Holidays on Lombok & the Gilis, Indonesia
The next large island east of Bali, Lombok (along with its neighbours, the much smaller Gilis) are beautiful and remarkably unspoilt, their natural landscape of picture perfect beaches and volcanic backdrop exactly what many people seek when they visit Indonesia.
Many of the islanders retain traditional ways of life, and the luxury hotels, although there are several present are unobtrusive. The daily pace here is slow, ideal for total relaxation and rediscovering your own natural tempo.Populated by several ethnic groups - notably the Sasak, whose population adheres to either Islam or ancient local animism -
Lombok's culture never developed the sophistication seen by its neighbour, Bali, which occupied Lombok for over a century. But perhaps it's a little unfair to compare this gentle island to the world-renowned culture of its dominant neighbour. Life here is less about showing off and more about getting by, with agriculture and fishing still playing a significant role despite a recent swell in tourism.
Lying immediately to the east of the famous Wallace line, Lombok is where Indonesia’s wildlife starts phasing from South-East Asian to distinctly Australian - cockatoos and lorikeets inhabit gorgeous Gunung Rinjani National Park, in the island’s centre. Around the coast, stunning sandy coves offer ideal tropical castaway conditions, and when a little action is required there are Sasak tribal villages to explore by bike, or treks up the rainforest clad slopes of volcanic Mount Rinjani.
A one-time backpacker haven with superb beaches and a truly chilled out way of life, the three tiny Gilis that lie off Lombok's north west tip (Trawangan, Meno & Air) offer beautiful diving, an array of shore-side bars, cafes, restaurants, and a subtle smattering of luxurious accommodation.
With their ban on motorised transport and idyllic natural setting, the Gilis are perfect for laid back beach honeymoons, expanding your scuba skills, surfing, yoga, horse-riding, or simply relaxing with your family for a few blissful days before heading off to explore the rest of Indonesia.
It's easy to see the appeal of these small tropical islands and over recent years their popularity has understandably increased, with Gili Trawangan particularly experiencing an influx of visitors. For a calmer and less busy Gili experience, we recommend visiting the south-west islands of Gili Nanggu, aptly known as ‘Paradise Island’, and Gili Kedis, where the snorkelling and diving is equally memorable and the beaches as pristine.
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Thinking of Lombok?
Our journeys are designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you.