Fly to Lombok to experience a tranquil holiday amid nature’s majesty...
Flights to Lombok International Airport (LOP), the island's only airport, began in October 2011 following the closure of Selaparang Airport (AMI) on the west coast outside of Mataram. The new airport is about 25 miles south of Mataram near the city of Praya. There are daily Lombok flights from the Indonesian capital, Jakarta and from Surabaya.
The Gunung Rinjani National Park surrounds the Mount Rinjani volcano in the north of the island. It’s a popular destination for trekkers who climb to the volcano's crater lake, Segara Anak, at an elevation of about 2,000 metres. A replica of this lake was built in the 18th century at Taman Narmada, about seven miles east of Mataram. The Pura Kalasa temple nearby is used for an annual Balinese ceremony, Pujawali.
Hindus and Moslems both worship at Hindu shrines on Lombok. One of these is the Pura Batu Bolong Temple, located on rocks near Sengiggi beach on the west coast. Pura Lingsar, at the north end of the beach at Ampenan, is Lombok's most important religious site, blending Hindu and Moslem Sasak traditions. The same happens at Pura Meru temple, next to the Mayura Water Palace, an 18th-century floating pavilion on an artificial lake in Matarman.
Lombok is called the Island of a Thousand Mosques. The oldest mosque, Masjid Bayan Beleq, near Mataram, was built in the 16th century when Islam arrived on the island. The Buddhist Po Hwa Kong Temple is also at Mataram and acts as a spiritual centre for Christians, Hindus and Muslims.
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There are no non-stop flights to Lombok from the UK, but there are plenty of other ways of reaching the island...
Garuda Indonesia has flights to Lombok from London via Jakarta; Singapore Airlines flies to Singapore from London and Manchester – you can then fly onwards with Lion Air. Flights take around 18 to 20 hours in total.
Don’t waste a single minute of your precious holiday time – find out how to get to and from the airport quickly and cheaply...
A regular and cheap bus service operates between the airport and the main tourist areas of Mataram and Sengiggi, from where you can connect via bus to other destinations. It costs the equivalent of around £1 to make this journey, though it can take more than an hour to reach either town.
If you pick up a taxi at the airport you’ll be required to pay a small surcharge. This must be paid in advance of travel and in local currency, so be sure to have some small Indonesian rupiah notes when you arrive. The journey is then charged according to the meter. You can expect to pay around 150,000 rupiah (roughly £7.50) to be taken to Sengiggi.
Find your own slice of tropical paradise with our guide on where to stay in Lombok...
The whole of the island is surrounded by white sand beaches and fringed with coconut palms. Mataram, the provincial capital, and Sengiggi, the main tourism centre, both on the west coast, are well known for their beaches. There are lots of isolated snorkelling and swimming locations in this area.
Mataram has a great selection of hotels to suit all budgets, though most of the island’s hotels are found in and around Sengiggi. Here you’ll find gorgeous beach villas, blissful spa resorts and boutique hotels that ooze style and serenity. Budget travellers are taken care of, too, at pleasant little guesthouses and homestays, which are akin to backpacker hostels.
Kuta, in the south of the island, is just a 20-minute drive from the airport. It is still a sleepy fishing village, though increasingly popular with surfers. It’s not to be confused with the famed resort of Kuta on nearby Bali, which is packed with nightclubs and backpackers who let their hair down every night of the week.
Sumbawa, an island to the east of Lombok, is popular with surfers and famous for its honey production. The Gili Islands off the north-west coast of Lombok are an archipelago of three islands – Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trewangan – and are some of the best places for diving in Indonesia. It takes just 20 minutes by speedboat from the Lombok mainland to reach them. Gili Meno has a small turtle sanctuary where baby turtles are hatched and released into the sea.
It’s easy to find cheap flights and hotels in Lombok when you use the search tool on TravelSupermarket.