Wondering whether Lombok is worth visiting? Well, let us answer your question with another question. Do you want to visit a destination many people call the Bali of 20, 30 or even 40 years ago?
Because if you’re a travelling surfer seeking a stress-free tropical holiday on one of the most beautiful islands in Indonesia, the ever-laidback Lombok deserves top place on your must-visit list.
It feels like a different country compared to Bali in many ways. And while not as popular as its famous neighbour, Lombok more than holds its own when it comes to surf spots, beaches, culture and natural attractions.
With that in mind, here’s why we believe Lombok is especially worth visiting if you’re a longboarder.
TIP: Check out these longboarding Lombok tips before you go!
Why is Lombok worth visiting for surfers?
Lombok, flanked by the shimmering Bali Sea and the Indian Ocean, is an enchanting island that presents a world of possibilities for surfers.
Home to a population of around 3.8 million, it spans an impressive 4,700 square kilometres with a wave-rich coastline, myriad pristine beaches and high-quality surf breaks.
Rich in culture and natural beauty, Lombok offers a diverse landscape of lush forests, towering volcanoes, ancient temples and turquoise waters containing vibrant coral reefs.
This irresistible mix of stunning scenery, warm local hospitality and waves for all levels of surfers makes Lombok the perfect setting for a surfing adventure.
The water is warm and the weather is gorgeous
The temperature in Lombok is warm all year round, making it the perfect destination for surfers seeking sunshine and tropical waters.
The average air temperature hovers around 29 to 32 degrees Celsius (even in the “cooler” months). The wet season (November to April… our favourite season) can be slightly more humid yet still very pleasant.
On the flip side, Lombok’s ocean temperature is consistently balmy ranging from 27 to 29 degrees Celsius throughout the year. This means that surfers can enjoy warm waters and, for those used to colder climates, a comfortable surfing experience without the need for wetsuits.
Paddling around, popping up and cruising without an extra layer of 3, 4 or 5 mm neoprene on your skin? Yes. Please. Thanks.
It’s not as crowded as other parts of Indonesia
Bali and the Mentawai Islands get a big wrap when it comes to waves, and deservedly so. But this also means that these spots are quite crowded nowadays.
Surfing as a pastime is also becoming more and more popular, so these crowds are no longer confined to just the peak season (June to September). This has made some of the lineups in Bali and the Mentawai Islands feel busy, congested and even a little unnerving.
Lombok, on the other hand, has a range of surf breaks to choose from with fewer people competing for waves. This means you can spend more time surfing and less time waiting around in lineups or fighting for your spot. Plus, the locals are super friendly and welcoming – always happy to see a new face in the water!
Of course, we’re not going to sit here and tell you Lombok is completely devoid of travelling surfers. There are definitely other surfers here who you’ll share the waves with. But we’ve been here long enough now to know where and when to surf to avoid the crowds, which means you needn’t worry about overpopulated lineups.
There are waves for all skill levels
Lombok has a variety of surf breaks to suit all levels and preferences, from mellow beach breaks to challenging reef breaks.
Beginners can head to Selong Belanak or Gerupuk Bay to learn about surf safety on the sand and ride gentle waves, while intermediate surfers can test their skills at Mawi or Senggigi Beach. Advanced riders will be stoked with the world-class barrels at Desert Point and Bangko-Bangko (known as Desert Point’s little sister).
No matter where you roam, you can find a surf spot that is perfect for your level and style. And with the ability to travel between breaks by motorbike or boat, you’ll never run out of options when conditions switch or feel like you’re constricted to riding just one spot.
Variety, after all, is the spice of surfing.
What’s more, having different spots for different skill levels is awesome if you’re travelling with a partner or friends who don’t all share the same skill level. You can still surf daily at spots suited to your abilities and meet up later to talk all about your sessions over sunset drinks!
The beaches are straight out of a postcard
You’re reclining on a perfectly white sandy beach looking out at crystal-clear water with waves peeling off in the distance. You’re sipping on a fresh coconut and local farmers are casually herding a group of water buffalo through the shallows in front of you as the sun sets behind the imposing Mount Rinjani.
It sounds like a dream, right? Well, this is just an ordinary day on Lombok’s beaches. The island offers some of the most spectacular beaches in Indonesia and you’ll be spoilt for choice with which one to visit next.
From the iconic Selong Belanak Beach to the secluded paradise of Mawun Beach, Lombok’s beaches are sure to leave you mesmerised and inspired.
Just make sure your phone has plenty of charge before you hit them up, because (and we say this in all seriousness) the sheer number of photogenic stretches of sand on this island is enough to fill your entire camera roll.
It’s steeped in history and culture
Lombok is a rich tapestry of history and culture woven through with centuries-old traditions and interspersed with riveting historical narratives.
Originating from the indigenous Sasak tribe (constituting over 85% of the population), the island’s culture is a unique blend of Islamic and Hindu influences.
Don’t miss the chance to learn more about Lombok through an enchanting Gendang Beleq performance where you’ll be spellbound by a symphony of oversized traditional drums, enchanting flutes and vibrant dancers.
History enthusiasts will also be captivated by the island’s illustrious past, which is marked by the reigns of the Balinese and Dutch. The Narmada Park and Mayura Water Palace are royal relics from these turbulent and unique times, echoing tales of the former Balinese kingdom.
It’s a lot to take in, but when you see it in person and witness the deep sense of community, tradition and pride everywhere you go, it’s all the more impressive.
Travelling to Lombok is easier than you think
Getting to Lombok is a breeze, with several convenient options for both overseas and domestic travellers.
If you’re coming from abroad, the most straightforward route is to fly into Lombok International Airport (LOP) in central Lombok. Direct flights to Lombok are available from a few major cities across Asia. You can also reach it from Australia, Europe and the Middle East, but you’ll need to make a stopover somewhere in Indonesia first (most likely Denpasar or Jakarta).
For instance, a flight from Singapore or Kuala Lumpur takes around 2.5 hours while a journey from Sydney or Melbourne falls in the 7 to 8 hour range. For those already in Indonesia, domestic flights run regularly from Jakarta (2 hours), Bali (25 minutes) and Surabaya (1.5 hours).
Alternately, fast boats operate daily between Bali and Lombok with the trip taking approximately 1.5 to 2 hours depending on sea conditions. For a more scenic (albeit longer but cheaper) journey, public ferries also ply this route and take around 4 to 5 hours.
Once on the island, taxis, private drivers and bike rentals are readily available for transportation to your final destination. Remember, Lombok is a relatively small island, so most popular tourist spots are within a short distance from the airport or the main town of Kuta.
It’s full of impressive natural wonders
Lombok is a treasure trove of natural wonders and unique wildlife.
The island is home to the second highest volcano in Indonesia, Mount Rinjani, boasting a stunning crater lake called Segara Anak at its summit. Trekking up this majestic mountain is a must for nature enthusiasts.
The island’s interior also features lush forests, picturesque waterfalls like Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep, and beautiful terraced rice fields. Lombok’s diverse wildlife includes many endemic species such as the Rinjani Scops Owl and the Sunda Flying Fox.
You can even do a one-day trip to nearby Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air) to snorkel with sea turtles or dive til your heart’s content.
Surrounded by so much natural beauty, you’ll never run out of things to explore and marvel at in Lombok. And with the island’s commitment to sustainable tourism, you can enjoy these wonders knowing that they’ll be preserved for generations to come.
Lombok is an unspoiled gem teeming with picturesque landscapes, rich history and surf-ready beaches.
This enchanting island offers an authentic slice of Indonesian culture, remarkable natural beauty and the promise of adventure at every turn. For surfers travelling to Indonesia, this might be exactly what you’re looking for – fewer people, unspoiled nature and some of the best surf breaks in the world. So pack your bags, grab your board and get ready to experience all that Lombok has to offer!