Despite being so close to Bali, Lombok sees a fraction of the tourist traffic of its famous friend. We headed to Lombok in search of great beaches and a relaxing resort stay on our recent honeymoon in Indonesia. Where are the best beaches near Kuta, Lombok? Keep reading to find out!
We rented a car and driver for the day to hunt down the best beaches around Kuta — little did we know that the private beach at our resort (Novotel Lombok) was the best of the lot. More on that later though!
We arrived at Selong Belanak and walked along the soft white sands. It’s a beautiful beach, but my eye was constantly drawn to small pieces of plastic trash on the beach. It wasn’t enough to completely ruin it but it was noticeable. Selong Belanak is known as an easy (and cheap) place to learn to surf. There were heaps of rookies riding the waves (or mostly falling off them) and it was fun to watch them struggle. I’m not much of a water person so I didn’t join in. We got talking to a surf instructor and he said lessons and board rental cost around RP 250,000 (around $20 USD) — definitely affordable if you want to try it out.
READ MORE: Check out these other awesome islands near Bali
I’ll start by saying Mawun is one of the best beaches I’ve seen in Indonesia. The varying shades of blue water, the crescent shaped stretch of white sand and the rocky headlands at either end combine to make this easily the best beach near Kuta. But then you look at the high tide mark and beyond and see the large amount of plastic trash and a few points immediately get knocked off this judge’s score. It’s a real shame, but as long as you stay close to the water it’s not noticeable at all. Apparently it’s not always like this (a lot of it is due to the tides), so hopefully you see it when it’s nice and rested and not coming off a two day bender like we did.
READ MORE: Also travelling to Bali? Check out my two-week Bali itinerary
Tanjung Aan / Bukit Merese
The beaches near Kuta are definitely “high tide” beaches. The tide was starting to go out when we reached Tanjung and it was fairly rough at ground level. We scrambled up the narrow track at the end of the beach (completely unaware there was much wider path nearby) and explored Bukit Merese. The views from this small, rocky hill are incredible. The first views you’ll see are of Tanjung Aan, but continue up the hill and you’ll escape the crowds and see this remarkable stretch of coastline from several different angles. We walked right to the top and then descended down to a tiny “secret beach” — we felt like the only people for miles which was surprising seeing as we were so close to Tanjung Aan which was crowded with local tourists (and the occasional foreigner).
The walk around Bukit Merese was definitely the highlight of our day trip to the beaches near Kuta — don’t miss it if you’re in the area.
We were invited to stay at Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas during our time in Kuta and it was a relaxing few days. It’s apparently the nicest place stay in the area (and one of the top hotels on Lombok) — it’s pretty luxurious and is perfect for honeymooners (like us), families and anyone who wants to escape Bali for a few days of beachside relaxing. The flight from Bali takes around 30 minutes and it only cost us IDR 333,000 each ($24 USD), making it very cheap and easy to get to from Bali (the flight is also really scenic).
Novotel Lombok was designed to look like a traditional Sasak village and it’s pretty unique for a resort. The food is great (maybe skip the pizza though) and the private beach is the cleanest (and nicest after Mawun) that we saw near Kuta. It’s about 5 km from Kuta and you can easily organise transport if you want to go into town for dinner.
READ MORE: Check out Gia’s review of Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas!
Other Beaches near Kuta, Lombok
There are heaps of other beaches around Kuta and we saw a few of them. None stood out, although we did see them at low tide. You can walk to some of them from Novotel but honestly, there isn’t much point when you have such a nice beach on your doorstep.
Getting to the Beaches
We rented a car and driver to explore Kuta’s surrounding beaches. It cost IDR 400,000 for the whole day. You can also rent a scooter but the roads are pretty dodgy, so be warned!
Tourism in Kuta, Lombok
Kuta itself is a fairly rough little tourist town. Tourism is still quite young in this region and I’m sure the teething trash issue will be sorted out sooner or later. My idea is to charge tourists a dollar extra to enter the beaches (there is already a small charge) and that money is then used to hire full time cleaners who walk around making sure the beaches are spotless.
Have you been to any beaches in Kuta, Lombok? Which one was your favourite? Let me know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: I was hosted by Novotel Lombok Resort and Villas. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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