Home to sweeping bays, aqua marine ocean, coral-fringed atolls, white-sand beaches and towering volcanic peaks, Lombok is one of Indonesia’s most loved and idyllic holiday destinations.

The island’s biggest drawcards are its stunning beachside locales, the most famous of which are Gilis Islands. Accessed by boat from the west coast, the three charming atolls – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno – are picture perfect setting of tranquility and relaxation.

The largest of the three, Gili Trawangan has a permanent population of just 800. Finding fame in the 1980s as a popular haunt for backpackers, today Trawangan caters to holidayers of all ages. Great snorkeling and diving opportunities abound, alongside beachside cafes, restaurants and bars – all without a single car or motorbike in sight.

Back on the mainland, the mighty peak of Mount Rinjani dominates Lombok’s landscape. Indonesia’s second highest volcano, the spectacular semi-active Rinjani is held in awe by islanders.

Within the crater lies one of the island’s most spiritual sites and holy places, Lake Segara Anak. Bright emerald green in colour and naturally heated to 22°C, the lake and surrounding hot springs are believed to have natural healing powers. The crater’s rim, lake and summit can be explored first-hand on a number of local trekking tours.

Along with backpackers and soul-searchers, Lombok has also been a long-time magnet for surfers. Ultimately all roads lead to the famous Desert Point, voted “The Best Wave in the World” by Tracks magazine. Located on the island’s west coast, the break attracts pilgrims eager to ride one of the world’s most talked about lefthanders. A number of great breaks can also be found along the island’s south coast.

Fostering a way of life so relaxed it feels like a film in slow motion, Lombok offers a relaxing alternative to a Bali trip. But for those looking to quicken the pace, the island’s capital Mataram provides that shambolic and frantic atmosphere, most commonly associated with holidays in South East Asia. Hosting broad avenues, bustling with motorbike traffic and teeming markets, Mataram brims with things to see, do and experience.

Source: Virgin Australia

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