In the heart of Indonesia, one of its thousand islands has become a place synonymous with wellness and relaxation. We’re talking about Bali, easily one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
Few places on Earth can make a traveller’s dream of discovering paradise come true, but Bali is one of them. This small Indonesian island knows how to transform its endless supply of natural beauty into an oasis of wellness, health and relaxation with an irresistible offer of spas, thermal waters, yoga schools, detox menus, retreat centres and a long etcetera of wellness-related concepts.
Ubud, spiritual awakening
Taking care of body and mind is the main excuse that brings people to Ubud, the Indonesian capital of yoga, art and culture. Among green rice fields and lush tropical forests, this tiny city can become almost too much to handle if you try to explore all of its spas and yoga schools. We recommend you adapt to the calm pace of the island and pamper yourself with a massage or two in one of its delicious centres. Topping the list is Taksu, a luxurious spa and restaurant located in the centre of the city, on both banks of a natural river and in the shade of leafy vegetation. It offers a massage menu for all tastes, from the classic Balinese massage to more sophisticated ones with aromatic oils and reflexology.
After the massage you can keep taking care of yourself with a healthy meal and freshen up with one of Indonesia’s most typical drinks: jamu. This invigorating refreshment made with lime juice, honey, ginger and turmeric is so bright and orange it seems to proclaim its beneficial properties: digestive, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. It’s also a source of vitamins and a great many other positive things.
You should enjoy a walk around the outskirts of Ubud and scuba dive among the silent rice fields to discover an area brimming with resorts and little rural hotels far from the hustle and bustle of the city. As if taken from a fairy tale featuring quaint wooden cottages that seem to float among the wetlands, Karsa Spa is a place where you can’t help but relax and enjoy yourself.
Yoga is another star of Ubud, which is brimming with highly prestigious centres such as Yoga Barn, an oasis of wellbeing offering a wide variety of all sorts of yoga classes that attract people from all over the world looking for a place where they can practice this sport alongside grand masters in beautiful shalas, or outdoor rooms, in the midst of nature.
Wrap up your stay in Ubud by dining at one of its best restaurants, those that prove to care about the health of their clients with a menu that specialises in vegetarian, gluten-free and delicious detox shakes, always a good option for healthy holiday lovers. Bali Buda is one of them. Another option is going to see an intense and expressive Balinese dance show, the best of which take place in this city.
Aqua yoga on the Gili Islands
As if scattered upon the turquoise waters, three tiny islands become the ideal destination for an excursion from Bali. Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, located between Bali and Lombok, are the closest thing to the definition of heaven on earth, ideal little places in which to practice scuba diving. From among them, perhaps Gili Air is the most recommendable option for upgrading your regular traveller’s routine to a top-notch wellness holiday. A good place to stay is H2O Yoga, a little resort in the centre of the island that offers good yoga classes, therapies and massages. Aqua yoga, a variety you practice in a refreshing swimming pool, is one of the juiciest options on offer at this original establishment.
Exploring the island
Moving around Bali is essential for delving into the more authentic parts of the island, those that contain ancient Hindu temples, ancestral ceremonies, traditional dances, volcanoes, rice fields and wonderful shores with crystal-clear waters. Isn’t his beautiful: Tirta Gangga, the water palace.
We’re talking about an easy ever-green journey that takes you from the heart of nature to the beaches of the north and the west, both of which are less populated than the south.
The Pura Tirta Empul temple is a purifying sight for the body and the soul. Its aquatic ritual consists in getting soaked by the intense streams of holy water that surge from fountains filled by a natural spring. Hundreds of people go to the temple every day, including locals and foreigners, searching for this pristine holy cleanliness. Other waters feed the natural hot springs at the foot of the volcano Batur, offering a restorative pause on the obligatory climb up the volcano to contemplate an unforgettable sunrise; a well-deserved gift that compensates for waking up early and walking for an hour to admire the sun peek through the mountains and pour its first light over the beautiful island.
The journey to inner peace culminates in a coastal village. Amed ticks all the boxes to offer you the pleasure of resting by a sea as flat as a mirror, enjoying life at the pace of a fishing village with few tourists and calm cabins where you can rest next to the beach. At the end of the bay you can join scuba diving immersions or practice snorkelling, for under its enticing waters hides an underwater world filled with colour and a wide variety of species.
More information: Bari Tourism Board.