Pack your bags and jump on a plane, because the quiet little Island of Nusa Lembongan is waiting for you.
Think, crystal blue waters, brightly coloured tropical fish and sipping cocktails with your toes in the sand and an umbrella shading your slightly sunburnt back….
This absolute gem, just a 45 minute boat ride from the main land of Bali is truly the most relaxing place in Bali. Take your bikini, other half and a sense of adventure. Leave your clean cut guidelines at home, because in Nusa Lembongan the chill vibes really take hold.
Don’t expect to be given a helmet when you rent a scooter (it’s not a legal requirement on the Island), hell, don’t even expect to sign any forms, or have a rego plate! Just grab those keys and go!
Putt-putt your way across the island, don’t worry there are only about three roads, if you get lost chances are you’ll loop the island and be back at where you started before you even know it.
Grab a paddle-board or surfboard, get ready for some reef cuts and hit the water. Want to swim from a lovely sandy beach? We loved the surf beach near playgrounds (Song Lambung Beach). It is hidden in a tiny little bay… take it slow on your scooter because the brakes won’t fully work as you slide your way down the steep track to the beach.
Worth the adrenaline rush, you will see glistening warm waters that await you. Not to worry if you didn’t bring much because you can grab a paddle board, surfboard, coconut or Bintang (what else could you possibly need?) right on the sand.
The locals love their life on the Island, it is the safest part of Bali you can come across these days. Feel safe to leave your belongings with the local surfboard guy while you hit the waves at ‘Playgrounds’ – the smaller reef break of them all. Or take your chances with ‘Lacerations’ and ‘Shipwrecks’, you may need to grab a boat to get out, otherwise you are in for a nice warmup paddle out.
Make sure you check the tides and hit the beaches in the morning, as by the afternoon the tide goes out so quickly there is no beach left, just the reef jutting out of the water, locals scouring the rocks for shellfish.
As the tide goes out and gets low over the reef, this is your chance to hit the bars, and continue to fry your sizzled little skin by taking a daybed at Ohana’s. If you are already a squiggly little burnt snag, try your luck on the seats at the top, there are two comfy tables that we managed to nab all to ourselves in the shade with the best view!
Either stay here to watch the sunset over the ocean or grab a bottle of wine and scoot scoot your way over to ‘Sunset Point’, a little spot on the cliffs where you can watch that damn beautiful golden glow set over the sea.
As the sun sets grab a bite to eat, try sitting with the kittens and grabbing a local feed straight from the grill at a little Warung on the beach (Warung Bambu). Eat the delicious food, but please do yourself a favour and save the wine (and bathroom) for another venue, local Bali wines are not my jam.
The Deck has good cocktails… head upstairs to the restaurant above (Muntings Restaurant) for a delicious feed, oh my, so good. It’s a little ‘fancier’ than The Deck, but the food is much better! The Deck is great for a nibble and the ‘place to be’ for a cocktail.
At Muntings, if the staff’s English is not very good, give them a break because many are actually kids at school who are learning hospitality as part of their studies. They love to chat with you and will treat you like royalty. Take the time to have a chat as your conversations helps them learn!
For our favourite hidden venue, sneak downstairs from the Deck and hit the hidden Whisky bar, The Howff. The drinks are great and the interior is absolutely decked out as a Scottish Whisky Bar, not your standard Bali vibe, but ultra fabulous and also a very intimate space with not many others.
OK, I may have left the best for last, this is truly the place I would happily never leave – Sandy Bay Beach Club. Go no further, and whatever you do EAT THE PRAWN TACOS! This beach club, right on the sand has it’s own pool, with GF DF V VG options (thank god) on the menu. It has a great relaxed vibe, fantastic food, good service and comfy day beds. Let me live here all day and all night and I would!
Once you’re all dined out, let that little head rest as tomorrow is another beautiful day!
Wake yourself with a splash in the pool and the crust already cut off your toast (ummm, yes, they do that!). Jump on your scooter because it’s time for your morning wheatgrass shot to start the day. Grab a seat right on the beach at Ginger & Jamu for a fabulous GF DF V VG brekky of goodness. The light on the water and that humid mist is just something really special and sets you up for another magical day.
There are many adventures to be had on the Island. If you’ve never ridden a scooter, this is probably one of the easiest places to learn! And you will need to, it’s much easier to movie around than walking of taking a bumpy little tax-truck.
Put on your sunscreen and head to Nusa Ceningan for a day trip. It’s a beautiful little Island attached to Nusa Lembongan by a little yellow bridge.
Obviously you are going to snap your Insta worthy pic on one of the swings in the ocean, and then be sure to head to Secret Point Bar and Restaurant to enjoy sunset from the cliff as you watch the surfers snatch some barrels (or just get annihilated).
This is just the starting point of your time. Explore to your hearts content, for a small Island there is lots to do and enjoy.
Been there before? Let me know in the comments below your favourite spots!
THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
HOW TO GET THERE
Rocky Fast Boat is the only way to go! Safe and fast, they also cover your transfer from the airport, to your accommodation on Lembongan, back to the boat after your stay AND to wherever you are going on the Island of Bali!
WHERE TO STAY
There are a few main areas where you can stay on Nusa Lembongan:
Jungut Batu Beach – (the place where most of the boats come into the Island) and where the majority of the best bars and restaurants are. This would be my pick if we were to go back. You can swim here, there are still boats, but pop in for a dip and it is relatively calm. You can reach most of the surf breaks from this beach also. We liked lots of the restaurants here more than Mushroom Bay, to be honest we didn’t even have a meal at Mushroom Bay as it just seemed smothered in tourists and not as nice as Jungut Batu Beach
Mushroom Bay – Lots of cafes and restaurants, it has a little beach they say is the best swimming beach… I didn’t like it much as there were lots of boats coming and going. (For where to swim see above article.)
There are also many families here, so great if you have a family as the water is quite calm and they also have small water parks with slides etc. for the kids.
Sandy Bay – Escape the crowds.
This is a quieter place to stay, with only a few cafes and restaurants. You will need a scooter and personally I would be more inclined to stay somewhere more lively, unless all you want to do is swim in your pool with a fantastic view of the ocean (and of course enjoy Sandy Bay Beach Club – my fave!).
SHOULD YOU STAY ON NUSA CENENGAN?
Nusa Cenengan is very quiet and chill, it is defiantly not a ‘must’ to stay over there, just jump on your scooter and do a day trip… and by a day trip, it probably only takes 10-15 minutes to scooter all the way over to Cenengan from Mushroom Bay, it really is so close! We went over there a bunch of times during our trip, for lunch, for a drink or for a swim, it really is very easy!
WHERE WE STAYED
We stayed in a cheaper accommodation Dinah Lembongan Villas (around $45 per night). It was clean, great, extremely friendly staff, nice pools and everything we needed. Close location to Mushroom Bay. We would definitely stay there again!
If we were going to stay again I think we would stay closer to the action in Jungut Batu Beach, as we liked the restaurants and cafes over that way more, although I actually loved the 5-10 min scooter over there every day (I like to work on my scooter skills!)
SURFING / PADDLE BOARDING / SWIMMING
At Song Lambung Beach grab a paddle board or surfboard for $5 a hour and catch a wave. The local surfboard guy will look after your belongings, and they are great, you can trust them!
You can paddle board around to the next bay along Tamarind Bay or also back to Jungut Batu Beach very easily. Be sure to ceck the tide, so you don’t get caught in the strong sweep as the tide goes out.
Surf ‘Playgrounds’ just a two second paddle from the beach here. Otherwise grab a board and boat from Jungut Batu Beach if you want to surf ‘Lacerations’ or ‘Shipwrecks’ as they are a little further out.
Playgrounds – is the easiest of them all, better for beginners AKA the only break I surfed!
Shipwrecks – is a fun reef break from what I hear and not as hectic as Lacerations.
Lacerations says it all – the more hectic of them all especially as the swell picks up. And you guessed it, on a gnarly reef.
Not so keen on adrenaline thrills? Soak some sun laying on the white sandy beach or go for a relaxing swim in the calm bay. This is probably the safest spot to swim on the Island!
Grab a local boat and head out for the day. We loved snorkelling close to the Island and it was seriously some of the most incredible snorkelling I’ve done!
RELAX WITH A MASSAGE
We loved our little hidden gem Kemilau Spa. A must do for relaxation whilst you are on the Island!
TAKE A YOGA CLASS
DO A DAY TRIP TO NUSA CENINGAN
See article above for tips!
I hope you loved the tips and I hope you book a trip!
XOXO GOSSIP GIRL