand beaches are reached by boat in a couple of hours.
Bali is famous for its architecture, and it’s best seen at one of the island’s many landmark Hindu temples (called puras). There are mountain-top temples, ‘floating’ temples, clifftop temples and one perched on a rock in the sea. Popular temples include:
The south-western resort of Kuta is Surf Central. There are surf teaching shops close to the beach where novices can learn to ride the waves. And once you’ve picked up the basics you’ll find boards for hire too.
Meanwhile if you’d prefer diving lessons, start your search around Amed, Sanur or Nusa Lembongan.
Most guides agree that the Kecak fire dance, at Uluwatu, is well worth a look. It’s a traditional affair full of masks, costumes, chanting and shouting, held in a clifftop arena. Add music, drums and fire, and you’re away.
You’ll find traditional performances of a different kind at the Nusa Dua Theatre. The Devdan Show offers visitors a lights-and-costumes spectacular filled with pyrotechnics, laser and light displays, acrobatics and aerial silk dancers.
If we tell you to visit the rice fields, that isn’t because we’re short of ideas. They’re so worth seeing that UNESCO has designated them a Cultural Landscape.
The stepped mountainside paddies are lush, green and set among knife-edge valleys flanked by mountains and forests. The views are breathtaking.
They’re also a glimpse of real life in Bali away from the tourist industry. Take a tour, or simply get a map and wander.
Bali’s nightlife isn’t all banging bass until 6am, though that’s certainly available (head for Kuta or Legian).
The island’s beach clubs are all about food, cocktails and chilling out with a sea view. You’ll find some of the classier ones in Seminyak.
Alternatively, check out the night markets of Sanur or Gianyar for some sensational street food.
Meanwhile, those looking for English pubs, rooftop bars, rock venues, cabaret or theatre shows will all find a favourite in and around the main southern resorts.