7 Inspirational Places and Traditions in Bali That Will Nourish Your Soul

Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple at sunrise
Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple at sunrise | © R.M. Nunes / Alamy Stock Photo

Yoga retreats, jamu shots, daily massages and meditation: if there’s one island in the world known above all for wellness, it’s Bali. As well as influencing countless movies and books, the Island of the Gods has become the latest destination to inspire five products from Crabtree & Evelyn’s new skincare collection.

Unique and fascinating traditions, beautiful volcanoes and magical treatments all fuse together to celebrate holistic culture in the best way the Balinese know how. These unmissable spots promise to do just that.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace

“Rice is the lifeblood of Bali,” explains Ashley Souza, Crabtree & Evelyn’s brand manager. Tegalalang is one of the more intimate rice terraces in Bali and these remarkable rolling green hills provide a stunning backdrop across Ubud, punctuated by coconut trees on either side. The inspiration behind the Rice Exfoliating Cleanser, these rice paddies offer a brilliant detox with cool fresh air and incredible sunrise views.

Tegalalang Rice Terrace is the inspiration behind the Rice Exfoliating Cleanser | Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Mount Agung

Bali’s highest point can be reached after a gruelling four-hour trek, but the views at the top are nothing short of spectacular. “The active volcano, Mount Agung, provides the island with beauty and chaos alike,” says Souza. At 3,142m (10,000ft) above sea level, Mount Agung holds huge spiritual significance for the Balinese – from its flow of water from the kaja (north) to the kelod (south) as well as its chaotic eruptions. The volcanic ash, a natural muscle relaxant, is often used in traditional Balinese body treatments, like Crabtree & Evelyn’s Volcanic Ash Detox Mask.

Mount Agung holds huge spiritual significance for the Balinese | Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Singaraja

Singaraja, the former colonial capital of Bali, is the second-largest town on the island and sits high up in the north. Lesser visited by tourists due to its more remote location, it’s home to magnificent views and a chilled atmosphere. It’s here you’ll find some of Bali’s best massages, as well as the opportunity to learn about the art of self-massage. Balinese healers tout massage as a staple part of self-care that should be practised daily. And spending a few moments with a beautiful oil like the Jasmine & Ylang Ylang Self Massage Oil will easily transport your mind to the stunning coastal views of Singaraja.

Singaraja, in the north, is a chilled place where you can relax and recharge | © Christine Gates / Alamy Stock Photo

Air Panas Banjar

Palms, flowers, ferns and bamboo groves surround northern Bali’s hot springs at Air Panas Banjar. These naturally heated, centuries-old springs are a toasty 38C and thanks to its high sulphur content, the warm water is said to be incredibly healing. It’s a popular tourist spot, but you’ll also spot Balinese families sitting amid the ornate concrete dragons, letting the soothing splashes nourish your soul while the sun beats down.

Air Panas Banjar, in the north, is famous for its natural hot springs | © Wolfi Poelzer / Alamy Stock Photo

Ubud

The natural beauty and tranquility of Ubud cannot be overstated. Jungles, waterfalls and mountains make up the sweeping landscapes, and relaxation is the name of the game. Head to Bodyworks for a no-frills Balinese massage of firm hands, lemongrass oil and freshly pummelled skin. “You’re left smelling like a delicious stalk of lemongrass. I return for this massage every time I’m in Bali,” says Souza. Crabtree & Evelyn’s Lemongrass Skin Tonic was created with that sensation of post-massage bliss in mind, revitalising your skin with its refreshing, crisp fragrance.

Tegenungan waterfall is a short ride from Ubud | © Giancarlo Liguori / Alamy Stock Photo

Galungan Festival

Bali’s most significant festival, which occurs every 210 days, in accordance with the Balinese calendar, is a 10-day ceremony and an explosion of colour, in which the local people give thanks to ancestors, who are believed to visit the earth at this time, with prayers, dances and offerings. Galungan is an important time for families, who come together in their finest outfits to offer hand-made sacrifices at local temples. One of the most famous Balinese traditions involves climbing a bamboo pole slathered in coconut oil: the inspiration behind the Crabtree & Evelyn Coconut and Sandalwood Body Balm. Souza recalls her personal experience at Galungan Festival: “It was 4am and I vividly remember, after hours of attempts made by the adolescent boys and the smell of sandalwood incense wafting through the air, finally, one was successful.”

Galungan Festival is a unique festival steeped in ritual and tradition | | Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Pura Luhur, Uluwatu

Sunset is the best time of day to visit this clifftop temple, when the atmosphere feels almost mystical. One of Bali’s key temples, Pura Luhur is known as a portal that transfers the deserving to heaven. It’s also home to traditional kecak, the Balinese fire dance. With breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, there are shrines, flower-carved gates and a large number of monkeys at this unique spot that all add to its beauty.

Ocean views, sacred shrines and curious monkeys can all be found at Pura Luhur, in Uluwatu | © Chris Deeney / Alamy Stock Photo

Introducing the Crabtree & Evelyn Bali Collection

The new collection is an eclectic range of products inspired by Bali. “The sights of Bali are nothing short of breathtaking, but the real reason to visit this magical island is for its people,” says Souza. “Slow down, wander the streets and take the time to meet locals. Their kindness and hospitality will show you a side of Bali that can’t be captured in pictures and words.” The collection features handmade accessories co-created by Balinese artisans, and face and body formulas made with island-inspired ingredients.

From hand-woven ata bags to soothing self-massage oil, scroll down to explore the Bali Collection. Every product has a story.

Five products from Crabtree & Evelyn’s new skincare collection, inspired by the beauty and serenity of Bali | Courtesy of Crabtree & Evelyn

Explore our new Bali products on the Crabtree & Evelyn website