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Gili Islands

Photo © Mikey B

Travel Guide Asia Indonesia Lesser Sunda Islands Lombok Gili Islands

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Introduction

Lombok dawn

Lombok dawn

© All Rights Reserved Mikey B

The Gili Islands are a cluster of little pearls just off the coast of Lombok, far enough from Bali to have maintained their laid-back atmosphere, but close enough to combine a stay with your Bali trip. The beaches are white, the sea is blue, the people are relaxed and the fresh fish is roasting on the barbecue. There are no cars or any other motorised transport on the island. The local style horse and carriage function as the main means of transport along with bicycles. The diving here is fantastic all year round.

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Geography

The largest of the Gili Islands is called Gili Trawangan. You can walk around the whole island in just over an hour. In the middle is Gili Meno, the smallest and least developed of the three, and closest to Lombok is Gili Air.

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Sights and Activities

Scuba diving and snorkelling

Scuba diving and snorkelling are great around the Gili Islands. There are plenty of dive sites and operators to choose from, so no matter your skill level, there is a dive site that will suite you. Due to the islands efforts to preserve their sea turtles you are almost certain to spot one, even when snorkelling. A good place for turtle spotting is just off the beach, around 500 metres north of where the ferries arrive and take off.

Explore the islands

The islands can be explored on foot or you can rent a bike and ride a round the islands. Bikes can be rented almost everywhere, but if you have trouble finding one, ask at the place you stay. They will almost certainly be able to help you. A classic walk on Gili Trawangan is to the view point on the southern part of the island. From the summit you'll get a good view of the Gilis, Bali and Lombok. It is also a perfect spot for sunset watching.

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Weather

The Gili Island have a warm tropical climate with humid conditions year-round and temperatures mostly around 30 °C during the day and still around 20 °C or more at night. The rainy season is roughly from November to April, but it rains much less than on Bali. The peak tourist seasons are July-August and December-January.

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Getting There

By Boat

To get to the Gili Islands you can travel there from Senggigi or Bangsal. It is 15 minutes to Air, 30 to Meno and 45 to Trawangan.
There are now also some direct services from Bali as well, all of them either via Lombok, or continuing to Lombok after the Gili Islands:

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Getting Around

Horse-drawn carts, walking or biking are your only options.

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Sleep

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This is version 19. Last edited at 17:13 on Mar 2, 13 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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