Man riding a motorbike in Bali

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Is it possible to drive around Bali?

How big is Bali? Do you know how long does it take to drive around Bali?

Ever since I came to Bali the very first time, a few years ago, I was eager to find it out. And now – in August 2020 – I finally went on this adventure myself. I decided upon a date. Woke up very early. Jumped on my scooter. And went on a scooter ride around Bali.

Just like I was dreaming.

How Long Does It Take to Drive Around Bali?

For me it took around 13.5 hours.

I went out at 6:30 am, and was back home at 8 pm.

With lunch and dinner stop, a few other stops and a short hike up a hill.

Riding a scooter in Bali, near Ubud
Riding a scooter in Bali

Renting a Scooter in Bali

It’s easy. There are scooter rentals everywhere in Bali.

It’s super cheap. Even if you rent a scooter only for a day, it can be as cheap as 3 dollars. If you rent it for a month, it will be around 1-2 dollars a day (15 000 – 30 000 IDR).

And it’s the best way to get around Bali.

All about renting a scooter in Bali. Where? How? Why? Our top tips.

But let’s now talk about driving around Bali.

1. Driving Around Bali on a Scooter: Basics

Riding a scooter in Bali, near Agung
Near Agung, Bali

DISTANCE: around 240 miles / 386 kilometers.

I started and finished in Kuta.

It doesn’t include Bukit Peninsula of  Bali.

Bali is a quite big island.

TIME: at least 12 hours.

I went out at 6:30 am, and was back home at 8 pm. So, I was out for about 13.5 hours. It included a few stops, a short hike up a hill I just couldn’t miss, and some 11 hours of driving.

DIFFICULTY: moderate.

There is a decent quality road all the way around Bali. From this perspective it’s very easy. You just follow the road, and that’s it. Except for maybe the very east of Bali, where it’s a bit trickier, but still doable.

The hard part is that it’s very tiring.

It’s a long drive, and that for about half of it you’re driving through busy traffic. Roads from Kuta to Gilimanuk, and from Padang Bai to Kuta are always packed with trucks and cars.

TIPS: start at sunrise or a bit earlier, and better go clockwise.

You don’t want to be on the Kuta to Gilimanuk road in the evening.

You have to know how to drive in Bali. Traffic in Bali is very busy. In many places it doesn’t feel like you are on an island at all. If you aren’t feeling confident, don’t do it!

You have to know how to drive in Bali. If you aren’t feeling confident, don’t do it!

2. Driving Around Bali: My Route

Driving around Bali - route
Driving around Bali – My route

This is the route I took.

I started in Kuta and went all the way to Gilimanuk. I went to the port there. Just to take a look at nearby Java and at ferries traveling between Bali and Java.

The road from Gilimanuk to Singaraja was unknown to me.

Turned out that it’s a good quality road, and there’s barely any traffic.

I had a lunch on the way.

From Singaraja I went all the way west until Amed beach.

Where I had a dinner.

From there I followed the coast.

As much as I could, of course.

For most part it was easy, but in some parts my Google Maps navigation tried to get me on some very narrow mountain roads. I just kept following a road I was on.

I returned to where I started – Kuta.

Next time I would do it the same way.

I believe it’s the best route to travel around Bali.

3. Driving Around Bali on a Scooter: My Experience

Thumbs up
I would do it again – Driving around Bali

I love driving a scooter in Bali.

I believe that it’s the best way to get around in Bali.

And I also love adventures. I love finding adventures in ordinary situations.

And I love creating my own adventures.

When I started my ride around Bali, I knew only one thing. That it’s quite a ride, at least twice as long as my regular long scooter rides in Bali. I hadn’t had time to even find out an exact distance. To be honest, it didn’t really matter to me.

I know that it’s approximately a 10-hour non-stop ride, and it was enough for me.

So I thought, if I push myself a bit, if I focus on the target, I’ll do it.

I’ll do it in a single day.

Turned out, that I was right.

It is doable. It is tough a bit.

Yes, you get tired from so much driving. From all the busy traffic you’re encountering.

But it is doable.

The parts I enjoyed the most were: the very East and the very West of Bali. Because of the nature and the atmosphere in these two places. In Gilimanuk it’s all about simple simple port life, in the East – village life in the mountains.

Here are a few photos from my ride around Bali in August 2020.

Cow, palm trees and trash on the beach in Bali

Gates to Gilimanuk, Bali
Gates to Gilimanuk, Bali
War memorial near Gilimanuk
Visiting war memorial near Gilimanuk
Beach in Gilimanuk
Beach in Gilimanuk
Man riding a motorbike in Bali
Man riding a motorbike (not me, but a man I met on the road)

Palm trees in North Bali

North West Bali
North West Bali
Road in the North of Bali
North of Bali
Road in the North of Bali 2
North of Bali
Black sand beach in North Bali
Black sand beach in North Bali
Driving in the very East of Bali
The very East of Bali (driving from Amed to Kuta)
Sunset over Bali
The sun is setting, and I’m only a 2-hour ride away from Kuta

Have you been to Bali? Did you rent a scooter in Bali? Have you been on long ride like this in Bali? What was your experience?


1-Minute Bali Travel Guide

When to Go to Bali?

June – August is the top season in Bali.

March – May is a good time if you want to avoid crowds. There’s more rain during the spring, but it’s also my favorite time of the year in Bali.

September – October is also a very good time to visit Bali. But it’s just that everything is more dry during this part of the year.

Where to Stay in Bali?

Kuta / Seminyak is close to the beach, cheap, but also crowded. Canggu is also close to the beach, but it’s more stylish and not so crowded. Ubud is a good point from to explore the whole island.

Kuta / SeminyakIbis Bali Legian (value for money), M BOX SEMINYAK (nice and cheap hostel).

CangguSurf Motel (value for money).

UbudLili House Ubud (value for money), Halaman Depan Hostel (super cheap hostel, nice owners), Wijaya Guest House (cheap, value for money).

What to Do in Bali?

Check out the Balangan beach and Virgin beach.

Visit Pura Gunung Kawi temple and Uluwatu temple.

Visit Ubud, Jatiluwih rice terraces, Nungnung waterfall and Sekumpul waterfall. Go cliff jumping in Aling Aling waterfall. Go on a mount Batur sunrise trekking tour (volcano hiking).

Go on a day trip to Nusa Penida and Ijen volcano.

How to Rent a Scooter in Bali?

It’s cheap. It’s very easy. There are a lot of options.

Starts from 50 000 IDR / day (500 000 IDR / month).

All about renting a scooter in Bali.

Book Your Trip Like a PRO

1. Book Your Flight

Find cheap flights using Kiwi.com, Momondo.com. Or subscribe to Dollar Flight Club, if you don’t want to be searching for the flights yourself. Momondo usually is my first choice.

2. Book Your Accommodation

Booking.com, Agoda.com and Airbnb. I use Booking and Agoda at least a dozen times a year, and Airbnb – when looking for a long-term stay. My best tip is to ALWAYS compare the price. Sometimes the same hotel is cheaper on Booking.com, other times – on Agoda. Always compare the price!

3. Buy Your Travel Insurance

World Nomads and SafetyWings are two companies I can recommend. World Nomads offers some extra benefits, that will be important for those doing some higher risk activities, while SafetyWings is significantly cheaper. SafetyWings is only $9.25 / week.


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