Looking for empty beaches? Here you go

Set northwest of Taliwang, Kertasari Beach is a long sweeping white-sand beach with some spectacularly appointed islands and bluffs, no less than eight surf breaks and a series of stunning and undeveloped beaches a short bumpy motorbike ride to the north.

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If you’ve ever been to Nusa Lembongan or Nusa Ceningan off the coast of Bali, you’ll recognise the smell of seaweed farming as you roll through the little village of Kertasari, which sits at the southern end of the bay. When you reach the T-junction, take a right and follow the beach road, which runs for much of the length of the beach.

Looking across to Gunung Rinjani from Kertasari Beach. : Stuart McDonald.
Looking across to Gunung Rinjani from Kertasari Beach. Photo: Stuart McDonald

With Gunung Rinjani towering in the distance and three islands closer to shore, the beach views are just stunning. You can surf straight out front of the beach or at any one of the surrounding breaks, which cater to surfers ranging from competent to expert. The area’s most famous break is Northern Rights, which only works when really big swells are rolling in. But surfing is on hand somewhere throughout the year with at least eight different breaks to try out.

Despite the limited range of accommodation the beaches — both Kertasari and those to the north — warrant visiting here on a daytrip, even if you’re staying south at Jelenga (about an hour away by motorbike). At the time of writing in mid-2016, there was just one proper hotel, though you could check house rental websites for other possibilities.

Totally overdeveloped. : Stuart McDonald.
Totally overdeveloped. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Eating is limited to the hotel, but there are a couple of friendly beach bars at the northern end which, while offering coffee only, will organise beer if you ask. We particularly liked welcoming and fun Ardi, who runs Kelly Cafe (named after surfer ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 500 words.)

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