Situated just off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia, the Gilis are made up of three small islands: Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan. Over the years, these sleepy little islands have become a huge destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Though they are not as tranquil and cheap as they were in the past, if you are looking for a quiet alternative to Bali with even better beaches and seafood, come to the Gilis. They are a wonderful destination to relax and soak up the sun! I was always amazed at how few crowds there were on the islands. Take advantage of that, go, relax, get a tan, and enjoy!
Things to do
Scuba diving – All three islands have scuba diving training centers. Lionfish, scorpion fish, cuttle fish, octopus, and different types of rays litter the waters around the islands. The diving here is better than Bali, in my opinion. It’s cheaper to learn here too.
Go snorkeling – You can take a private boat if you are with a large enough group or join other people or you can rent snorkeling gear for half a day from one of the centers near the beach. The three-island snorkel trip will take in the tropical fish, turtles, and various wildlife of the waters.
Check out the local bars and nightlife – Gili Trawangan is the party island out of the three, whereas Air is the quietest. Party nights are regular and are rotated between the bars, which usually stay open until 4 am. When the islands are busy, the famous Full Moon parties are held on the beach on the southern part of Trawangan with a DJ playing beats to sunrise.
Lounge on the beaches – The Gili islands have beautiful beaches and you can find most people each day sitting on the beach getting some sun. The sand is white and soft, the water clear and warm. There is no doubt that you will want to spend most of your time here.