7 Reasons to Explore the Gili Islands

Located just next to Bali, The Gili Islands are a hidden getaway destination. Here are 7 reasons to hop over to the Gili Islands!

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The Gili Islands has been the stuff of my travelling dreams since two years ago. Back then, I was doing a road trip across Java, and had written in to a fellow backpacker to ask for tips. When she heard I was heading to Bali, she strongly recommended the Gili Islands. Gili islands comprises of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. Blue waters, white sand and the chance to cycle around the tiny islands was totally my idea of FUN!

Two years later, I finally made it to the Gilis. I was expecting the Gilis to be like the Maldives but sadly, that was not the case. Despite the initial disappointment, I was pleasantly surprised with the splendid villa that awaited us, and the corals and fishes of Gili that came before my very eyes.

These are my 7 reasons on why you should explore the Gili Islands.

1. It’s a hidden destination

Never did we expect the journey to Gilis to be longer than a plane ride from Asia to Europe. We took 12 hours and four different modes of transport; an internal flight, a car ride, a speedboat ride before ending with a horse cart ride.

Getting to the Gilis is much faster via speedboat from Bali. Unfortunately, we arrived in Bali at 3pm in the afternoon and all the boats to Gili had left for the day. Thus we had to take the longer route, which involves flying to Lombok, followed by a 2 hour car ride to the harbour. To get the best of both Gili and Bali, make sure you have at least five days to spare.

2. Best things in life are worth the wait

explore, travel, 7 reasons to explore the gili islands

When we opened the door to our villa, we were taken aback (in a positive way). The villa had a personal swimming pool, outdoor dining table and a tanning bed. There was a large space in the garden to play football (which we skipped as we were busy enjoying the pool). The kitchen came well equipped with a built-in oven and a well stocked fridge. Before the influx of flying ants and a gecko, I felt that this was my dream home.

3. Clear blue water

The Gili island waters are blue and beautiful. You can see coral and colourful, tiny little fishes when you snorkel. The beaches are also dotted with bits of wash up coral. Take time to explore the depth of the ocean with a snorkelling trip.

4. Serenity

explore, travel, 7 reasons to explore the gili islands

If you’re looking for a relaxing vacation, Gili is the place for you. The villa was so comfortable that we didn’t want to leave it. You can order villa-service or take a walk to the beach for a meal. There are plenty of good seafood restaurants around. If you’re not into the pubbing culture of Gili Trawangan, you can escape to the other islands. There’s more than enough space to accommodate everyone on the islands.

5. Biking around the island

explore, travel, 7 reasons to explore the gili islands

If you are good cyclist, take time to ride around the island. Just be careful at the beach, as the bike cannot hold up well in the sand. We ended up pushing the bikes instead. The walk around the perimeter of Gili Trawangan takes about 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours. We stopped for lunch, a bit of shopping, a massage and were not even done going around the entire perimeter of the island.

6. Star-gazing

I thank my lucky stars [no pun intended] because the stars were out in full swing at the Gili Islands. Along the way from the jetty from Lombok to Gili Trawangan, it was pitch dark except the sky was filled with a thousands or millions of white lights. Some stars were emitting a strong beacon, while others were fading in the distance. It’s like having the entire universe, or Milky Way right in front of you.

In Gili Trawangan, it was slightly more difficult to enjoy the night sky because of the lights from the bars, pubs and restaurants. There were a lot of coconut trees blocking the view too. The quieter islands such as Gili Meno and Gili Air will make very romantic spots for star-gazing.

It will be good to read up on the astro-formations like the Orion’s belt before you head there.

7. Meet that special someone

explore, travel, 7 reasons to explore the gili islands

This is a family friendly blog, and I’m not advocating that young teenagers go around Gili Islands picking up someone. All I’m saying is that if you’re a mature adult looking to relax and enjoy the sea and sand, there’s a high chance you’ll bump into someone with like-minded interests. The whole atmosphere at the Gilis is very relaxed, and I would say, rather conducive for romance and conversation compared to bustling Bali, which is packed with surfers and bikini babes.

If this post managed to persuade you to visit the island of my travelling dreams, head there with TripZilla.

Contributed by The Travelling Squid.

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