14 Things to do in Gili Islands

There are plenty of things to do in the Gili Islands. The turquoise waters and pristine beaches alone make them an absolute paradise, but there is so much more to discover! The Gili Islands, Bali are located off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia.

They are a group of three small islands that make up this paradise: Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. Gili Islands are a popular destination for backpackers, travellers and surfers and are only a short boat ride from each other. They have become a hotspot on the map for those looking to explore Indonesia off the beaten path.

Tropical island with village, beach and turquoise crystal ocean, aerial view. Gili Air island

The Gili Islands are a great place to relax, unwind and enjoy the sun. There is plenty of fun to be had here as well as some hidden gems that you can discover while exploring the islands. Below are some things to do in Gili Islands.

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Sunset Experience on Utopia Catamaran

The sunset experience on Utopia Catamaran is a must-do when visiting Gili Islands. It takes place from 4:00pm to 7:00pm and includes a delicious dinner, sparkling wine and beautiful sunset views.

The tour lasts 3 hours and is perfect for those who want to see all that Gili Islands have to offer while enjoying some great food and drinks too!

The tour takes place on a catamaran that is equipped with sun beds and plenty of space to relax. The crew on Utopia Catamaran are very friendly and will make you feel welcome.

Sunset or sunrise at tropical beach with boat and ocean in Gili Meno island

Go on a snorkelling safari

The Gili islands are famous for their snorkelling and scuba diving experiences, so if you are an avid swimmer or diver then this is definitely something you should try while you are there.

This Snorkeling Tour takes you around all three Gili Islands. You will get to see some of the best coral reefs in the world, and there are plenty of species to spot while you are swimming around.

The tour lasts 3 hours and is perfect for those who want to enjoy some time in the water while also learning more about what makes Gili Islands so special. You will be transported by a glass bottom boat before being provided with snorkelling equipment, so you can simply jump into the water and start exploring.

You will also have plenty of time to relax on the boat and enjoy some beautiful scenery before heading back to land.

The people are snorkeling near the famous place on Gili Meno Island, Indonesia. Aerial view. Underwater tourism in the ocean. Gili Meno Island, Indonesia. Travel image

Go to the beach

The beaches on Gili Islands are some of the most beautiful in the world. From the white sand to the crystal clear water, there is no better way to enjoy this island than by relaxing on a beach chair and only getting up when you need a drink or a snack.

There are many beaches on Gili Islands, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Some of them have bars and restaurants nearby for a quick refreshment, while others simply offer a quiet place to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The beaches are also great places to enjoy some water sports, including snorkelling and diving. You can also catch some beautiful sunsets from beaches such as Gili Trawangan Sunset Beach and Gili Meno Sunset Beach.

Tropical bungalow - traditional house which use natural material in Gili islands, Indonesia

Bask Nest underwater sculptures

These interesting and unusual sculptures were designed by Jason deCaires Taylor. The artwork is situated underwater in the sea on the west coast of Gili Meno.

You will find 48 life size human figures in a circle formation. It is a great place to go snorkelling, as you can swim around the sculptures and see how they have been affected by time and the elements.

The figures have been designed so that they look like they are part of their surroundings. You will also find many small and colourful fish swimming around the figures, which adds to the beauty of this unique artwork. There are many snorkelling tours that take you to this site.

Gili Meno, Indonesia. Woman freediver with fins dive near underwater statues. Underwater tourism in the ocean.

Gili Islands Nightlife

The nightlife on the islands is lively and fun, so you will have no trouble finding somewhere to go out. There are lots of bars and clubs, where you can dance the night away. There are also some great places to enjoy a drink while listening to music or watching a live band perform.

If you like live music then head over to Gili Trawangan, as there are many bars that play both reggae and rock music. The island is also a great place to watch live entertainment, as there are many performers who perform on the beach every night.

There are many places to choose from, but it is always a good idea to make reservations for the more popular places.

You can also go out at night without reservations, but there is a chance that the place will be full or closed when you get there due to them being so popular. Some highlights include Sama-Sama Reggae Bar, Lava Bar and Raja Bar & Restaurant.

Glasses on table in tropical restaurant at sunset or sunrise

Sample the local food at the night market

While you are on the islands, do not miss out on sampling some of the local food! The Gili Trawangan night market is a great place to find cheap and delicious food.

You can try almost anything you want. There are local specialities like chicken satay, fried noodles with curry sauce, coconut milk soup with fish cakes, beef rendang curry and more.

If you are not sure what something is or what it tastes like just ask someone nearby and they will be happy to explain it to you. The night market is open late so if you are craving dinner after your day exploring or even another afternoon snack—this place has got your back.

Gili Trawangan Indonesia - Street food stall at Trawangan Night Market

Take part in a yoga session

Yoga sessions are a great way to relax and meet other travellers. Gili Trawangan is home to many yoga teachers, so you can find several classes to choose from.

You can even find a class that suits your schedule, as they are offered in the mornings and afternoons. You can also find sunset yoga sessions on the beach!

The girl shows the figures standing in the bridge on hands with a bent back the guy shoots video on the smartphone against the sunset at the sea. Gili Trawangan island, Lombok, Indonesia.

Gili Meno Sea Turtle Sanctuary

If you are looking for something a little more exciting than the typical Gili Islands attractions, then the turtle hatchery is where you should head.

If you would like to learn about how important conservation efforts are towards helping threatened wildlife species, visiting this conservation centre will give you firsthand experience with some of Indonesia’s most endangered animals.

The centre is dedicated to conserving and protecting sea turtles, one of Indonesia’s most iconic animals. The centre is one of the best places to see and learn about the conservation efforts that are currently taking place in Gili Meno.

Here, you will be able to interact with local volunteers and staff who can tell you all about their work in helping these beautiful creatures. You can also participate in some hands-on activities such as cleaning the tanks or feeding turtles at their feeding time!

Turtle swim over coral bottom in underwater ocean. Sea life with turtle

Horse Riding

If you are looking for a more adventurous option, horse riding is another great way to explore the island. The horses are well trained and friendly, and you can easily ride around the island for two hours or more.

There are many places to do this activity such as Stud Horse Riding and Rescue, Kings Stable Horse Riding Tour and Gili Air Horse Riding. All of these places offer great services and will make sure you have an amazing time.

TRAWANGAN, INDONESIA - Man sits at the beach with horse next to him on gili trawangan

Mount Rinjani

Over on the island of Lombok, there is a volcano named Mount Rinjani. It has a huge crater at the top that has formed into a lake. The view from the top of the volcano is spectacular and you can see all of Lombok.

It is an amazing activity to try if you are nearby on the Gili Islands as it is only a short boat trip over to Lombok. It is a great place to explore and have fun with your friends or family.

The hike up the mountain can take days depending on your fitness level. There are several different trails that you can take, each one offering a different view of the island.

There are many tour guides that will take you up the volcano and provide you with a Trekking to Rinjani experience.

This tour starts early at the local village of Senaru Village, where your two day excursion will begin. Camping equipment is provided along with food and supplies for the journey. The trek to the summit of Rinjani can be a physically demanding experience, but it is well worth the effort.

The views from the top are breathtaking and will leave you with memories that will last forever.

Magnificent view over Rinjani mountain in Lombok

Indonesian Cooking Class

The Indonesian cooking class is a great way to learn about the culture and cuisine of Indonesia. The classes are taught by locals that have years of experience in cooking traditional Indonesian dishes. The classes are a great way to experience the rich culture of Indonesia and learn how to prepare some of their most popular dishes.

This class is 2 hours long and you will get to learn how to cook dishes such as steamed fish, peanut sauce, mie goreng, yellow sauce and chicken taliwang. Dine on your dishes afterwards to taste how great they are.

The sweet and spicy cooking class is designed for those who want to learn about Indonesian cuisine, but do not want to spend too much time in the kitchen. The classes are small and intimate so you will get plenty of attention from your instructor. You can take this class with a friend or family member and enjoy learning together.

Indian mee goreng or mee goreng mamak, Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, spicy fried noodles in a plate, copy space

Learn how to surf

It is common for people to visit Bali and not try surfing. This is because most tourists do not know how to surf, but this does not mean that you cannot learn. There are plenty of surf schools on the island that can teach you how to surf in just a few hours.

The surf schools will provide you with all the equipment that you need and a guide to show you where to paddle out.

You will learn how to stand up on the board and hopefully catch a wave. Sunny Surf School Gili Trawangan is great for beginner surfers, with each lesson being 2 hours it provides you lots of time to learn and master a new skill.

Blue sea at Gili Islands in Lombok, Indonesia. Lombok is known for beaches and surfing spots, particularly at Kuta and Banko Banko.

Go Hiking

There are plenty of hikes on the islands, with some being quite easy and others being more challenging. This is a nice way to get out in nature and not be surrounded by tourists all day long.

The views from the top of the hills are amazing and it is a great way to get some exercise. Some highlights include Hilltop Hiking View Point or Plix Sunset Viewpoint on Gili Trawangan.

Tourist boats from the top view of Gili Lawa in an evening, Komodo Island (Komodo National Park), Labuan Bajo, Flores, Indonesia

Rent bikes

If you decide you no longer want to explore the islands by foot, there are many places to rent bikes on the islands. The bikes are cheap and it is a fun way to get around. The bikes are also a good way to get some exercise if you have been sitting around all day.

There are many bike paths on the islands, so it is easy to find one that suits your needs or desires. Some places to rent bikes are SumMuz Rental and Sila Rent Bike in Gili Trawangan or Putri Bike Rent in Gili Meno.

Happy young woman on blue bicycle near ocean in tropical island

The Gili Islands are a great place to visit. The islands are dotted with beautiful beaches, coral reefs and pristine waters that make for amazing snorkelling and scuba diving. You can enjoy these by chartering a boat or taking one of the many daily tours available on the island.

Another way to experience these islands is by staying at an eco-resort or villa where you have access to all kinds of activities like yoga classes, kayaking, surfing etc. You can also visit the local markets and shops to buy souvenirs and meet the friendly locals who are always more than happy to show you around.

The Gili Islands are perfect for those who want to experience a slice of paradise while still being able to enjoy the comforts of home. If you are looking for a relaxing holiday with a fun island hopping experience with plenty of activities, then the Gili Islands are the place to go.

Recommended tours in Gili Islands

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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