Though visually magnificent, Lombok remains less-visited than its slightly bigger sister, Bali, which is likely to come as good news for travellers seeking blissful beach experiences. By which we mean fewer crowds, more seclusion, and less in the way of sprawling resorts. From the drop-dead gorgeous beaches of the southwest Gilis, to the celebrated surf-spots of Lombok’s wild south coast, read on to discover the best beaches in Lombok.
Best beaches in Lombok
Located 40km east of Bali, Lombok’s mountainous north is dominated by the bulk of the sacred Gunung Rinjani volcano, with most tourism focussed along its western coast.
That’s largely thanks to Senggigi — location of Lombok’s original premier beach resort — with the Gili islands to the northwest attracting water-sports enthusiasts.
In addition, Lombok’s wilder southern coast now draws increasing numbers of surfers, along with independent travellers seeking off-the-beaten-track beach breaks.
As a result, laidback Kuta (not to be confused with Kuta in Bali) is developing at pretty fast pace. Hardly surprising, given its expanse of soft sand, reliably rewarding waves and protective coral reef.
Travel tip: want to blend visiting the best beaches in Lombok with Indonesian culture? Our customisable Java and Lombok Culture and Beaches trip has you covered.
1. Mekaki Beach
Remote and beautiful, with an attractive shoreline and handful of picture-perfect, white-sand islets just off shore, Lombok’s southwest peninsula remains little visited.
Yet the snorkelling in this area is excellent, with Mekaki Beach being one of the most spectacular, undeveloped shorelines you're ever likely to see.
From Pelangan, the largest village in this part of the peninsula, turn off the roundabout on the main road to reach it.
En route, you’ll be served a magnificent hilltop view of the mighty Indian Ocean. On arrival, you’ll be greeted by a long, broad stretch of sand you’ll most likely have to yourself.
With no development, and no facilities (bring your supplies), Mekaki Beach’s truly away-from-it-all vibe makes it one of the best beaches in Lombok for travellers seeking unspoiled seclusion.
2. Southwest Gilis
In contrast to the more famous, more visited Gili Islands off the northwest of Lombok, the stunning southwest Gilis are known at the “Secret Islands” for very good reason.
With great snorkelling from beautiful beaches (the water is of the azure, crystal-clear variety), the diving here is also excellent, as are opportunities for simply chilling out.
Tawun is the jumping off point for Gilis Nanggu, Tangkong, Sudak and Kedis, which are often visited as part of a single day-trip.
A mere 15-minute boat ride from Tawun, Gili Nanggu is the only isle in this group with accommodation. Tiny and untouched, the beach is sublime, as is the snorkelling.
Further southwest, Gili Gede has the greatest selection of accommodation. In addition to snorkelling, the attraction here is hiking into the hills, divinely deserted beaches, and interactions with villagers who are relatively untouched by tourism.
North of Gili Gede, Gili Rengit (also spelled Ringgit) offers good snorkelling on the pier side of the island, and also on the west side, which is reachable by boat.
Meanwhile, Gili Layar, west of Gili Rengit, offers some of the area’s best diving.
3. Senggigi and around
Senggigi, Lombok’s main resort, still has the best dining and nightlife on the island, with a wild coastline to the north, and several beautiful beaches in its vicinity.
While Senggigi Beach is pretty enough, the area’s best beaches are to be found a little further afield. It’s true to say that the outer beaches at Batu Bolong (a 10min walk south) and Mangsit (about 3km north) are much more appealing than Senggigi itself.
The coastline is indisputably handsome, its 10km series of sandy, swimmable bays curving deeply between a sequence of dramatic headlands.
4. Pantai Sire
Lombok’s longest white-sand beach, Pantai Sire is located 6.5km north of Bangsal.
In short, Pantai Sire is a blindingly beautiful 2km strand of sand and coral, with ultra-calm waters. At high tide, the swimming is pretty good, though you might want to wear shoes to avoid sea urchins.
In addition, you’ll see tonnes of pretty tropical fish teeming around the reefs that lie 100m offshore, with awe-inspiring views of Mount Rinjani volcano at sunrise.
And, though it's sublimely serene, Pantai Sire isn’t short of accommodation, restaurants and cafés. In fact, there are few places prettier to eat, drink and feel 100% merry.
5. Kuta Bay and around
Youthful, laidback and surf-ish, Kuta village remains — for the time being, at least — a pretty low-key fishing village.
That said, with Kuta itself and the surrounding area attracting an increasing number of surfers who return year-on-year, more accommodation options are springing up, along with more tourist infrastructure.
Kuta Bay's protective coral reef makes the calm waters an ideal spot for lounging, learning to surf, or having fun with all manner of water-sports. Take your pick from kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding, tubing, paragliding, jet ski, wakeboarding and kiteboarding.
As for the surf, the best waves in the area are most famously found at Gerupuk, Mawi and, more remotely, at Ekas.
For a swim and a sunbathe you’re better off heading to the breathtakingly gorgeous sandy bays nearby, notably east at Tanjung Aan and west at Mawun, though ask locally about currents as they can be treacherous.
Travel tip: to access the beaches and get the best out of the area you need a car or motorbike. While the north-south road to the airport is good, the east-west coastal road is still cursed by potholes.
6. Selong Belanak
15km from Kuta, the splendid beach at Selong Belanak presents a vast sweep of empty sand that stretches 2km west from the fishing village of the same name.
Backed by green hills and framed by fine views of Tomangomang and Serangan beaches (both of which are accessible by tracks), Selong Belanak offers excellent swimming and safe surfing for novices.
A row of surf shacks along blindingly white sand sees local instructors rent boards and offer lessons.
Selong Belanak also boasts several warungs serving simple food and drink to folks stretched out on the sun-loungers.
7. Ekas and the southeast peninsula
Travellers who make the effort to head to Lombok's little-visited southeast peninsula will be rewarded by sublimely secluded beaches, opportunities for top water-sports action, and trekking, too.
Across Awang/Ekas Bay on the west side of the southeast peninsula, Ekas’ two surf breaks are well known as being suitable for beginners through to more experienced wave-riders.
The waves here are good year-round, and Ekas also offers notable conditions for stand-up paddle-boarding and snorkelling.
Meanwhile, Kaliantan’s flat water and constant wind makes it ideal for learning kitesurfing, with the best winds found from April to September.
In addition, Tanjung Ringgit offers trekking and biking opportunities, along with snorkelling trips to the nearby spectacular pink beach.