The Incredible Indonesian Gili Islands

The three Gili Islands lie just a short speedboat ride from Lombok in Indonesia and are also easily accessible from Bali.

The largest of the three islands is Gili Trawangan which is also the liveliest with an established party scene alongside wonderful beaches and watersports. Popular with all ages from backpackers to luxury travelers.

Gili Meno is much quieter and is known for its Turtle sanctuary, wildlife and probably the best beaches in the area and is popular with honeymooners.

Gili Air was the first of the islands to have a tourist industry and remains popular with many travelers and is a perfect location for couples, families and party goers.

Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary

The Gili Islands are billed as the “Turtle Capital of the World” for the sheer number of critically endangered Hawksbill Turtles as well as stunning Green Turtles.

The conservation work carried out on Gili Meno is often credited with being a key factor in the survival and success of turtles in the area.

The turtle sanctuary is open every day and at certain times of the year you can even help to release young turtles into the sea.

Green Turrle in the Gili Islands, Lombok, Indonesia. Credit Uber Scuba on Unsplash


The food available can be exceptional with local delicacies widely available as is the freshest seafood and wonderful BBQ. International food is also available throughout the islands but experiment with some of the local food and be pleasantly surprised and the taste and quality.

Trawangan Night Market is an unmissable experience with the incredible range of food available include many local dishes.

Scuba Diving

The area is a stunning location for scuba diving with world class dive sites suitable for experienced, advanced divers as well as for complete beginners just starting their underwater exploration.

The sheer numbers and diversity of marine life will be a pleasant surprise, you won’t have to spend time searching for life unless you are looking for the shyest of creatures.

Scuba Diving off Gili Trawangan, lombok, Indonesia. Credit adrian Jakon on Unsplash


The Gili Islands are the prefect location for exploring without a scuba tank as many of the coral reef are just a short swim from shore, meaning that the areas is suitable for all good swimmers to explore.

Beach Life

There are some truly stunning beaches on each of the islands which are all easy to explore and discover.

While Gili Meno probably has the best, unspoilt white coral beaches, the other islands will still offer you great choices.

Gili Trawangan Beach, Lombok, Indonesia. Credit Szilvia Basso on Unsplash

Get On Your Bike

Motorised transport is not available on any of the three islands so there tends to be three alternatives to exploring. Walking, jumping on a horse and cart of hiring a bike. We think that jumping on a bicycle is the best option as you can explore safely on the car free tracks but also discover hidden gems at your leisure.

Party Time

Gili Trawangan is famous for the number of bars and clubs offering an excellent choice of music that will appeal to many age groups and for those who want to, party through to dawn. Gili Air also has an excellent choice of bars and entertainment.

Many bars attract international DJ’s to the party nights and full moon parties.

Horse Riding

With motorised vehicles banned on the islands Horse riding has become a popular way to explore the interior of the islands as well as riding along the wonderful beaches.

A popular activity especially on Gili Trawangan.

Horse riding on Gili Trewangan, Lombok, Indonesia. Credit Federico Enni on Unsplash

Gili Meno Saltwater Lake

Often overlooked by tourists who flock to the beaches and the sea, this inland lake is well worth a visit. The area has an exceptional diversity of wildlife including lizards and birds.

Main picture credit Miguel Machado on Unsplash

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Published by flyingdogtravel

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