Sitting just to the east of famous sister island Bali, Lombok is undoubtedly Indonesia's up-and-coming beach destination. The island is dominated by Gunung Rinjani - Indonesia's second highest volcanic peak - and fringed by powdery beaches and coral atolls, including the white sand droplets of the Gili Islands. If you’re looking for light sandy beaches without the crowds, tailor-made Lombok holidays are the perfect choice, and the island is blessed with a growing collection of luxury boutique hotels. Relax on its picturesque shores, snorkel and dive vibrant coral reefs, surf the breaks just off shore,
and enjoy the freshest seafood, straight off the boat. Heading inland, Sasak villages - many of which expertly create pottery and textiles - sit within lush forests, tobacco and rice fields. There are beautiful temples to explore, alongside cascading waterfalls and the fertile slopes of Gunung Rinjani. Climbing to the crater rim of this active volcano is possible too, where the reward is a breath-taking view of the turquoise crater lake, a 'baby' volcano, and even straight across the water to Bali on a clear day. Holidays to Lombok promise exploration and relaxation in equal measure.
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Holly made excellent suggestions and creates the perfectly balanced trip that ticked all our boxes. The Concierge was very helpful throughout and the absolutel highlights were seeing monkeys and deer on Manjangan Island, and watching the sunset from the magnificent tower.
What can you find on Lombok holidays that you won’t find anywhere else?
The sheer scale of activities and landscapes to experience on such a small island make Lombok holidays something of a rarity. The translucent shores of the Lesser Sunda Island chain, in which Lombok and Bali play a key part, are ready and waiting to provide unforgettable memories at all times. Head to Lombok’s laid-back seaside town of Senggigi for pristine beaches, plush hotels and some of Indonesia’s best surf spots, or if wow-factor scenery is your idea of heaven, the active volcano of Mount Rinjani is a Lombok must-see. It’s Indonesia’s second-highest volcano and climbing to the top is no mean feat, taking a few days and some serious hiking skills. The views from the summit – of the sparkling crescent-shaped crater lake, Segara Anak, at its base – is said to be Lombok’s (and some say Indonesia’s) absolute best vista. If you don’t fancy pitting yourself against the might of the mountain, the surrounding national park can be visited in an afternoon and you’ll get stunning views of the soaring Mount Rinjani. The Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep waterfalls are another wonderful display of Lombok’s natural beauty; bathe in the waters at the bottom of the falls and close your eyes as the refreshing spray hits your face.
And then there’s the food; taste authentic Indonesian dishes in Sanur Night Market as fairy lights glow all around, or head to one of many twinkly beachside restaurants in Senggigi for glorious dining in beautiful surroundings. For a dose of culture during your holiday in Lombok, its mesmerising mosques and temples are a peaceful escape from the everyday. Teetering on the coastal cliffs and surrounded by ocean, Pura Batu Bolong is one of Lombok’s most compelling and photogenic temples. Or for a rather different experience, stroll the island’s popular Narmada Park, where you can feel serenity in its Hindu temple and drink from the garden’s so-called Fountain of Youth.
Who are Lombok holidays best for?
With its luminescent, crystal clear waters that lap stunning palm-fringed beaches, and sumptuous sea-facing boutique hotels, Lombok holidays are legendary for honeymooners. Families are in dream destination territory too; the region is incredibly welcoming and friendly to children and there’s a new activity for every day of your stay, from beach visits to nature hikes, snorkelling trips and tailor-made experiences like tree climbing or kite making. Whether your particular penchant is for sunshine, nature or culture - or a combination of all three - there’s a beach, rice paddy or temple to satisfy.
Special things to do during a Lombok holiday
Dive the Gili Islands
Located a stone’s throw from Lombok, the three Gili Islands are a paradise destination of heavenly white beaches and crystal clear waters. Conditions for diving here are great for beginners – take to the balmy deep blue and look for turtles (they’re abundant in the region), plus reef sharks, lionfish, eagle rays and pufferfish, among many other tropical delights and intriguing marine life.
Take a Cooking Class
There’s nothing like rolling up your sleeves and cooking with your own hands to truly immerse yourself in a country’s cuisine. Roam a food market and barter for ingredients, then under the watchful guidance of a chef, prepare several popular dishes and discover the cultural significance of food in Indonesian society.
Visit a Traditional Village
For a dose of culture during your luxury Lombok holiday, travel inland to visit a traditional Sasak Village, where villagers still practice ancient Sasak traditions in terms of both village architecture, and their ‘Wektu Telu’ customs which combine Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist beliefs. You can also visit the protected ancient forest at Suranadi during your trip, where you can trek through the forest and watch the resident monkeys clambering through the treetops overhead.
Holidays to Lombok are best suited to May, June or September, when rainfall will be at a minimum and tourist crowds have diminished. The weather is on its best behaviour between July and September (the dry season), making this the peak time for travellers, with temperatures hovering in the high 20s. The climate is slightly cooler in Lombok’s mountainous region, ranging between 20° and 25°C. As the shoulder season, May and September represent the sweet spots for Lombok holidays to avoid the tourist hoards and make the most of the good weather. December and February are the wettest months of the year and so it’s important to note that some activities may not be possible, such as Mount Rinjani being closed to trekkers, at this time of year.