Madura Island's natural wonders shows that this unique location has more up its sleeve than bull races and satay!

  26 October 2015 20:00 - As the world's largest archipelago, Indonesia has more than its fair share of secluded, exotic islands and beaches that draw more than their fair share of tourists. Areas like Bali, Lombok, and Karimun island off the Javanese coast come to mind due to their beaches.  

But other parts of Indonesia also boast idyllic beaches where you expect them least, among them Madura island, East Java. Better known for its bull races and satay, the island is also home to some natural sites that are as beautiful as they are secluded. stopped by a number of these hidden gems and saw what they have to offer. Friday (18/9).

1. Gili Labak


First off is Gili Labak, a small island off Madura that’s administratively part of the Sumenep district.

Pronounced ‘Gili Lab-bek’ by the locals, Gili Labak boasts a natural panorama of magnificent beaches. White sands, clear waters, and a trove of underwater marine life beckons to the traveler, which can reach this slice of paradise following a two hour boat ride from the port of Kalianget, Sumenep.


2. Gili Iyang
But Gili Labak is by no means the only Gili off Sumenep, as it lies alongside Gili Iyang. Located off the town of Dungkep, Gili Iyang is similarly enticing with its clean beaches and white sands.  


But there’s more. Gili Iyang has the highest oxygen concentration in the world, standing at 27 percent of the air. This means that the island’s more than eight thousand inhabitants get to breathe some of the cleanest air in the world.

Gili Iyang’s wonders can also be found underneath the surface as above it, as its dotted by ten caves that dot the island. Cave explorers can have a field day going through them, the most prominent of which is “Mahakarya” (Masterpiece) Cave, in allusion to its natural beauty.

3. Kangean Besar Island


Kangean Besar or (Great Kangean) Island is the biggest isle in the eponymously named Kangean archipelago of over 60 islands, some of which are inhabited. Located off the Sumenep district like Gili Labak and Gili Iyang, Kangean Besar has more than its fair share of tourists that use it as a stepping stone for the rest of the Kangean islands. But tourists heading there would have to be a bit more patient, as they would have to take a 12 hour ferry or speed boat crossing from the port of Kalianget Harbor to get there.

4. Slopeng Beach


Not all of Madura’s beaches require a crossing to an offshore island. Slopeng beach, a tourist favorite due to its resemblance to Bali’s iconic Kuta beach in its more pristine days, is a mere 21 kilometers from the town of Sumenep.  Located in the village of Dasuk, Slopeng Beach made an impression on the senses with its six kilometers of white sands. Its sand dune is a particular tourist favorite, as they linger and lounge there for hours on end.

5. Saebus Island


Madura has something to offer for snorkeling and diving aficionados, as they can do no better than to drop by Saebus Island. Located off the Sepeken area, the island has an array of natural underwater life. Here, soft corals and fish vie for the divers’ attention with their array of colors, shapes and sizes. The island’s renowned traditional grilled fish is also a treat worth looking forward to after a day of exploring its underwater life.

While the islands and beaches are perhaps a fraction of Madura’s wonders, they’ll also give you a preview of what it has to offer off the beaten path.


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