Set amid cool mountains and spectacular terraced rice paddies beside the Ayung River, this seductive town is Bali’s cultural hub and spiritual capital.
The flourishing arts and crafts scene dates back to the 1930s when eminent European painters, writers and musicians were drawn here by panoramas of vibrant rice fields, ancient temples, verdant forests and dramatic river gorges. Today, you can stroll around numerous galleries, museums, workshops and craft markets.
Temple festivals and ceremonies occur almost daily so you may well chance upon one. For those not lucky enough to view an authentic ceremony, traditional Balinese dances are performed nightly at nearby Bona village.
The sacred Monkey Forest nature reserve and temple complex is a popular visitor attraction. As the name suggests the towering forest is home to hundreds of cheeky long-tailed macaques who, locals believe, protect the area from evil spirits.
Ubud is highly regarded as a centre of well-being with spas, yoga and meditation all on offer or, should you feel creative, why not visit a Balinese cooking class. Eating out in Ubud is a real pleasure too and with over 300 restaurants there’s no shortage of choice, be it fine dining venues or local delicacies at bustling market stalls.
- Arts and crafts
- Dance performances
- Stunning natural scenery
- Superb dining scene