For travellers looking for an island-hopping extension to their Balinese travels, the neighbouring Lombok is the perfect choice. Home to three Gili islands, this Indonesian island is well revered for its local culture, diving spots, scenic beaches and mesmerising waterfalls and forestry. Offering a less crowded, intimate and laid-back atmosphere, Lombok proves popular with honeymooners and those looking for a less touristy destination. Swap the hustle and bustle of other beach resorts with the rugged natural landscape and interesting cultural scene of Lombok. Trek to the wonderful Mount Rinjani, Indonesia’s second highest volcano that looms over the vastly beautiful, Segara Anak Lake and admire beguiling tropical vistas, relax on the beach, rent scooters to explore the coastal road from Senggigi to Pemenang and explore the traditional markets.
Whilst Lombok offers a more tranquil vibe, its three Gili islands, just twenty minutes away by boat, are ideal for those searching for a more energetic, party vibe, with Gili Trawangan proving to be the most populous. Where to stay you may ask? Lombok offers countless guesthouses, hotels and resorts looking out over the scenic ocean views within quaint mountain villages, from luxury resorts to spacious villas.
Whether you wish to surf the massive breaks on the south coast, challenge yourself with a trek up steep volcanic peaks, or hire a bike and cycle through lush, abundant rice paddies – you won’t be disappointed with the spectacular natural beauty of Lombok. The island enjoys a tropical climate with warm and humid weather all year round with a temperature range of 21°C to 32°C.
To get to Lombok, you can travel by air, ferry or fast boat. There are daily flights between Denpasar, Bali and the capital of Lombok, Mataram. Lombok’s Selaparang Airport is located on the northern side of Mataram. The public ferry travels between Padangbai (Bali) and Lembar (Lombok) multiple times a day, and the trip takes roughly four hours.
Popular tourist resort area, Senggigi, is a township that’s positioned on a sweeping bay – providing magnificent views of a rich, fiery red sunset over neighbouring Bali. Visitors to Lombok also flock to one of the three Gili islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. These secluded tropical islands are just a short 20-minute boat ride from Senggigi.
There is a traditional handweaving village in Puyung in central Lombok where visitors can try on a traditional Sasak costume, and the village of Sukarare is a must visit for kain ikat or handwoven textiles. Lombok is also known for its magnificent South Sea cultured pearls grown in pristine waters around the island. Lombok pottery has gained in popularity and is now shipped all over the world.