Most guidebooks write Medewi off in just a few lines. "It's a placid place where cattle graze by the beach. Medewi is not noted for its beach but its long left-hand wave. There is little else here," they say. But here's the thing: they're wrong.
We've seen it over and again: Medewi has a way of creeping into your soul and so many travellers who stay more than three nights in this village find it very, very hard to leave. Surfers might say it's because of the point break, Bali's longest left-hand wave. Those who appreciate quiet places might stay for the vast stretches of wild beaches over where, at night, the stars shine in abundance. Travellers in need of rest might stay for the beachfront massages which, at under US$8 for a 60-minute session, will leave you basking in post-massage bliss for hours after. Or perhaps it's for the Bali kopi, which seems to taste even more delicious when drunk at one of the warungs (small eatery) along the beachfront in the early morning.
Whatever the reasons for staying, there is plenty to keep you busy. Nearby Bunut Bulong is a sacred tree that forms a bridge over the road. There is a simple warung up there with lovely views across jungled hills.
Cliff-top Ramput Siwi is a 10-minute drive west from Medewi. It's one of the island's seven important "sea temples", which protects Bali from the evil spirits of the ocean. Tahan Lot and Uluwatu are two of the other sea temples.
Head to Puri Dajuma resort and spend the day at the pool; explore the beaches; watch the fishing boats return in the early morning and head out – often in spectacular waves – in the late afternoon. Use Medewi as your base and explore the area around Negara and Menjangan. Hone your surfing skills or take a few yoga classes. Feast on fresh-caught fish at Ati's beachfront warung; watch the sun set from Made and Wayan's warung – which has become quite an establishment on the beach – and ponder just how perfectly quiet and relatively unspoilt this part of the island is.
Medewi can be divided into two sections: the paddies, which are north of the main road, and the beachfront, to the south. There are quite a few homestays and foreign-owned villas up in the paddies, as well as a fairly well-stocked small supermarket and some restaurants. On the beach side, there are five homestays or hotels, which are best booked in person when you arrive.