The Gili Islands are located just off the northwest tip of Lombok, Indonesia. Lombok’s most popular tourist destination, the Gili Islands (or just the Gilis) came to the attention of the wider world as a backpacker mecca in the 1980s and 1990s. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beachside cafes, restaurants and bars serving a variety of tastes in local and international cuisine. Best of all, there are no cars or motorbikes to disturb the peace.
There are increasing numbers of westerners living on the Gilis, and operating businesses ranging from dive companies to resorts. There is a strong environmental focus as the reefs have been very damaged in the past. While once people came to dive, snorkel and party, a more upmarket tourist are showing up now. It is still all about the beach, there are much more options to wine and dine or hang out and meet new friends.
Strikingly beautiful, with glorious white-sand beaches lapped by warm, brilliant blue waters, the three Gili Islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok are a magnet for visitors. Of the three, Gili Trawangan best fits the image of “party island”, with heaps of accommodation, restaurants, and nightlife. The smallest of the islands,
The smallest of the islands, Gili Meno, has no nightlife and is known as the “honeymoon island” for its secluded atmosphere. Closest to the mainland is Gili Air which offers a mix of the two, with plenty of facilities in the south and more peace elsewhere.
Interesting Facts about Gili Islands
- It is highly likely you will get soaked on the boat ride over.
- The beach is beautiful. Swimming in the water, however, is not.
- Horse-drawn carriages and bicycles rule the walk-path.
- Be prepared to be woken up at 4 am each day for morning prayer (and hear it numerous times throughout the day).
- Gili Trawangan is not as quiet and relaxing as it seems.