Lombok welcomes surfers, families and travellers from across the globe to explore its untouched, blissful backdrop. With a playground of towns to discover, spend some time learning about the local Sasak culture, or unwind at one of the many beaches.
When planning your holiday, Lombok has a variety of towns to base yourself in. Mataram sits in West Lombok, which is the capital of the island, with less scenery and more of a city feel. Kuta is in the south and welcomes surfers to experience its consistent swell, with a quieter pace and more laidback feel. In the northwest, Senggigi is somewhat of a tourist hub to access nearby attractions; it is the gateway to the Gili Islands. Beyond towns, each region in Lombok from the east to the west brings a diverse range of natural landscapes and incredible outdoor scenery to encounter.
Step into a tropical paradise on the Gili Islands, each surrounded by turquoise water, white sand, and colourful coral reefs. The Gili Islands sit in the northwest coast of Lombok, made up of three small islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. The islands welcome all types of travellers, from backpackers, couples and families.
To reach the Gili Islands, transfers from Lombok and Bali are readily available by boat. Fast boats run from Lombok, taking off from the port in Senggigi. There are no cars or motorised vehicles on the islands to preserve the quiet life. You will see horse carts, bicycles and people wandering the streets as the main transport modes to get around.
Each of the Gili Islands brings its very own charm and atmosphere, depending on what you're looking for. Moving between the islands is easy, and you can explore all three in one holiday. Local boats run between the islands and do not require pre-booking.
Gili Trawangan is the largest and most popular island for visitors, bringing relaxing island life combined with late-night dining and party options. Restaurants along the beachfront provide a choice of street-food to high-end international cuisine, and the southern part of the island is filled with bars and clubs to party at until the early hours of the morning. Previously, Gili T had built a reputation for being a backpacker’s haven, but it now provides a choice of luxury and upmarket options too. Scuba diving is a popular activity on the island, with many completing their professional diving course (PADI) here. In the high season, Gili T can get very busy, so be sure to book your accommodation in advance.
Gili Air is smaller than Gili Trawangan and provides a more balanced mix of lively entertainment and tranquil island life. Sitting closest to Lombok, here you can expect a more relaxing escape yet still with some live music, dining and nightlife options. With a choice of accommodation, it caters to all budgets, and it offers a mix of restaurants as well as beachfront dining.
Finally, Gili Meno is the smallest island and is a quiet escape, much more untouched than the other islands, with no nightlife to explore. Gili Meno is a nice break away from life's chaos and it is a peaceful retreat, perfect for honeymooners or those looking for seclusion. The accommodation also varies between hotels, bungalows and some luxury options. Dining is a more casual affair with beachside cafes, and here you can enjoy diving and snorkelling or visit the Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary.
Accommodation options on the islands are rapidly increasing, providing a choice of stays suitable to all budgets types, from luxurious villas to hostels. Dining is also varied, and you will be able to find nearly every kind of cuisine. Choose from traditional Indonesian food to Western cuisine like pizza, sushi and more. Beyond backpackers, the Gili Islands are also perfect for family holidays with hotels and villas catering accordingly. Babysitting is easily accessible as well as many outdoor activities to enjoy as a family, like yoga classes, day spa's, stand up paddleboarding and more.
Kuta brings the perfect mix of beachside living, restaurants and bars to explore. Just 20 minutes south from Lombok Airport, it is a popular destination for travellers and surfers to explore. The scenery across the coastline showcases views of the gorgeous Indian Ocean, made up of white sand and turquoise water.
Tourism has picked up significantly in the island's south due to the surf culture bringing travellers to experience the region's incredible waves. However aside from the choice of dining and resorts catering to tourism, it still remains as a beautiful, sleepy, seaside town. With ample accommodation options catering to all types of budgets, the area adapts well to any type of holiday. Along the coastline, explore the extraordinary underwater life, with many different diving spots to visit; or for an adventure on land, navigate the area by horseback.
Kuta is a beautiful place to base yourself when holidaying in Lombok, with gorgeous scenery and many natural attractions nearby.
Senggigi sits in the west of Lombok and is a hub for tourism and beachside living. Restaurants and bars are scattered throughout the town, stretching across an expansive area, and there is no clear definition around where Senggigi starts and ends. If you opt to stay in the heart of Senggigi, be mindful that it isn't a resort town, yet still provides enough entertainment and restaurants to keep travellers occupied.
Senggigi is often used as a base to explore surrounding areas, acting as a gateway to the Gili Islands with many travellers passing through. From beachfront resorts to quaint villas, accommodation options in the area are vast, and the distinction between town varies greatly. Mangsit sits north of Senggigi and provides a strip of hotels overlooking the beach, while Batu Bolong lies south of Senggigi and brings a mix of restaurants, cafes, bars and hotels to enjoy.
Central and Eastern Lombok are quiet areas with limited tourism but offer some incredible natural attractions to explore. The region provides small warungs and local eateries, with far less English spoken by locals.
Access the area by taxi or rent a car or motorbike to move as you wish. The small villages and quiet valleys entice travellers to explore the beautiful landscape; however, with limited accommodation and dining options, it is best to visit for a day trip. Drive from Kuta in the south, or stay a night or two in Tetebatu to unwind and enjoy the lush greenery. Visit the town's iconic viewing platform over the ricefields to witness scenic rice terraces and fields spanning out as far as the eye can see, with Tetebatu providing an incredible insight on the island's handicraft industry too. From the eastern port, you will be able to access from Labuhan Lombok, which is the port to reach Gili Kondo, Gili Kapal, Gili Bidara and Gili Lampu.
Gili Air is considered to be the perfect balance between Gili Trawangan's nightlife and Gili Meno's slow-paced, relaxed lifestyle. The island sits closest to Lombok, and is fringed with stunning white sandy beaches and crystal clear water; perfect for snorkelling in. The name 'Gili Air' means small water island in Sasak. This is due to it being the only one of the three Gili Island's to have a natural source of fresh water.
The small, five kilometre island can be explored on foot or by bike within two hours. Along the coastline, you will see bungalows and restaurants all making the most of the ocean views. Accommodation options bring a variety of choices, from upscale luxury resorts to cosy guesthouses. Close by to the port of Gili Air is where there is a choice of dining and nightlife options and further north the island becomes more remote and isolated. Indulge in the Gili Air’s mix of beach bars and cafes, as well as some small shops throughout, perfect for solo travellers, groups and families. Gili Air's idyllic beaches are also a top pick for snorkellers and divers, to observe colourful marine life up close.
Boats connect daily between the other Gili Islands, departing in the morning and afternoon for you to jump on. Otherwise, group travellers can charter a boat and explore the area at a leisurely pace.
Whether you choose to relax and unwind, or make the most of entertainment and nightlife on the island, Gili Air brings a variety of activities for all types of travellers.
Gili Meno is the quietest of the three Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok. If you are looking for true island life, made up of lazy afternoons by the beach basking in the sun, along with a quieter feel, then Gili Meno will be for you. There are many accommodation options on the island, including luxury villas and cheap guesthouses. In the northwest of Gili Meno sits a beautiful saltwater lake, in the dry season the water evaporates, and the salt is then used for salt production.
When arriving by boat, Gili Meno's crystal clear water sparkling below you is a beautiful welcome onto the island. The island stretches out two kilometres long and one kilometre wide, it is the least developed of the islands. A total walk around the island takes under two hours. As the sun fades away, watch the stars above begin to shine through in this untouched tropical paradise.
Due to the island's tranquil pace, it brings just a small list of things to do. Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular past times for travellers, and the entire coastline provides a choice of beautiful sea life to explore. For scuba diving, Meno Wall is one of the top diving spots, in the northwest coast.
Back on land, discovering the island by bike is a scenic way to get to know your surroundings. Weather temperatures in the Gili’s can heat up, so be sure always to pack water.
Along the beach, visit the Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary, just a small stretch off the beach and home to many pools filled with baby turtles. The sanctuary's focus is on helping them survive before their release into the ocean, with 500 baby turtles hatching each year.
Gili Meno is a quiet, scenic escape perfect for unwinding and savouring island life.
Gili Trawangan, affectionately known by travellers as Gili T, is the largest and most famous of the three islands. Just a short thirty-minute boat ride from Lombok, boats depart directly from the northwest coast.
Gili T brings together the best of pristine, white sandy beaches and vivid nightlife. The island is home to bustling bars, restaurants, guesthouses and diving schools and you will find a mix of both backpackers and travellers searching for a party paradise. Due to the resort-style accommodation, it also caters well for families, with bungalows, villas and hotels on offer. Across the Gili Islands, motorised transport is not allowed, so rent a bicycle or take a horse cart to move across the land.
Just a two-hour wander on foot will take you around the entire island. There are two main beaches; North Beach, perfect for snorkelling and underwater life and Goodheart, being the main stretch. Many travellers visit Gili T specifically to learn how to dive, with a choice of dive centres along the shoreline and 18 dive sites surrounding the Gili Islands. Throughout the islands, there are 63 biorock structure projects set up, which help to preserve the coastline and regenerate reef and marine life
Gili T is an excellent base for exploring between the islands. By day, enjoy snorkelling, diving and stunning beaches and by night get involved in the nightlife scene with bar hopping and lounge bars coming to life. Plan your trip to Gili Trawangan to make the most of the island’s beach life, nightlife and activities.
Sitting in the west of Lombok is the capital, Mataram. The city itself is somewhat of an aggregation of villages, made up of Ampenan, Mataram and Cakranegara. Just like many cities, Mataram is filled with layers and intricacies. Visit Jalan Udayana and Jalan Pejanggik, which are two streets home to a mix of food stalls and warungs (cafes) to dine at. As night falls and the streetlights glow, the food stalls continue to stay open. Mataram Mall is a popular destination for travellers and locals, with a mix of shops, dining options and even a swimming pool; or take a walk through town and explore the Barat Museum. The main square is lined with gorgeous buildings, and often hosts events and performances to bring the town together. When it comes to spending a night or two in town, Cakranegara is one of the preferred areas to stay in with some of the best accommodation and dining options.
North Lombok is home to Indonesia’s second-highest volcano, Mount Rinjani. The fertile, volcanic soil makes the region lush and filled with wildlife, and agriculture is an integral part with crops like rice, cotton, cacao, corn, and tobacco growing. Unlike other areas of the island, North Lombok towns are not centred around tourists therefore some will have limited facilities available. Mount Rinjani National Park covers most of the region, making it is easy to explore the many waterfalls and walking tracks throughout.
When planning your trip to North Lombok, Senaru has some restaurants and small hotels to stay in for a night or two. However, consider residing in West Lombok and taking a day trip to the region for more accommodation options and a more comfortable stay. Public buses and bemo can be accessed to reach North Lombok; otherwise, there are many hire car and motorbike options to utilise.
South Lombok is a popular area for travellers to explore; being well known due to the stunning Kuta Beach. The landscape begins to change in the south, with drier terrain, less population and limited sealed roads; however, the sparkling ocean and incredible surf bring travellers to this hotspot all year round. The two main towns in the region are Kuta and Sekotong, each backing on to beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean. The surf culture plays a vital role in the region's tourism, thanks to the world-class waves on offer. The coastline's beautiful coral reef also brings snorkelers and divers to explore the vast underwater life.
South Lombok is home to a mix of fishing villages, weaving production and tourism operations for travellers to explore. There are many accommodation options surrounding Kuta, along with restaurants and dining options to explore. To visit the local villages along the coastline hire a motorbike or car to access the quiet, more remote beaches.
West Lombok is considered to be one of the principal tourism areas, filled with hotels, restaurants, tourism companies and scooter/car rental stores operating within the region.
The area spans across the west coast from Senggigi in the north, continuing south to Lembar Port. West Lombok is a popular departure point for those taking part in tours to Mount Rinjani. Senggigi welcomes those arriving by boat to the island and is the main access point on to the Gili Islands. The region is built-up in contrast to the rest of the island and provides a variety of upmarket resorts and villas. Meanwhile, historic villages still stand lined with beaches and incredible views of the Gili Islands.
West Lombok is a hub of activity on this quiet island and a great place to stay the night at to explore the surrounding Gili Islands, the natural landscape surrounding Mount Rinjani or gorgeous beachfront resorts.