Lombok is home to many quaint villages still practising traditional weaving techniques and historical dances. The Sasak people make up the majority of locals, and you can visit the Sasak Villages to gain further insight around Lombok's indigenous culture. Throughout Lombok, there are a variety of sights and landmarks to explore. In Sembalun Village, encounter lush scenery and agriculture first hand. Have the opportunity to harvest spices or learn about daily life as a local. In Sade and Sukarara Villages, you will see the locals in their homes weaving. Also in Sukarara, you will gain further insight around Songket, which is a weaving style that the village specialises in. Lombok is also home to sacred temples including Batu Bolong Temple and Lingsar Temple. With Batu Bolong Temple considered to be the country's most scenic temple set over the water. Spend some time exploring the intricate villages or grand temples throughout Lombok for insight on local culture and daily life.
Nestled between striking mountains, Sembalun Village sits in a valley and at the base of the Mount Rinjani. The village is three hours by car from Mataram, making a very scenic drive. The drive, however, can be a little bit challenging due to the steep climb. On your journey to reach the village, you will pass by lush green rice fields and tropical gardens. The fertile soil from the volcano helps agriculture thrive, which is the lifeblood of the community. Here you will find cabbage, carrots, chilli, rice and onions growing, with farmers playing a vital role in the village. Spices are also in abundance here and on your visit; you will have the chance to experience harvesting them on a traditional farm.
The local Sasak people share their culture and traditions through art and food. Amongst the people, there are eight different dialects across the island.
Traditional housing still stands where the first families in the village lived. Made up of mud-brick, the historical value of these homes within the community is very high, and to this day, the houses are still in use. Music also plays an essential role in the Sasak culture. Some of the popular instruments used include flutes, traditional Indonesian instruments like the Gamelan, and percussive instruments. Learning to play the Gamelan is a skill passed down through the family.
A visit to Sembalun Village is a chance to learn about daily life as a local. Whether you join in on the local communities harvesting, explore the original homes still standing or listen to the music of the local people, a visit will bring you further insight around Lombok's cultural identity.
Merese Hill sits in the east of Lombok, and 20 minutes by car from Kuta. Also known as Bukit Merese Hill, aim to visit at sunset as the sky fills with colour, to access incredible views across the coastline.
Rent a scooter to explore the surrounding area easily and navigate quickly, or organise a driver for the day to take you there. One of the most scenic beaches closeby to Merese Hill is Tanjung Aan; explore the beach during the day and before sunset walk up the hill to watch the sun go down. Allocate a full day to explore both attractions, and just a short walk up the incline will take you to the view. The beautiful rugged hill overlooking the sparkling water below showcases 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape. Pack a picnic and relax on the grass with views of Seger Beach, Batu Payung and Gili Anak Anjakan in the east.
Bukit Merese is a popular spot for photo shoots, with engagement and romantic shoots taking place there. When planning to visit, be sure to pack adequate sun protection, as there is no shade or shelter on the hill. Visit at sunrise or sunset for the most beautiful lighting, and wear comfortable shoes so that you can easily walk up the hill.
Batu Payung is known for its unique shaped rock looming over the beach. The rock has become a hotspot for photographers and travellers wanting to capture or witness the incredible sight. Batu Payung translates to "umbrella rock", and it has naturally formed from the water around the base of the rock, slowly eroding it. It is one of Lombok's natural attractions and worth visiting during your time on the island.
This oddly shaped rock sits at the tip of the beach. Here, the coast is made up of rocks and coral, and to reach Batu Payung; it is about a fifteen-minute walk from the shore. On the journey, expect to walk across the many rocks. Before visiting, check the tides and try to avoid visiting during high tide, as the rocks will be submerged making it difficult to walk.
The journey is about an hour by car from Mataram, or from Kuta, just a 20-minute drive. Batu Payung stands on the opposite end of the incredible Tanjung Aan Beach. Stop by at sunset to see the colours reflect off the rock, which is the most beautiful time of day to capture it. From Tanjung Aan Beach it is about a one-hour walk across the sand and the cliff edge, or alternatively, hop on a boat for 15 minutes to reach the site. Spend an afternoon exploring this beautiful part of Lombok, and don't forget to pack your camera to capture the gorgeous scenery surrounding Batu Payung.
The Lombok Epicentrum Mall (LEM) is set in Mataram City, for locals and travellers to enjoy. The diverse choice of stores and exhibits will keep you occupied for hours on end. The building's architecture has become something the city is proud to be identified by. Take a walk through town and see how the mall has become an icon. Take note of how inspiration from the sea has been used as the theme too. The architecture utilises environmentally sustainable design to reduce the building's imprint on the environment while making the most of natural light. The climate is a crucial consideration due to Lombok's extreme heat, and the direction of sunlight has been considered to protect and shelter shoppers. Visit the mall to see the beautiful architecture and stop by at the cinemas or food court for a casual lunch. Spread across four floors, the mall is Lombok's largest. Beyond shopping and food, the mall also provides entertainment for kids too. The journey is just under one hour by car to reach the mall from Kuta.
Lombok Epicentrum Mall is a popular place for social meet ups, with ample food and shops to explore. During your holiday in Lombok, enjoy a day of shopping in the air conditioning, or take a walk by the mall to see the interesting architecture.
The Gili Island's underwater statues have become somewhat of an icon in Indonesia. Nest, which was designed by Jason deCaires Taylor is located off the coast of Gili Meno. The statues were installed in 2017 and ever since, snorkelers and divers have been flocking to the islands to witness these incredible figures standing on the ocean floor. Here, the outline of the sculptures merges into the surrounding natural environment. However, the statues were not just placed there as art; they are part of a more extensive project for environmental conservation towards creating an artificial reef.
Visit at your own accord or join one of the tours by local companies taking you from the shore to the site. Make sure you don't forget your underwater camera! The statues are an incredible tourist destination and attraction to visit; however, keep in mind that the reef is an attempt to preserve and grow marine life. Take your snorkels and flippers to explore the area comfortably, or hire the gear on the island. The water temperature is warm; therefore, a wetsuit won't be needed and a bathing suit will suffice.
The sculptures sit off Gili Meno, and the circle of 48 figures stand together. Both snorkelers and divers can reach the site, with it submerged just four metres underwater. Over time, the sculptures will begin to cover in coral, which will help to generate a reef flourishing with sponges and coral. Marine life flows in abundance surrounding the statues, with colourful fish, black and white tip reef sharks, turtles and moray eels for you to encounter.
Mataram Mall is located in the heart of Mataram City. If you are staying in Kuta, the drive is about one-hour northwest to reach the mall.
Be mindful that Mataram Mall is not exactly an upmarket, luxury mall; however, it provides a selection of most items you may need to pick up during your stay in Lombok. It is a commercial shopping centre, with a large grocery store for you to buy whatever you may need. If you plan on cooking back at your accommodation in Mataram, a trip to the grocery store will make it easy for you to plan your meals.
This multi-storey precinct provides a variety of shops, electronic stores, department stores and a supermarket. There are also a few international restaurants to try out. The choice of shopping on offer is varied, and if you are planning to drive and park at the mall, there are ample parking spaces. With taxis surrounding the area, the mall is well connected, and after a day of shopping, you can quickly move on to your next destination.
Mawi would have to be one of the preferred surf spots in Lombok during the dry season. No matter whether the waves are small, or coming in strong, it is an adaptable and reliable break. With reef below, pay attention during low tide.
Mawi Beach is also a beautiful day trip when travelling in a group, for those who don’t surf, to spend some time on the sand and soak up the sun. About a 45-minute drive from Kuta, Lombok, hire a car or rent a scooter to access the beach easily. Otherwise, organising a driver in Lombok is a great alternative. If you’re not visiting Mawi for the surf, relax on the shore and watch the surfers glide along as they take on the incredible waves. Enjoy the views across the ocean and watch the sunset from Mawi, perfect for a relaxing and quiet beach day.
Gerupuk Bay is considered to be one of Lombok's surfing hotspots. No matter what skill level you are at, the waves are consistent throughout the year. The bay offers a variety of spots to surf at, perfect for beginner to advanced levels. Gerupuk Bay is a beautiful place to spend the day learning to surf. After some time in the water, visit the incredible vantage point from the bay to access views across the coastline.
Providing an incredible glimpse into the local culture, Gerupuk is a fisherman's village set seven kilometres from Kuta. Gerupuk brings an insight into the local Sasak culture and how they live off the land through fishing. Surrounding the town are hotels and cafes, as well as homestays. The area can be located by car or motorbike from Kuta. The locals have a relaxed nature, and the town provides necessities for travellers to utilise.
It is no secret that surfers from across the globe travel to Lombok to experience the island's world-class waves. Are Guling is a reef break to the west of Kuta, Lombok. What makes Are Guling special is that it is not a very crowded spot. Nearby there are a couple of bungalows to stay in as well as dining options (like local cafes), each with views over the water. Are Guling beach is lined with thick foliage, making it is a beautiful place to relax at or take photos on. It is one of the more popular surf breaks in the south of Lombok and can be accessed from land or by boat. Kuta is just a 20-minute drive to the beach, however, the journey to Are Guling can be accident-prone; therefore travel with a partner to take extra precaution. Throughout the year, the waves are mostly consistent; however the wet season would have to be the recommended time to go.
Tanjung sits on the northwest coast of Lombok and means "cape" in Indonesian. This destination is quickly starting to thrive as a tourist hub, with five resorts in the area and many new villas opening too. When it comes to dining, the resorts provide a mix of both Indonesian and international cuisines to enjoy. Visit the temples nearby to learn about local culture, or explore the town's traditional produce market. Tanjung is about one and a half hours to Mataram City.
During your holiday, make the most of Sire Beach or Lokok Piko Beach for a relaxing day by the water, or explore the many waterfalls across North Lombok like Sendang Gile or Tiu Kelep. The region also is a great place to stop for those wanting to visit the Gili Islands while being close by to the port.
Bukit Selong Rice Fields Viewpoint is located about one hour from Senaru and provides an incredible view across the rice fields and farmland in Lombok. Set in the island's northeast, the drive is about two hours and 40 minutes to Mataram or two and a half hours to Kuta. While there are not many other attractions nearby, if you have some extra time on your holiday, the views are worth the trip. To access the viewing platform, a short ten-minute walk is required up a small hill and leading you onto a flat viewing platform in the shape of a star. Don't forget to pack your camera, some water and wear comfortable clothing, so that you can make the most of the adventure. Visit at sunrise or sunset to watch the colours from the sky reflect across the landscape and avoid the heat. The view showcases the fascinating fields below meeting together like a patchwork quilt, along with Sembalun town and Mount Rinjani in the distance. To extend your adventure, why not stay for a night or two in Sembalun? Basing yourself in this region will allow you to explore other attractions nearby like Sendang Gile and Tiu Kepel waterfalls, all about an hour away. Plan your journey to Bukit Selong Rice Fields Viewpoint on your own, or join in on one of Lombok's many tours and adventures taking you across the island.
Sade Traditional Weaving Village sits in the centre of Lombok and about 30 kilometres from Mataram. Home to Lombok’s indigenous locals, the Sasak people, traditional homes still stand made of wood and bamboo. This style is one of the key distinguishable features of Sade Village. Sade village is only small, and as you explore the narrow pathways between homes, it will take about 30 minutes in total. It is most famous for its weaving and handicrafts, and across the streets, most homes sell souvenirs for you to bring home.
Throughout the village, the quaint little huts stand, with many people weaving outside on display. From a young age, women in Sade must learn how to weave, as it is part of the cultural identity to preserve the tradition and allow it to continue. The weaving work is also what attracts tourists, and you will be able to purchase woven goods directly from locals on your visit to Sade. The pieces are incredibly detailed, and one woven piece can take up to two months to prepare.
During your stay in Lombok, explore Sade Village and learn about the local’s life. See how locals weave intricate and colourful pieces over months and have the opportunity to purchase the woven pieces and bring one home to keep.
Sukarara Village is home to many intricate and beautifully woven cloths, which forms a vital part of Lombok’s identity. Just a 30-minute car ride from Mataram will take you to the village, located in Central Lombok. On arrival into the town, locals will welcome you warmly, dressed in traditional Sasak clothing. The town specialises in Songket which is an intricately patterned woven fabric created by adding gold or silver thread through it. This thread stands out against the other colours, creating a shimmering effect. The motifs of the Songket are diverse; some will showcase a flower motif or chicken motif, each with a unique meaning. Woven items are created using cotton fabric, silver thread, nylon and silk. The dyes are made from natural materials like betel vine lead, bark, turmeric or tamarind. Weaving is by hand, and most locals spend their days creating. Anything from dresses, table covers, blankets, scarfs and cloth can be created. You will also have the opportunity to try weaving for yourself and learn about the complexities and processes. Most of the woven fabrics are made from home, with many gift stores selling them too.
Weaving has now formed a crucial part of Sukarara village’s tourism, as many visitors flock to see locals weaving and purchase their creations. Spend some time exploring Sukarara Village and its stunning woven threads.
On the rocks nearby to Senggigi Beach, you will find Batu Bolong Temple standing tall, residing 12 kilometres from Mataram city. Sitting above the black rock of Senggigi Beach, the temple brings incredible beauty overlooking the sea. This sacred site for Hindu’s is a building of worship. From here, you can hear waves crashing, and enjoy a beautiful sea breeze flowing through. The rock under the temples has carved a natural hole, which is where the name Batu Bolong comes from (rock with a hole). This temple is one of Indonesia’s most scenic Hindu temples, while it is modest in size, the incredible views make it worthwhile to visit. If you begin your journey at Senggigi Beach, follow the sea-ledge path which will lead you onto the temple. Dress modestly with your legs covered, and you will need to wear a sash too.
On arrival, you will be greeted by two main temples. The first sits under a leafy tree, while the second sits on a low lying rock that sometimes can verge closely on to the waves. In total, fourteen pagodas stand tall over the rocks. On a clear day, you will be able to see Mount Agung in the distance, and if you stay until the late afternoon, watch the colours fill the sky at sunset. In the area close by there are many accommodation options as well as facilities, making it easy to visit Batu Bolong Temple. During your visit witness panoramic views across Senggigi Beach and learn about Batu Bolong Temple, as a stunning place of worship.
There are two main Sasak Villages in Lombok, which are home to the local indigenous people. One is Rembitan, and the other is Sade. The Sasak people make up about 85% of Lombok's population, representing the majority of the island's people. The Sasak tribe is the biggest in Lombok. Village life is based around weaving and farming, as Lombok's fertile soil creates the perfect landscape for crops to thrive.
Sade Village is the more popular village to explore and provides insight into local life with traditional, original family homes still standing and in use. This village is well known for its hand weaving, and a walk through town will give you an insight into local customs and culture. Rembitan Village is a quieter and less touristy option. The culture can be explored through earthy pottery which you can see in Banyumulek, Penujak and Masbagik while weaving villages include Sade, Sengkol and Pringgasela. Other forms of art created by locals include bamboo baskets, wooden statues and carvings. The Lumbung Padi, identified by thatched roofs, which stretch to the ground, defines Sasak architecture. The low doorframe is also a distinct feature. The structure was built so that entrants had to bow in respect to those in the house. This design has now been adopted by tourists to create the iconic bungalow-style home. Lombok's Sasak Villages are a fascinating insight into the traditional Indonesian culture for you to explore.
Lingsar Temple brings a symbolic harmony between Hindu and Islam religions in Bali and Lombok. Residing 10 kilometres east of Mataram city, it is a short 20-minute journey by car. Set amongst luscious green rice fields, the temple was built in 1714, it has been renovated with a stunning garden and lotus pools surrounding it.
The temple features three buildings - gaduh, kemalig and perisaman. Different junctions through the temple have been built to honour different gods. The junction in the east is to honour the god in Rinjani Mountain, the west to worship god in Agung along with two united that symbolise both Rinjani and Agung Mountain. In the Wektu Telu area, you will find the famous pool of water home to holy eels. It is considered good luck if you see them, and they can be lured out of the water with hard-boiled eggs, which are available to purchase from stalls outside the temple. Continue on from here and there are nine fountains to purify and heal illness. This is considered to be one of the holiest temples in Lombok and it was built under the reign of King Anak Agung Ngurah.
As Lingsar Temple is a sacred space you will need to wear a sarong and a sash to enter the shrines. If you forget one, there are vendors outside where you can rent one-off. Lingsar Temple's dual heritage is a key part of Lombok’s identity and a symbol of unity between the island’s faiths.