Located within the ravines of Gianyar regency of Bali, Ubud has become one of the islands most popular tourist destinations. With cooler temperatures, greener areas and less traffic than the very south of the island, Ubud has a relaxed feel to it, which is characterised by the strong influence of yoga in the area. Holiday accommodation in Ubud can be found in the form of mountainside villas and eco-friendly retreats.
The last few decades have seen heavily tourist development in Ubud, but the town remains at heart an art and culture centre. Yoga and nature are big influences in the area, and this can be witnessed at many points around the town. A great place to immerse yourself in this culture is the local arts markets, where you can watch Balinese dancers and buy handcrafted sculptures and artwork.
Jalan Raya Ubud is the main road that dissects the town from east to west, and from here you can head off to almost any part of Ubud. The first destination for many visitors is the Ubud Monkey Forest - a sacred nature reserve that is home to over 200 Macaque monkeys, and allows you to trek in and around the foothills of the surrounding mountains.
Two other places of particular interest to visitors are the Goa Gajah – also known as the Elephant Cave complex, which was originally built as a sanctuary in the 9th century, and the Moon of Pejeng – the largest single-cast bronze kettle drum in the world, which dates back to around 300BC and is considered highly sacred by locals.
If you are hoping to explore the ‘real’ Bali, then Ubud is a great place from which to base yourself. The area is surrounded by stunning scenery, winding rivers, paddy fields and ancient temples, all waiting to be explored. For a taste of true Balinese life, you should make every effort to visit the small tourism-free villages that surround Ubud, such as Petulu and Bongkasa.
Bali experiences a tropical climate, with temperatures in Ubud generally ranging from 18C to 32C, depending on the time of year. From June to September is the best time to visit, when temperatures are high but humidity is low. Wet season runs from October to April, with daily rainfall and high humidity, though the mountain region around Ubud is typically cooler than the coastal areas.
Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) is the closest airport to your destination, lying around 35km from the self-catering accommodation in Ubud. The airport is often referred to as Denpasar Airport, as it lies just a few kilometres south of Bali’s capital city. Direct flights from the UK are not easy to find, however, and you may be required to change planes in Singapore, Malaysia or Hong Kong.