Some travellers call the town of Sanur in Bali ‘Snore,’ as it is more relaxed compared to the party towns of Kuta and Seminyak on the west. Yet there is more to this place than its moniker suggests:
Where to eat
There are lots of local warungs to satiate your nasi campur appetite, along with more international options with fusion-style meals available. Here are our favourites:
– Natah Bale – tucked away on the main street, you might miss this one. It is worth seeking out just for the hospitality. We learnt lots of Bahasa Bali phrases from the owner. They serve the best satay chicken and lamb served in their own mini charcoal pits so you can cook your meat to your taste.
– Genius Bar – based smack bang on the shore with live music, dancing, movie nights and fire shows during the week. Their cocktails are strong (try the pina colada in a coconut) and their food portions are generous. Ideal for vegetarians or those who appreciate healthy food.
– Warung Baby Monkeys – a cosy reggae-themed cafe that serves hearty Balinese and international food. Their nasi lemak rivals the best in Bali. The hamburgers and thick shakes are a hit.
– Soul in a Bowl – located further up the main street, this one is another great find for vegetarians. The menu is extensive and the salad bowls are huge. Try the fresh juices here.
– Malaika Secret Moksha – the rustic atmosphere fits the organic menu, where food and art meet on a plate. Their key lime pie is a winner.
What to do
Sanur beach is a long stretch of white sand. To hire two sun loungers and an umbrella for the day will put you back IDR50,000 (£2.70). The beach was clean, unlike Kuta and Seminyak that were sadly awash with plastic brought in with the tide when we visited (December 2017).
Watersports are available on the beachfront, with speedy jet skis or the option of paddle boarding on the still, shallow water. Kite surfing is popular here, but the regular surfing looked better in Canggu as the surfers had to be taken far out to the wave breaks.
The main shopping street is Jalan Cemara that extends to Jalan Danau Tamblingan. Here you can discover boutique shops as well as the usual souvenir vendors. You can buy carved wooden statues, traditional instruments, artisan bamboo bags and handpainted bowls from local artists. See here for more information.
The Aroma Spa is located on Sanur’s beachfront and offers high quality treatments ranging from reflexology to deep tissue massages, and they even have a sunburn soothing massage for those who’ve spent a long day at the beach.
The island of Nusa Lembongan is nestled into the mainland and is just a short ferry ride from Sanur. There, you can snorkel in the shallows by Lembongan Watersports, kayak in the mangrove forest and enjoy the tumultuous waves of Dream Beach.
Sanur is ideally located in the centre of most activities in Bali. You can take a day trip north to visit the steeply tiered paddy fields and craft galleries of Ubud, jump off waterfalls in an arranged tour, or for a half day option, you can clamber through the nearby hidden canyon of Beji Guwang,
From Sanur, it’s possible to drive east to Tanah Lot and then on to Canggu to surf. Or head south to Nusa Dua beach, then on to the famed Padang Padang beach (locally known as the Julia Roberts beach as she filmed Eat Love Pray there). If you continue further to the southern tip, go watch the Kecak fire dance at the Uluwatu temple during sunset.
If you travel west, it is possible to snorkel at Padang Bai and if you’re lucky, you might spot a cuttlefish in the depths. For wildlife enthusiasts, the nearby butterfly park was a highlight, with fat caterpillars and hundreds of large winged butterflies and moths.
Where to stay
I highly recommend Terta Ening Agung hotel. It has a pool and a peaceful garden full of flowers and birds, and is just a 10min walk from Sanur beach. As a party of 12, we were given adjoining villas. During peak season, we paid £25/night for a large private double room with an en suite bathroom.
The rooms were clean and comfortable and the staff were friendly and accommodating. Breakfast was included and consisted of Balinese favourites as well as a continental option or pancakes. The owner, Wayan, booked all our transportation at a reasonable price and made us feel at home.
I hope you’ve found this information useful. If you have visited Sanur or plan to go there soon, comment below as we’d love to hear from you!