Cycle on a brilliant loop from Candidasa up through Sidemen Valley, visiting the Blue Lagoon, Bat Cave Temple and Klungkung Royal Palace on the way.
This cycle tour starts and ends at the Lotus Lagoon in Candidasa.
Tips for Sidemen Valley Cycling Loop from Candidasa
- Set off early to avoid the heat of the day.
- There are many warungs (cafes) along this route.
- Our hotel organised bike rental. We contacted them beforehand about it to make sure it would be ok.
- The cycle back down to Candidasa is steep – make sure your brakes work!
- In Candidasa we staying in Hotel Genggong*.
- There are some long uphills and it’s quite far, so you need at least moderate fitness to attempt this cycle ride.
- This cycle ride could also be done on an e-bike or with a scooter. A convenient way to rent a scooter in Bali is from BikesBooking.com*.
- Alternatively, you can follow this route in a rented car with driver*.
- If you like hiking, try our Gumang Temple and White Sands Beach Hike from Candidasa, learn more about Cycling in Bali or Hiking in Bali, or find more inspiration in our Bali Guide.
This is a free, self-guided cycle tour from Candidasa that visits several tourist sights and loops up through Sidemen Valley. If you’re into cycling, there are also several guided cycle rides* (some with e-bikes) that you can go on in Bali. To complete this route, you could also use a scooter, or rent a car with driver*.
Push Bike Rental in Candidasa: In Bali push bikes are often the name given to normal cycling bikes (e.g. not scooters or e-bikes). In Candidasa we stayed in Hotel Genggong Bali*, and they organised bike rental for us. We messaged them beforehand to check that they would be able to do this.
After they initially showed us some falling apart bikes, they called someone else and we ended up with two amazing mountain bikes, definitely the best bike I’ve ever ridden. They were relatively cheap as well, so it was a great deal. We didn’t get given any locks, but the guy who rented the bikes assured us nobody would steal them.
Cycle Route through Sidemen Valley from Candidasa
From the lotus lagoon cycle west in the direction of Denpasar along the main road. It’s 6 km along here until the road you’ll come down on joins the main road. If you stay anywhere along this stretch, the cycle will be slightly shorter.
About 11 km after the start, turn left at the traffic lights at a triangular roundabout towards the Blue Lagoon.
Blue Lagoon Mask and Snorkelling
It’s about 2 km mainly downhill to Padangbai town and the ocean. To get to the Blue Lagoon (Tripadvisor Reviews*), head left through town along the seafront. When you reach a T-junction, head left up the hill and around the corner. At the top you’ll find some steps on the left that lead down to the Blue Lagoon. We left our bikes at the top of the steps.
Into the Ocean
The sea was slightly rough and very far in when we arrived, there wasn’t much beach left. We got changed and left our stuff well above the waterline since the tide was coming in and some waves came in particularly far. In the ocean the water was fairly clear, and became clearer as we swam further outward. The reef is on the right side of the bay as you look out to sea. There are reports of trash in the water, but we barely saw any (May/June 2022).
We were quite early and there was only one boat there, but more came before we left. Lot’s of people go on a boat tour from Candidasa to the Blue Lagoon. It is a really great place for snorkelling, there were loads of colourful fish and corals, and it wasn’t too wavy in the ocean.
After mask and snorkelling, we walked back up the steps to our bikes. The route then heads back the same way to the main road. We saw on Maps.Me that there might be another way along a path to the west. However, when we were there the route crossed a fairly deep body of water with no bridge, so we didn’t go that way.
Pura Goa Lawah (Bat Cave Temple)
Back at the main road head left. It’s 7 km until Pura Goa Lawah, also known as the Bat Cave Temple (Tripadvisor Reviews*). We got a guided tour at this temple, which was quite good as our guide explained everything about it.
As the name suggests, there’s a large cave absolutely covered in bats that you can look into. It’s more of an overhang, so still light enough to see the bats hanging from the ceiling. The temple was built around this cave as it was thought to have spiritual significance. Opposite the temple are some warungs with views out over the ocean.
After the Bat Cave, we got back on our bikes and continued west. At the first junction we turned right to avoid a stretch of the main road by cycling through countryside instead. We went left from the first village, and wound our way along the foothills of the mountains. We soon reached the road to Klungkung near the main road.
Turn right at the junction, signed Klungkung/Semarapura (this town has two names). After 3 km you’ll reach a main junction. Head left and over the long bridge and into Klungkung. A short distance up the hill you’ll reach a big roundabout in the centre of town. We first cycled 500 metres past the roundabout to a little cafe (Kedai Kopi Teh KOTE) selling cold drinks, pancakes and waffles. They were super delicious and very cheap.
Klungkung Royal Palace – Taman Gili
The Royal Palace (Tripadvisor Reviews*), sometimes also known as Taman Wisata Kertha Gosa, was mainly destroyed by the Dutch in 1908. However, a beautiful section remains. In the middle there’s an elegant pagoda surrounded by beautiful flowers and a moat. Make sure to check out the roof of the pagoda, which is covered in murals. It was one of my favourite temples in Bali, so peaceful and free of tourists, yet so lovely.
Within the Klungkung Royal Palace complex is a small museum, the Museum Daerah Semarapura. It displays some tools and Dutch documents. Opposite the Royal Palace is the Puputan Monument. Puputan is ritual suicide and this monument commemorates the six wives of a former raja who committed suicide after their king lost in battle against the Dutch in 1908.
After exploring Klungkung, leave the town the way you came, across the long bridge. At the junction, turn left up Sidemen Valley.
Cycling up through Sidemen Valley
The main road goes all the way up Sidemen Valley, so as you cycle there shouldn’t be any confusion about the route. Unfortunately, there are quite a lot of trucks on this road, carrying sand about, though their numbers decrease as you get higher within the valley.
The views from the road are splendid, with endless rice fields and countryside to your left and hills behind them. It is uphill all the way along this section of the cycle ride. There’s one particular section which is slightly steep for a couple of kilometres, but I never had to walk and it soon flattened out slightly.
Further up the Valley
As you cycle further up Sidemen Valley, you pass through the small town of Sidemen itself, and afterwards Mount Agung appears in the distance (as long as it’s not covered by clouds). The volcano gives a great backdrop to the terraced rice fields and tropical trees in the foreground. Fairly near the top, we stopped at a little cafe, Warung Organic (Tripadvisor Reviews*), on the left of the road with great views.
Not far after the cafe, turn quite sharp right at the road junction just before the river. Initially you have to cycle quite steeply uphill through a cute little village. You then reach a lovely, fairly flat section of countryside that’s very peaceful. And in not too long, you’ll come to the main road at the top of Sidemen Valley.
Turn right at the main road and take the next road branching off to the right. Head straight onwards, slightly upwards through some villages. And soon, you’ll reach the very highest point of this cycle ride.
The Cycle Route back down to Candidasa
The road continues from the high point and bends right to start the steep descent back to Candidasa. From here it’s 6.5 km back down to the main road along the coast. Parts are very steep, and there are some slightly tight bends, but the road is in good condition and there isn’t much traffic.
There are some lovely views over the ocean far below and it goes by very quickly. 700 metres before the main road, we took the smaller road off to the left (east), but this was not a good idea. The road turned into a track and then a small path and then we became lost in the jungle. Stick to the road.
At the main road, turn left and it’s a fairly quick 6 km back to the Lotus Lagoon in Candidasa. We took 9 hours to complete this cycle tour of Sidemen Valley, including all stops. Having set off at 7:45 in the morning straight after breakfast, we returned at 4:45 in the afternoon. We lounged by the pool, had a well-deserved rest, and ate lots of food at the restaurant.
Accommodation in Candidasa
We stayed at Hotel Genggong Bali*, right at the beach in Candidasa. They had a gorgeous swimming pool and decent food. We organised our bicycles through them, and they also had lots of tours on offer. The fisherman who kept their boats on the beach in front of the hotel also kept trying to offer us trips to the Blue Lagoon. The beach wasn’t really suitable for sitting on, but you could go mask and snorkelling. However, when we were there the sea was slightly rough and stirred up so visibility wasn’t excellent, but only ok.
FAQS: Sidemen Valley Cycling Loop from Candidasa
Sidemen Valley in Bali has some very nice countryside and is definitely worth visiting if you haven’t seen much of Bali yet. The views are magical, and there are great restaurants and hotels in very peaceful surroundings, without huge numbers of tourists. Cycling through the valley is a great way to explore it.
Cycling through Sidemen Valley is a great way to get the most of the views and countryside in the valley.
The Blue Lagoon Beach is in eastern Bali in the town of Padangbai, 10 km west of Candidasa. To get to Blue Lagoon, head east along the coastal road in town, then left at the junction up the hill. At the top you’ll find steps leading down to the Blue Lagoon.
Pura Goa Lawah is open 8am to 6pm daily.