Lombok & Gili Islands
Take a step back in time, to where your stresses will melt away and your sense of adventure replaces it. Discover the wonders of Lombok and the Gili Islands, with white sandy beaches, magical coral reefs and a laid-back friendly island vibe.
Immerse yourself in the amazing scenery, rich culture and incredible diversity of Indonesia's tropical Lombok island. Get off the beaten track as you spend time in rural villages, take a variety of transportation, meet lots of locals and discover the fascinating Sasak culture. From chilling out in beachside Sanur and the tranquil hill retreat of Tetebatu, to savouring views of the highly revered Mt Rinjani and relaxing on the magical Gili Islands, once you travel to Indonesia, you won't ever want to leave!
A trip to Lombok promises an island paradise experience that combines overland adventures and rugged natural beauty, with a hint of exoticism through its well-preserved traditional arts and host of historical landmarks. These are complemented by modern accommodation and facilities to ensure you a pleasant stay. Honeymooners and backpackers love Lombok for its more passive island ambiance compared to Bali, and most who have visited admit finding Lombok how Bali must’ve been several decades earlier.
About 85 per cent of the 3.1 million population of Lombok are Sasak, similar to Balinese except that their religion is predominantly Muslim. For tourists the most notable implication of this is the likelihood of being woken at 4.30am by the imam’s call to prayer at a nearby mosque. The Sasak locals are incredibly welcoming and excited to share their culture with visitors, which is an enriching experience for someone who has never strayed beyond Bali’s Hindu-influenced culture.
Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, lay the idyllic Gili islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. This archipelago of three small coral isles are rapidly becoming one of the most popular destinations for visitors to Bali and Lombok.
Although each island has its own particular charm they all boast powdery white sand beaches, crystal clear waters and some of the best diving and snorkelling opportunities in the region; so no matter which island you choose, whether it be to party or just to relax (or a bit of both!), you’ll always be rewarded with the key elements that make the Gili Islands an unforgettable tropical paradise.
Getting to the Gili Islands is easy, with a range of Fast Boat services direct from Bali. If you’re already in Lombok, a couple of daily fast boat services from Senggigi to Gili are available. Private transfers (car + speedboat) can be arranged, otherwise you can opt for the slower (cheaper) and less reliable public boats that leave from Bangsal harbour in north Lombok.
Aside from the laid-back beach culture, the main draw of the island is scuba diving, with a number of professional dive centres offering courses and fun dives to all ages. Gili Trawangan accommodation choices start from budget guesthouses through to a large selection of mid-range beachfront hotels, going all the way up to resort-style hotels and luxury villas.
Why is it that the Gili Islands and Lombok are so popular? One word, diving! This is Bali’s number 1 area, with PADI diving centres lining the streets and where like-minded
travellers who have a passion for diving come to visit.
If you’ve always wanted to swim with turtles, the Gili Islands will provide some of the best opportunities to do just that. You are nearly guaranteed multiple sightings in one dive!
If you are not an avid diver, never fear. Great snorkelling can be found not too far from the beaches’ edge; however for colourful coral gardens, turtles and more, jump on a local’s boat to take you to the best snorkelling sites.
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