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.
You won’t find high rise hotels or flat complexes in Lombok or on the three Gili Islands. The islands retain a charmingly rustic feel with thatched huts and beachside hideaways nestled between camouflaging trees. Whilst staying true to the Indonesian surroundings the islands also offer luxury boutique hotels and villas, as well as eco-resorts and budget hostels, with homestays for a really authentic experience.
While Paris and Milan can boast haute couture and catwalk pieces galore, Lombok and the Gili Islands have their own designer brands to brag about. Local artisans are the pride of the country’s shopping culture, with handmade clothes and merchandise found all across the islands. While surfing and other water sports clothing are at every turn, the islands also bring bustling night markets, boutique stores and beach front sales into the mix.
Star-lit dining doesn’t get much better than in Lombok or on the Gili Islands. With secluded and often deserted beaches, diners are treated to unobstructed views of the surrounding waters within a charming and romantic setting, occasionally sheltered by charming beach huts. Night markets jostle with those wishing to try a little of everything, while freshly grilled or barbecued seafood is the main fare in the area, with international options also available.
Stepping onto one of Lombok’s beaches or the three Gili Islands, and it’s hard to believe the postcard-perfect scene in front of you. Clear aqua waters lick white sandy beaches that are shadowed by bright green trees – it’s someone added a little extra saturation into the mix. But rest assured, the islands are real, and they’re every bit as beautiful as you hope. Whether you’re fleeing everyday life with a luxurious escape or simply exploring the area’s surf with your backpacker mates, Lombok and Gili tick all the boxes.
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