Cycling in Bali is a fantastic way to explore the island and discover hidden gems. Check out four self-guided cycling tours that get you into the heart of Bali’s diverse countryside in our guide below to find out more.
Tips for Cycling in Bali
- Put sunscreen on the back of your hands, arms and thighs – these are all very exposed when cycling.
- Padded cycling shorts* are definitely worth bringing if you plan to cycle more than one short ride.
- Cycling gloves* are also useful!
- On long cycle rides, set off early in the day to avoid the traffic and enjoy the cooler temperatures.
- On our bicycle tours traffic was never much of an issue apart from in Sidemen Valley and around the back of Mount Batur there were quite a few trucks.
- The heat in Bali was much less of an issue than I expected – when you cycle you always get a breeze.
- At bike rental places you should be given a helmet.
- Since Bali is quite hilly, the cycle tours below all have some moderately steep uphill and downhill, so check that the gears and brakes on your bike work before you set off.
- Bring a small backpack for water, snacks and phones etc.
- On all the routes below except for Tour 1, a scooter or motorbike could be used instead, though there are some steep uphills which could challenge less powerful scooters.
Renting a Bicycle in Bali
Often people in Bali may get confused between bike (motorbike) and bicycle (for cycling). For this reason, if you ever email or talk to someone about ‘bike’ rental, make sure you explain clearly. In Bali a cycling bicycle is often called a push bike.
Some hotels mention bike rental in their description on Booking.com, though it’s hard to know if they mean scooter or cycling bike. We emailed a few hotels in advance or asked them questions on Booking.com about the types of bikes they rented. Even if the hotel doesn’t mention this, it’s very possible that they could organise bicycles for you if you ask them in advance. Additionally, cycling tour operators are mainly happy to just lend you bikes for a day or two rather than going on a tour with them.
Where we rented bikes in Bali from
In Ubud we rented bikes from Rent Bicycle (website for contact info, location). The bikes we got were well used but decent mountain bikes. There is normally someone at the store between 9am and 5pm – we visited the day before we wanted to cycle to pick up the bikes so we had them early enough the following day.
In Mount Batur region there’s a great bike rental place called C.Bali Canoeing & Cycling, at the southern end of Lake Batur in Kedisan. They were very professional and had good mountain bikes.
In Candidasa we arranged bike rental through our hotel, Hotel Genggong*. If you want to do this, contact them in advance and make it clear you want good cycling bikes (push bikes). We ended up with really nice mountain bikes for a good price.
We didn’t use them, but Bali Cycling also offers bike rental, of super nice bikes. They’re based near Jimbaran, south of the airport, but can deliver bikes elsewhere for a fee.
Best Cycle Rides in Bali
Bike Ride Details: 27 km, 315 m climb, easy.
The cycle around the crater of Mount Batur is a great ride, and not too difficult. There’s some uphill halfway through but it’s not too steep, and then everything is downhill the rest of the way. You get to cycle through a black lava field near the end, and all the way along the bike ride there are great views of Mount Batur. It’s probably the best cycle ride in Bali if you don’t want to cycle too far.
Tips: We did this cycle ride in the afternoon and the light on the lava fields and volcano was super beautiful. There aren’t many places for drinks or snacks on this route, so bring your own. Read more about this cycle. In the morning, why not hike up Mount Batur?
Bike Ride Details: 38.5 km, 600 m climb, moderately difficult.
On this cycle ride you can cycle through rice fields near Ubud, visit the famous and very photogenic Tegallalang Rice Terraces, and explore three lovely temples in Tampaksiring. All this before whizzing down along a little paved track through beautiful palm trees and rice fields back to Ubud.
The first half of this cycle is uphill. It’s mainly a gradual incline, though there are some short ups and downs throughout the cycle. I pushed my bike up the steepest sections. All of this tour except the short loop around the rice fields near the beginning could be done on a scooter.
Tips: Remember to stay hydrated on this hike – have many breaks for juice and drink lots of water. Take a sarong for the temples, and swimming stuff if you want to bathe in the water place in Tampaksiring. Set off early to do most of the uphill in the cooler morning. Read more.
Bike Ride Details: 70 km, 1110 m climb, difficult.
This is a diverse cycle ride with many stops and includes snorkelling at the Blue Lagoon, visiting Bat Cave Temple and the Royal Palace in Klungkung. After this, cycle through the luscious countryside of Sidemen Valley before the steep downhill back to the coast.
The uphill is quite long and moderately steep at times, so you need at least a basic level of fitness to complete this cycling tour. Alternatively, this tour could be done on a scooter.
Tips: Set off early, it’s a long day including all the stops. Remember to reapply sunscreen (especially on the back of your hands). Make sure your brakes work well before setting off – the downhill is steep. Read more about this cycle.
Bike Ride Details: 39 km, 1000 m climb, difficult.
The cycle ride around Batur Crater Rim has some long, steep uphills, making it difficult for cycling beginners. However, it does mean there’s a fun downhill as you cycle from the highest point down through Kintamani and back to the crater floor. There are great views and a stop at a temple in Kintamani on this cycle tour. A scooter could be used for this tour, but there are some very steep uphills so make sure you have enough power.
Tips: On the steep sections don’t be afraid to walk. Or, on the zigzags attempt to cycle and have a break on the flat between each curve. Bring a sarong AND sash if you have one to avoid the sarong/sash mafia ladies outside the temple. There are many cafes in Kintamani for a break from cycling with great views. Read more.
Gear needed for Cycling in Bali
The only special cycling gear we brought with us was padded cycling shorts (men’s*, women’s*). These were very useful and saved a very sore bum. Helmets were always provided when we rented the bikes so you don’t need to bring these. We didn’t bring any, but cycling gloves* would be top of the list of other cycling gear I wanted. Gripping onto the bike handles all day made my hands a bit red and sore. I’d also recommend decent shoes, such as sneakers. Apart from that, we only used items you probably already have in Bali such as sunglasses, shorts and a T-shirt.
Organised Cycle Tours in Bali
If you prefer to go on a guided cycle tour rather than a self-guided one, below is a list of the main cycling tour companies in Bali.
Bali Cycling: Based in Jimbaran, this company offers many cycling tours, from easy to very difficult. Serious bike people who also offer bike rental (very nice bikes).
Cycling Tours available on Viator*: Offers several different tours. These include those through the countryside, exploring cultural sights or entirely downhill.
Bali Extreme Cycling Tours: Despite the name, they also offer easier bike rides including exploring rice fields and villages, and sunset tours.
Infinity Mountain Biking: Easy to advanced fun mountain biking routes across the island.
East Bali Bike: A local tour guide with fairly easy cycling through gorgeous countryside with visits to cultural sights.
Cycling tours in Bali near Ubud
Bali Bike Baik: Cycle down from Kintamani to Ubud with a local guide and learn about rice cultivation and traditional beliefs along the way.
Bali Full Day Tours: A full day of easy cycling in the rice fields near Ubud.
ABC Tours: Very easy cycling after a cultural experience in the morning.