The very best beaches in Indonesia can be found in Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands. While there are countless beautiful stretches to discover, these are our top picks.
Indonesia’s Best Beaches
The beaches along Bali’s southern coast are some of the most popular, with smooth powdery white sand stretches, as compared to the island’s other coasts, known for their sharper, black sands. Balangan is one of the most beautiful at all, blessed with stunning sunsets and a pristine stretch of soft white sand. It offers a laid-back tropical atmosphere fringed with palms and tide pools, in addition to being one of the top surfing beaches in the area.
Seminyak is one of Bali’s most stylish, upscale resort areas, located along the west coast, known for its colorful sunsets and tranquil waves. The main beach in Seminyak is a popular surfing beach, a stretch of over three-mile-long white sands backed by restaurants, bars, and hotels. It’s a great place for those who want to learn to surf with its more gentle waves.
Echo Beach in Canggu, which lies between Seminyahk and Tanah Lot, offers a chilled-out surfing vibe. There are serious breaks for surfers, lots of beach bars and black sands. It’s a lively spot for playing in the sun and the surf by day, transforming to a wild party spot after dark. A place to seen and be seen, it’s where you find surfer dudes with sun-kissed bods and beach babes in Brazilian-cut bikinis. It draws the crowds for its sunsets, with many enjoying cocktails against a rosy glow – if it gets too busy you can walk the sands further east about 70 feet to enjoy quiet contemplation.
Along the southeast coast, Sanur is much more laid-back, almost “sleepy,” with a more than three-mile-long stretch of sandy beach and reef-protected waters. The water is clear and calm, making it idea for a wide range of watersports, including snorkeling, swimming, sea kayaking, kitesurfing, parasailing and wakeboarding.
Lombok is known for its beautiful beaches that are surrounded by forested mountains and an imposing volcano which provides a dramatic backdrop for relaxing on the sand or playing in the water. One of the most noteworthy is Nipah as you’ll see few other tourists here, mostly locals who come in the late afternoon to watch a sunset. It’s also a perfect place for swimming with no coral and calm waves.
If you can venture from beneath the shade of your palm tree on Lombok, hop on a boat for a quick ride to the Gili Islands where you can snorkel the vibrant coral reef where spotting sea turtles is virtually guaranteed. These three tiny islands are fringed by unspoiled white sandy beaches, you can’t go wrong with any of them, although Gili Meno offers some of the quietest and most stunning stretches of all. Island-hopping between the three, you could enjoy relaxing in seclusion on a deserted stretch one day and enjoying the buzz in a beachside bar the next.
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