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Hardly anyone knows about these exotic Indonesia islands


Hardly anyone knows about these exotic Indonesia islands

story by: Anna Sarjeant

Escapism, tranquillity and total relaxation without another soul in sight. For island dreams that we all crave, visit Indonesia. We bet you haven’t heard about half of these exotic islands – and that’s the most wonderful thing; hardly anyone knows of their existence.

Here are four Indonesia island holidays perfect for your next exotic island escape.

1. Gili Meno Island, Gili Islands
Escapism at it’s very best, Gili Meno Island is the smallest of three peaceful isles which make up the famed Gili Islands northwest of Lombok. A tiny jewel in the Gili crown, it’s only two kilometres long and one kilometre wide, and yet, with so few people aware of its existence, you won’t find another soul interrupting your Robinson Crusoe experience. The sand is as white and as fine as angel dust and the water so clear, it’s renowned for some of the best snorkelling in Indonesia; including the ‘Gili Meno Wall‘ where turtles freely swim throughout the day. Completely undeveloped, it’s the silence which can initially feel unnerving (where are the car horns and police sirens?) but once you relax into solitude you’ll revel in the utter tranquillity. If you’re concerned you’ll be fishing for you own dinner, don’t be, there are a handful of deliciously rustic bars and brasseries. Local cafes serve grilled fish on the beach and you’re never too far from a frosty beer served from a bamboo hut.


2. Gili Kondo Island, The Secret Gili Islands
Kondo Island, found northeast of Lombok, is also a member of the ‘secret Gili Islands’. These scatterings of golden paradise freckle the ocean and offer pockets of pure, unadulterated Utopia. So unknown are these isles, those who drift ashore usually have the entire beach to themselves. As well as one of the world's most incredible tropical paradises, Gili Kondo is possibly also one of the world's happiest. Cheery locals are followed by even cheerier children; the simplicity of island life key to their contentment. With platinum white beaches, emerald ocean and plentiful coral, life here is as calm as the water fronting the shoreline. The drinks run cold, the tuna steaks are numerous and with little to no vehicles, Gili Kondo’s serenity is hardly ever disturbed. Sold.    


3. Komodo Island, Lesser Sunda Islands
An undisputed experience of a lifetime, Komodo Island will put you face to face with its namesake – and most infamous - inhabitant: the formidable Komodo dragon. These monstrous beasts can grow to lengths of 2.6 metres and run at speeds of up to 20km/h, so when the locals describe the isle as ‘The land of Dragons’ they really do mean the Komodos are in charge here. Local guides lead intrigued Komodo seekers through a beautiful and lush wonderland of dense forest and exotic foliage, tracking the movements of these enormous lizards. You can thank Sir David Attenborough for really putting these magnificent animals on the global map; he decided to go in search of them back in 1956, as part of the BBC’s Zoo Quest TV program. David was successful and the viewers in Britain were treated to the first-ever televised footage of a Komodo. A creature that might otherwise have remained the stuff of myths and legends. 

4. Satonda Island, Lesser Sunda Islands
In an age where every corner of the globe is accessible, Satonda Island is surprisingly (and refreshingly) low key. Visitors aren’t numerous here, so the terrain stays pristine and the water crystal clear. The island’s most famed feature is the enormous lake at its very centre. Born from a volcanic eruption millions of years ago, the island is basically a flooded volcano. The resulting crater is a very substantial 84 hectares wide and 86 metres deep. Expecting the water to be fresh, those who initially discovered the lake were surprised to find it filled with salt water, but one that was also replete with startling coral life. The snorkelling opportunities are still abundant today, as is canoeing if you’d prefer to keep your eyes out of the salt. For those who don’t consider themselves water babies, there’s a small sliver of platinum white beach, ideal for reading, sun bathing or simply idling away the hours.    

Let's make your Indonesia island dream a reality today. Star Clipper's Eastbound Bali roundtrip cruise visits all of these startling exotic places.

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