Lombok

  • 2 Weeks

Lombok is all about the great outdoors, from its incredible beaches to its iconic volcano.

Kick off in gorgeous Kuta and spend a day or two finding the perfect beach. East or west of town there are a dozen or so bays to choose from: magnificent Selong Blanak is just one. While you're here, it would be rude not to sample the fabled south Lombok surf – tiny Gerupuk is an excellent place to either take a lesson or hitch a boat ride to an epic break. Not far away, tranquil southwest Lombok is ideal for more aqua action; swim in sheltered waters or explore the dozen or so Southwest Gilis by boat. Coral-fringed Gili Gede makes a perfect base.

Sacred Gunung Rinjani is up next. You can explore its terraced foothills from the rustic base of Tetebatu, or go the whole hog and trek from Senaru to the crater rim, the sublime crater lake or the summit itself (depending on your time, energy and commitment level). Just don't miss the beautiful Sembalun Valley. Finish off with a stay at one of the quietly luxurious resorts on the white beaches of Sire.

Gili Islands

  • 1 Week

These three little dots of white sand off Lombok can easily occupy your entire trip, with their top-class options for diving, dining, partying and sunbathing.

The ideal place to get to grips with island life is Gili Air, where the main beachfront strip is perfect tropical lounging territory. You can while away a day or two doing nothing but chilling with a book, taking a cooling dip, perfecting your asanas at a yoga school or feasting on inexpensive fresh seafood.

Next up is Trawangan, where there's much more action. The perfect day here could start with a morning dive at a site such as Shark Point, followed by a healthy vegan lunch and an afternoon snooze. Then take a gentle stroll round the sandy lanes of the island, slipping in a sunset cocktail on the west coast. After dinner, feel the beat at one of Trawangan's parties.

The final stop is Gili Meno, where, once you've secured the perfect place to stay (including at some new upscale choices), there's little to do except ponder the sheer desert-isle-ness of the place. If you can drag yourself away from the beach, try snorkelling out to the underwater sculpture Nest or egret-spotting on the inland lake.