Just a short boat ride from Bali you discover a quieter side of life, unless of course you happen to be visiting the Gili Islands. Young travellers come to the three gills for lazy days by the beach and long evenings that stretch into the night. Yet with its beautiful white beaches that stretch for kilometres along the coastline and enchanting countryside the mainland holds its charms.
Lombok has never attracted tourists in the same numbers as Bali, but that’s not a bad thing. In the South of the island tourism is focused on the laid back town of Kuta while the coastline of Sengigi to the North West is packed with 5 star resorts. Most travellers never reach the mainland though. Instead they take a short break on one of the three Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno or Gili Air).
Gili Trawangan is the most popular of the three Gilis. It is the party island. You’ll find hotels here for every budget and plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars where you can spend a lazy day. Gili Air is a bit more relaxed, with fewer hotels and a relaxed friendly atmosphere. Gili Meno meanwhile is the quietest and the smallest of the gillis.
Active travellers will enjoy a visit to Lombok. Rinjani Volcano, which looms over the island, is a popular volcano for treks. It’s a real adventure. From the top of the volcano you have panoramic views over the ocean as far as Bali. You can do more more manageable day trips to some of the waterfalls and some of the dozens of small islands that surround Lombok.
Transport and Infrastructure
The Indonesian Government has invested a lot of money on infrastructure in the last decade. The island has a new international airport with plenty of domestic and international routes. The main roads that loops around the island are also new, making Lombok very easy to navigate if you have arranged a car rental or a scooter rental.
Public transport around Lombok is limited. There are private companies that run bus services around Lombok, but it’s easier using private transport. Modern apps like Gojek, Grabcar and Uber are the most convenient way to get between the cities if you don’t want to arrange a vehicle rental.
Lombok: Local and City Guides
To help you arrange your trip around Lombok we collected a selection of our most useful resources for exploring the island. You can find a variety of city guides, hotel recommendations and itineraries in the links below. We hope you find them useful for arranging your holiday.