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HIGHLIGHTS OF LOMBOK

 

Flatter and drier than neighbouring Bali and in an almost perfectly spherical shape, Lombok is a hot tropical island with a laid back atmosphere. Dotted along the coast are fishing villages and deserted palm fringed beaches whilst the interior is covered with lush paddy fields rising up to the base of Mount Rinjani which punctures the island to an altitude of 3726m. Lombok also has a number of coral fringed islands blessed with azure blue seas, white sand beaches and varying levels of tourism infrastructure.

 

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Sengiggi

The laid back town of Senggigi is spread over a series of bays on Lombok's west coast near the capital Mataram, and is a pleasant place to spend a few days relaxing on the beach and exploring the local restaurants and bars. With it's westerly aspect facing Bali, Senggigi is a spectacular place to watch sunset with Mount Agung silhouetted on the horizon. Although this is the island's most developed area it is much less crowded than most of Bali's coastal resorts and is a great base for exploring the rest of the island.

 

Senggigi has the widest range of accommodation anywhere in Lombok, from small guesthouses to boutique hideaways and 5 star hotels. The main beach has wide golden sands lapped by warm azure blue seas. Central Senggigi is an interesting place to explore in the evenings with a wide range of restaurants, and several laid back bars playing live music. Just north of the main beach are the excellent value small hotels, Qunci Villas and Puri Mas, which are good options for families and young couples without being too isolated.

 

Gili Isles

The three small islands off the North-West Coast that make up the Gil Isles are probably the most famous attraction in Lombok. For decades these islands have been on the backpacker trail, with their warm turquoise sea and abundant coral, teeming with sharks, rays and turtles. In recent years the appeal has spread and there is now a range of more stylish accommodation. Gili Trawangan is the largest of the islands (although you can still walk around the whole island in 2 hours) and has the best range of accommodation and facilities. A social island but with no motorised vehicles there is a definite laid back feel. It is a great option for young couples and families looking for a bit of life and Ko Ko Mo is a good modern hotel on the quiet end of the island.

 

Sira Beach

Sira beach, which looks out to the Gili Isles, is a wonderful alternative for those looking for great style and comfort on a quiet and idyllic private beach. A mere 30 minutes north of Sengiggi and with an 18 hole golf course behind the beach, Hotel Tugu Lombok and The Oberoi - Lombok are the ideal places to relax and unwind in luxury.

 

Kuta & The South Coast 

For the time being at least, the laid back surfing resort of Kuta is the polar opposite of its namesake on Bali. This stretch of southern coastline has a seemingly endless number of undisturbed sandy coves and some of the best surfing spots on the island. As it is destined for major development in the not too distant future now is the time to explore this region; Novotel Lombok is the best hotel in the area. For those looking for real isolation and a full range of activities Heaven on the Planet is a fantastic property on the South-Western Peninsula.

 

Mount Rinjani

At a height of 3726 meters the imposing volcano of Gunung Rinjani is the second highest mountain in Indonesia. Towering over the island of Lombok, and clearly visible from much of Bali, Rinjani has a particular spiritual significance to the local people and Balinese alike.

 

In 1997 a National Park covering 41,330 hectares around the volcano was set up to protect the natural beauty and diversity of this bio-geographical transition zone where the plant and animal species of South East Asia meet those of Australasia. The slopes of Rinjani are covered in lush forests and there are several waterfalls with spectacular settings that can be explored as part of a day trip from the Lombok's coastal resorts.

 

For those looking for a real challenge and a generous dose of adventure should consider the 2 day Rinjani trek. The trek is hard in places and should only be taken on by those in a fit condition, with two full days of strenuous hiking on steep gradients and basic sleeping conditions. One of the many highlights that the trek rewards you with is the unforgettable experience of camping on the rim of the crater overlooking a breathtaking mineral blue lake with a miniature volcano rising from its waters. This trek is featured in our "Adventures in Bali & Lombok" tour, and can be included as part of any tailor-made itinerary.