Though overshadowed by neighbouring Bali, both in terms of tourist attractions and number of tourists, Lombok still has a lot to offer: Gunung Rinjani is widely considered to be Indonesia’s most jaw-dropping volcano; the island abounds with traditional villages and markets of the colourful Sasak people; it is calmer and less overrun than Bali and for a few dollars a day (and no need for a driver’s license!) you can hire a motorbike to explore the island and find your own postcard-perfect tropical beach.

A market of the indigenous Sasak people near Kuta, Lombok, Indonesia

A Sasak market near Kuta, Lombok

There are hundreds of ways to get to Lombok depending on where you are coming from.

From the Mandalika terminal in Mataram on Lombok buses run to Sumbawa, Bali and Java. Book a couple of days in advance.

Between Padangbai on Bali and Lembar on Lombok ferries run every 90 minutes, 24/7. The journey takes 4 or 5 hours and costs almost nothing. Boats run to Sumbawa from Labuhan Lombok every 45 minutes. Pelni passenger ships link Lembar on Lombok to other parts of Indonesia, including West Papua.

There are at least a dozen daily flights between Denpasar on Bali and Mataram on Lombok, a few less to Sumbawa and Surabaya and even a few to Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. Check out Merpati, Wings Air, GT Air, Garuda, Lion Air and Sil Air for flights to and from Lombok.

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