Lombok has its own airport and popular surfing beaches in the south, but on arrival most visitors head to the north coast where views are dominated by Mt Rinjani and the nearby (20 minutes away by boat) Gili islands. These three little islands with white sand, encircled by palm trees sitting in clear aquamarine waters with protective coral reefs lay just 90 minutes by boat from the east coast of Bali. As the fast boats started arriving directly onto the beaches of the Gili Islands, they brought with them fabulous chefs and innovative ‘Robinson Crusoe’ designers, eager to perfect rustic beach-chic and the ultimate beach shack. The secret was out and Gili Trawangan (known as Gili T) has developed a thriving beach party ‘scene’, with laid back restaurants and bars sitting along the shoreline just steps from the ocean. However with no traffic, save for horse and cart, a tranquillity prevails; here you won’t dress for dinner or find international DJs, but enjoy your cocktail with fine views over impossibly clear seas from a swing seat, a beanbag in the sand or besides a bonfire by night.
The smallest and most peaceful of the three, Gili Meno is home to a Turtle sanctuary, a salt lake and can be walked around in a little over two hours. Gili Air offers a combination of the ‘scene’ and the quiet life with several dive shops on the main beach strip.
With unrivalled opportunities for marine exploration these three islands are known for their snorkelling and diving; some of the best spots are north east of Gili T and Gili Meno’s ‘Wall’.
Why visit Lombok & the Gilis?
Enjoy unspoilt beaches and clear seas.
Snorkelling & Diving around the Gili Islands, particularly the sunken wreck off Gili Trawangan and the turtle rich waters of Gili Meno.
Explore Sasak traditional culture in Lombok.
Trek Mt Rinjani National Park and find waterfalls on Lombok.
Indulge in the beach-chic bar and restaurant culture of Gili T.