Paradise is just a boat trip away. The Gili Islands, off the north west coast of Lombok, Indonesia, are unspoiled tropical islands each with their own character and visitor appeal. Here is our introductory guide to give you a taste of what to expect.
Guide to The Gili Islands
Gili Trawangan, better known as Gili T, is arguably one of Indonesia’s top holiday destinations and a natural choice for a short break for those who are spending time in Bali or Lombok. Trawangan caters to the growing popularity with its main drag of bars, eateries, retail stores and travel desks. The island track is a vibrant route for bikes, horse carts and streams of visitors on foot from as far as Europe, South America and Australia.
Gili T is a relatively new region of the world that was discovered just over 50 years ago by fishermen. And although the island went through a phase of wild partying there is now a more mature atmosphere in tow, with visitors being offered a range of high class accommodation and leisure activities as well as the exuberant night life. The balance enables Gili T to deliver an enjoyable experience for all types of holidaymakers every season.
Gili Air is the nearest island to Lombok and is widely considered the most accommodating of all three for holidaymakers who seek excitement and serenity in equal measure. Many a travel magazine will also vouch for Gili Air as having the better selection of beaches, which dazzle in the warm, sunny climate all-year round. Snorkelling is the biggest tourist attraction although diving and boat trips are increasingly popular activities that cost very little and are a memorable way to pass the time.
Getting about on the island is made easy through the lovely sandy lanes to and from the main strip. Bamboo bungalows and thatched-roofed restaurants offer a sea-front view and a wide range of recipes that are made before your very eyes.
The smallest island of three three, Gili Meno, is also the quietest. It is therefore the perfect choice for a calm and tropical break away from lights, cameras and night-life off the grid. Most accommodation is basic and spread out along the east coast, dotted along picturesque beaches. Because Gili Meno is an underdeveloped land there is little to speak of outside of the main resorts, which may not suit larger groups or families keen on water activity or wider choices for foods. What is may lack in buzz it certainly makes up for in tranquillity, as any traveller basking on a white-sandy beach or bathing in a tropical hammock can testify to.
The Gili Islands are perfect for doing nothing but relaxing on the white sand beaches and splashing in the crystal clear water. They offer an ideal escape for soul-searching travellers who wish to escape from the fuss of mainland destinations.
Have you ever visited the Gili Islands? What is your favorite island paradise?