Covering a lengthy stretch of coastline, Senggigi, with sweeping bays separated by towering headlands, is a sleepy beach resort built along the main road. Its plethora of upmarket resorts attract older visitors and families, but there are several cheap budget hotels, homestays and traveller restaurants catering for younger backpackers, and a low-key nightlife. The beach in central Senggigi is separated into two parts by a peninsula. The southern beach, to the east of the peninsula, is much calmer than the beach to its west, which is full of locals on dates, food stalls and splashing children. Proximity to the airport makes it an ideal first- or last-night destination but it is also a good base from which to explore the island. There are, however, plenty of hawkers in the central areas – keeping your cool and getting to know them is the best approach.
Plenty of operators cater for people who want to dive in the Gili Islands, and operators also take snorkellers on trips, though if you plan to travel to the Gilis you’d be better off saving your diving for then when you won’t have to pay for transport. Tour operators along the main strip also offer cycling tours, which take you to the picturesque Sekotong Beach and Pengsong Hill.