A holiday in Bali needn’t just consist of lazing on a beach. Cycling is one the best ways to explore the island’s natural and cultural sights. There are hundreds of cycle tours that you can take, which are great opportunities to meet new people. Alternatively, you can rent a bike and make your own route. Here are just some of the best ways to go biking in Bali.

Biking along the beachfront

Cycling along the beachfront in Bali is an incredible experience, especially at sunrise and sunset. There are plenty of vacation villas in Bali situated on the seafront which could be great bases for cycling from. The most popular route takes you through Sanur village where you’ll find a scenic 7km beach path – there are tours that can take you via this path whilst also stopping at sights such as the Taman Festival ghost town and the Beatles Mania Cavern.

Taking a temple tour

Bali’s temples are all situated at the top of hills – many tours start at these temples and work their way down, although if you’re feeling brave you can try an uphill cycle ending at one of these temples (electric bicycles are favoured across the island and will make the hilly terrain easier to tackle). A trip via Kintamani is definitely worthwhile – this town is located near the top of a volcano and has several epic temples located nearby including the huge complex of Besakih the Hindu temple of Tirta Empul featuring a ritual bath.

Pedalling through the rice paddies

One of the most popular cycle routes starts from Ubud and takes you through the scenic rice terraces of Tegalalang – these rice paddies are UNESCO-listed due to their cultural significance and stunning appearance. Sunrise is one the best times to cycle through these plantations as not only will everything be coated in a golden glow, there’s also a lot less road traffic to contend with. The owners of these plantations often charge an entrance fee for cycling through them which is about 10,000 RP (roughly about $1!). Whilst cycling around Ubud, you may be able to incorporate a few of the island’s most scenic waterfalls into your trip. Ubud Monkey Forest is also worth making a detour for – this is the island’s best spot for seeing long-tailed monkeys.

Exploring the towns

Cycling around Bali’s largest towns such as Denpasar and Kuta should be done with caution – the traffic is a bit chaotic and can be dangerous to those that aren’t used to it. That said, there are many villages across the island that are cycle-friendly, plus its worth touring the outskirts of many of the larger towns. It’s in the towns that you’ll find many of the cycle hire shops and tour operators. Shop around for pricing and always do an inspection of the bikes and equipment so that you know you’re getting something good quality.