The most populous and modernised region of the island, West has the most developed tourism infrastructure and amenities, centred along some 10km of spectacular coast. This is an undulating shoreline fringed by lush vegetation and a series of sweeping sandy bays with the established beach resort of Senggigi as its main focus.
Located a short drive north of the island capital Mataram, Senggigi boasts a broad range of tourist facilities including classy five-star beachfront hotels, boutique chic villas, fine dining and a handful of lively bars, yet retains a laid back village atmosphere. The main beach in the centre of town is an attractive stretch of sand making for the perfect spot for glorious ocean sunsets. By day, beach life in Senggigi is generally a laid back affair – simply get horizontal on the sand, head up the coastline by sea kayak or ride the waves at Senggigi Reef.
Senggigi’s main road runs parallel to the beachfront, and is populated with art shops, a handful of hip boutiques, health and beauty salons, great value budget and mid-range hotels, cheap cafes and numerous roadside stalls serving up local Indonesian bites such as satay and bakso meatballs. The resort is also the most convenient base for exploring further afield – a plethora of local tour agents can offer diving trips to Southwest Lombok and the Gili Islands, cultural and sightseeing tours, an ascent of soaring Mount Rinjani volcano and adventurous liveaboard cruises to other islands such as the Komodo National Park.
In fact, Senggigi is something of a happy hunting ground for handicrafts lovers. There is everything from traditional "Sasak" wood carvings, authentic pearls and world-famous Lombok pottery. Check out the traditional Art Market for a good reference point to Lombok’s unique art and cultural scene.
For the quiet life, a short drive north of the Senggigi beach strip will bring you to the low key beach resort of Mangsit. There is a lovely stretch of sand here filled with colourful outrigger fishing boats and an impressive collection of fashionable boutique villas and hotels sit proudly overlooking the sea. There is little in the way of local facilities outside the upmarket resorts – this is the ideal spot to kick back and relax in the sun, marvel at the gorgeous sunsets and stargaze into the night.
What the Mangsit area lacks in practical amenities, it more than compensates for in sheer natural beauty. The road continues north, passing a chain of wide, near deserted sandy bays, fringed by shady coconut groves and forested hills. This is a hair-raising scenic drive all the way north to Pemenang and the Gili Islands, showing off some of Lombok’s most captivating views.
Return to the Lombok regional overview page.