The most beautiful temples in Bali
Bali isn’t just spa sessions and shopping trips – you haven’t seen it all until you get on the cultural bandwagon and visit a Balinese temple. This predominantly Hindu island is adorned with some absolutely beautiful temples. Here are our favourites. Hot tip: Keep in mind that these are sacred sites so if you’re wearing shorts you’ll need a sarong. If you’re wearing long pants or a skirt you’ll need a sash. Most of these can be hired at the entrance to the temple.
Lost in translation? ‘Pura’ means ‘temple’ in Bahasa Indonesia.
Pura Tanah Lot
Sunrise or sunset is definitely the time to come and visit one of Bali’s most revered sea temples, majestically perched on the rocks overlooking the ocean. Absolutely stunning.
A word of warning though: the walk from the car park is full of pesky vendors so if you’re not in the mood for shopping, just keep on walking briskly.
Pura Tanah Lot, Tabanan, Bali, Indonesia. p. +62 880361
Pura Luhur Ulu Watu
An important sacred temple built for the spirits of the sea in the 11th century, Pura Luhur Ulu is located high above the cliff-top overlooking the crashing oceans below. Needless to say, the setting is absolutely spectacular. Try and time your visit to catch the traditional Kecak dance, which is held every evening at sunset.
Pura Luhur Ulu Watu, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia
Pura Tirta Empul
This temple is built around a sacred spring said to have magical properties. It’s also renowned for being one of the most beautiful temples on the island and definitely one of our favourite places.
Pura Tirta Empul, Tampaksiring, Bali, Indonesia
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan
Dedicated to the god of the waters, this temple, built on a small island surrounded by a lake, is the second most important temple in Bali, . A common sight is Balinese in traditional garb conducting ceremonies to ensure there is enough water for the island.
This temple is high up in the mountains so can get quite cool; very romantic if the mist comes in. Just remember to bring a cardigan!
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Bedugul, Bali, Indonesia
Pura Goa Lawah
Translated it means bat cave and it’s no surprise why – this temple is home to thousands of fruit bats. Though it’s small, this temple is pivotal as it protects the island from evil spirits. There’s a ceremony held here almost every day so you’re likely to catch a traditional and colourful ritual as it’s being performed.
Pura Goa Lawah, Klungkung Regency, Bali, Indonesia
Pura Taman Ayum
We think this is one of the prettiest temples in Bali. Surrounded by a moat, it can only be accessed via a bridge. The lovely manicured gardens add to the serenity.
Pura Taman Ayum, Mengwi, Bali, Indonesia
Image: Pura Tanah Lot