In December last year, my family and I spent 2 weeks in Sanur on the southeastern coast of Bali. Some travellers call this place ‘Snore’ as it is more relaxed than the party towns of Kuta and Seminyak on the west, but here is what we found:
Where to eat
There are lots of local warungs to satiate your nasi campur appetite, and our favourites included:
– Natah Bale – tucked away on the main street, you might miss this one. It is worth seeking out just for the hospitality. We learnt lots of Bahasa Bali phrases from the owner. They serve the best satay chicken and lamb served in their own mini charcoal pits.
– Genius Bar – based smack bang on the shore with live music, dancing, movie nights and fire shows during the week. Their cocktails are strong and their food portions are generous. Great for vegetarians or those who appreciate healthy food.
– Warung Baby Monkeys – a cosy reggae-themed cafe that serves hearty Balinese and international food. Their nasi lemak was the best I tasted in Bali. The hamburgers and thick shakes were a hit with my family too.
– Soul in a Bowl – located further up the main street, this one is another great find for vegetarians. The menu is extensive and the salad bowls are huge. Try the juices here.
– Malaika Secret Moksha – the rustic atmosphere fits the organic menu, where food and art meet on a plate. Their key lime pie is a winner.
What to do
Sanur beach is a long stretch of white sand. To hire 2 sun loungers and an umbrella for the day will put you back IDR50,000 (£2.70). The beach was clean, unlike Kuta and Seminyak that sadly had tide lines of washed-up plastic. Watersports are available on the beachfront, and although we didn’t try the jet skis out, we did go paddle boarding on the still, shallow water. Kite surfing is popular here, but the surfing looked better in Canggu as the surfers were taken far out to the wave breaks.
The main shopping street is Jalan Cemara that extends to Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Here you can discover boutique shops as well as the usual souvenir vendors. You can find carved wooden statues, traditional instruments, artisan bamboo bags and handpainted bowls from local artists. See here for more information.
After days spent clambering through the hidden canyon in Beji Guwang, surfing in Canggu and exploring Ubud’s steep paddy fields, we needed some relaxation. The Aroma Spa is located on Sanur’s beachfront and offers high quality treatments ranging from reflexology to deep tissue massages, and they even have a sunburn soothing massage for those who’ve spent a long day at the beach.
The island of Nusa Lembongan is nestled into the mainland and is just a short ferry ride from Sanur. There, we snorkelled in the shallows by Lembongan Watersports, kayaked in the mangrove forest then visited the fearsome waves of Dream Beach.
Sanur is ideally located in the centre of most activities in Bali. We took day trips north to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud and jumped into a hidden waterfall tour, visiting the Luwak Coffee Bali Plantation en route.
From Sanur, we drove east to Tanah Lot and then on to Canggu to surf. We went south to Nusa Dua beach, then on to Padang Padang beach (locally known as the Julia Roberts beach as she filmed Eat Love Pray there). We continued further to the southern tip to watch the Kecak fire dance at Uluwatu during sunset. We went west to snorkel at Padang Bai and saw a cuttlefish in the depths. Surprisingly, the nearby butterfly park was great!
Where to stay
I highly recommend Terta Ening Agung hotel. It has a pool and a peaceful garden full of flowers and birds. It is just a 10min walk from Sanur beach. As a party of 12, we were given adjoining villas. During peak season, we paid £25/night for a large private double room with an en suite bathroom. The rooms were clean and comfortable and the staff were friendly and accommodating. Breakfast was included and consisted of Balinese favourites as well as a continental option or pancakes. The owner, Wayan, booked all our transportation at a reasonable price and made us feel at home.
I hope you’ve found this information useful. If you have visited Sanur or plan to go there soon, comment below as I’d love to hear from you!