Lombok island

  • Located East of Bali , the island of Lombok plunges travellers into a whole new world, peppered with a few cities. Mataram, the capital, retains some traces of its rich Dutch colonial past and bourgeois mansions. A tour of the city is quickly done, however. If Lombok is far from the profusion of temples and cultures of Bali, the landscapes and tranquility of the place will not fail to seduce nature ...
    © Thomas Haupt / age fotostock
Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Expert destination Indonesia

Located East of Bali , the island of Lombok plunges travellers into a whole new world, peppered with a few cities. Mataram, the capital, retains some traces of its rich Dutch colonial past and bourgeois mansions. A tour of the city is quickly done, however. If Lombok is far from the profusion of temples and cultures of Bali, the landscapes and tranquility of the place will not fail to seduce nature lovers, with the Rinjani volcano, sacred for the inhabitants, which culminates at almost 1,200 ft and can be reached after two or three days of hiking. From North to South, the mountains and lush vegetation give way, little by little, to more arid land, passing through the rice fields and forests, some of which are inhabited by families of monkeys (Pusuk). On the south coasts can be found stretches of stunning paradisiacal beaches of white sand, barely touched by tourism. However, surfing enthusiasts will have a field day at Kuta or Gerupuk. For diving, it's better to go to the three Gili islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. The latter, the largest, allows for a different experience as no cars or motorcycles are allowed on the roads. Enjoy a 5 mi tour of the island in a "Cidomo", that is, a traditional cart, along the seafront!
Unlike Bali, the island is 90% Muslim. The Sasak, the island's inhabitants still sometimes live in traditional villages, such as Sade or Rambitan, which have very traditional architecture with elongated alang-alang roofing covering large sections of the walls of the houses. All the village people and inhabitants of the area get together in lively and colourful markets. Fishing-wise, you must go to Tanjung Luar, one of the biggest ports and fish markets in Lombok.

Lombok island: what to do?

Relax on the splendid southern beaches of Lombok, with undisturbed tranquility; go hiking; climb Mount Ringani between April and October, during the dry season; visit the magnificent waterfall of Sedand Gile; the two golf courses on the island; the three Gilis Islands: Air, Meno and Trawangan for their coral reefs; enjoy the surf?

Sasak architecture, traditional of Lombok; the different markets; the long, white sand beaches in the south facing turquoise blue water (Belong Belanak, for example); the temples attended by both Muslims and Hindus; the Mayura Palace, former residence of the kings of the island; the Narmada park containing the replica of the Rinjani volcano and its lake, the Hindu temple, Pura Meru, the largest on the island; cockfighting, illegal in Indonesia, but still practiced here... If you can, attend the festivities at Nyale in Kuta: Sasak ceremonies take place over a few days in February or March when thousands of worms leave the sea. Those who find a white worm will be protected all year in what they do. It is also the opportunity for a big festive meal on the beach.

  • Authenticity
  • The lush vegetation
  • Far from mass tourism
  • The local poverty
  • A culture that is not quite as present as in Bali

Reminders

All the Indonesian airline companies are on the European authorities black list. If the plane does not tempt you, there is a boat that makes the journey between Bali and Lombok. For example, the Gili Cat company offers a daily return journey (a crossing of between 2 hrs and 2 hrs 30 mins) between Bali and Padang Bai, Gili Trawangan and Teluk Kode. The lighter the boats are, the more they are knocked about by the ocean waves; bear this in mind before getting on board! The ferry, the least expensive means of transport, is taken by the locals (4 hr to 5 hr journey).However, a lot of clients choose to travel to Lombok by plane. Anticipate 20 minutes to travel directly between Bali and Mataram airport.
Once there, the roads are winding and the distances much longer than they seem.

To avoid

Keep your jewellery and conspicuous objects hidden in order to resist arousing the desire of a population which is particularly poor, and far short of the standard of living in Bali!

Lombok island: what to eat?

The catch of the day, barbecued!

Lombok island: what to buy?

Take home the handicraft that you pick up on your travels around the villages: pottery from Penujak, Banyumulek and Masbagik; basketry from Nyiur Baya; fabric from Sukara; sarongs from just about everywhere?

Lombok island Reviewedhotels
  • 9.15 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Oberoi Lombok
    Lombok Óle - Indonesia
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    A "Small Luxury Hotel of the World", the Oberoi Lombok ...

  • 8.65 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Tugu Lombok
    Lombok Óle - Indonesia
    Hotel Hotel 5 Etoile(s)

    The Tugu, which belongs to Indonesia's biggest art dealer, manages ...

  • 8.25 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Novotel Lombok
    Lombok Óle - Indonesia
    Hotel Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    On the seashore, Novotel Lombok enjoys an ideal location on Lombok ...

  • 8.1 /10
    Rated by Easyvoyage
    Pool Villa Club
    Lombok Óle - Indonesia
    Hotel Hotel 4 Etoile(s)

    The Pool Villa Club, a fine hotel offering luxury services, covers ...

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