There is are lots of things to do in Lombok, Indonesia, but one of our favorite activities was renting a motorbike and exploring the beaches! The beaches of Lombok are drop dead gorgeous. The sand is white, the water is clear and the waves are calm. From the resort beaches of Senggigi to the quiet isolated shores near Kuta to the beach parties on the Gili islands, there are so many impressive beaches to explore. Whether you’re a surfer or just want to lay back on the soft sand, Lombok has something for every interest. These were our favorite beaches in Lombok:
Kuta is one of Lombok’s most popular destinations, but it’s small and quiet compared to super touristy Kuta in Bali. Instead, Kuta Lombok is a cute surf town, with an increasing amount of guesthouses, restaurants and cafes. At night the local bars have live music, where it seems like the bands play the same charming covers ,while travelers knock back a few Bintangs.
The town has a laid back, dusty feel, but you can tell from the increase in hip cafes that Kuta is probably going to boom in the next few years. There is a lot of construction going on near in the beach in town, so you can expect new developments to be popping up here soon. The beach in town is nice enough for a quick dip, but the beaches surrounding Kuta are much more isolated and beautiful. In our opinion, these are the best beaches near Kuta Lombok.
About half an hour outside of Kuta, this beach has something for everyone. Part of the beach is lined with small warungs (restaurants) that double up as surf schools. The waves here are calm, perfect for practicing your surf skills as a beginner. Further down the beach you’ll find a fancier restaurant if you want a nice meal and past that you’ll find a long stretch of white sand all to yourself.
Selong Belanak is definitely one of the more popular southern beaches in Lombok, so it can feel crowded by the warungs, but if you keep walking you’ll find that the further you go, the beach actually becomes very quiet. One a sunny day, the contrast of the white sand with the blue water is really stunning.
Motorbike parking cost: 10,000 rupiah
Just south of Selong Belanak is Mawi beach. This Lombok beach is undeveloped and beautifully quiet. On a sunny day Mawi beach is a real stunner. We only spotted one other couple on the long stretch of sand. The road to Mawi is very bumpy and can be a bit treacherous if you’re not used to riding a motorbike. Be especially careful if it’s recently rained as the mud can be difficult to bike through. If you go slow, though, you’ll be fine! The reward for braving the bumpy road is arriving at the sand to find that you have the whole beach to yourself!
There are really two sections to Mawi, the closest to Selong Belanak is a long stretch of sand. We didn’t see any warungs or shops here, so bring your own picnic. If you keep walking along this beach, away from Seong Belanka and toward Semeti Beach, you’ll hit a formation of rocks where the sand ends. It’s definitely worth the small hike up to catch a view of the beach from these rocks. If you continue along the rocks you’ll hit the second, and much smaller, part of Mawi. On this second stretch you’ll find Mawi Surf Cafe, a small warung selling basic food and drinks.
Parking cost: Free (although it could depend where you stop along the beach), but we had to pay 10,000 rupiah to a man who was guarding the road with a parking gate.
This is just right next door to Mawi beach and perhaps even less well known than its neighbor. You can reach Semeti by going back to the same dirt road that you took for Mawi and turning right. It will lead you to another quiet, rustic Lombok beach with plenty of rocks and caves to explore.
Semeti beach has some black rock formations that contrast beautifully against the bright blue water. It’s really fun to spend an afternoon here climbing the rocks and exploring. This rugged natural coastline provides more of an adventurous challenge than the other beaches. Semeti is also a perfect place for sunset if it’s not too overcast.
Further along the coastline heading back to Kuta is Lancing Beach. There are actually two entrances to this beach. Coming from Semeti Beach, the first entrance is barely marked with just a small wooden sign. This side of Lancing has more of a local vibe. Parking is free and you may even catch a motorbike drag race along the beach. There’s also a bit more trash in this area, so be careful if you’re walking barefoot. Christine sliced her foot on an old beer bottle. If you’re happy to just relax on the sand and chat with some locals, this side is for you.
Further down the beach on your way to Kuta there is a marked entrance which will take you down to a motorbike parking lot right by the beach. Parking is 10,000 and this side of Lancing has a couple of small warungs with bamboo beach chairs for rent. There’s also a swing perfect for lazily looking out over the ocean. If you’re looking for a drink and a chair to relax on, you’ll enjoy this side of Lansing Beach.
Parking cost: Free/ 10,000 rupiah
In our humble opinion, we thought this was the best beach in Lombok. This stretch of beach is very long, and although its lined with small warungs, you can still find a section all to yourself. This beach has the softest, white sand and prettiest turquoise water you could ever want. The water is pretty calm here so it’s lovely to take a relaxing swim. The warungs sell grilled fresh fish and coconuts which make for the perfect afternoon snack. A few of the warungs have swings out front if you want to get your Instagram photoshoot on.
You’ll probably encounter a few locals trying to sell souvenirs, but if you firmly say no thank you, they’ll take the hint. There are also some hikes to do on either side of the beach. At the eastern point of Tanjung Aan is Batu Payung rock formation, a giant rock teetering in the ocean. On the western point is Bukit Merese Hill, which has stunning views overlooking the water, especially at sunset.
Parking cost: Free
Located in west coast of Lombok, Senggigi is the island’s closest thing to a resort town. Senggigi Beach is the main beach in town and it’s a long strip of sand that hugs the bay. The beach is lined with hotels and restaurants, so it can feel a bit over-developed at times. This is a nice spot to visit if you want to stay close to your hotel or grab a drink at one of the restaurants and watch the sunset. However, it’s not our favorite beach in the area. We recommend renting a motorbike (make sure it’s a decent one that can get up and down the hills!) to check out the beautiful nearby beaches.
Parking cost: Free
We nearly missed the last turn off for this beach because it’s only marked by a small sign, but we’re glad we found it! A short drive through the a field of palm trees will lead you down to the sand. On the northernmost end you’ll find a small shop with coconuts and snacks for sale. You’ll also find….goats! Yep, the women who owns the shop also has a few goats wandering around who are not scared to come straight up to you and try to steal your food. It’s pretty hilarious!
The beach itself is incredibly long, so Sentangi Beach runs into Ludmila Beach and it’s hard to know where one ends and the other begins. We ended up at the Ludmila end where the rocks cut off the beach. Unfortunately there is quite a bit of trash near the palm trees and scattered around the sand. But if you go closer down to the water, you’ll see that this actually quite a stunning coastline that seems to go on forever.
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Nipah is one of the more popular beaches in the area. The beach is lined with warungs where you can sit in a traditional berugaq (a Sasak hut with a raised platform on which you eat sitting cross legged). You can choose from a variety of fresh fish to be grilled and served with rice, veggies and traditional spicy sauce sambal. This area has been very quiet since the earthquake, with warung after warung staying empty during lunch.
Unfortunately the sand is a bit rough because of the broken up coral, but the water here is very calm, so it’s perfect for afternoon swim after your fish lunch. It’s worth a walk up and down the beach to check out the fishing boats. You may even get lucky and see a turtle bobbing in the water!
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Another beautiful beach just up the road from Nipah. On a sunny day the water here is a stunning blue. Contrasted with the backdrop of green mountains, it’s drop dead gorgeous and perfect for photos! Pandanan Beach is pretty quiet so you’ll probably find an area all to yourself. The sand is a bit coarse but the water is calm and great for swimming. On a clear day, this is also a recommended beach to catch a sunset.
Motorbike Parking cost: Free
Pink Beach, also known as Tangsi Beach, is located on pretty much the southeastern tip of Lombok. It’s famous for its sand that is, well, pink of course! But just how pink is it? Well, when you arrive you might be disappointed to find that the sand isn’t quite the bright pink color you may have seen on Instagram (thank you Photoshop!).
The pink beach color depends on the day and time of day that you visit. It’s more likely to look like a rose gold than a super bright pink. But the sand is soft and the water is inviting. We also recommend taking a stroll up the hill past the west end of the beach to check out the views from above. Pink Beach has gotten pretty famous now, so you may be sharing the beach with quite a crowd.
If you go by motorbike you’ll pass through some small villages and backstreets, which we think make the long journey worth it. Once you get close to the beach you’ll be heading down some bumpy dirt roads so be cautious. You can also get to Pink Beach through a snorkeling tour from Kuta or by boat transport from Tanjung Luar Port.
Entrance fee: A whopping 50,000 per person! They’re definitely cashing in on the beach’s popularity.
Separate to mainland Lombok, the Gili Islands are an iconic tourist destination from traveler all around the world. If you really want to find the best beaches in Lombok, along with some parties, the Gillis are where it’s at. Here are our recommendations:
The most happening of the Gilis, Gili T is where you want to go if you’re looking for a party. That being said, it’s also a really nice island to just relax and hit the beach. The beaches on the Gilis don’t have official names, but the islands are so small you can easily get to all of them over the course of a few days.
There’s a beach unofficially called “Surf Point,” that is great for, you guessed it, surfers! Be sure to wear your booties here because the reef will cut up your feet. There are also several snorkel spots perfect for seeing some colorful fish and sea turtles!
In the north western tip of Gili T you can rent snorkel masks and go out looking for turtles. The turtles usually float in the water just a couple meters offshore and they’re really used to seeing people, so they won’t scurry off. It goes without saying, but please don’t touch the turtles. Unfortunately we saw a couple people trying to reach out and touch them.
The southeast area of Gili T has a beautiful stretch of beach that is perfect for wading into the calm water or just relaxing on the white sand. It’s heaven. Lastly, if you want to catch a stellar sunset, head to Gili T’s west side. There are a few beachside bars here where you can pull up a beanbag and enjoy a cocktail. Just make sure haven’t mixed up a pina colada with one of the island’s infamous mushroom shakes!
The most relaxed of the three islands, Gili Meno is known as the honeymooners island. Meno also has arguably the best beaches of the Gilis, with pretty much the whole island being one continuous strip of gorgeous white sand. If you’re looking to get in the water right after stepping off the boat then the south side of the island is for you. There’s plenty of accommodation in this area where the port is, but the beach is still clean and beautiful. The north and south sides of the island both have quiet lovely beaches as well.
Gili Meno has a turtle sanctuary that hatches around 500 turtles every year! Chances are you’ll find yourself swimming next to a turtle hatched at the sanctuary at some point during your trip. One of the most unique activities you can do at the beach in Gili Meno is going snorkeling to see the famous underwater statues created by artist Jason DeCaires Taylor. The art installation is called “The Nest” and they are a set of human statues placed on the seafloor as a man made reef.
Motorbike parking: There are no cars or motorbikes allowed on the Gili islands, but you can get around by bicycle or walking. They also have cidomos, or horse-drawn carriages, but there has been some controversy as to whether the horses are being properly taken care of you. If you want to find out more Gili Eco Trust is works with the carriage drivers to help care for the horses.
If Goldilocks was visiting the Gilis and decided that Gili T was too much of a party and Gili Meno was too quiet, she would probably think that Gili Air is just right! This island has the same gorgeous white sand beaches as the other two with a great laid back atmosphere. The pounding EDM music on Gili T is replaced by beachy guitar tunes on Gili Air. But if you’re looking for a bit of action, this island has that too. Many of the beach bars have live music at night where people gather for drinks.
Gili Air is only slightly larger than Gili Meno, the smallest of the three, so it’s super easy to walk around. Most of the hotels and guesthouses are on the south side of the island by the port. Because of this the north side of the island has the most pristine, untouched beaches. The east side of the island has great snorkeling and, like Gili T, it’s common to see some sea turtles floating around. Some of the beaches around Gili Air have a bit of broken coral, which can make it a bit uncomfortable to walk on. But the water is clear and calm so it’s a perfect spot for floating on your back and soaking up the rays.