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gili islands

Gili Islands

Travel Guide

Paradise isn't unattainable, because it's in Bali, in the form of the Gili Islands. Do you want to wake up in the morning to the sound of the ocean gently lapping the beach, start your day with a fresh brekky, before spending the rest of your hours swimming with turtles/snorkelling/lounging about on the sand and watching the sunset? Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air can help you live the dream. Famous for snorkelling, scuba diving, and palm-fringed white beaches, these islands give you somewhere to escape your 9-5 in favour of a tropical adventure.

Things to do on the Gili Islands

  • things to do on the gili islandsIsland hop
    The islands are all close to each other and public boats run 2 times a day, meaning that you can explore all three islands if you want to! One-way tickets cost approx 23,000 rupiah (approx £1.21).
  • things to do on the gili islandsLive Reggae music
    There's nothing like chilling on an island, sipping a Bintang and listening to locals performing live Reggae music - Sama-Sama on Gili Trawangan is a firm favourite among locals and travellers.
  • things to do on the gili islandsCycle around Gili Trawangan
    Gili Air and Gili Meno are easy to walk around by foot, with secluded and dreamy beaches, but if you want to explore Gili Trawangan we recommend hiring a bike one day to properly explore. 
  • things to do on the gili islandsDive right in
    There are loads of diving schools and snorkelling spots across the three islands, whether you're a beginner or a pro. The Gili Islands are the perfect place for swimming with turtles.
  • things to do on the gili islandsSoak up the sunsets
    Grab a Bintang and sit on the beach, go for dinner, or just wander the islands watching the sunset. Plenty of beachside bars offer up beanbags and live music to ease you into the night. It doesn't matter which island you're on, the sunsets will always be next-level.
  • things to do on the gili islandsTurtle Sanctuary on Gili Meno
    Bolong's Turtle Sanctuary in Gili Meno collect and look after turtle eggs, raising them for 8 months before releasing them into the wild, saving them from extinction. You can go for a visit, or for 100,000 rupiah (approx £5.25) you can release a turtle yourself.

Gili Islands Guide

Are you notoriously first on the dancefloor, a self-confessed explorer or is beach lounging with a book more your deal? Well the Gili Islands has it all! From colourful underwater ecosystems, beach raves fuelled by vodka joss, to delicious night food markets. You'll be spoilt for choice.



gili meno beach
Gili Meno
Almost untouched, Gili Meno is perfect if you want some down-time, a chance to snorkel and dive in a less touristy spot, properly meet the locals and learn about the island culture. You can either stay in a homestay, which is the perfect way to immerse yourself in authentic island life, stay in hotels, hostels or just visit the island on a day tour from Gili Trawangan or Gili Air.
Gili Trawangan
Want to sip cocktails on the beach and dance the night away on a tropical island? Gili Trawangan, aka 'Gili T' is THE party island and the best is, you can sleep it all off on the tranquil beaches on the north side. It's the perfect place for travellers who are looking to party every day, or those who want to relax most of the time, with the occassional crazy night.
gili air sea turtle
Gili Air
This is the closest island to Lombok and is the place to go if you want a mix of the other two islands. You've got the beach parties, sundowners, and buzz of Gili T mixed with the secluded and paradise feel of Gili Meno. If you want down-time and beach parties, local culture and underwater fun, then Gili Air is the island for you.

How to travel from Bali to the Gili Islands

The easiest way to get to the Gilies is on a speed boat that will get you to all three Gili Islands within 20-30 minutes from either Bali or Lombok. Then hop from island to island for only $1.

Our favourite Gili Islands hotels

aston sunset beach resort
Aston Sunset Beach Resort
Situated on Gili T, this beachfront resort is located at island's sandy west coast. Dive into the outdoor swimming pool, treat yourself to room service and laze by the private beach.
vila ombak gili island
Vila Ombak Hotel
Stay in Vila Ombak and relax at the outdoor pool or the spa. Also includes a watersports centre, three bars but the best is the location: on the beach and 4 minutes walking distance from the nearest diving centre.
Jambuluwuk gili trawangan
Hotel Sogo Avenida
Located conveniently near the beach on Gili T's northern tip, this elegant and spacious and tropical retreat has it's own bike rental, outdoor pool and watersports options.

Gili Islands weather: best time to go

The best time to beat the crowds is from November through to April, this is the wet season so you might get a bit of tropical rain. If you want guaranteed sunshine and a bit more bustle? Travel to the Gilis between May and October.

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