5 awesome islands near Bali that aren't Bali

5 awesome islands near Bali that aren't Bali
PHOTO: Pixabay

This article first appeared on Skyscanner's 5 awesome islands near Bali that aren't Bali

Where to go besides Bali? Here are 5 other Indonesian islands you might enjoy and cherish as much as, if not more than, Bali. Make no mistake: Bali is amazing.

Yet your Balinese obsession may be keeping you from discovering just how many great islands you'll find in Indonesia. If you're ready to expand your horizons, Skyscanner introduces five islands that you will love just as much.

1. Lombok Island

Lombok has been referred to by some as an unspoiled Bali.
Photo: Skyscanner

Head east! Lombok has been termed by some as "an unspoiled Bali" and lies a few kilometres east of the island.

It has beautiful beaches, enchanting waterfalls, a large volcano known as Mount Rinjani and relatively few tourists.

You'll find resorts, as well as peaceful rural villages, mountains, and waterfalls too, which are perfect if you're really looking to get away from it all. The south side is great for surfers, and there are dive sites all around the island.

2. The Gili Islands

The Gili islands comprise three small islands north of Lombok that boast clear waters.
Photo: Skyscanner

The Gili islands are an archipelago of three small islands just north of Lombok - and are an excellent respite from the hustle and bustle of Indonesia's most popular resort isle.

Gili Trawangan, the largest and most popular of the three, is about a thirty minute boat ride from Lombok, and there are fast boats that regularly leave Bali for this island too.

Gili Trawangan is an awesome holiday destination suitable for all. The beaches are powdery white and the water is clear blue. Various new hotels, luxury villas and boutique bungalows are popping up everywhere.

On all Gili Islands, motorised forms of transportation are not allowed, so you will have to get around on foot, by bicycle and in pony carts known as Cidomo; the atmosphere on these islands is tranquil and quiet. Paradise is just a boat ride away.

3. Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Lembongan: petitely sized at only 8 square-kilometres, but with crystal clear water.
Photo: Skyscanner

Due east of Denpasar lies the tiny island of Nusa Lembongan. At 8 square kilometres, you'll be able to walk from end to end in very little time. But in that short span, you'll see a pristine mangrove forest and lots of local colour.

There are few distractions to disturb your reverie, and once the day-trippers from Bali have left, you'll feel like you have the whole island to yourself. The water here is crystal clear, and diving and snorkelling are attractive options as well. How to get to Nusa Lembongan? Hop onto a boat from Bali - or book a helicopter.

4. Pulau Mojo

Sheer seclusion: get your mojo back on Mojo Island!
Photo: Skyscanner

Officially, it's Moyo Island, but you'll agree the older spelling Mojo just looks cooler. If you're looking to get your mojo back, this is a great place to start. This island, lying a few hundred kilometres east of Lombok, contains a massive national park with a deer sanctuary, and is unknown to most tourists.

The park has many opportunities for hiking and swimming, and general getting back to nature. The coral drenched waters of the marine park provide excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving. There is one resort on the island, which ensures that you will not have to elbow other tourists out of the way while you're there.

5. Komodo Island

Komodo island has a unique ecosystem and is one of Indonesia's remarkable natural heritage.
Photo: Skyscanner

Home to the legendary Komodo dragon, the planet's largest lizard, the entirety of this island has been a national park since 1980, not only to protect and preserve the lizard itself, but also the unique ecosystem of the island and its offshore reef environment.

There is one village, and no hotels, so you'll stay on a neighbouring island and take a ferry in. The closest airport to Komodo Island is Labuan Bajo airport. In addition to the park itself, snorkelling, diving and sea kayaking are options for travellers. This island is one of the best showcases for Indonesia's remarkable natural heritage.

Bonus for the adventurous:

Be awed by nature's immense majesty.
Photo: Skyscanner

The tiny remnant of the mighty Mt. Krakatoa, the volcano whose eruption shook the world. When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, it sent so much ash into the stratosphere that disrupted weather patterns around the world for the next 5 years.

Places as far away as Los Angeles and South Africa felt the effects of this titanic eruption. While the island itself is inaccessible, boat tours that pass the island can be booked, for those who want to tremble in awe at nature's immense majesty.

Inspired to explore Indonesia? Save more for your travels by booking the cheapest flights, hotels and car hire by using Skyscanner or our mobile apps.

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