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What to see and do in Lombok and the Gili Islands – a guide to notable attractions and landmarks

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Most of Lombok’s and the three Gili’s attractions hem the islands’ shore lines: surfing, diving, kayaking and deserted powdery beaches lure in the masses on a daily basis.  Besides these obvious excursions, the islands also offer a distinctive peek into Indonesian everyday life, with local traders selling their products on the streets and in boutiques, and secluded hillside villages like Segenter Village, nestled in the blooming forests.

Robyn Junaedi

My Destination local expert on

Lombok & Gilis

Diving

 

Sparkling clear water makes for pristine visibility when diving around Lombok and the Gili Islands. Once frequented by Indonesian fishermen, the waters are now peppered with scuba divers and snorkelers on the hunt for exotic fish and mysterious marine life. Sea turtles venture close to the shorelines, for easy spotting, while manta rays and sharks accompany divers who venture further into the deep.

 

Surfing

 

Not only are Lombok and the three Gilis known for their unparalleled diving spots, but for their rolling waves and impressive swells too. Keen surfers head straight to Gerupuk in Kuta, where year round breaks bless the white sand shores, with large swells in the dry season. Rocky Seger Beach is a surfer’s haven, rolls upon rolls of waves break ripple all the way to the beach.

 

Trekking Mount Rinjani

 

It takes an average of three days to reach the peak of Mount Rinjani, but the trek and time is more than worth it once you reach the top: the summit provides sweeping vistas of the surrounding area and panoramic views out to the Bali Sea and Indian Ocean. The mountain resides in the Rinjani National Park, a verdant mountain range full of rare animals and plants. Walkers may encounter Ebony leaf monkeys, long tailed grey macaques and leopard cats, naming but a few. Less strenuous paths are found in the mountain’s lower foothills, where trails leave ramblers through villages, forests and waterfalls.

 

Shopping

 

Shopping in Lombok is very different to the Western world: there is only one major mall, but the island is instead full of boutiques, jostling markets and street stalls. As a handicraft epicenter, Lombok has a never-ending supply of trinkets and one-of-a-kind souvenirs made my local artisans. At the many craft villages visitors can watch the masters at work before haggling for their wares. Of course the area’s notorious south sea pearls are also available across Lombok, so if you’re looking for some fancy new jewelry, Lombok is the place to get it!

 

Pearl farms

 

An alternative underwater safari, pearl farm tours allow visitors to see the makings behind the world-famous ‘south sea’ pearls. Hopping aboard Autore Pearl Farm Tour boats, the farming process - including the surgical operation to the harvesting of the pearl - is revealed up close. A rare insight and enjoyable day out, the Autore pearl group are the only company to allow visitors to an Indonesian pearl farm. Their pearls, harvested in Indonesia, New Zealand and Australian waters are accountable for 18% of the world’s production of white South Sea Pearls.

 

Yoga

 

Yoga is all about serenity and peace, inner wellness and beauty, so where better the practice than the idyllic Gili Islands? Utilizing the secluded landscapes and tranquil settings, many boutique hotels are cropping up about the island with holistic lifestyle as their main focus. Exercising on the beach with a soft breeze to calm you, or in the lush and tropical gardens where the chorusing birds and rustling leaves are a natural and relaxing soundtrack, there are few places better than Lombok to escape for a yoga retreat.