The island of Nusa Lembongan is just 30 minute's boat ride from Bali and makes a relaxing break when the traffic and tourists of the South gets too much. Boats for Lembongan depart from Sanur and you can either go by slow boat or the more expensive fast boat.
Most boats from Bali will drop you off in Jungut Batu, one of the two main villages on Nusa Lembongan. There's a range of accommodation within walking distance, however if you plan on staying at Mushroom Bay, Dream Beach or any of the other areas on Lembongan then you will have to arrange your own transport there.
Bear in mind that whether arriving by fast boat or slow boat, you will have to wade through shallow water to get on to the beach, so wearing shorts and slip-on shoes is recommended.
Although the beach at Jungut Batu may not be the best place to swim due to all the boats anchored off shore, it's still possible to find a small stretch to take a dip and cool off in. Just look at the village kids who do this on a daily basis and see how much fun they have!
The beach also offers stunning views across to Mount Agung in Bali on a clear day, and the sunsets from this side of the island are some of the best we reckon.
Heading south from the main beach, there's a lovely little walkway that takes you up to the bukit or hill, where more upmarket accommodation is available. This area is also great to enjoy sunset drinks and views across to Mount Agung in Bali.
One of our favorite spots to go for a light snack or sunset drink (or even breakfast, come to think of it) is The Deck. This small but stylish bar & cafe is part of the upmarket Batu Karang resort and sits snugly against the cliff, overlooking the water.
Prices are a little more as you would expect, but the view more than makes up for it and the menu includes some interesting cocktails. If your idea of the perfect way to end the day is by sipping on an espresso martini as the sun sets, then The Deck is the place to go.
The village itself is laid back and quiet, with just a few small local shops and tourist information booths. We were surprised on our last visit to find a deli had opened, obviously catering to the international market who visit the island.
Another new (and very welcome we'd imagine) addition is Jungut Batu Theater Restaurant. This concept is especially great if you're staying somewhere that doesn't have a TV, since there's not that much in the way of nightlife on Lembongan.
Every evening between 6pm and 7pm they show some sort of surf film or documentary and then at 7pm they start the English feature film. The movie is free to watch if you order some food or drinks, and the place can get pretty full so its best to get there a bit ahead of time to grab your bean bag ahead of the show.
If you didn't book your return on the boat, the office is located on the beach in Jungut Batu and most locals should be able to point you in the right direction if you're not sure where to go.
It's always best to book in advance as the boats can fill up and with only three departures per day, you may be stuck on the island for another day - not that most people would mind!
Jungut Batu is a great base from which to explore Nusa Lembongan, however the island is so small you can easily drive around from any of the other areas. If you're not planning on renting a bike, then it's the ideal location within walking distance from anything you might need.