Cycling in Bali

The beautiful Islands of Bali, made so famous by Author Elizabeth Gilbert, had many a travelers sauntering over to these Islands trying to find and recreate the magic which was in the book, Eat, Pray and Love. And although part fiction, part fact, for whatever reason you envision Bali, know that this will be your own personal Journey and what a great story for you also to take away as memory. The beautiful descriptions of the villages in the book don’t do the justice in real life.

The abundance of green and lush and river banks and canals flowing through the roadside and the many beaches that Bali has to offer just opens up a whole new world to the travelers. Many Bali tour packages are available for you to explore Bali the way you want. There are many cycle tours in Bali organized for your convenience which allows you to bike through these villages of Ubud like the Carangsari village and experience the vibrant life of Bali, enjoy the lush green paddy fields and the backroads of these beautiful villages, and experience a local Balinese household.

You can visit famous landmarks in Bali during your bicycle tour, which is actually one of the best ways to discover the inroads of this heartland. There are other adventure activities to seek as well, like mountain cycling in Bali and elephant safari rides in Ubud, Mountain biking in Nusa Penida, Sunset tour at Tanah Lot temple, snorkeling in the oceans at Nusa Lembongan which is a small island off the Southeast coast of Bali and enjoying the vast colorful depths of the ocean corals and sea creatures. Enjoy luxuriously in the white sands of the beaches and be one with nature, here in Bali.

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Bali Cycling FAQs

How to reach Bali from India? Is a visa required for Bali?

Bali is a fun trip but as much as you have looked forward to this picturesque vacation, it does take some amount of trouble getting to the Islands. There is no direct flight from India to Bali. However, it’s fairly easy and cheap to get a connecting one via Singapore or Malaysia. Popular airlines serving the Bali International Airport include Malaysia Airlines, Thai Airways, Singapore Air, Qantas Airways and Etihad Airways.

The second and most important thing to consider is the visa. Bali has a very strict visa policy but if you are an Indian Passport holder, you can easily get visa on arrival. The entry permit allows for a 30 days of stay and is extendable for a single time for another thirty days. Do not overstay as it can lead to a huge fine and even some amount of jail time!

What are the other things to enjoy in Bali that you can book through Thrillophilia?

What is the best time to take cycling holidays in Bali?

Cycling in Bali is an amazing way to indulge and imbibe in the countryside spirit. There a lot of new opportunities you come across when you choose to pedal around – the rugged terrains past volcanic rims, ancient temples, green plantations, quaint villages and the picturesque beaches. However, at the same time, it is necessary to understand that the general temperature in Ubud is quite humid.

Whatever time of the year you choose, it will be humid and dehydrating. Bali gets a lot of sun and this makes the months between May and July the best to cycle around. These are the coolest three months before the rainy season starts.

Which all places are good for a cycling tour in Bali?

There are several destinations around Bali that offer a good cycling experience. These would mostly consist of the small villages located outside the cities, the forest roads, and a dozen of well-known trekking routes.

If you are picking up a cycle, plant to visit:
  • Mount Batur / Kintamani Highlands
  • Ubud
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
  • Putung Village
  • Sideman Village
  • Carangsari Village
  • Bongkasa Village
  • Mengwi Village
  • Candidasa / Taman Ujung Water Palace
  • Sanur Beach
  • Lake Buyan Rainforest trail
  • Singaraja to Menjangan dive resort

Which all sightseeing spots I can cover while cycling in Bali?

The various places for sightseeing in Bali while cycling are:

  • Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
  • Mount Batur
  • Pura Lahur Uluwatu
  • Tanah Lot Temple
  • Uluwatu Temple
  • Ubud Monkey Forest
  • Bali Safari and Marine Park
  • Bali Bird Park
  • Goa Gajah Gianyar
  • Elephant Camp
  • Chocolate Factory, Carangsari
  • Blanco Renaissance Museum
  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces
  • Seminyak
  • Kuta Beach
  • Ubud Art Market
  • Coffee Plantation at Bali Pulina
  • Penglipuran Village
  • Sanur Beach
  • Lovina Beach
  • Gunung Kawi Temple
  • Dream Beach
  • Besakih Temple
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces

What things I should pack for a Bali Trip?

Bali is a popular tourist destination and even if you have forgot to carry something important, be pretty sure that it will be available at Bali. However, some things that you cannot miss include:
  • Your sunscreen to save your skin from the tropical sun
  • Cross body bags to ensure that you have your essential close by
  • Things and flip-flops – comes in handy when you look forward to getting wet
  • Travelan – to not let a bad food choice ruin the rest of your trip
  • Duffle bag – to carry souvenirs and clothes back home for friends
  • Cotton clothing – the most comfortable to wear around Bali
  • Bathers and Towels – be the beach or your hotel pool, these are necessary
  • Mosquito repellant – you cannot miss a trip to the volcano but also don’t want to get bitten
  • Hats and hair ties – more about sheltering your face from the sun than style
  • Adapters / power banks – believe me, you will need it, especially if you are clicking and instagramming a lot!

What sort of climate is there in Bali?

It’s a tropical climate in Bali but being an island, be ready for a lot of humidity. The average temperature during the day is about 26 degree Celsius, all round the year. Evenings and nights are a little cooler but nevertheless, humid. The coolest time of the year is between the months of May and July and between August and October, it rains a lot.

The sun can be pinching but the sea breeze will cool things out at the same time. Bali is comfortable as long as you are well protecting your skin and aren’t wearing something too heavy or sticky.

What sort of clothes I should carry for the cycling tour?

Cycling gear:
  • 2 pairs of summer kits Socks (you will get sweaty and need replacements)
  • Gloves
  • Helmets
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun block/sun screen
  • Waterproof case of your phone / camera
  • GoPro (it would be amazing to attach one to your cycle / helmet)
  • Allen keys
  • Cotton shirt
  • Skirts / shorts
  • Cotton dresses
  • Pjs / boxer
  • Shorts
  • Singlets

Is it safe to do a cycling tour of Bali?

While the journey itself is safe, there will always be a lot of things that you should look over your shoulders when riding a bicycle in Bali. The roads are winding and if you are sharing the same road as do motor vehicles, it is necessary to be on the side to not get hit or run over.

However, when you proceed to the jungle roads and volcanic terrains, it would be a blissful experience. You can either go on a self guided tour or join a group of other cyclists. There are always groups heading out for cycling, wherever you are in Bali. Going on a group or arranged tour will be a safer and more comfortable option too.

What all things I must keep in mind before doing a cycling tour?

Bali on cycle will be amazing. Pedaling on the tarmac tracks is perhaps the best way to check out the countryside. It certainly will be hard work climbing the mountains but there will always be an easier ride downhill! It is necessary that you pick your bike well, especially if you are looking to do a lot of off-roading and mountain terrains.

The minimum recommendation is an 18-gear cycle but 28 gear ones are always better. Similarly, wide tires will be good for the slippery tracks that you will need to ride along. The best choice is a mountain bike that has independent suspensions, both in the font and at the back. Picking up a proper helmet too can be a life saving. Also, do ask for a good quality lock since these bikes won’t be cheap.

A great product would be the Banshee Paradox 29er hardtail size M, with RS Reba 120mm, drive train X.9 with race face crank, carbon brakes and WTB tires. Apart from that, do carry the official stuff, including: Passport with 6+ months validity Ongoing ticket Your landing card Your visa Prescription for any medication you may be carrying

How many days are required to explore Bali on cycle?

If you are looking to cover all of Bali on cycle and check out all prominent destinations, the minimum duration of your trip should be for 15 days.

There are several places to be with your cycle and include:
  • Mount Batur / Kintamani Highlands
  • Ubud
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
  • Putung Village
  • Sideman Village
  • Carangsari Village
  • Bongkasa Village
  • Mengwi Village
  • Candidasa
  • Taman Ujung Water Palace
  • Sanur Beach

What sort of fitness is expected for a cycling tour in Bali?

Needless to say, to be able to all the cycling and in such humidity and high temperatures, requires a certain level of fitness. If you are not in the habit of cycling, it could be a tough ride. It’s easy getting dehydrated around Bali. Further, taking a bicycle will require a lot of stress on your leg muscles, hips and spine. If you are not into the scene, don’t try it at Bali.

You certainly can rent a bicycle for a day for small trails across the forest or around the beach or city. But riding off road with minimum level of fitness is not quite recommended.

Do I need to book for a group cycling tour or can I travel solo as well in Bali?

You have both the options. One of the biggest advantages to go on a group cycling tours is that you get to meet a lot of other people who share your passion for riding. Most of the riders will also be locals and passionate guides who would help you with understanding the history of places o showing you new shortcuts and off-road adventures.

Having someone along is also helpful in case you have a vehicle problem or are in need of any kind of assistance. On the other hand, solo bicycle trips give you the privacy and flexibility of making and breaking your own itinerary. Renting a cycle is pretty easy and costs about US$5 a day. You can put all essential luggages and be off for the whole day.

If you are going for group tours, it will be recommended that you book/register well in advance. This ensures that you get the time slot according to your plans.

Will I have a tour manager or guide?

When you are going on a guided bicycle tour, there will a tour manager along. In some cases (longer rides), groups are also accompanied by a vehicle (jeep mostly) that will be helpful in carrying the bags, food for the day and be of assistance in emergencies. A tour manager will also act as a guide and you will be better able to understand the places and culture you witness on the trip.

Will it be adventurous cycling tour?

There are petty few adventurous trips that you can make on a bicycle. The popular ones are the ride to the Mount Batur volcano and cycling around Kintamani Highlands. The trip will require you to both cycle and walk to make the road. Sometimes, you will need to cross streams and other natural hurdles to go forward. The experience is pretty adventurous and set in natural locations.

Can kids do cycling tour in Bali?

Taking kids on a bicycle tour could be fun but make sure that the ride is restricted to short distances. The best cycling trip with kids is perhaps checking out the cities like Ubud or doing a beach ride from Ubud to Lovina. It’s the heat and humidity that can be the spoil-sport. However, if your kid has been cycling for a long time now, longer trips can be made.

Do however ensure that you are carrying water and food. It is also recommended to get into group tours if you are planning on cycling with your kids.

Can I do cycling in Carangsari Village? What kind of experience it would be?

Near to Bali’s southern coasts, the Carangsari Village with its well paved cycling trains will be an important landmark of your trip. This is the birthplace of the Bali national hero, ‘Nugurah Rai, the man after which the international airport too is named. The region offers a distinct combination of village scene and rural cultural lifestyle.

As you pedal across the rice paddies, you will witness some of the most ancient temples to this region, the quaint village huts and the ever curious locals too would be good company to spend time with. The trip will also take you past the Bali Elephant Camp and you can extend pedaling into the Sangeh Monkey Forest to see its macaques.

Can I do cycling in Abun Village? What kind of experience it would be?

The picturesque village of Abun in the valley of Kintamani is one of the best cycling routes around Bali. You can start from Nusa Dua and explore the Kintamani highlights and the nearby rice terraces for all day. The cycling trip will also take you across coffee plantations, the Banjar Pisang and several Balinese traditional huts. After the Abun Village is the Taro Village, famous for its handicrafts. Group trips typically end at the next Sebali Village

Which all places are famous for cycling in Kintamani?

A cycling trip across the Kintamani Highlands will let you soak in the rural and cultural scene around Bali. The trip passes through several small hamlets, coffee plantations, rice fields, and old temples and will be a perfect day out. Nested amidst the landscape of Mount Batur, this will be a seriously beautiful experience. The popular villages include Abun, Taro and Sebali. Other landmarks include the Banjar Pisang and Mount Batur.

Can I do cycling in Denpasar?

Denpasar has a fair amount of traffic on its road. If you are looking to get around Denpasar on a bicycle, it wouldn’t be a much recommended option. However, you can always take a cycle to head north and it would be a very comfortable experience. While there is no such restriction to cycle inside Denpasar, it is better to take public transport.

Can I do cycling through rice paddy fields in Bali? Which Places are good for rice paddy fields cycling?

Cycling around the rice fields in Bali is one of a kind of experience. Not only are you surrounded by greenery but you can experience the traditional Balinese culture and way of living. Much before Bali became a top tourist destination, it is through agriculture and farming that the economy was supported.

Even today, you can see small hamlets and traditional huts in the middle of green paddy terraces and it would be an experience of a lifetime. The best places to search for cycling tracks around rice paddy fields are in:

  • Kintamani Highlands
  • Ubud
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces
  • Sideman Village
  • Carangsari Village
  • Bongkasa Village

The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is the most popular among these trips.

What kind of educational cycling tours are there in Bali? What all will I see in educational cycling tour?

Educational cycling tours in Bali are centered on sustainable tourism wherein you get to learn the eco-friendly way of living alongside nature. It’s a tour where you get to learn how the Balinese tradition has survived through ages by being closely connected to nature worshipping.

Balinese are hard workers and this is the tour that will take your away from the ‘touristy’ areas and offer a glimpse of the real Bali. You get to go to remote hamlets, talk to local people, try out their cuisine, be a part of their life and participate in local events and celebrations. Further, you will get a glimpse of the less renowned but much older and sacred temples and the history and architecture revolving around it.

What kind of cultural cycling tours are there in Bali?

Cultural cycling tours in Bali take you through the less known villages, small hamlets and old temples. You will get into pathways that are unreachable by car. With experienced guides alongside, you get a closer understanding of the lifestyle of the locals and the things they do on a daily basis. This is a tour where participants of all ages can participate.

Perfect for families, it takes you away from the hustle of the ‘touristy’ destinations and drops you into the much less known but all the more enchanting cultural experience. The trip will let you be part of old Balinese festivals, try out the authentic local cuisine and witness age old customs and rituals.

How safe it is to cycle at Mount Batur?

Cycling across Mount Batur is completely safe as long as you are properly equipped. It is recommended that you make the cycling expedition to Mount Batur in group. If you are a lone travel, you can always join a group. For couples, it is also recommended that you trek to the volcanic mountain in a bigger group. While there is no physical threat, there is always a chance of injury and accident in the volcanic terrain.

What can I expect in terms of accommodation in a cycling tour?

Depending on the nature of the tour, a cycling tour in Bali could be inclusive of overnight accommodation. This is if you are booking with a travel agent that offers eco cycling tours beyond a night. Mostly, cycling tours start in the early morning and commence by evening. However, you can always ask for customization with your travel agent.

Can I do camping during the cycling tour?

You can do camping on cycling tours if you are traveling in a private group or are alone. Most group tours don’t arrange for tents and the usual stop over are in village that have pre-arranged meals. However, if you are traveling along or with your partner, camping near a village could be an exciting way to reach into the culture of the country.

What arrangements will be there for any medical emergency? Are there any hospitals too?

One of the top advantages of going in a group cycling tours is their preparedness for emergency. With most service providers, cyclists would also be accompanied by a bigger automobile and it will help meet any eventualities – injuries or accidents. Most cycling tours are around city and it won’t take too much time reaching the nearby hospital for immediate medical attention.

I am a single woman traveler, how safe is it for cycling?

It is completely safe for single women to travel around Bali. However, it always helps if you can be a part of a group when traveling to the countryside. This is not for personal safety reasons but for any kind of emergency assistance you may need. The landscape around Bali is both beautiful and risky. The daytime temperatures are high and you can easily get a sun stroke if you aren’t rightly prepared.

Further, if you have been planning on cycling and offbeat tours, the risk of the rugged terrains comes into play. It will be safer to be accompanied by a guide or go for an arranged group tour.

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