By David Nankervis
Last updated on: December 21, 2018 at 8:43 am
Bali may boast some beautiful beaches, but some of the best in Indonesia can be found just a half-hour boat ride away, on a little group of islands with a big attitude.
20km off the south-east coast of mainland Bali, across the Badung Strait, lies a group of 3 islands – Nusa Cenigan, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Penida.
Nusa Lembongan, the nearest of them all, is easily accessible from the resorts of Sanur and popular with people looking for a break from the Bali bustle.
Thankfully, it’s not hard to find peace and quiet here due to the dearth of cars, hawkers and tour group gawkers.
And you don’t even have to compromise on the quality of food or Wi-Fi connectivity. Among the top attractions are some of the best beaches and snorkelling spots in the region, with gorgeous tropical fish, colourful coral and year-round resident manta rays. These are some of the standouts.
As much as I enjoy getting away from the maddening crowds, the aptly named Mushroom (shape) Bay draws the day-tripping crowds for good reason.
The bay water’s warm, the sand’s white and there’s easily accessible snorkelling around the southern headland. There are plenty of beachfront eateries offering fresh seafood, Indonesian staples and even wood-oven pizzas, as well as a couple of small general stores with takeaway beers and snacks.
Accommodation across the board is available – from villas with infinity pools and stunning bay views to bargain back-street rooms.
Get there: You can organise direct fast boat ferry rides between Sanur and Mushroom Bay, and either hire a scooter to see more of the island or enjoy walking-distance destinations nearby.