Northern Bali was the first Balinese region under rule of the Dutch. This took place as early as 1848, 60 years ahead of the rest of the island. Over land this region were isolated from the rest of Bali until the Dutch in the 1920’s built a road towards the south.
The population is mainly Hindus, but also many Chinese and Muslims. Northern Bali is today under the administration of the Buleleng district.
Language and culture here are clearly different from the rest of Bali, but you can still recognize the unique Balinese culture.
The best known destinations are Lovina and Singaraja, but the area also has much more to offer. The relatively narrow area of land between the coast and the mountains is for large parts sparsely populated. The beaches are also narrow and consists mainly of dark, volcanic sand. Several beaches are good for swimming, snorkeling or diving. Along the coastline you will find many villages and good accommodation, it can easily be explored by car. The area west of Lovina is sparsely populated, but in Pemuteran there are several hotels and diving centers.
Further east is the Pura Pulaki temple, restored in 1980. It now has a large population of impolite monkeys, watch your belongings! The temple has a great view over the ocean. Further east you will pass Celukanbawang, with a large port where most of the goods transported by sea to and from north Bali is shipped. Here you can see the traditional sail ships that is still used in the Indonesian archipelago.
Before you reach Lovina you can stop in the Banjar village to see the only Buddhist monastery on Bali; Brahmavihara Arama. Further east is Lovina and Singaraja, the Sangsit and Kubutambahan villages with some interesting temples built in a local style and finally Yeh Sanih. At Yeh Sanih it is possible to take a bath in a freshwater pool.
In the mountains there are many lovely waterfalls, one of the best known is Air Terjun Gitgit south of Singaraja.