Lombok Beach Guide
Lombok’s best beaches lie along the south and west coast, including:
Senggigi Beach – Lying beneath lush jungle-clad hillsides and facing a shimmering blue bay on the east coast, Senggigi Beach stretches for 30km along a coastline punctuated by picturesque rocky headlands. Here you can discover a series of palm-fringed golden-sand beaches backed by quiet seafood restaurants, low-key nightlife and a choice of accommodation that dots the beach in splendid seclusion.
North Senggigi Beach, which includes Tanjung and Mangsit beaches, is probably the most attractive part of the coast, with great views across to Bali and magical sunsets over Gunung Agung. This coastal region is home to many luxury beachside resorts including the five-star Sheraton Senggigi Beach Resort and the luxurious Oberoi Lombok, the most expensive hotel in Lombok.
Central Senggigi Beach offers more bars, restaurants and shopping, while south Senggigi Beach near Batu Bolong offers a few upmarket resorts including the Senggigi Beach hotel, and is closer to the airport and the island’s capital, Mataram.
Go beach hopping by inexpensive bemos (private cars) or metered taxis that operate along the entire stretch of coast from early morning to late at night.
For a magical sunset over neighbouring Bali, climb to the Balinese temple of Pura Batu Bolong. The temple clings to a rocky volcanic outcrop that juts into the sea about 2km south of central Senggigi – its small pagodas are orientated towards Gunung Agung, Bali's holiest mountain.
Kuta Beach – Unwind on the soft white sand of this magnificent wide beach that shelves into the turquoise waters of a pretty bay framed by jungle-clad rocky promontories and backed by lush green hillsides.
Sunbathe on the beach, surf the world-class waves or rent a motorcycle and explore the local village and dramatic secluded coves with pretty beaches nearby, including Tanjung Aan, famous for its unusual sand that resembles grains of pepper.
Kuta is considered a surfing hot spot, with world-class shore, reef and point breaks along the coast. Popular surf breaks include: Seger Reef, a heavy right hander; Gerupuk, probably the most popular break in Kuta, with wave breaks both left and right; and Outside Gerupuk, a right-hander just a short boat ride away from Kuta Beach.
Located on the south coast, sleepy Kuta Beach is also renowned for its Nyale Fishing Festival held annually in February or March. A range of accommodation sits along the beach, including the five-star Novotel Lombok.
Gili Islands – These laid-back tropical paradises are a trio of tiny coral-fringed islands that float on a calm turquoise sea teeming with colourful reef fish, just a short 20-minute boat ride from Lombok.
Choose from Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan, and take a relaxing day trip to a white-sand beach backed by tiny seafood cafes. Or staying longer, with a choice of accommodation that includes luxury villas and chic Balinese-style bungalows.
Stroll around the traffic-free islands, explore by cidomo (pony and cart), snorkel and swim with green and hawksbill turtles or scuba dive through an underwater paradise to see colourful parrotfish and mantas, among other marine life.
Sign up for a PADI diving course or pick up a wave on Gili Trawangan – this is the best of the three for surfing waves, especially during the wet season from January to June, with swells up to 2m. Gili Trawangan is also the busiest of the three islands, with a good choice of restaurants, nightlife and accommodation, including the charming Hotel Vila Ombak.
Gili Meno has no nightlife and a limited choice of accommodation, while Gili Air offers a mix of hotels and cafes along the south coast.