Who here has always wanted to go to the tropical paradise that is Bali? Well, in this post, I’m going to let you in on the amazing experience which I recently had in Lovina, north Bali.
Interestingly, from the second that I arrived, I could immediately feel the difference between the North and the South of this country. The North felt world’s apart from the touristy, commercialised south Bali which I had come from. Northern Bali is a land of blissful silence – of quiet beaches and stunning hilltop views. And Lovina, on the Island of Gods, is perhaps the highlight of it all. I felt like I had landed in Nirvana.
How to get there
Lovina is a three hours drive away from Canggu. You could visit it in a day trip if you wanted to, but I would highly recommend staying at least one night or more in this truly breathtaking location. The drive takes you through the many winds and bends of the mountains, so it’s best to get a private driver and take your car sickness tablets before you go.
What to see
Lovina is all about sun, sea and sand, the highlight of which is its famous dolphin tours. The dolphins were definitely my favourite part, but of course there are plenty of other things to explore along the way, including…
Bedugul is a beautiful mountain lake area, which is great for taking pictures. Have your morning coffee with a breathtaking background view as you drive around the mountains and make sure that you visit the temple located in the middle of its calm waters.
You can’t go to Lovina without taking in the truly spectacular mountain views. There are several places at the top of the mountains where you can stop and take pictures from above with the glittering lakes in the distance. Experience Bali’s stunning nature in the hilltops – just be careful of the monkeys sitting around the sides of the roads, as they’ve been known to steal many unsuspecting tourists’ cameras.
This waterfall is a must-see site on the way to north Bali. Reach its vicinity by walking along a short, 10 to 15 minute trail, and be rewarded by a beautiful natural feature, whose pool you can actually swim in if you’re brave enough. Of course, I had a quick dip in the water and swam a little, but I must admit was quite cold, so I didn’t stay for long!
Lovina Dolphin Tours
My personal highlight was the dolphin tour. I wasn’t sure whether we would even see a dolphin or not, so I was prepared for disappointment. I was pleasantly surprised. Setting out early in the morning, the tour guide took a boat into the sea and after 15 minutes we arrived at a spot where the dolphins were playing and frolicking, at complete ease with our presence, swimming beside us, jumping and even doing flips in front of us. It was absolutely worth the trip. Snorkelling is also available on this same trip , the boats usually leave earlier at 6am. It is very busy at this time with far too many boats so I suggest the later one at 8.30am, which means that there are only two other boats on the water and, consequently, dolphins everywhere.
Where to stay in Lovina
The Damai meaning ‘peaceful’ is a beautiful boutique hotel to spend the night, each luxury villa resort with a breathtaking view – a misty mountain backdrop, infused with the exotic fragrance of nearby plantations. Guests are promised revitalisation of the mind and body with a series of Balinese massages and treatments. In the evenings, residents can dine at the award-winning hotel restaurant, where organic vegetables and meats from the hotel’s very own farm are served by candlelight. Enjoy private infinity pools, poised as though floating on the edge of the wilderness. Wooden four-poster beds hung with white muslin and outdoor bathtubs and atmospheric lighting to add further luxury for guests to savour.
Please note: No check-in or check-out is permitted during Nyepi, Bali’s annual day of silence. All visitors to Bali are requested to stay inside their resort, property or home during these 24 hours. Please check if this day coincides with your travel plans.
The Starlight Hotel is located directly at the beach with an incredible breakfast. A good start before embarking upon a dolphin tour, which starts right in front of this hotel. It is a great option if you don’t want to spend too much money, ‘affordable luxury’ still with a homely spirit. Bright and spacious rooms come with a private balcony and free Wi-Fi. Massage services and bicycle rental facilities are available. The restaurant serves local seafood dishes, as well as Italian dishes.
Where to eat
The food in Lovina is incredible. I had already been spoiled from Canggu and Seminyak in southern Bali, so I had high expectations. I wasn’t disappointed. My favourite spots for great food and atmosphere were: The Damai, an impressive restaurant and luxury hotel located in the hills of Lovina.
I also loved the Spice Beach Club, a modern, hip restaurant right on the beach. The fish was fresh and mouth-watering, alongside a selection of oven-baked pizza oven to make the most delicious thin-crusts. The atmosphere here topped it all off into one of my favourite places to eat.
And lastly, I adored the Buddha Bakery, a hidden treasure-trove of dessert and lunch delights, tucked away with a very bohemian vibe. They have nice little spots where you can sit on the floor with couches or on tables and enjoy the quiet, peaceful view of the undulating hills.
With thanks to www.blondeseashell.com