In addition to being the cultural and spiritual mecca of the island, Ubud, located in the centre of Bali, is also ideal for cycling in all its forms. Bicycle tours can be undertaken with a guide, or alone with a privately rented bike. This is always a great way to experience and (literally) breathe in the real Bali over a journey of some fifty kilometres.
Elephant Safari Park is located around ten kilometres north of Ubud, in the village of Taro. This is home to the largest herd of Sumatran elephants in the world: Twenty-seven to be exact. It is possible to feed and even ride these elephants, one of the rarest and most endangered species on Earth. As a member of the World Zoo Association, the Park meets all international standards for animal care.
Around seventeen kilometres further north, it becomes clear why the bicycle is such a great means of transportation here: You’ll see countless temples, smell the most delicious aromas from the Balinese kitchen, and watch artists making beautiful carvings all along the side of the road. The real Balinese life is lovingly embraced here. The many small, winding roads will finally take you to the dazzling rice fields in Ubud, the perfect place to spend a few hours strolling through the verdant landscape and enjoying the views of the Ayung River from one of the many terraces. If you have a little extra time, the Pura Dalem Segara temple is well worth a visit before getting back on your bike.
Another twenty kilometres north will bring you within sight of the historic – and still active – Batur volcano. While a volcano is, of course, an extraordinary thing to see from a distance, it is even more interesting to climb. And you can. Starting at 04.00 am and lasting around two hours, a tour by an experienced guide takes the hardy up to the top to enjoy an intense sunrise. As icing on the cake, you can then enjoy a homemade breakfast at the summit thanks to holes in the volcano which release steam on which eggs and bananas can be boiled: Truly a unique experience.