A beautiful and beguiling Indonesian island that’s a throwback to a long-forgotten Bali
Once considered a stepping stone to the Gilli Islands. And previously only known as the other pretty Indonesian island that “wasn’t Bali”. Lombok sat in the shadow of its more popular sister island for decades but is slowly awakening to become more than just a surfer’s paradise (although it’s definitely that too).
Blessed with an abundance of quintessentially tropical beaches, historic locations and hidden charms yet to be uncovered, it feels pure and pristine with a pace of life that forces you to slow down. And as such, it’s the perfect place for a little salt-water therapy and TLC under a rejuvenating equatorial sun.
Introduction to Lombok
Same tropical paradise, completely different vibe. Lombok lies between the islands of Bali and West Nusa Tenggara. With a predominately Muslim population, it feels vastly different to the Hindu-majority island of Bali. Sure, there are still a ridiculous amount of breathtaking beaches. And yes, the views can feel Bali-esque. But with untouched pockets of raw coastline, lush volcanic foothills and a rich artistic heritage, it certainly gives its more famous neighbour a run for its money.
Video credit: Invest Islands
Getting to Lombok
The easiest way to get to Kuta, Lombok is by air. There are many cheap daily flights from Bali, Jakarta, as well as international flights from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. You can also get to Lombok from Bali on a fast boat or a public ferry.
Surfing in Lombok
A year-round surf destination, Lombok offers a more chilled surf atmosphere than Bali. This is despite the fact that it’s home to a plethora of incredible waves. The best known of these is Desert Point on the southwestern tip, but there’s also Ekas in the east and a staggering number of other reefs, rocky points and beachbreaks to discover. In terms of skill level, there are waves for all abilities and uncrowded ones at that. So if you’re seeking somewhere mellow yet fun to hone your pop-ups and cross-stepping, Lombok is the place to be.
How to get to Lombok?
The quickest and the easiest way of getting to Lombok is by plane. Lombok International Airport has direct flights from:
- Kuala Lumpur (Air Asia) - 3hrs
- Singapore (Scoot) - 2hrs
- Jakarta (Garuda, Air Asia, SuperJet, CityLink, Lion) - 2hrs
- Bali (Wings Air, CityLink) - 25mins
- Other Indonesian airports
We're a 25-min drive from the airport.
The easiest way to book domestic flights is via Traveloka.com - an Indonesian equivalent of booking.com as some of the airlines do not accept online payments on their websites. Use Traveloka for airlines other than Garuda and AirAsia - AirAsia and Garuda can be booked directly.
By fast boat from Bali
Another, not-so-fast option, is a fast boat from Padang Bai in Bali to Bangasal/Senggigi in Lombok. The boat takes around 3 hours and it's another 2.5 hr drive from the harbour to Xanadu.
There are multiple fast boat companies, to name a few: Eka Jaya, Ostina, Blue Water Express etc. You can check the schedule and book your ticket directly with them.
By public ferry from Bali
It's the longest ride you can take and the cheapest one. The ferry leaves from Padang Bai and goes to Lembar. The ride takes anything between 4-6 hours depending on the sea conditions. There is no schedule and no advance bookings. The ferry operates 24/7 and leaves on average every 2 hours or when full. The drive from Lembar to Kuta takes 1.5 hour.
Is Lombok safe for a solo traveller?
How is Lombok different to Bali?
When is the best season to visit Lombok?
Lombok's surf season is the opposite of Bali. You can surf in Lombok all year round but the best months are considered November to April, when the wind drops, many surf breaks start working and you can expect glassy waves.
Plus there are less people in the water as everyone seems to think Lombok is the same as Bali, which it is not;)
Read more on our blog
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