Okay, so we know that most people head to the idyllic Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok to get away and RELAX – easy to do when you see what the beaches look like…
But if you happen to get bored of lounging around in the sun, reading your book or swinging in a hammock between two palm trees, here’s a short list of some other things to do on Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air.
The Gilis, we love you!
1. Cycle around the island
Due to the small size of the Gilis, it’s possible to cycle around any three of the islands in under an hour (if you’re not stopping to snorkel or swim on the way). Bicycles are easy to rent and should cost no more than Rp. 50,000 per day.
Be warned though, at times the track goes through very thick sand that’s almost impossible to pedal through and you may find yourself pushing your bike rather than actually riding it!
2. Visit the Turtle Hatchery
The Gilis try to do their part in improving and protecting the environment through various incentives, one of them being the “Eco Tax” set up by the Gili Eco Trust on Gili Trawangan. This is a voluntary donation of Rp. 50,000 per person that goes towards cleaning up the island’s beaches as well as a coral regeneration project.
There’s also a Turtle Hatchery on Gili Trawangan, just after Trawangan Dive on the east side of the island. Hundreds of green and hawksbill turtles have been released off the coast of Gili T thanks to the efforts of the Turtle Hatchery, and donations are very much needed and appreciated.
3. Take a cidomo (pony cart)
Part of the charm of the Gilis is the lack of any motorized transport, meaning there are no motorbikes and definitely no taxis! It’s pure bliss, really.
So if you’re not up for walking to search for accommodation or for dinner on the other side of the island, why not take a cidomo? These little pony carts are the Gilis answer to taxis, and fares start at around Rp. 50,000 for a short ride.
4. Learn to scuba dive
The Gili Islands offers some of the best diving in Indonesia, so it’s little wonder that there are several dive schools where you can learn to scuba dive (on Gili Trawangan alone there are over 20 professional scuba schools!).
Most schools also offer on-site accommodation, and often packages are available that include both dive courses and accommodation at a discounted rate.
Below is a list of just some of the dive schools operating in the Gili Islands:
5. Eat fresh seafood
If you like seafood, you will LOVE the Gilis! Every evening, the day’s freshest catch is displayed outside the front of restaurants. Choose from tuna, lobster, snapper, squid and mahi-mahi for the freshest barbecued seafood to be enjoyed right on the beach.
6. Take the Island Hopper
If you’ve already done all there is to do on the Gili Island you’re on, why not take a boat over to one of the other two to explore?
The “Island Hopper” offers scheduled boat trips between all three of the islands, usually with one stop in the morning and one later in the afternoon. It’s the perfect way to spend the day on one of the other islands!
The schedule for the Island Hopper is as follows:
- Gili Meno To Gili Trawangan 08:15 15:20
- Gili Meno To Gili Air 09:50 16:20
- Gili Air To Gili Meno 08:30 15:00
- Gili Air To Gili Trawangan 08:30 15:00
- Gili Trawangan To Gili Meno 09:30 16:00
- Gili Trawangan To Gili Air 09:30 16:00
7. Party under the night sky
Whether its a chic beach club or a laidback reggae bar, there’s always a place in the Gilis to enjoy a few sundowner drinks (and continue late into the night if you wanted to).
Gili T especially is known as the party island, the other two islands lesser so. Whether it’s a Full Moon Party or a New Moon Party, there’s bound to be some kind of an excuse for a party.
If you’re looking for a place to let down your hair and let loose, there’s nothing better than a Gili beach party.
8. Take a yoga class
When you’re all partied out, head to one of the yoga studios in the Gilis to recuperate and recharge. Most studios offer drop-in classes and also provide all equipment, so there’s no need to lug your yoga mat with you all the way to the Gili Islands.
9. Learn to freedive
Tried scuba diving or snorkeling and looking for something a little different? Then why not try freediving, a technique that allows you to dive deep into the blue on just one breath hold.
Freedive Gili on Gili Trawangan offers two-day beginner and three-day advanced courses that include theory lessons, breathing techniques and depth-training. What better way to explore the fantastic sea life of the Gilis than during the stillness of a freedive!
10. Watch the sunsest
Sunsets don’t get much better than on the Gili Islands. Take a walk, bike ride or cidomo to the other side of the island if you’re not staying on the west coast to make the most of the fiery sun as it sinks into the sea – cold Bintang beer optional.
For more detailed information about the Gili Islands check out: