Around the Island

A cursory trip around the island, following the north and east coasts and crossing the hilly interior, can be completed in half a day by motorcycle or in a day by bicycle if you're in good shape. Or you could spend much longer, lingering at the temples and the small villages, and walking to less accessible areas, but there's little accommodation outside the main towns.

If you start in Sampalan and drive clockwise, the coastal road will take you around curves and into dips, past bays with rows of fishing boats and offshore seaweed gardens. After about 6km, just before the village of Karangsari, steps go up on the right side of the road to the narrow entrance of Goa Karangsari caves. There are usually people who can guide you through one of the caves for a small negotiable fee of around 20,000Rp each. The limestone cave is more than 15m tall in some sections. It extends more than 200m through the hill and emerges on the other side to overlook a verdant valley.

Continue south past a naval station and several temples to Suana. Here the main road swings inland and climbs up into the hills, while a very rough side track goes southeast, past more interesting temples to Semaya, a fishing village with a sheltered beach and one of Bali's best dive sites offshore, Batu Aba.

About 9km southwest of Suana, Tanglad is a very old-fashioned village and a centre for traditional weaving. Rough roads south and east lead to isolated parts of the coast.

A scenic ridgetop road goes northwest from Tanglad. At Batukandik, a rough road and 1.5km track leads to a spectacular waterfall (air terjun) that crashes on to a small beach. Get a guide (20,000Rp) in Tanglad.

Limestone cliffs drop hundreds of feet into the sea, surrounded by crashing surf. At their base, underground streams discharge fresh water into the sea – a pipeline was made to bring the water up to the top.

Back on the main road, continue to Batumadeg, past Bukit Mundi (the highest point on the island at 529m; on a clear day you can see Lombok), through Klumpu to Sakti, which has traditional stone buildings. Return to the north coast at Toyapakeh, about one hour after Bukit Mundi.

The road between Sampalan and Toyapakeh follows the craggy and lush coast through Ped.