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Nestling between Bali and Sumbawa is one of Indonesia’s overlooked gems, Lombok.
The recent construction of an international airport has led to a growing number of visitors. More and more travellers are discovering its lovely turquoise waters, vast white beaches and world-class surf, with it frequently being dubbed ‘the next Bali’.
However, Lombok is far less commercially developed than Bali and still exudes serenity wherever you go. As well as a stunning coastline, it boasts many fascinating temples, spectacular palaces and a sacred mountain.
Although a predominantly Muslim province, one of the standout attractions is Pura Meru in Mataram, the largest Hindu temple on the island. Dedicated to the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, it was built in 1720 and features tall, elegant towers surrounded by colourful gardens.
Another notable Hindu monument is the stunning Mayura Water Palace, built in 1744. It was also the site of many battles between the Dutch and Balinese in the 19th Century.
Rinjani is a sacred mountain and Indonesia’s second highest peak, reaching almost 4,000 metres. You can book a three-day tour, with food and tents provided, up to the summit and across the remarkable scenery, including hot springs and an enormous crater lake.
Sprawled across Lombok’s northwestern coast are The Gili Islands, a haven for backpackers. They are the most western-friendly pockets of Lombok, offering fantastic snorkelling, a buzzing nightlife and a quirky atmosphere.
There are two ferry routes taking you from Bali across the strait to Lombok.
The port of Serangan is situated next to Denpasar airport and provides daily crossings to Teluk Kode in west Lombok and the Gili Islands, lasting around three hours. There is also a departure point in Padang Bai, eastern Bali, which provides faster services to Teluk Kode.
After hearing alot of bad reviews about ferries to and from the GIli Island we were very worried. However we were pleasently suprised. Everyone got a seat of the ferry and the boarding was very quick where staff take your bags and store them on the boat. They do chuck them around a fair bit so dont keep too many breakables in there. The ride over was very bumpy towards the end but the first hour and a half were really good with no rough current or waves.Read More Read Less
We took the Patagonia express to Lombok and returned 1 week later. The ferry was very punctual and there were comfy seats and good films on board. The crossing was very smooth on the way over but rather choppy on the way back. Overall, would recommend this company.Read More Read Less
"Great and easy way to travel around the islands!"
Gili getaways service is 5*. The pick up service, even if not in the free pick up zone is worth it, very organised, on time and very comfy cars! Made our travels so easy. Nice touches with the water and cold towels on board. Couldn't recommend more!Read More Read Less
"A bit choppy, but fast"
Good service, with pickup from the hotel available even when booked through Direct Ferries - just make sure to reach out to the company directly. Would not recommend sitting near the front if one of your party is at all sensitive to choppy seas as the boat is fast and it can feel like taking off in a plane at times.Read More Read Less
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