Medewi Surf Bali
Medewi, Bali, is just a little further up the coast from Balian and it’s perfect for surfing. It’s also a wonderfully quiet sleepy surfer town.
What to Do in Medewi
Medewi Surf Beach Bali
Medewi is a black sand beach and lovely to walk along when the tide is low so you can get all the way along it (a river blocks part of the walkway when the tide gets higher).
The main activity in the area is fishing so you’ll see plenty of fishing boats either out at sea or on the sand post having gone out for the day.
It’s not the type of beach I’d personally feel comfortable sunbathing on as it is still a very local area, rather than being packed full of tourists, and mostly Muslim.
When we were there, we’d walk down from our accommodation to the beach to surf in our bikini’s and swimming costumes but wouldn’t have just sat on the beach sunbathing in them.
Medewi Surfing Bali
The main surf break in Medewi is one of the longest left-handers in Bali. The break is just in front of Bombora Medewi Wave Lodge and it’s perfect for longboarding.
There are surf photographers that sit in front of the break too so perfect if you want to capture some shots of you in action.
It’s a point break and the reef is sharp there; even just paddling out will be enough to tear your feet up. If you don’t have reef booties it’s strongly advisable to buy some from the shops down in Seminyak or Kuta before going or rent some when you arrive. They don’t cost a lot to rent there but the rental ones might already have a lot of holes in and therefore not actually provide that much protection.
When people talk about Medewi surf they are almost always referring to this main break just in front but there are two other surf spots just down the beach.
If facing the main break to your left further along the beach is a right-hander (much harder to find in Bali) and to your right from the main break further along the beach is a beach break which has both lefts and rights (there are a few different waves that come through there, it’s a beach break).
Both of these other spots aren’t as chilled out as the main break however and are for those who are slightly more advanced surfers than just starting out.
Massages in Medewi
If walking down to the beach on your right there is a little gap in the concrete wall where you could cut through to walk to the beach. In that semi-empty field, where people park too, you can get yourself a massage off the lovely ladies that are based there.
Hotel Medewi Beach Inn Café
At the Medewi Beach Inn Cafe, they have smoothie bowls and Nespresso coffee. They also have food for lunch and dinner. The local food is the best bit of their menu outside of breakfast but other places are cheaper for the same.
Best For: Breakfast
Just next to Bombora Medewi and therefore still right on the beach in front of the surf break is Warung Gede.
Cheap and good local food with some of the best sambal I’ve ever had.
You can even buy fish from the local fishermen earlier in the day and then ask them to cook it for you to create your own bbq. Perfect if there are a lot of you.
Best For: Local food
Mai Malu has a mixture of Asian and Western food with both nasi campur on the menu and burgers.
I love their veggie curry (it’s listed as fish curry but you can ask for it without fish) and their tempe burgers. And they do cute things like this with your rice!
Best For: Cheap Western & Asian Eats
Bombora Medewi Wave Lodge
If you fancy some western fare while in the area check out Bombora. It’s perfect for a sunset drink watching the surfers too and can accommodative large groups for dinner.
They have pizza, pasta, seafood, Asian food and more.
Best For: Fancy Western Eats
Cheap/ Budget Accommodation
Mai Malu is the cheapest accommodation right on the road that goes down to the main break. The accommodation is in the back of the restaurant and the rooms are very basic. When I stayed there I got a single bed fan room.
It was a bit grubby, and I had to worry I’d get bitten by mosquitos every time I went to the bathroom in the room as it had a partially open window, but it was also fine.
They have board storage downstairs and there are nicer rooms available that are still the cheapest around.
Hotel Medewi Beach Inn Café is on Jalan Pantai Medewi too. When I was last there a pool was being built so hopefully that’s finished for when you visit.
I, personally, didn’t think it was worth the extra that you’d pay from Mai Malu until the pool was finished but with the pool there now, as you can’t really hang out on the beach in Medewi, it probably is worth it.
Slight over in front of the beach breaks in the area, at Yeh Sumbul, there are number of surf camps and lodges. Some have bamboo huts on stilts, like Medewi Beach House, but you can also stay in more closed rooms like Emir Surfcamp. Almost all of them have beach views and are very reasonably priced.
Perfect if your surfing is a bit more advanced as the wave there is harder but you’d be able to check it from your accommodation each day and then just run down to the beach 😍.
There are fewer options of places to eat, and nowhere really to wander around in this area, so if you’re going to want to get out and about make sure you have a bike on you.
If you’re looking for surf camps in Bali this is a great area to go as that’s what most of them are and while the wave is a bit tricky it’s a quiet lineup.
Bombora Medewi Wave Lodge has rooms from 1,500,000 IDR and suites from 4,500,000 IDR. The suites come with their own pool. It’s pricy but the rooms are beautiful and it’s right on the beach so perfect for if you’re planning to surf while in Medewi.
Umadewi Surf Suites & Villas, just the other side of the road from Bombora, and also has beautiful accommodation from 1,350,000 IDR and an outside pool.
Best Time to Go to Medewi
It’s best to go to Medewi in the dry season (March to October). Rainy season in Bali makes surf on the west coast a lot harder as the wind picks up which messes up the waves and a lot of rubbish comes into the beaches that side of the island with the changing tides.
Last time I was there during rainy season my friends paddled past nappies floating in the sea to get to the lineup 😨😷.
That’s true of most of West Bali in rainy season.
Getting to Medewi
If you’re further down south in Bali and there are a few of you, you can easily hire a car to take you and any surfboards up. That will probably cost you about 400,000 IDR.
Or if you want to have more flexibility while you’re there you can hire a scooter to drive up with your board in the bike surf rack.
The road up to Medewi is also the road that people use to drive up to Gilimanuk to take the ferry across to Java. That results in the road being full of large lorries packed to the brim with cargo. I’m not kidding. They’re so overloaded some of them sway as they drive down the roads and look like they’re about to topple over any second.
The drivers of these trucks are long-haul drivers and do this day in day out. They’re known for taking risks and over-taking at times which most people wouldn’t reasonably call safe.
Be very careful if you’re driving up and if in doubt about over-taking just don’t. There could well be a lorry over-taking that’s coming straight towards you in your lane.
Best to play it safe and don’t take corners too wide.
Pro Tips for Medewi
Medewi in Bali is a predominantly Muslim area unlike the rest of Bali which is predominantly Hindu.
That means three things:
Beer: while it is very easy to get beer almost everywhere else in Bali and it can easily be purchased from almost any mart that is not the case in Medewi. You can easily purchase drinks from restaurants but it is harder to find in shops
Nyepi: Nyepi is the silent day in Bali, where the Balinese celebrate New Year. As part of it, you’re not allowed to make any noise or go outside. You’ll be arrested if you do. In Medewi however, they’re known for not observing it strictly since most of the area are Muslim and therefore people have been known to get a nice quiet line up to surf there on Nyepi.
Worth double-checking with locals this is still the case when you arrive to make sure you don’t end up in trouble.
Take Earplugs: I’m a heavy sleeper and even this got me. There are a lot of mosques in the area and depending on where you’re staying at 4am it can feel like the mosques are competing as to who can do the call to prayer the loudest. If you’d rather not attend, and stay asleep during that time, it may be worth taking some earplugs for your trip.
Where Next After Medewi?
As mentioned above you are very close to the ferry port to Java once you’re in Medewi so if you fancy an adventure across Indonesia to the next island you can easily carry straight on up from there.
You can also surf in Java too so perfect for a surf road trip. Again be careful with the roads when driving a scooter to the ferry port and away.
Also if you don’t have an international license or the right documentation when going through the port they will fine you. Make sure you have 50,000 IDR separated off to pay quickly and be on your way.
Or you could head down to Ubud if you’re all surfed out for a bit of Yoga and relaxation or, if you’re in need of a night out, head back down to Canggu or Seminyak. Or you could go surf in Echo Beach if you want some fast waves to mix it up from the fatter ones in Medewi.
Medewi is the perfect little surf town and time goes a lot slower there than down south in Bali. Well worth checking out if you want a little break, to get some good surfs in and do some chilled reading.
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