While Lombok is known for its famous Gili Islands in the west, in the east you will find a cluster of beautiful, lesser-known tropical islands. Part of that is Bidara Island (or Gili Bidara, Gili meaning ‘island’ in Sasak), which is one of the quieter and untouched havens surrounding Lombok. Nearby you will find Gili Kondo, Gili Kapal and Gili Lampu, which are all set on the Alas Strait. Bidara Island is the only one that is currently inhabited, home to families who have lived on the land for years. Across the island, you will also find sweet potato fields owned by the locals, which are a vital part of the island’s industry. While the island is only small, it is filled with stunning beaches to explore. The underwater life is worth seeing up close and a popular place for divers and snorkellers, with colourful fish and coral throughout. The view from the beach overlooks onto Mount Rinjani, and its outline sits boldly in the distance tracing out a beautiful sight for spectators.
To reach Gili Bidara, access the port from Sambelia in Lombok and then take a boat directly to the island. Camping on the land is the best option with limited accommodation options. You will find a pavilion for shelter, which you can set your tent in, and be sure to bring your own food and water.
For a tropical escape, and an alternative to the busy Gili Islands, visit Bidara Island to relax and reconnect with nature.