For decades, travelers have made the hop from Bali to the beautifully irresistible Gili Islands and stayed longer than anticipated. These beautiful islands are an archipelago of three small islands, which are Gili Tarawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, located in just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. The islands are a perfect location for your holiday if you are looking for a remote island experience. The islands are very relaxed and laid-back, with countless little beach-side cafes where you can enjoy drinks and good quality Western and Asian food. Most local inhabitants around here live on Gili Tarawangan in a township stretching along its East side inland. Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so you can only travel around in the islands by bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Diving in and around Gili Islands is also popular due to the abundance of fish life and attractive coral formations in the area.
You can reach these beautiful islands of Lombok by plane or boat. The nearest airport is situated in the city of Mataram on Lombok mainland. There are no international flights going straight to Lombok, so you have to get to Jakarta, Surabaya or Bali first, then take another flight to Lombok. From Jakarta, Surabaya or Bali, you can connect onward with a domestic flight to Mataram, the main city of Lombok. Flight route to Mataram is operated by Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Garuda, Lion Air, Trigana Air, Trans-Nusa and Indonesian Air Transport. From Jakarta and Surabaya, Mataram is served by flights provided by Batavia Air, Garuda, Lion Air and Merpati. To fly to Bali then take a boat to Gili Islands is also a viable option. There are now numerous direct boat services from Bali to Gili Islands which you can also use. Traveling between the islands requires either catching the infrequent shuttle boats or chartering one to take you across.
Gili Islands consist of three small gilis, which are GIli Tarawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. The beaches of the Gilis are still powdery white, with beautiful clear blue water positioned perfectly for sunsets over Bali’s Mt. Agung and sunrise over Lombok’s Mt. Rinjani. You can do several activities on these islands, such as scuba diving, snorkeling trips, sea kayak experience, golf days, horse riding at sunset, wake boarding, deep sea fishing, trekking the great Mt. Rinjani and a trip to komodo culture. People are also coming to these beautiful islands to held their wedding ceremony or honeymoon. Gili Tarawangan is the largest and most visited of the three islands. This gili is also known as the party island. In the middle of three gilis lies Gili Meno, the smallest of the three gilis and by far the most peaceful and under developed. Gili Meno is perfect for you who love total escapism for your holiday. This island is also very popular with honeymooning couples and adventurous castaway tourists. Finally, the closest to the mainland Lombok is Gili Air. Here, you can enjoy the grass roots atmosphere of Gili Air and the feeling of really being part of a close knit local community.
Arcing away from the northwest corner of Lombok, the Gili Islands are ideal getaway destination where the sand is still powdery white with sparkling clear water. Enjoying the sunsets here over Bali’s Mount Agung in the West is simply spectacular. You will be guaranteed to see some of Indonesia’s breathtaking scenery in these beautiful islands.