Lombok & Gili Islands Holidays

Blessed with spectacular sandy beaches, lush and dramatic landscapes and a fascinating traditional culture, Lombok and the tiny Gili Islands are wonderfully serene and memorably beautiful.

Walk in solitude on rose-pink sand beside a turquoise sea, gaze in awe at a towering volcanic cone cloaked in greenery or catch a wave in a surfing hotspot. If you’re looking for wide open spaces, relatively untouched beaches and the chance to enjoy outdoor activities, Lombok has it all. More laidback than its neighbour Bali – with which it makes a perfect two-centre combination – it’s ideal for easygoing, though not necessarily lazy, days. You could set your sights on conquering Mount Rinjani with its shimmering crater lake and hot springs or take the softer option of trekking through rice terraces to temples and tiny villages of mud-and-bamboo houses. Water babies could sign up for surf school, plunge below the waves to some impressive dive sites or just float in the limpid waters of a barely visited cove.

The pace dials down several more notches on the three Gili Islands, where scuba diving, boat trips and beach barbecues are about as active as it gets. There aren’t any cars to clutter up the quiet palm-lined tracks: getting around means renting a bicycle, strolling or grabbing a ride in a traditional pony-drawn cart. In this charmingly bohemian idyll, life is about unhurried toes-in-the-sand meals with the people you love, snorkelling with sea turtles and finding the perfect seaside spot to watch the sunset.

If you’re ready to fall in love with Lombok and the Gili Islands, call us and we’ll craft a personalised itinerary for your dream trip.

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Lombok & Gili Islands Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in Lombok & Gili Islands

Hotel Tugu Lombok

Super service and magical sunsets on Lombok’s sugar-white sands.

Mahamaya

Cast away on pint-sized Gili Meno, Mahamaya is a boutique bolthole of stylish pools and laid-back...

Pondok Santi Estate

This secluded beachfront escape promises refined relaxation on Gili Trawangan’s southern tip.

Sudamala Resort Senggigi, Lombok

Stylish accommodation and excellent hospitality comes as standard at this tranquil beachfront hot...

The Oberoi Beach Resort, Lombok

West coast elegance with Oberoi’s indulgent seclusion and intuitive hospitality.

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Lombok Beach Hopping

Head out on a laid-back day to play castaway on Lombok’s most unique beaches: a pink-sand beach and a secret island that only appears at low tide. Your day will begin with a visit to Indonesia’s second largest fish market. At Tanjung Luar – where most of the traders are women – you’ll buy fresh fish ready for your barbecue lunch. We’ll then hop on a boat to Sand Island: a tiny white-sand speck which, at hide tide, is completely submerged apart from its Indonesian marker flag. The next boat stop will be Maringkek, where you can step ashore and wander around the fishing village, before we continue to Pink Beach, which gets its name from the pink-hued sand. The nearby islands of Pantai Semangkuk and Gili Petelu offer the chance for snorkelling, while later in the afternoon, there’s time to relax on peaceful white sands at Pantai Sebui before your beach barbecue lunch and return boat trip.

• Departing daily from Senggigi
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Lombok Rice Terrace Trek

There’s no better way to get back to nature on Lombok than by donning your trainers and heading for the rice terraces. You’ll begin by getting a taste of local life with a visit to a traditional market in Narmada, before driving on to Sedau for the start of your two-hour soft trek through the beautiful rice terraces. This is a leisurely trek and along the way your guide will tell you about the different tropical plants that you spot. At the end of the hike, a rest and lunch-with-a-view awaits in Suranadi. You’ll also visit Gunung Sari to explore the temple of Pura Agung Gunung Sari, which makes an impression with its three pagoda-like places of worship. Heading north, we’ll cross the Pusuk Pass where you’ll see cheeky monkeys wandering around and causing mischief. The last stop is Malimbu to take in some of Lombok's best sandy beaches.

• Departing daily from Senggigi, Lombok
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Gili Islands in a Day

If you’re short on time but can’t bear to miss out on Indonesia’s most idyllic tiny islands, this stunning day trip will give you a taster of what Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan are all about. Your first glimpse of these car-free islands, ringed with white sands and dotted with coconut palms, will be from the Malimbu Hill viewpoint on Lombok. You’ll then cross the sea by outrigger boat (be prepared to embrace your adventurous side and get a little wet!) to Gili Air. Here, you’ll have the choice to spend the day on a beautiful beach to swim, snorkel and sunbathe. Or, you can jump back on the outrigger to visit the two other Gilis: Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno. Gili Trawangan – nicknamed ‘Gili T’ – is the most popular of the three islands, but it’s still super low-key, with most of the activity centred around diving. Rustic Gili Meno is the most secluded island, perfect for lazing on coral sands and snorkelling with turtles. As each island has its own character and landscape, this is the perfect island-hopping day.

• Departing daily from Senggigi
• Operates year round
• Private experience

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Get to know Lombok & Gili Islands and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.

TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT +7 hours

CURRENCY

Indonesian Rupiah

FLYING TIME TO DESTINATION

16¼ hours (not including stopover time)

RELIGION

Muslim (minority Christianity and Hinduism)

LANGUAGE

Indonesian

Where are Lombok and the Gili Islands?
Lombok is part of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Island chain that stretches eastwards beyond Java for around 700 miles, as is its well-connected western neighbour Bali – reachable by fast boat in 1½ to 3 hours, depending on the exact departure and arrival point, or in 20 minutes by plane if you prefer. The car-free Gili Islands lie off the west coast in the Lombok Strait, which marks the boundary between two distinct habitat regions: the Indomalayan and Australasian realms. Lying just 250 miles south of the Equator, it has a tropical climate and is affected by the north-west monsoon; see our best time to visit guide for a monthly breakdown of the weather in Lombok and the Gili Islands.

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Lombok
Lying to the east of Bali, Lombok is the quieter and less developed alternative to its more famous neighbour. There are two main beach resorts on its mainland – laidback Senggigi and up-and-coming Kuta. The former lies on a sweeping bay between two headlands on the west coast, with a long beach lined with resorts, restaurants and bars. On the south coast, Kuta has grown from a small fishing village into an appealing little tourist town with plenty of glorious beaches nearby. Trekkers are enticed to the island by the active volcano of Mount Rinjani where, from the summit on a clear morning, a blue-green crater lake can be seen in all its glory, and Lombok’s lush, mountainous interior is ideal for walking and cycling.

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The Gilis
Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno make up the fabled ‘Gilis’. Popular for years on the backpacker circuit, these rustic, bohemian islands lie offshore from mainland Lombok. Gili Trawangan – affectionately known as ‘Gili T’ – is the liveliest and most popular of the three islands but it’s still very chilled out. Diving is a big thing here, and the main street is populated with dive schools in between restaurants serving up freshly grilled seafood. Gili Meno is the smallest, prettiest and least developed of the Gilis. It’s perfect for spending your days cast away, lounging on the coral sands, snorkelling offshore amongst hawksbill and green sea turtles, and enjoying ice-cold beers as the sun goes down.

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Multi centres
With Bali and Lombok within such easy reach of each other, you can tailor-make a holiday that brings you the best of both, whatever your tastes. Twin a few days in Bali’s upmarket Seminyak, for instance – with its sleek bars, boutiques and beach clubs – with the sleepier waterside delights of Senggigi on Lombok or the even more relaxed Gilis. Or blend culture and beach with a stay inland in Bali’s arty Ubud, ringed by rice-terraced hills and home to galleries, temples and spas, before hopping across to a castaway island in the Gilis for idyllic days of snorkelling, swimming and lazing on powder-soft sand.

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Beaches
You’re never too far from a beautiful, and relatively quiet, stretch of sand on Lombok, especially along the west and south coasts. To the north of Senggigi, the island’s first resort area, the string of almost deserted beaches includes calm and sheltered Sire, with Mount Rinjani as an impressive backdrop. Along the south coast, there are places where you can swim, surf or both. At Selong Belanak, there are boards and sunbeds to rent and rustic food stalls, while Kuta is a magnet for those looking to catch the perfect wave. For the most picturesque of dips, the appropriately named Pink Beach in the far south-east has flamingo-tinted sand, crystal-clear water and superb snorkelling.

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Food & drink
Surrounded as it is by fertile waters, it’s no surprise that seafood is a key feature of Lombok cuisine – the fascinating fish market at Tanjung Luar is one of Indonesia’s largest. Other ingredients come from the lush interior: rice, vegetables and flavourings such as turmeric, coriander and chilli among them. A typical dish said to have been a favourite of the local nobility is Ayam Taliwang, spicy-sweet grilled chicken that is a staple offering at beach shacks and street stalls around the island. Resort areas such as Senggigi and Kuta have the widest range of places to eat, from authentic Italian cafés by the beach to Indonesian-style retreats in the hills overlooking the sea.

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