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Great Escape: BALI & LOMBOK

Begin your adventure with temples and theatre in Ubud, Bali, then tour the Unescolisted rice terraces at Jatiluwih. Head to the coast to explore Pemuteran’s glorious reefs before braving an ascent of Lombok’s mighty volcano of Rinjani, and finally relaxing on the heavenly white-sand beaches of the Gili Islands.
Beach huts and boats on Gili Air island, just off the coast of Lombok

Plan your trip

1 Begin in the cultural centre of Ubud, where water temples and sacred dance-dramas prevail alongside surfing and coffee shops (p46).

2 Walk through the rice terraces of Jatiluwih and discover a farming community that has thrived on a credo of cooperation (p48).

3 Marvel at the conservation success stories in Pemuteran, where baby turtles are reared and reefs fully restored (p51).

4 Ascend the volcanic slopes of sacred Mount Rinjani and gaze down upon the tranquil beauty of its crater lake (p52).

5 Famed for their flawless beaches and laidback way of life, the tropical Gili Islands make an ideal final leg of your journey (p54).

MAP ILLUSTRATION: ALEX VERHILLLE. PHOTOGRAPHS: JOHN LAURIE, PAUL KENNEDY/GETTY, FOTOEMBER/ISTOCK/GETTY

HOW TO GET THERE

Most flights to Bali’s Denpasar International Airport connect through an Asian or Gulf state hub such as Singapore, Bangkok or Dubai, which means there are plenty of carriers to choose from, including Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways. Return flights from London Heathrow with Thai Airways start at around £630.

HOW TO GET AROUND

Bali is a relatively compact island, but the deep valleys left behind by ancient lava flows mean that, while it’s fairly easy to travel from north to south, it’s difficult to travel in a straight line from east to west – so travel times can be surprisingly long. Tourist shuttle buses connect most of the main towns, but having your own transport provides maximum freedom. You can easily rent a small 4WD for under £25 a day, or hire a car and driver for around £50 per day. Many travellers hire scooters, and, while it’s cheap (under £5 a day), it’s a risky option on Bali’s busy roads unless you’re a confident rider. To get to Lombok, ferries run from the port of Padangbai, or you can catch a 45-minute flight from Denpasar with Garuda Indonesia (one-way from £28; garuda-indonesia.com).

HOW LONG TO SPEND

With two nights in each location, 10 days allows enough time to cover all the ground in our feature, although two weeks would allow for a much more relaxed pace.

WHAT TO BUDGET

On Bali, for £40–£60 a day, you could stay in hostels or budget hotels and eat at street-food stalls. With £80– £160, you’ll be able to bump yourself up to a mid-range hotel (probably with air-con and a swimming pool), eat out most nights in restaurants and maybe even throw in a massage. Upwards of £160 will allow you to stay at luxury boutique hotels, eat at the best places and be chauffeured by a private driver.

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