Palmtrees, coconuts, tanned skin, turtles, bicycle rides & magic sunsets ♡ YES, we are in love with Gili islandlife! We’ve been sharing our Travel Diary on Instagram the last week and had many asking for travel recommendations, so we decided to curate our best tips into this mini travel guide to Gili Trawangan.
We’ve traveled from Bali to Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air already a few times now in the last seven years. We adore the beautiful Meno and Air. The two smaller islands next to Trawangan have a more serene vibe, where Trawangan has been evolving more into a party island. And honestly we’re not the kind of girls who enjoy sipping on vodka loaded buckets and spacing out on magic masrooms. Give us early morning sunrises and sunset yoga sesh instead : )
BUT none the less the island is still stunning and we believe in exploring new things always. This time our boyfriends accompanied us on the trip, yay! (Donut worry, left all the smooshy romantic pics out, and yes there were many ; )
So, let’s do this! Our curated mini guide:
How to get there
We took the Gili Getaway fast boat. It departs from Serangan and takes about 2 hours to get to Gili Trawangan. It’s a little bit more expensive than the other boat services, but we love their service and safe boats (and super happy staff!). A return ticket costs around 80 euros. It includes arranging your pick-up and drop-off at your hotel in Bali.
Seasick easy? (Like us, meh!) They’ll give you seasickness pills 30 minutes prior leaving (which are more like heavy sleeping pills so we’re k.o. during the boat ride, haha). And we always take the seats in the back, it helps! PS. We saw dolphins on the way to Gili! So amazing.
Bicycles! Yes! Love! There are no cars and motorbikes allowed on the island, so biking is your way to get around. Cruising around the island’s coastline takes about 1,5 hours. We rented the bicycles at our hotel, but you can rent them anywhere on the island.
If possible, try to avoid taking horse and cart (the ‘regular’ way for transport) as most horses are sadly not treated well by their owners : ( Find more info on this here.
There is a busy crowded center in the south of the Island. Backpackers, party, etc. The West & North side of the island are more quiet and serene. They call this the ‘sunset side’!
We stayed at the amazing Le Pirate on the sunset side. A beach side tropical resort with the cutest cottages you’ve ever seen (and never want to leave). We slept in a ‘mega family sweets’ in the back of the resort with ocean view. The smallest type of houses are one room and a hammock on the porch, but what more would you need! The resort has two swimming pools and hangout area’s and a private beach in front. Next time we would def come back here! (Full post with more pictures from Le Pirate coming up soon!)
While biking around the island we also spotted some other cute looking places on the beach, away from the crowds. Like Villa Sunset Beach and Windy Bungalows for the budget travellers. And we saw some more upscale venues like The Yoga Garden, Gili Eco Villas or Pearl of Trawangan.
We are absolute foodies so when we ended up at Casa Vintage Beach on the first night, we actually didn’t want to eat anywhere else, haha. Delicious smoothies, fresh coconuts, yummy dishes like the humus veggie plates and vegetarian Jamaican Pot. AND the best view and sunset. The restaurant of Le Pirate was also great!
Other eat tips:
- Scallywags for fresh seafood BBQ
- Pearl of Trawangan beach restaurant
- Kayu Cafe for a good coffee and healthy food fix
- The Night Market for local food lovers
- Vegetarian food at The Garden Cafe
- Rent bikes and go around the island (and take the small paths inland to find the stunning palmtree fields)
- Chill, tan, swim: the whole island is surrounded by white sandy beaches and clear turquoise waters perfect for mermaiding, snorkling and diving.
- Casa Vintage Beach: all-day hangout; eat, sip on coconuts, swing in a hammock, enjoy the sunset, shop cute vintage clothing, play a game of socker in the sand, take a little nap on the comfy picnic rugs and pillows. On the West (sunset side) of the island
- Book a snorkle trip: don’t skip Turtle point in front of Gili Meno. Tip: book a half day private boat with a small group of friends / travellers to make your snorkle experience. Our guide Mario was the best! Call him and tell ‘m that you got his contact from us: +62 8 7865262257
- Swing at Ombak Sunset; the famous swing in the ocean which you must know as the most instagrammed and pinned spot on the island. Across the west coastline there are more swings and hammocks which are worth a swing : )
- Surfing: awesome waves with big swells.
- Diving (we don’t dive but we’ve heard it’s amazing here! Also poss to get your padi here)
- Sunrise or sunset yoga at Soraya Yoga or Gili Yoga
- Make sure you’ll catch the magical sunsets every day
And last but not least, take some time to SLOW DOWN and unwind. Gili Trawangan is perfect to get your digital detox / island babeness / chill mode on. We’d say 3 nights minimum is a must to fully live the calm life on the island.
Hope you loved our tips! Have you been to Gili too? We’d love to hear your Gili Island travel experiences and recommendations on nice places to stay, eat or do in Gili in the comments!
-x- Pris & Eve
Watch our Gili Trawangan Vlogs! Made by Makerschannel
Bikes all set, can rent these at Le Pirate! Coconut pitstop
At Casa Vintage Beach (see more photos here!)
In front of Casa Vintage Beach there are some nice tanning and hang spots for the dayWhite sandy beaches on the West & North side. With our fave Sunday.co umbrella!
Snorkle trip, that’s Mario!
Squad photo! So sunburned but so happy
Also check out our Casa Vintage Beach post! -x-