Where to visit near Bali

Wondering where to visit near Bali? Lombok's version of Kuta is a great start ... photo by CC user Tanti Ruwani on Flickr

Visiting Bali soon, but want to see a bit more of Indonesia than this uber-popular island? Next door, there is an island by the name of Lombok that has many of the natural and cultural charms that Bali has, but without the hustle and bustle that can plague much of Bali today.

Wondering what places you should visit here if you have a week to spare there? The following destinations will give you an island to rave about to friends back home that isn’t as well known as Bali (giving you those all-important bragging rights when it comes to travel)…

1) Senggigi

If you’re looking where to visit near Bali where you can access most of the conveniences that you come to expect from a tourist destination, then Senggigi is the place where you’ll want to hang your hat during your stay in Lombok.

While it is nowhere near as built up as Kuta, Seminyak or Ubud on Bali, Senggigi is home to enough restaurants, cafes, bars, and karaoke parlors to keep those in need of constant stimulation busy, and with tons of tours and cooking classes available through tour agencies, those seeking a bit more action will be well catered for as well.

2) Gili Islands

Senggigi has a beach that is good enough for some, but if you consider yourself a connoisseur of these seaside attractions, then taking a day trip to the Gili Islands (three are inhabited: Trawangan, Air and Meno) will satisfy your longing for beauty in this aspect of nature.

Diving and snorkeling are popular in the reefs located off these isles, while those looking to get their day drink on will find no shortage of venues to do the job on Gili Trawangan.

Those looking for a more chill atmosphere will find it on Air and Meno, which have not been as overrun by the party crowd as Trawangan has.

3) Kuta (Lombok)

Those fearing the hawkers, noise and insane traffic of the Kuta on Bali will find the complete opposite on Lombok’s version, which remains much more tranquil than its neighbor across the Lombok Strait.

One thing the two towns do have in common is excellent surfing: the breaks here have long served as a refuge for those sick of the scene in Bali, and while its secret does seem to be getting out (oops), it is still a world apart from the party-hearty nature of South Bali, making it a great place to get away from it if it isn’t your cup of tea.

Does an itinerary like this sound great to you, but you haven’t the first clue where to start? Luxury travel planners like eShores (www.eshores.co.uk) specialise in assembling the logistics for trips like these, allowing you to go about your daily life while the professionals plot out the journey of a lifetime.

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