Bali’s beaches are best during the dry season from April until October. Beaches are cleaner, calmer, and dryer during the dry season. From reading reviews and browsing the internet, it seems like the majority of Bali’s popular beaches are near Kuta or South Kuta, and very close to the airport which is convenient for tourists. North Bali isn’t famous for beaches, and their beaches don’t get very good reviews, although they are away from most of the hustle and bustle. What distinguishes one beach from another might be how crowded it is, how many pestering vendors are around, and whether you can swim, surf, or snorkle conveniently and safely. Even though most of these beaches are very close to each other, the character of each beach is quite different. I apologize for not having photos. I have not yet traveled to Bali, but it is at the top of my list. You can visit other travel sites for pictures.
#1 Best Beach
Balangan Beach (Western part of South Kuta Peninsula & near Dreamland — Southern Bali)
This is a place with very few tourists, but a great place to surf. Rocky cliffs. Many local cafes.
CNN travel, Tripadvisor and other reviewers recommend this beach first or high on their list!
#2 Best Beach
Amed Beach (Eastern Bali)
If you like black sand, and a resort that got fantastic reviews, this is a great place to vacation. Lots of fishing boats and diving, but not much surfing. This beach has a close view of a nearby volcano!
#3 Best Beach
Padang Padang Beach in Kuta near the airport
This is a small beach where you can surf. The water is clean and clear. This beach used to be a secret only known to the locals.
Other Popular Beaches all in Southern Bali
Jimbaran Beach (South Kuta just South of the airport)
This is a place with many fish vendors and seafood restaurants.
Nusa Dua Beach (East part of South Kuta Peninsula — Southern Bali)
Beautiful Blue Water, pristine white sand, and very few vendors! There is a parking lot, and you can rent chairs!
This beach got good reviews, but is not the best in town it seems!
Geger Beach (in Nusa Dua: Eastern part of South Kuta — Southern Bali)
Tripadvisor gave this beach good reviews mostly in the Excellent or Very Good range.
This beach is quiet, clean, and swimmable!
Sanur Beach (East of Denpasar)
Enjoy 7km of paved walkway along the beach.
Kutuh Beach (Southern part of South Kuta — Southern Bali)
This is a very remote area that looks like how Bali looked decades ago before the invasion of tourists!