There are three islands off of Lombok’s north west coast that have become famous destinations for those escaping the hustle and bustle of Bali.
It’s just a 2-3 hour fast boat ride from south Bali or 15mins via boat from Bangsal harbour in Lombok. Each island has a different feel and tends to attract slightly different visitors because of that, we chose Gili Air with its ‘medium’ party vibe feel, the islands are close to each other though!
There are no cars or even petrol bikes on the islands, bicycles and horse carts are the only transport options if needed, but you can walk around Gili Air in just over an hour!
We went in the rainy season but were lucky enough to have mostly sunny days, with a rare, but often welcome, short burst of rain to ease the humidity. These low lying islands tend to avoid the big cloud build up that you see on the mountainous (active volcanos) rising up in Lombok and Bali. Watching the distant lightning storms was fun!
It’s also cheaper and less busy during the rainy season!
The snorkelling and diving on these islands is exceptional, some of the reefs being accessible directly from the beach. The coral is vibrant, there are plenty of fish and the occasional turtle can be seen close to the shore too.
Close to Gili Meno is a wonderful underwater sculpture created by the British born artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who has created underwater sculptures that develop into artificial coral reefs across a number of international locations.
You can access this one from the beach on Gili Meno or it’s a regular stop on one of the many boat tours from the other Gili islands.
Early days with my underwater photos I’m afraid 🙂
Gili Air was a delightful experience for us, it’s beautiful beaches, stunning sunsets, wonderful restaurants made it one of the most chilled places we have been to date, and that’s without sampling the magic mushrooms!
It was so good we stayed two more nights before heading to Lombok to visit our next island in the south west Gili’s on Gili Asahan.