Photo: Meet Batu Putih.

Riding around northwest Alor

Our rating:

If you’ve got a loose day to spend exploring some of Alor and are looking for a mix of attractions and distractions, motorbiking around the northwest “head” of the island makes for a fine and very full day out in the countryside.

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While Google Maps clearly marks a road all the way around the northwest, in practice this doesn’t exist, with the central section along the north coast of the island being little more than a glorified goat track. It is not passable by bemos and it certainly isn’t passable by cars, so if you’re on four wheels rather than two you’ll need to do two trips, one as far at Pantai Bota in Kokar (heading clockwise) and the other as far as Batu Putih (heading anti-clockwise)—and you’d need two days.

The road is patchy in places. Photo taken in or around Riding around northwest Alor, Alor, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

The road is patchy in places. Photo: Stuart McDonald

We did the lot on an ojek travelling in a clockwise direction, so we’ll follow that routing. It is advisable to take a guide with you as the goat track section of the route has no signposts and you’ll probably get lost—and there isn’t always someone around to ask for directions from.

Heading west from Kalabahi, the first town you’ll reach is Alor Kecil—you’ll know you’re there by the enormous tree by the side of the road and the views out to Kepa and Pura Islands. This is also where you get the boat to Kepa Island. Unless you’re heading to Kepa, there’s little reason to slow down, other than to take a few pics.

Now that is an old Koran. Photo taken in or around Riding around northwest Alor, Alor, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Now that is an old Koran. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Next stop, a little further up the coast, is Alor Besar, which of course is actually smaller than Alor Kecil but whatevs. The town is known for its mosque, which is home to a Koran made of bark brought to Alor from Ternate in the 16th century. It is kept in a glass box in the building beside the mosque and, for a small donation (we popped 20,000 rupiah into the box), the caretaker will happily wheel it out for you to take a look. Photos are allowed, but no ... Travelfish members only (Around 900 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Alor

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Alor.

Best places to stay in Alor

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Alor.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Alor.
 Read up on where to eat on Alor.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Alor.
 Read up on how to get to Alor.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Alor? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Alor that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Alor? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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