Tucked along a wide peaceful bay in the isthmus that connects the Bukit Peninsula to southern Bali, Jimbaran is famous for its seafood, long sandy beach and smattering of luxurious villas and resorts that look out over the Indian Ocean. This area of Bali is blissfully laid-back, the water is calm, and every night locals and foreigners alike flock to the famous beachfront restaurants to indulge in BBQ fish and shellfish caught earlier that day. If it’s a pleasant seaside ambiance you’re going for, Jimbaran fits the bill.
Once a sleepy fishing village, Jimbaran still manages to retain it’s peaceful vibe and authentic Balinese character. The beach here is soft, golden and wide, the water is calm, and unlike many other coastlines along the Bukit, there are no coral reefs or rocks along the shore. This makes the area a prime spot for families wanting some serious sun, sea and sand.
Take a wander along the beach here and you’ll come across the odd Hindu temple draped in cloths and offerings, the bustling pasar ikan (fish market) that attracts foodies from far and wide every morning, and multitudes of sea-facing restaurants selling the freshest catches of the day.
Things to Do
Most people come to Jimbaran just for the impossibly fresh seafood. Head to the fish market early in the morning and you’ll see fisherman dragging their catches straight from the sea to the stalls. Do like the locals do and pick out the best of the best at a fraction of the price you would pay in the supermarkets. The fish market is situated on the northern end of the beach in the village of Kedonganan.
For those who just can’t seem to get out of bed at the crack of dawn, there are a slew of lively seafood restaurants lining the beach, many that have tables directly on the sand. Choose your dinner from live tanks packed with mussels, crabs, lobsters, squid and snapper, and the staff will grill it up for you and serve it with rice, vegetables and sambal. For the best views and ambiance be sure to come at sunset time.
Water sports are also big here, like canoeing, kayaking, snorkelling and swimming. Surfers can head down the west coast of the Bukit to catch some serious swells at Padang Padang, Impossibles, and Suluban, and for those who like to hit the odd ball or two, the New Kuta Golf Course offers rolling greens overlooking the cobalt waters of the Indian Ocean.
If you’re looking for a party atmosphere, Jimbaran may not be your best bet. The chilled out vibe here lends itself more to suntanning on the sand, taking dips in the pool at your luxury villa, gorging yourself on fresh seafood as you take in one of the area’s legendary sunsets, and treating yourself to traditional Balinese massages and spa treatments. You’re more likely to find families, honeymooning couples and R&R seekers here rather than late-night revellers.