If you are planning a trip to Bali for any longer than 1 week you MUST factor in some time to visit the beautiful Gili Islands.
The three stunning islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are all located right next to each other, about 45 minutes on a fast boat from Bali. All three have a completely different vibe – Gili T for young travellers who want nothing more than great snorkelling/ diving and nightlife. Gili Meno is much smaller and secluded therefore better suited for couples and honeymooners. Gili Air is a mix between the previous two with a lovely chilled vibe. We didn’t visit Gili Meno because we had been recommended not to if we weren’t looking for that romantic vibe.
Our itinerary, tips and things to do in Gili T and Gili Air are as follows;
- We stayed at Good Vibes Bungalows and ended up extending our time there because it was so much fun. The host ‘sister’ was absolutely brilliant and gave us so many tips on where to party etc. The wicker huts are beautiful and perfect size for 2 people, a great hostel vibe but with affordable private rooms.
- Hire bikes from our hotel and ride right round the island – this can take between 1 and 3 hours depending on how often you stop. This is so worth doing to get your bearings and spot places you’d like to go back to like restaurants, spas etc.
- Visit the swings in the sea at sunset. There are loads of swings on the beach all down the sunset side of the island so don’t bother queuing up to have a go! (just walk further down the beach and you’ll find more!)
- Snorkel with turtles – you can pay for a tour or do it yourself – we didn’t pay and still managed to find turtles at turtle point both days! It was the most incredible experience and my favourite part of our trip! (Head to my Youtube Channel here for GoPro footage of our snorkelling)
- Boat party – Jiggy’s bar hosts a boat party twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Make sure you buy your tickets in advance because it is super popular, be prepared for beautiful views and lots of alcohol!
- Night out – Things on Gili T work a big differently to other places, all the main bars have their own night of the week where they host the big party, so you don’t have to worry about deciding where to go! Just ask someone at your hotel or hostel and I’m sure they can tell you, or just head down to the strip and ask around! *Look out for a “vodka joss” – a local speciality, illegal almost everywhere else in the world – made from a shot of vodka and a sachet of energy powder.*
- Night Market – After sunset head down to the night market for some amazing cheap, authentic Indonesian food.
- A fast boat from Gili T to Gili Air cost 100,000rupiah (around £6), you can get these from lots of places along the harbour.
- Snorkelling at Nemo City – see some amazing sea life while snorkelling but be careful of the current in the afternoon it is very strong! I personally preferred Gili T for snorkelling (we didn’t see any Turtles at Gili Air)!
- Watch the sunset on swings in the sea. The sea swings have become quite the trademark of the Gili Islands – I absolutely love the idea and you have to admit it gives the most Instagram worthy photos 😉
- Outdoor cinema at hotel Ombak – if you fancy a chilled evening head here!
- Relax and chill – Gili Air is the perfect place for this, such a laid back vibe!
- Live music and happy hour – if you wander round the island you will come across a few bars that have live music and some decent happy hours for cocktails.
- Bike ride around the island – again this is the perfect way to get your bearings. Gili Air is much smaller than Gili Trawangan but it may be slightly more difficult to cycle because there is not a concrete path all the way around (around 90% is easily cyclable). We still really enjoyed doing this because we wouldn’t have walked as far as we cycled 🙂
I hope you decide to visit these stunning islands! Thank you for reading, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions! Remember to follow/like/comment/share 🙂 x