The Gilli Islands are situated roughly 3 hours from Indonesia and can be reached by a fast boat from Sanur. They are made up of three small islands, Gilli Trawangan, Gilli Meno and Gilli Air. Gilli Trawangan is the largest of the three and is more know as the “party island” while Gilli Meno and Gilli Air are more suited for honeymooners and couples. I have been to Gilli Trawangan and if a party is what you are after you can find it, however there are also plenty of places to relax and unwind.
Now lets talk accommodation and transportation…because they are both limited. I chose to stay a little out of the main hub as I wasn’t interested in the whole party scene but that also meant being further from restaurants and other activities. While the island is only about 6km in circumference and can be walked in 1.5hrs, late at night and when it is very dark the walk can seem a little longer. Also motorised vehicles are not a thing, its push power all the way…well that and donkeys. You have two options for transportation, a donkey and cart or push bike. If you hotel or villa is not in the main part of the town get a cart to take you to the hotel, not hard to find seeing’s as usual they are all waiting to pounce. Don’t get ripped off but also just pay them and get out of the chaos. Once you are all settled in your hotel head out and rent some push bikes, while walking is a viable option having a bike is great. A little PSA that the “roads” a very bumpy and you can end up with a sore rear end by the end of a long day. Overall I suggest looking at the accommodation carefully and try to get something not too isolated as the roads are barely lit at night and when a bike or walking are your only options it can feel a little eerie.
The Gilli’s are the place to be for snorkelling, beaches, relaxing, beaches and more beaches. I mean obviously it’s an island so don’t expect anything crazy but it is beautiful and perfect to spend a few days to unwind and relax (also so many Instagram opportunities). I am unsure if I could spend more than a few days there as I tend to get a little stir crazy when I feel trapped in my options…hence while you will never see me heading off on a cruise. There are some amazing snorkelling locations and I would suggest heading to the other island which I sadly didn’t, but places like Turtle Point on Gilli Meno are so close by and would be amazing experiences. Just go on Pinterest and look at the pictures if you don’t believe me! Seriously though if you are like me and have done Bali before or you have some time to spare, heading to the Gilli Islands for a few days in the middle of your trip is a nice change of pace and atmosphere.