Kei Islands Travel Guide

In Indonesia’s Maluku Province, the Kei Islands epitomize the remote beach holiday. These are some of the finest white-sand beaches in the country, and tourist numbers are so few that visitors usually have massive stretches of sand to themselves.

There are several islands in this group, headlined by Kei Besar. This island is covered with forested, hilly terrain attractive to trekkers but has little in the way of accommodation. Kei Kecil is the better option for beachgoers, with a selection of hotels and plenty of coastline.

Swimming and snorkeling are both popular pursuits, enhanced by Maluku’s world-famous coral gardens. Surfing (kite, wind and regular) is also a popular pastime. Hiring a boat and visiting the outlying islands that riddle the sea here is a great way to pass a morning and early afternoon.

Most of the accommodation on the Kei Islands is laid-back. Beach cottages and bungalows abound, virtually all of them inexpensive and locally owned. In most cases, the cottage owners can cook meals for their customers.

Getting There & Away

As regional capital, Tual serves as gateway to the Kei Islands. It operates a tiny airport offering 1-hour flights to Ambon, the transport hub of Maluku Province. Ambon operates regular flights to and from Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, where a long list of international flights is on offer.