Ultimate 4-day Ubud Itinerary: A journey of rejuvenation and relaxation

Deemed the cultural and spiritual heart of Bali, this Ubud itinerary includes many of my favourite things to do in one of my most beloved destinations on earth. Mother Nature has truly outdone herself in this part of the world where beauty engulfs you every which way, further enhanced by local craftsmen bestowing their talents from art to architecture. When you head to Ubud’s hills, you’ll forget all about the chaos of the flats as there’s a distinct energy in the air that rejuvenates and invigorates, drawing me back time and time again.

I didn’t design this Ubud itinerary to fill every moment of every day, although there certainly are enough attractions to keep you busy. Instead, I recommend you take it slow and settle into the languid pace that the locals have mastered, partly due to the humidity and the fact that things take longer in this exquisite part of the world.

Allow yourself the indulgence of doing less, taking it slow and taking a break from life as you know it. This is a journey of rejuvenation and relaxation.


Getting my ducks in a row along the Sari Organic Trail

Ubud Itinerary Day 1: Rural vistas

Let’s get an early start to avoid the midday sun and stretch those legs on the Sari Organic Walk. Spanning 3.5km through rice paddies and clusters of villas and cafes, you can do as much or as little of the walk as you wish. The trail is fairly easy and flat, with most of the path in good condition. The only challenges were the heat, as we mistakenly started too late in the day, and a few motorbikes to navigate, more so at the beginning of the trail.

This walk is one of my favourite things to do in Ubud. I could easily spend the day admiring the scenery, stopping at the many cafes and galleries and treating myself to a yoga session and massage. Along the way, you’ll encounter the locals going about their day, as well as couples, families and solo women. I always for a fresh coconut from the stalls, and I’m a big fan of the coffee and views at Dragonfly Café, which is part of Dragonfly Village, where you can stay, join a workshop or embrace the heat with a session in the sauna. No doubt you’ll discover your own favourites on the trail, such as the gorgeous The Rice Joglo, Trinity Gardens and Molecha Organic Warung.

The Sari Organic Walk is on Jalan Subak Sok Wayah, and can enter off Jalan Raya Ubud, one of the main arterial roads into Ubud. The trail is most built-up at this end, and if you make it to the end, you’ll pop out on Kelabang Moding, where we stopped for lunch at The Pengkolan Warung, serving a mix of light western and local dishes. The Pyramids of Chi is a short walk away, which intrigues me for its healing and wellness sessions, and maybe next time, I’ll indulge in sound healing or guided meditation ceremonies.

Ubud Itinerary Day 2: Relax

By taking the beach club concept into the hills, Ubud makes the most of its jungle setting to create swoon-worthy day clubs. Whether you book an all-inclusive experience or just pop in for a cocktail and the views, you’ll enter another level of beauty. Cretya, Wanna Jungle Pool and Bar, and Tis overlooking the iconic Tegalalang Rice Terraces live up to the hype.

You can reach Tegenungan Waterfall from Omma Dayclub

I love Omma Dayclub because there are many places to lounge, including quiet corners to chill or join all the action around the infinity pool with a waterfall backdrop. What really sets Omma apart for me is the nearby Tegenungan Waterfall, only a stroll away, where you can take a dip or fill your Instagram feed with stunning shots. Of course, there’s a swing (no self-respecting tourist attraction in Southeast Asia is without one these days), a fantastic menu, a temple and live entertainment. Omma has free entry, but there is a minimum spend depending on which package you book, ranging from poolside dining and day beds to VIP lounges offering pool and waterfall access and free welcome drinks and canapes. Regardless of which one you choose, I recommend arriving early to make the most of the facilities and vistas before it gets too busy.


Ubud Itinerary Day 3: Explore

The township of Ubud perpetually bustles, especially around the corner of Jalan Raya Ubud and Jalan Suweta, where you’ll find the Ubud Art Market, Ubud Palace and the Pura Taman Kemuda Saraswati. The Ubud Art Market was recently upgraded and is a treasure trove of hand-crafted goods, homewares, clothes, bags and souvenirs, where haggling with local store holders is all part of the experience. There are plenty of air-conditioned boutiques nearby, as well as the Ubud Street Market on Jalan Karna behind the art market, which offers endless opportunities for more haggling.

Ubud Art Street

Located across the road from the art markets, I recently visited Ubud Palace for the first time and I’m not sure why it took me so long to visit this temple complex. Originally built in the early 1800s in the traditional Balinese style of architecture with traditional stone carvings by local artisans, it was restored after the 1917 earthquake. The grounds host traditional Balinese dance shows, which I have added to my list for my next visit. The royal family still live in the complex and, with free entry, go early to avoid the crowds.

Ubud Palace

You’ve no doubt seen the photos of the lotus pond in front of the Pura Taman Saraswati, but it’s not until you’re standing in front of it that you appreciate the beauty of this temple designed by renowned architect I Gusti Nyoman Lempad, who was also instrumental in the design of the Ubud Palace. Saraswati Ubud Temple is dedicated to the Goddess Saraswati, the Hindu Goddess of knowledge, literature and art – no wonder I’m always drawn to this temple. Balinese dance performances at night attract a fee paid to Café Lotus next door. Although I haven’t tried it myself, I’ve heard it’s a magical experience as the twinkling lights reflecting off the pond add to the ambience of the performance.

Ubud Monkey Forest

I’ve been coming to Bali for decades, and I can finally say I have now visited the famous Monkey Forest. Covering 12.5 hectares, this natural sanctuary is home to over 1200 long-tailed macaque monkeys perpetually up to mischief. Some rules include avoiding looking them in the eye, not having food or hiding it, and not having anything in your hand they might be interested in grabbing. With so many photo opportunities, it’s hard not to have your phone out, especially when they’re doing bombies in the pond during bathtime.


Ubud Itinerary Day 4: Cultural Fix

Dedicated to Vishnu, the Hindu God of water, Tirta Empul Temple is just a few minutes from Ubud. Considered one of the holiest springs, locals and visitors flock here for water blessings and purification beneath the spouts. Even if you don’t partake in a water blessing, visiting the complex is a contemplative experience.

A few minutes away in Batuan Village, you’ll witness artists depicting daily life and rituals through their intricate paintings. Any purchases you can’t resist will be shipped home. Nearby, the next generation of artists practice their craft at the Keliki Painting School, famed for teaching the signature Keliki art style in detailed ink and acrylic paints.

The martinis are as lethal as the ribs are delicious at Naughty Nuri’s

After such a wholesome morning, it’s time to visit Naughty Nuri’s. This rustic street-side barbeque joint has been grilling pork ribs and satays over a grill for decades. Many a meal and deal has been struck at this local and expat meeting spot over lethal martinis, made even more famous when Anthony Bourdain declared them the best martinis in the world. You will probably need a lie-down after this.

Visiting a day spa in Ubud is a must

With more time in Ubud:

  • Campuhan Ridge Walk: This 2km walk is one of the most popular. Although picturesque, some views from the elevated path are obstructed by overgrown vegetation. If you start from the north, most of it is downhill, and getting an early start in the day will help avoid the heat and crowds.
  • Blanco Renaissance Museum: Dedicated to artist Antonio Blanco in his former mansion-studio, and now his son Mario, he was awarded for his portraits of beautiful Balinese women and the island landscapes and was one of the most prolific expat artists to live in Bali.

Tegallalang Rice Terrace

  • Tegalalang Rice Terraces – There’s a reason this valley of rice terraces is one of the most photographed spots in Ubud. You can hike down or channel your inner influencer, don a flowing gown, and ride the swing over the Ayung River valley.
  • Petulu Village – Every day at dusk, thousands of white cranes descend on Petulu Village in spectacular fashion and fly away the following morning. If you arrive around 5pm, you will witness this spectacle and ponder on the myths that the herons represent the souls sacrificed in the massacre of 1965 or that the herons answer the villager’s prayers for peace.
  • Day spa: Day spas practically line the streets in Ubud and most hotels also have plenty of pampering in sublime settings. I recommend Akoya Spa (Viceroy), Taksu Spa, Bali Botanica and the Five Elements Spa on the banks of the Ayung River.

Komenaka Monkey Forest

Where to stay in Ubud:

Komaneka at Monkey Forest: Komaneka has several boutique hotels across the island and I loved the understated luxury at Komaneka at Monkey Forest

Villa Soul: Set a short walk behind Bintang Supermarket, the two-bedroom, two-bathroom Villa Soul epitomises tranquillity.

Villa Soul

Kano Sari: Overlooking terraced gardens and the river gorge, the 4-star Kano Sari offers a range of configurations for families, couples and singles, and you can read my review here.

Trinity Gardens: Channel your Eat Pray Love persona for a spot of indulgent frolicking through the rice paddies at Trinity Gardens and find out more about my stay here.

Como Uma Ubud: The Como Uma Ubud lives up to the luxurious brand’s reputation and you can read more about my review here. https://fluffytowel.com/unique-places-to-stay-in-ubud-bali /https://www.comohotels.com/bali/como-uma-ubud

Viceroy Ubud: Situated in the Valley of Kings, the Viceroy Bali is the undisputed king of luxury and you can read my review here.

Fivelements Retreat: Crafted from bamboo and set on the banks of the Ayung River, is the ultimate retreat.

Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3

Where to eat in Ubud:

Naughty Nuri’s: All other ribs and satays maybe ruined for you once you’ve tasted them at Naughty Nuri’s.

Warung Babi Gulung: With three outlets in Ubud, there’s much debate over which one serves the best suckling pig. I’m a fan of Warung Babi Guling Ibu Oka 3 because it’s the quietest, but why not decide for yourself.

Dirty Duck Diner: Serving the original crispy duck since 1990 and set among the rice paddies, duck is just one of the Balinese specialties on the menu.

Honey & Smoke: This wood-fired bistro is the brainchild of chef Will Meyrick – everything I tried was outstanding. But if a trip to Ubud isn’t on the cards and you’re in Perth, check out his Will St. restaurant in Leederville

Uma Cucina: If you’re craving something other than Indonesian food, Uma Cucina at the Como Uma Ubud serves some of the best Italian food on the island.

Dragonfly Café: Located on the Sari Organic Trail and set within the Dragonfly Village, Dragonfly Café serves delicious coffee and vegetarian and vegan food overlooking rice paddies.

Warungs: You can’t go wrong with your local warung for affordable Balinese food

Honey & Smoke

How to get to Ubud:

Jetstar, Citilink and Air Asia fly into Denpasar Airport and Ubud is about an hour’s drive with Grab or request your accommodation to organise a transfer.

Getting around Ubud: Unless you’re a confident motorcyclist, I don’t recommend hiring a motorbike. Instead, use Grab to get around or organise a driver for the duration of your journey. And don’t ever leave home without travel insurance as you just never know when a monkey is going to steal your phone, or worse.

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop