The 10 best things to do on the Gili Islands

The three Gili Islands; Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air are about two hours by boat from Bali. This is totally worth it, because the Gili Islands are truly paradises. With the turquoise sea, white beaches, many coconut trees, turtles and the relaxed atmosphere you will totally relax. In this blog, you will be inspired about the best things to do on the Gili Islands.

  1. Go snorkeling

The Gili Islands are known for their turquoise sea and beautiful underwater world. Because of this, snorkeling is one of the most fun things to do on the Gili Islands. We recommend a snorkeling tour around all three islands because you will see everything. You'll see the underwater sculpture, which is a project called ‘Nest’. The underwater sculpture was originally placed as an artificial reef, for coral growth. Now it also functions as a photo point. You will also see turtles of all sizes and come across the cutest colored fish, such as bright blue fish and Nemo’s. You’ll feast your eyes during the snorkeling trip!


  1. Rent a bike to explore the island or explore by feet

An easy way to explore the islands is by renting a bike. If you want to rent a car, you’re out of luck, as there are no cars or scooters running on fuel on the Gili Islands. The only ways of transport are by bike, feet, cart or hose. This makes the islands very relaxed. Especially for Gili Trawangan I recommend renting a bike, because you’ll have lots of freedom and go to places you wouldn’t go to otherwise. On Gili Meno and Gili Air, a bike is less needed, but it can still be useful if you want to explore the island and bike around. I wouldn’t recommend using the horse-drawn carriages a lot. Unfortunately, the horses are not always taken care off.

  1. Island Hopping

Most tourist stay on one island only, but every island offers something different, so it is fun to visit them all. You can take one of the regular boats, a charter boat or one of the island hopping boats to go from and to another island. Gili Trawangan is the biggest and most lively island, there are plenty of bars and restaurants, beaches and parties. Gili Meno is known as couples island, and has a more relaxed atmosphere. There is more nature on Gili Meno, but the development is lower. Gili Air offers the best of both. The atmosphere is relaxed, development is higher and there are lots of beaches and more shops than on Gili Meno.


  1. Relax at one of the beautiful beaches

All three islands have the most beautiful beaches with white sand, clear sea and beautiful fishes. On Gili Trawangan, Coral Beach is recommended for snorkelling. In the northwest area of the island are less people, so if you don’t want to snorkel and just want to relax. Check out one of these beaches. On Gili Meno, some of the best beaches can be found at the north/northeast part of the island. Turtles are swimming here as well. On Gili Air, the best beaches can be found at the southwest area where the sand is soft and the water is turquoise.


  1. Do some water sports

A popular thing to do on the Gili Islands is stand up paddleboarding. The paddleboards can be rented and you can go out on the sea with them. Another popular water sport is kayaking. You can rent a kayak and go around the island, or even to one of the other islands if you are strong enough. Want to do something different? You can also go kite surfing, surfing or wake boarding. Don’t underestimate the currents, because it can be strong.

  1. Go out and party

The best island to go partying is Gili Trawangan. Some people even refer to Gili Trawangan as ‘Party Island’. There are beach bars, live music, DJS, and sometimes even boat parties. This makes the nightlife of Gili Trawangan lively. Gili Meno and Gili Air are less of a party island, but they have live music and beach bars as well.

  1. Gili Trawangan Viewpoint

If you are on Gili Trawangan and want the best sunset on the island, you should definitely visit the Gili T Viewpoint. The viewpoint is the highest point of the island, it is a 100-meter hill and gives you panoramic views of Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air. If you are lucky and have good sight, you might see Lombok and the Mount Agung on Bali. Don’t worry, if you’re not staying in Gili Trawangan. Every island has beautiful sunsets.

  1. Visit Bolong’s Turtle Sanctuary on Gili Meno

Gili Meno has a small turtle sanctuary to help preserve turtle wildlife on the island. The sanctuary’s focus is to protect the turtles. This involves allowing them to grow in a sheltered area, and releasing them when they are big enough and have the highest chance of survival in the sea. If you are lucky, you might have the chance to release a turtle yourself.


  1. Visit the night market

The night market on Gili Trawangan is a huge public dining spot, with good prices for budget travellers. There are lots of different food stalls with traditional food, but also with western food, desserts and lots of seafood, so there is something to eat for everyone! You might have to use your bargaining skills sometimes on this market.

  1. Horseback riding along the beach

Want to enjoy the sunset while horseback riding? This is possible on the Gili Islands. Horses are ready for you to hop on. If you are staying on Gili Trawangan, I recommend STUD Horse Riding Adventures, as they really look after the welfare of the animals and make sure they are well taken care of. Don’t worry if you’re staying on another island, you can also ride horses on Gili Meno and Gili Air.


Do you want to go to the Gili Islands and have everything arranged perfectly? Book our 2Days 1Night Gili Island Tour and explore the best of the islands. Also if you are still looking for nice accommodations on Gili Trawangan we have tips for you. You can find the tips in the following blog;