Gili Island

Discovering the Gili Islands: tropical paradise in Indonesia


The Gili Islands are a group of three small islands off the northwestern coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Known for their white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and relaxed atmosphere, these islands are a true paradise for those seeking a tropical getaway.

Where are located and how to get there

The Gili Islands, consisting of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, are located off the coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Reaching them from Ubud, Bali, is relatively straightforward. First, you need to take a transfer to Padang Bai port, which is about a 2-hour drive. From Padang Bai, several fast ferry services will take you directly to the Gili Islands in about 2 hours. These ferries offer convenient options to reach Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, or Gili Air, depending on the type of experience you’re looking for.

From my personal experience, the trip to the islands was very calm and relaxing, allowing me to enjoy the beauty of the sea. However, the return journey was something I would rather forget.

What to do in the Gili

Snorkeling and diving

I Gili Islands are famous for their extraordinary marine life. The waters around the islands are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving. You can explore vibrant coral reefs, swim with sea turtles, and admire a variety of tropical fish.

Relaxing on the beaches

Each island offers beautiful white sand beaches where you can relax and enjoy the sun. Gili Trawangan is the liveliest of the three, with a variety of beach bars and restaurants. Gili Meno is perfect for those seeking tranquility, while Gili Air offers a mix of both experiences.

We stayed on Gili Trawangan, which is more youthful and offers many activities even during the night hours.


Gili Trawangan is famous for its vibrant nightlife. You can find numerous bars and clubs offering live music and DJ sets until late at night. If you prefer a quieter evening, Gili Air also has some beach bars that offer a relaxed atmosphere with chill-out music, making it more suitable for couples or families.

Bicycle Tours

The Gili Islands are small and car-free, which makes them perfect for exploring by bicycle. You can rent a bike and pedal around the island, stopping for a swim in the sea or for lunch at a beachside restaurant.

Best time to go

The climate of the Gili Islands is tropical, with two main seasons: the dry season (from May to October) and the rainy season (from November to April). The best time to visit the Gili Islands is during the dry season when the weather conditions are ideal for outdoor activities and diving. I visited the Gili Islands in May and found the weather perfect, with sunny days and a pleasant breeze.

Useful tips


The Gili Islands offer a wide range of accommodation options, from luxurious beachfront villas to budget bungalows. It is advisable to book in advance, especially during the high season, to secure the best possible place to stay. Be cautious that accommodations are not too far from the coast and the island’s center, as they may charge a high fee for transporting luggage due to the absence of cars. Additionally, always check that the accommodation has hot water, which might seem obvious but isn’t always guaranteed in Bali.

Money and safety

There are no ATMs on Gili Meno and Gili Air, so make sure to withdraw enough cash before arriving. Gili Trawangan has some ATMs, but they may be out of service or out of cash, so it’s always best to be prepared.


The local population of the Gili Islands is predominantly Muslim. This is reflected in the island’s traditions and customs. It is important to respect the local culture by wearing appropriate attire away from the beaches and showing respect during the Ramadan period, when locals fast from dawn to sunset. You will also hear the call to prayer five times a day from the mosques on the islands.

The Gili Islands are a magical place offering a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and culture. Whether you’re looking to explore the depths of the sea, unwind on pristine beaches, or immerse yourself in the local culture, the Gili Islands have something to offer everyone. Plan your trip during the dry season, bring along everything you need, and get ready to have an unforgettable experience in this tropical paradise.

Isole Gili
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