Berawa: A Surfer's Guide

By Thomas Alexander

If you’re looking for a more relaxed pace of life just a small hop from central Canggu, with good restaurants and bars, plenty of retail options, and great surf, Berawa ticks every box.

The Waves

While there are beach breaks up and down small stretch of coast, the best are to be found right at the end of Jalan Pantai Berawa, the main road ending right on the sand. It can be a little fickle, and often a touch smaller than the breaks of Canggu, but the three or four peaks will give shifting a-frame possibilities. Standing at the end of the road, the main break gives a fairly consistent left, while to the right, two main peaks break both ways, though usually with better form on the right-handers.

The sand-filled reef is best suited to shorter boards, though Berawa rarely gets the size or hollower shape to be called a true shortboard wave, and has the versatility to be pretty accessible for novices and intermediate surfers. Fishes and hybrids with a little more volume are your best board of choice. Every evening Finns Beach Club, which overlooks the main break, lights up the waves for free night surf sessions.

The Scene

Berawa is the chilled out little brother of Canggu. Only the notorious cobbled ‘shortcut’ separates the two. However, the newly-established one-way system for cars has alleviated much of the pressure of this occasionally treacherous trail between the rice paddies.

Finns Beach Club and Legong Keraton Beach Hotel take up the majority of the immediate beachfront, and a large new development is taking place beyond Finns. A one-minute walk in either direction will bring you to a collection of beach bars for cheap beers, simple warung food and the best sunset spot in the house. Try Hidden Bar and the Lazy Coconut for good hospitality and kicked-back vibes.

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Surfing Lessons & Gear

Learning to surf or chasing some new surf gear? Gone are the days when surfers had to head into Kuta feel up a new board. Here are your best options in Berawa plus a few in adjacent Canggu.

Surf Schools

There are plenty of surf schools in and around the Berawa / Canggu area, and most are good-quality schools. For convenience, Go Surf Bali operates from Berawa beach and takes advantage of the rolling whitewater on the inside of the reef to give beginners their first steps on foam.

Ayok is a born-and-bred Canggu local who has a small surf homestay in town. A superb surfer himself, he’s also an excellent instructor for all levels and, if you’re looking for a surf-accommodation package, Ayok’s Stay & Surf is an excellent option.

Mojo Surf also operates from Canggu, so if you want the convenience and security of a world-renowned brand, Mojo is of the highest calibre.

Pineapple Surf, Bali Mermaid and Island Surf are all locally-owned and run operations with excellent reputations and all within easy reach of Berawa.

Surf Gear

A couple of the more generic surf-fashion stores can be found in the area, with Berawa Beach Surf being the closest to the beach. You’ll find Rip Curl, Volcom, and Mahalo on the main strip of town, all carrying a good selection of clothing and surf hardware.

 

Dylan

For those wanting the real deal and not simply an off-the-shelf model, renowned Australian surfer-shaper Dylan Longbottom has set up shop in Berawa, with a selection of his handcrafted shapes available, as well as custom orders.

 

Onboard

OnBoard is located next to Old Mans bar, just a few steps from the water at Batu Bolong beach. They have funboards, retroboards, longboards, soft tops, and hi-fi shredder shapes if that’s your thing. Best shapers, best materials – Channel Islands, Christenson, Simon Anderson & more are in da house!

Chilli

Chilli have opened a slick new shop on Jl. Padang Linjong stocking their popular signature models like the Fader and Black Vulture. Custom order one before you arrive and have it delivered to your address. Full details on their website.

Rip Curl

Rip Curl just moved into the neighborhood and came fully loaded with shiny new DHDs, …Lost, Firewires, Pyzels, and the biggest range of accessories in the area. New board? Check. Leash, grip, and wax? Check-check-check. “Will that be cash or credit sir?” Ummm.

Kartel

For the budget-minded traveler that has caught the surfing bug, Kartel offers good quality boards at a reasonable price, even before it’s bundled into a +grip +leash +boardbag package. Also, if needed, they also offer surf lessons.

Deus

The Deus Temple’s modest shaping bay has been blessed with a constant stream of talent over the years with the likes of Rich Pavel, Bob McTavish, Thomas Bexon, Neal Purchase Jr., Ryan Lovelace and others all serving within its foam covered blue walls. Step into their incredible showroom/cafe/gallery to admire their latest creations.

Boardriders

It’s impossible to miss the Boardriders store when you access the beach from the Echo side. In addition to Quiksilver and Roxy tees, boardies, bikinis, and the rest, they have a rack of boards by JS, Hayden Shapes, Slater Designs, and …Lost that will stop you in your tracks. Also – it sounds kinda odd – but they also do haircuts. Ask for the “Mikey Wright” 😉

Ding Repair

For repairs in Berawa head to Mabuk Surfing and Charlie Brown Surf Shop. Both are just a short ride or easy walk along Jalan Raya Semat.

 

Aki Repair

Get your boards fixed by the fine craftsmen at Aki Repair, strategically located on the “Short Cut” that connects Berawa with Canggu. These guys come from the Naruki repair shop bloodline so you know your baby is in good hands.

Food & Drinks

There are so many new spots popping up in Berawa it can be hard to keep track. Here’s some of our fav’s.

Breakfast

Nude has a diverse range of breakfast options, from the healthy to the indulgent. Their pitaya bowl will keep the health freaks happy, while their decadent Unholy Moly Pancakes are insanely popular, and plenty of savoury options are also available to refuel pre- or post-surf.

Ruko and its newborn sister, Neighbourhood, offer some of the best coffee around and are popular for those looking to get a bit of work done, with comfortable seating and reliable free wifi.

Lunch

Options abound in Berawa, and you can’t go more than 20 steps without finding an eatery of excellent quality.

A few plant-based options are available. Manggi’s is a hugely inventive gourmet vegan restaurant, tucked away on Jalan Pemelisan Agung, and Peleton is a world-renowned plant-based icon, presenting burgers, lasagne, burritos and more that even the most die-hard carnivore will be satisfied.

District Canggu gives you rice paddy views and a peaceful setting, with a combination of western and Indonesian cuisine and is centrally-located.

Dinner

Milu by Nook and Milk & Madu are the pick of the spots for al fresco evening dining, especially for groups or families.

Milk & Madu is incredibly family-friendly and is renowned for its exceptional pizzas, though the good food doesn’t stop there and an extensive menu will keep your whole crew happy, young and old.

Milu by Nook doesn’t look much from the road, but when you walk through the door, you are transported into a rustic, rice-paddy oasis. It’s a chilled vibe, even bringing the romance, if that’s what you’re after, and has an Indo-Western menu with options for everyone, from vegans to seafood seekers, healthy eaters to meat lovers.

Drinks

A one-minute walk in either direction of Finns will bring you to a collection of beach bars for cheap beers, simple warung food and the best sunset spot in the house. Try Hidden Bar and the Lazy Coconut for good hospitality and kicked-back vibes.

Salvador in the centre of Berawa is a sports bar, with pool table and big-screen TV showing plenty of the key sporting events from around the world. Reasonable prices and a good bar menu make it a great venue for an evening in front of the footy.

Stay

There are numerous villas, homestays and apartments in Berawa and a thorough search on Bookings.com is highly recommended, but here are a few suggestions for different budgets:

Budget

Dip & Doze is one of the only backpacker-style hostels in the area and has clean, simple rooms, a chilled pool and rooftop cafe-bar all for excellent prices on a budget. The cafe-bar is open to anyone, so if you have friends staying elsewhere, you’re welcome to bring them in for food and drinks.

Mid-Range

Tucked away among the rice paddies, Sedasa Lodge is in the prime location without feeling like it’s in the centre of town. With a pool, bar and restaurant on site, it’s an exceptional little hideaway that is still only one minute’s bike ride from the beach. Some of the rooms can be more on the expensive side and Sedasa is on the upper end of mid-range, but you can also score a bargain when booking ahead.

Luxe

In Berawa, you can’t get much better than Legong Keraton Beach Hotel. A superb hotel with all the amenities you could wish for and overlooking the main break at Berawa, the financial indulgence is more than made up for by its incredible location and quality services. 

The one drawback is that it is right next door to Finns Beach Club, so if you’re keen for an early night, you might find yourself burying your head under the pillow if it is a particularly rowdy party night, such as on a Friday or Saturday.

Surf Camps

SurfWG Bali Surf Camp is Berawa’s best and most central surf accommodation. The small collection of villas and dorms are great for singles, backpackers or couples and twice-daily surf lessons with expert instructors will get you skilled up in no time. They also offer free scooter hire and a free shuttle to nearby locations, so there’s plenty of opportunity to take off on your own too.

In Da Surf is a family-run surf camp a short distance from Berawa and likewise takes advantage of the various local breaks, giving you plenty of opportunity to learn in a daily lesson or freesurf in your own time, plus explore the streets and surrounds of Berawa and Canggu.

Between Surfs

Berawa and Canggu are thriving, but not so much as to feel suffocating or excessive, such as in Kuta and Seminyak. There’s always something to do, from long beach strolls to yoga, fitness and even ten-pin bowling.

Yoga

Desa Seni is a tranquil oasis and long-standing yoga centre with an excellent reputation (and a really good cafe!) A wide range of class styles and levels is offered.

Five minutes away in Canggu, yoga is everywhere! Serenity offers teacher training as well as public classes and has an old-school ashram vibe to it.

The Practice is truly unique, and also one of our personal favourites. The Practice takes yoga back to its roots, with Hatha classes focussed on breath, posture and the mind-body connection. For us, this is the most complimentary form of yoga for surfers.

Odyssey MVMT is a great cross-breed of yoga and fitness, with an F45-style setup downstairs and a yoga shala upstairs. A wide variety of wellness offerings goes down at Odyssey and it’s well worth checking out.

Gyms

Odyssey we mentioned above, but there is so much choice in the area it’s almost ridiculous!

Fetch is the best choice in many ways as it is specifically for surfers. Founder Israel Llansola designed the Surf Concept venue as a way to maximise your training on land to improve your performance in the water, targeting strength, flexibility and stamina in a range of classes.

Finns Recreation Club also has a gym, and a holiday pass will give you access to a wide range of facilities.

For functional fitness classes, Nest, right in the centre of Berawa, is both convenient and professional, again offering a range of classes to target different needs, held throughout the day.

Co-Working

The digital nomad was invented in Canggu! Well, not quite, but Berawa and Canggu make it very easy to work on the go. There are a number of spots to co-work, but the three that top our list are:

Outpost. Centrally-located in Berawa, Outpost is the closest. The professional setup and reasonable rates, plus excellent services and internet, mean you can lock into your work with focus. With Bali Bowls & Smoothies downstairs offering sweet and savoury munches, you don’t even have to leave to eat.

Tropical Nomads. Halfway between Berawa and Canggu, Tropical Nomads is light and airy, but also highly professional. Quiet, spacious and with conference rooms and video-conferencing booths, if you need a space to get serious, this is it.

Dojo. The original. The bamboo-clad building in the middle of Canggu was the first co-working space of its kind in the area. It has a dedicated following and good facilities with plenty of space, especially if you get in before 9 am. The one drawback is that it has a thriving social scene. This is great if you want to network or make new friends, but not so good if you need to be productive.

Cultural Attractions

Not so much cultural, but an excellent attraction of Berawa is Finns Recreation Club. With a restaurant, waterpark, spa, gym, tennis, bowling, trampoline centre and more, it’s easily two or three days’ worth of entertainment for kids, and a good source of fun for adults too.

A little up the coast lies Tanah Lot, one of the four primary protective temples of Bali. The network of prayer stupas and courtyards is surrounded by small warungs selling trinkets and carvings, numerous local cafes and more. The real drawcard is the original temple, which stands on a pinnacle of rock only reachable at low tide. While it is closed to the public, it is still spectacular to view from shore and worth visiting at low tide to get the full experience.

Must-Dos

A walk down the beach at sunset to Old Man’s in Canggu is the perfect way to end the day. Just walk out onto the beach next to Finns Beach Club, turn right and keep going. It’s about a 15-minute walk, and means you can drink plenty and not have to contend with the notorious Canggu Shortcut on the way home when you’re half-cut!

Spot Guides

Planning a Bali trip? Here's our tips on where to surf, shop, eat, and drink.