Whether you’re into lounging on the sand, leaping into the surf or simply watching the sunset over the water with a cocktail in hand, Indonesia has a beach to suit everyone. It’s not surprising – with more than 17,000 islands in the archipelago, it has the fourth-largest coastline in the world.
While it would be impossible to write about every one of Indonesia’s breathtaking beaches, we’ve picked our favorites to help inspire a bit of winter wanderlust. Read all about them, and then put together your dream beach break with Wonderful Indonesia.
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Seminyak Beach, Bali
This three-mile stretch of golden sand is backed by a strip of some of Bali’s trendiest beach bars and restaurants. Plonk yourself down on a sun-lounger, shaded by a colorful umbrella, and enjoy the sound of the waves lapping the sand. For a romantic treat, visit one of the stables and go horse riding along the beach. If you’re into surfing, the best time to visit Seminyak is in the morning. The waves at Seminyak are often twice the size of the ones at Kuta – and it’s often blissfully quiet, too. There are a few surf camps in the area if you fancy learning how to “hang ten”.
How to get there: Seminyak Beach is just over 7 miles from Bali (Denpasar) Airport.
Mandalika Beach, Lombok
Backed by lush green hills and lapped by the Indian Ocean, the sparkling white beaches of Mandalika were once a hidden gem visited only by in-the-know surfers. Today the area is being touted as ‘the new Bali’ with plenty to keep visitors entertained – buzzing bars and nightclubs, racing circuits and water parks have recently sprung up around the area’s gorgeous natural attractions. Plan your visit during February and you can enjoy Seger Beach’s unique Bau Nyale Festival, which celebrates the Nyale sea worms – catching them at the first light of day is said to bring good luck. There’s also a surf competition, photography contest and food stalls selling local delicacies.
How to get there: Mandalika Beach is on the south coast of Lombok island, 12.6 miles from Lombok International airport.
Ancol Beach, Jakarta
Add even more culture and history to your beach break by basing yourself in Indonesia’s bustling capital city, Jakarta. Once you’ve wandered the streets of Kota Tua (the Dutch colonial old town) and visited sights like the National Monument, head to Ancol Beach in the north of the city. This urban beach is a favorite with locals and is lined with shopping malls and international restaurants. If you’re feeling energetic, head to Aqua Fun – an aquatic obstacle course made out of inflatables.
How to get there: Ancol Beach is just seven miles north of Central Jakarta and takes around 24 minutes by taxi.