Gili Islands in Bali: Which Island Suits You Best?

by gilivoyages2 January 31, 2024 Uncategorized

Imagine a place where the turquoise waters gently kiss the powdery white sand, where vibrant coral reefs beckon underwater explorers, and where each sunset paints the sky in hues of pink and orange. You might wonder whether this kind of place exists since it sounds so dreamy, right?

In reality, this kind of place actually exists! It is named as Gili Islands in Bali, a trio of tropical gems that promise an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

But with three unique islands to choose from, how do you know which Gili is the perfect fit for you? Fear not, fellow wanderer, because we’re here to guide you through the sandy shores and swaying palms to help you find your perfect Gili match!

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan, affectionately known as Gili T, is the largest and most developed among the trio. Despite its small size—just 2.5km long and 1.75km wide—this island packs a punch of character.

Once a haven for backpackers, Gili T has evolved into an alluring destination catering to diverse ages and budgets. From budget-friendly accommodations to upscale villas and boutique hotels, the island offers choices for every traveler.

Gili Trawangan’s lively east side is home to beachside restaurants and bars where you can visit to meet fellow travelers. Whether you enjoy a relaxed stroll or a quick bike ride, Gili T is a perfect spot for anyone.

Now that you’ve soaked in the vibe of Gili Trawangan, let’s dive into the best things to do on this island:

  • Party in Paradise

Gili Trawangan is the ultimate party playground with beachfront bars and lively vibes that’ll keep you grooving till the sun comes up. If you love dance, you definitely should join the party.

  • Meander Local Markets

Get lost in the charm of local markets, where colorful stalls offer everything from handmade crafts to tasty treats. You can do your shopping spree with an island twist!

  • Go Horse-Riding

Trade your flip-flops for stirrups and gallop along the shore. Horse-riding on the beach is a cinematic experience in this tropical paradise.

  • Swim with Turtles

Dive into the crystal-clear waters and join the majestic turtles for a swim. It’s like entering their serene world beneath the waves. It will definitely be a once in lifetime opportunity for you to try!

Gili Meno

Nestled among the Gili Islands, Gili Meno stands out as the smallest and most tranquil haven, spanning a mere 2km in length and just over 1km in width. Boasting a local population of around five hundred, this island offers a truly away-from-it-all escape with fewer tourists. It’s perfect for you who’s searching for a serene retreat!

In stark contrast to the vibrant nightlife of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno embraces an enticingly laid back vibe. Evenings are spent savoring sundowners in quiet bars, while days unfold on deserted beaches.

A leisurely two-hour stroll unveils breathtaking views of Gili Air, Lombok, and the majestic Gunung Agung volcano in Bali.

So, what are the best things to do in this little paradise? Well, here are the best things to do in Gili Meno:

  • Snorkel Sea Sculptures

Dive into Gili Meno’s underwater art gallery where you can experience vibrant sea sculptures come to life beneath the sea  waters. It’s like discovering an aquatic masterpiece just for you!

  • Visit Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary

Swing by the Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary, where these adorable shelled buddies are doing their thing. It’s a chill spot to witness marine magic and maybe even make some new turtle friends.

  • Explore Gili Meno Saltwater Lake and Mangroves

Take a leisurely stroll (or rent a bike for extra fun) and head inland to discover the hidden gems of Gili Meno. Perfect for a nature escape without breaking a sweat!

Gili Air

Gili Air spans about 1.5km in each Lombok and Bali, making it a charming blend of convenience and island simplicity. Boasting the largest permanent population among the three Gili Islands, Gili Air retains an authentic Indonesian atmosphere with village life.

Unlike the bustling Gili Trawangan, Gili Air strikes the perfect balance, offering visitors the perks of a developed tourist infrastructure while preserving the allure of an unspoiled paradise.

With its laid-back vibe, pristine beaches, and a touch of local flavor, Gili Air invites you to experience Bali’s beauty in a more relaxed, authentic setting. So, what’s the best thing to do in Gili Air?

  • Take a Cookery Class

Spice up your island adventure by learning the secrets of local flavors. Take a cookery class, and soon you’ll be whipping up Gili Air-inspired delights that’ll make your taste buds do the happy dance.

  • Dive Gili Air’s Divine Waters

Strap on your fins and plunge into the underwater wonderland. Gili Air is a diver’s dream with vibrant coral gardens and colorful marine life. Get ready for a fin-tastic experience beneath the waves!

  • Explore with a Subwing

For a unique thrill, try subwinging! Glide through the crystal-clear waters with the grace of a dolphin. It’s like underwater ballet, and Gili Air is your stage. Ready to embrace the chill vibes and let the adventure begin?

How To Get To the Gili Islands Bali?

Alright, now after reading what you can do in Gili Islands, you might wonder how to reach Gili Islands, right? For the best and comfortable trip, you can hit up the Gili Islands by Bali ferry. For full explanation, let’s learn on how to set sail from Bali and Lombok to these tropical havens:

1. From Lombok

So, there’s this thing called a public boat, and it’s your ticket to Gili paradise from the port of Bangsal (Teluk Kode). It’s dirt cheap, like less than a dollar cheap. The departure time is usually at 7:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.

But here’s the scoop, these boats fill up faster than your phone battery. As a tip, get there early, or you might have to wait until the next day. The ride’s about two hours, so prepare yourself.

Now, if twiddling your thumbs isn’t your thing, and time is your most valuable currency, you can check the speed boats. They zip from the ports of Teluk Kode, Teluk Nara, or Senggigi to the Gili Islands in just 20 minutes.

That’s less time than it takes to decide on your beach outfit. And guess what? The price is also affordable! Fast, efficient, and you’ll be on the Gili beach as soon as you can.

2. From Bali

Getting to the Gili Islands from Bali doesn’t involve public boats, so here’s the lowdown. You can either hop on a speedy 2-hour boat ride or take a public boat to Lombok.

If you opt for the latter, head to Padang Bai port in Bali, catch a ferry to Lembar in Lombok, then make your way to Bangsal port for the final leg to the Gili Islands (totaling 9-12 hours).

However, this option eats up a whole day, thanks to not-so-great connections between Lembar and Bangsal. For a hassle-free journey, consider the speedy route by booking a fast boat for a similar price and it will save your time.

Which Gili Island Aligns With Your Vibe?

No matter your choice, the Gili Islands in Bali promise an unforgettable island adventure, complete with sandy toes, swaying palm trees, and the soothing sounds of the ocean. Pack your flip-flops, your sense of adventure, and get ready to discover your perfect Gili paradise.

Planning to hop from Bali to Nusa Penida? Gili Voyages is your ticket to a seamless island-hopping vacation. With their Bali fast boat, you’ll be cruising across the Bali Strait in style, leaving the mainland chaos behind.

Plus, their crew is not just skilled but also laid-back, ensuring you catch those good vacation vibes right from the start. So, why wait? Grab your ticket, hop on board, and let Gili Voyages turn your Bali to Nusa Penida adventure into a breezy, carefree ride!


What is the best time to visit the Gili Islands in Bali? 

The best time to visit is during the dry season, from May to September, for sunny weather and optimal sea conditions.

Are the Gili Islands suitable for families? 

Yes, Gili Air and Gili Meno are more family-friendly, offering a relaxed atmosphere compared to the livelier Gili Trawangan.


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