Introducing Gili Air – A Golden Mean

Among three Gili islands, Air is the closest to Lombok western coast. So far, Gili Air is the golden mean, comprising the best characteristics of its two siblings: the peaceful and tranquil ambience featuring Gili Meno and fancy beach bars in Gili Trawangan style.

GILI AIR STYLE

Traditionally, Gili Air was catering to families and couples wanting a secluded and off-the-beaten-path escape. With its incredible turquoise water, just perfect number of chic beach bars and tranquil atmosphere Gili Air started attracting more and more travellers looking for the quieter getaway diluted with a few chilling establishments.

Gili Air boasts of the divine beaches ideal for swimming, snorkelling, diving and surfing (during appropriate conditions). It houses numerous dining and drinking establishments spread around the south and east coast, where the fast boats from Lombok depart.

More and more people opt Gili Air for their paradisal holiday and for a good reason. It is far lesser crowded than the bustling Gili Trawangan and much more vivid than the languid Gili Meno. If you are not looking for the hustle and bustle, however, wish to have a few chill-out and chic venues, which provide the refuge from the scorching tropical sun or front row seats when watching a breathtaking sunset with an ice cold beer in your hand, then Gili Air is just a perfect island for you.

WHAT WE LOVE

  • Luxury beachfront villas

  • Vibrant restaurants and bars

  • Fantastic secluded beaches

  • Endless water activities

  • Tranquil and relaxed atmosphere

GILI AIR LOCATION

Gili Air, the most easterly of the cluster of Gili islands, is situated off the west coast of Lombok. Gili Air combines the great chilled beach life with the tranquil ambience catering to travellers of all ages wanting to stay away from the hustle-and-bustle of other popular islands.

GETTING THERE

BY PLANE

Although it is possible to get to Gili Air, Lombok over land or water, the best way is to fly:

BY FAST BOAT FROM BALI

Numerous fast boat services depart from Bali to Gilis with one or two stops in Senggigi, Lombok, and then in Gili Trawangan. Boats depart from the major Bali seaports – Benoa, Padang Bai and Serangan – and it takes between 2 to 2,5 hours to get to Gili Air. However, during the big swell (July-August) and monsoon (January-February) seasons delays and even cancellations can occur. The ticket price vary as it depends on the travel agent and season, and usually include the land transfer from/to your hotel in Bali.

BY FAST BOAT FROM LOMBOK

The island hopper boats leaving Bangsal harbour at irregular intervals is the preferred mode of getting to Gili Air from Lombok among both locals and tourists. Even though these vessels are not as comfortable as fast boats, the trip takes less than 20 minutes. Public boats depart from Bangsal seaports, and the ticket price ranges from IDR8,000 per person to more than IDR200,000 for the whole chartered boat.

BY FAST BOAT FROM OTHER GIL ISLANDS

The public boat cruising between three islands departs at 9 am from Gili Trawangan and stops in Gili Meno (at 9.15 am approximate), and Gili Air at 9.30 am on the way to Lombok mainland. Another boat leaving in the afternoon has a reverse route.

GETTING AROUND

Due to the fact that Gili islands do not have motorised transport, there are only a few options to get around the tiny island:

ON FOOT

Gili Air features with the small sizes, and you can easily circumnavigate it around the perimeter in around 1,5 hours on foot. The footpath runs along the beach and links the main attractions and tourist infrastructure. Walking around the island on foot is a great way to explore the island and find your favourite beach.

BICYCLE

Renting a bike on Gili Air is widely available for IDR30,000-50,000 per day. Riding the bicycle is a fast and convenient way to see more of Gili Air, however, there are a few places with deeper sand so better to avoid riding along these paths. Also, check your cycle on malfunctions as some of them are rather old and pretty used.

HORSE CARTS

Horse carts or ‘cidomo’ are available on the island if you are travelling with heavy bags and staying away from the departure area. The flat rate of IDR100,000 is now charged notwithstanding the distance.

Ministry

GILI AIR VILLAS

There are two Ministry Approved villas on Gili Air island. As Gili Air is not as popular destination as Gili Trawangan villa prices tend to be lower than on the sibling island. Gili Air villas range from USD $200 per night for one-bedroom villa accommodations to USD $250 per night for a three-bedroom luxury villa.

Most of our villas have dedicated staff including butlers, chefs, nannies, 24-hour security personnel, and many other services you won’t find in a hotel. This is why we say “Spend just one night in a villa and you’ll never stay in a hotel again.”

GILI AIR DINING

The dining scene on Gili Air is as diverse and appealing as the island itself. The isle is ringed with various dining venues: from the beach huts to the nice midrange restaurants serving delicious and reasonably priced range of cuisines.

The majority of eating establishments line the eastern side of Gili Air and work their way to the north from the jetty. The traditional Indonesian cuisine, the fresh grilled seafood and fish are always the best food choices on this tropical paradisal island. You can choose the fresh fish from the display stand, and it will be cooked to your taste.

Gili Air dining scene caters to families with small children housing several restaurants with built playgrounds. Besides the splendid view over the incredible ocean, kids can entertain themselves while adults are chatting and relaxing after the long day on the beach.

GILI AIR NIGHTLIFE

One of the fascinating attractions available on Gili Air is watching its renowned sunsets over Bali when the sky is awash with flame orange, red and yellow colours and reflects from the glassy bare stretch of the beach during the low tide. Most visitors head to the preferred beach bars to witness this beauty, grab ice cold beer or refreshing cocktail and chat with friends or amicable locals.

When night falls, you can witness the incredible starry sky. Due to the lack of lighting on the island, you can watch myriads of stars lighting up the dark welkin; a unique and rare experience only available in places like Gili Air.

Gili Air nightlife is not as frantic as Gili Trawangan’s scene appealing to the travellers wanting a relaxed and quiet escape. There is a bunch of beach bars, which conduct parties in turn during the high season. Usually, restaurant owners and locals put flyers everywhere around the island, so visitors will know where the next weekly party will take place.

GILI AIR SHOPPING

Most of the stores are concentrated on the eastern coast of the island, selling the basic necessities and a reasonable collection of handicrafts from Lombok.

A few tiny fashion shops appear on the way to the south offering a beachwear, sandals, accessories and some knick-knacks for your house. Also, you can find here typical souvenirs and trinkets to bring back home.

Gili Air shopping scene is rather limited represented by a few beach stalls selling groceries and necessities such as sunscreen, bug repellents and cheap flip-flops so you should not expect a serious shopping there.

GILI AIR RELAXATION

You will be amazed by the number of active leisure options available on Gili Air. Beach lovers will be spoilt for choice of the stunning tidy beaches enveloping the island with the relaxed beach bars appearing here and there. The laid back, and friendly atmosphere will make you stay there for the whole day, cooling down in the crystal-clear water and returning in the shady shack.

Active leisure enthusiasts can opt from the variety of fabulous water activities. Among the most popular are diving and snorkelling with the gear available to rent at any dive shop. There are several dive and free diving schools with experienced instructors eager to teach you diving and even provide you with the PADI certificate after the successful course completion.

Not-so-long but scenic strolls are the perfect way to explore the island and relish in the awe-inspiring views of the impressive Mount Rinjani rising over Lombok. If you are keen to practice yoga, there are a couple of schools dotting the island to choose from. You will be surprised at the number of hidden treasures Gili Air has on offer.