Discover Gili Islands - Lombok
For those who love relaxing in white sands and blue water to escape the fast paced hustle and bustle of daily life, Trip Guru suggests a tranquil visit to the beautiful Gili Islands for a remote island experience. The Gili Islands are a trio of islands: Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air, located off the north-west coast of Lombok, Indonesia. Renowned for its turtle population, snorkeling with the turtles amongst the reefs is a popular activity. Fins and masks can be rented almost everywhere on the Gilis.
The islands are very relaxed and laid back, keeping a homely rural atmosphere especially on the smaller Gili Meno and Gili Air. Enjoy the clear waters and take a relaxing stroll along the pristine beaches. Travelers can stop by beachside cafes, restaurants, and bars that serve local and international cuisine. No motor vehicles are allowed on the islands, ensuring that peace and tranquility is undisturbed as the traveler takes in the serenity of sand and surf.
The numerous dive sites, impressive array of marine life, and clear waters make snorkeling and scuba diving the most popular activities on the islands. Various dive companies offer dive tours and courses for beginners up to instructor level. The Gili Meno Bird Park is a bird sanctuary proud of its collection of exotic birds. To learn more about the ongoing turtle conservation effort, travelers can visit the turtle sanctuaries on Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan which are open to the public. Fresh seafood is available in many of the restaurants but for a more local experience, stroll down to the square on Gili Trawangan where fishermen grill up and serve their catch for the day. Watch awe inspiring sunsets from the west side beach of any of the islands or from atop the view point on Gili Trawangan. For a change of pace, party the night away under the stars on Gili Trawangan and, if possible, try to catch a full moon beach party.
A shuttle bus or taxi can be taken to Bangsal harbor (1 hr from Mataram) where public and chartered boats are available (15/30/45min to Air/Meno/Trawangan). If flying in, the closest airport is Lombok International Airport. A 1hr 40min to 2hr travel by taxi to Bangsal or Teluk Nare and then using a public or chartered boat. Peak tourist periods are July-August and December-January. During the Ramadan period, dive tour schedules may be limited to accommodate the fasting locals.