best in the gilis

ISLAND HOPPING

Discover the Gilis with an island-hopping tour on a traditional outrigger boat. Whichever Gili you are staying on, you can organise with the boat owners on the beachfront to take you to the other islands to discover the unique charms of each Gili.

From Gili T you might want to cruise over to Gili Meno in the morning for some snorkelling and lunch, then on to Gili Air to explore the island by bicycle and have a swim, before returning to Gili T.

Tour operators and boat owners are happy to customise trips to suit you and to suggest itineraries depending on the tides and best places to see.

It’s even possible to island-hop using a glass bottomed boat. These outriggers have been fitted with an acrylic base in the bottom of the boat, allowing passengers to see the underwater world beneath them without ever having to get wet!

Photo by Alvaro Herrero

DIVING

It goes without saying that the biggest drawcard to the Gilis is diving! Tens of thousands of people come to the Gilis each year, whether to learn to dive in one of the best environments in the world, to update skills and certification, and to find new challenges. It’s a great place to learn how to dive if you have always wanted to try!

The Gili’s drop-offs, plateaus and slopes reflect a good cross-section of what Indonesia has to offer. Dive in and be fascinated by stunning gardens of hard and soft corals, white-tip and black-tip reef sharks, moray eels, barracuda, angelfish, pipefish, mantas and sting rays, different species of turtles and a huge variety of tropical fish species.

There are PADI certified dive shops on each of the islands offering a wide variety of courses – from discover scuba to open-water to more advanced levels of drift diving, rescue diver, nitrox diver, and more.

As the three Gilis are not far apart, all the famous dive sites are easily accessible, no matter on which island you are based.

Glass bottom boats are especially good if you are travelling with young children – allowing them to safely discover the wonders under the sea. Fun for parents too!

The STUD Gili Trawangan

HORSE RIDING

Beginners through to experienced riders will enjoy the magical experience of riding a horse along the beach at sunset.

Rides usually take place in the cooler hours of early morning or late afternoon and some even include a swim with the horses.

On Gili T, check out: Stud Horse Riding and Rescue and Horses of Gili.

Gili Meno: Gili Meno Stable Horse Riding Adventures and Kings Stable Horse Riding Tour.
Gili Air: Gili Air Horse Riding and Horse Riding of Gili Air.

DINING

You may be surprised at both the quality and variety of dining options available on the Gilis! With so many people visiting from all over the world, and a large number of expats who have settled here to run businesses on the island, you can get virtually any style of food you are craving.

Seafood, of course, is particularly good with an abundance of fish, prawns, squid and lobster available – all fresh from the ocean.

Even in the small local warung, you will find Ikan Bakar – whole fish grilled over coconut charcoal and served with rice and spicy sauce. For more upmarket fare, check out the fabulous seafood grills available from many of the restaurants on the island. The nightly BBQ at The Beach House on Gili T is especially popular and great value!

Travellers looking for vegan, vegetarian and slow food menus are well catered for on all three islands, particularly at Pachamama, Captain Coconuts, Gili Bliss, Musa Cookery, and Flowers and Fire on Gili Air.

For upmarket dining and special celebrations, you can’t go past Kokomo Resort on Gili T. Dine on creative modern cuisine and classic favourites expertly cooked using imported meats and top-quality local ingredients in a stylish setting right on the beachfront. There is a top-notch wine list and the service is impeccable.

COOKING CLASSES

We all love eating good food and being on holiday is the perfect time to learn to cook a few dishes to wow your friends back home!

Cooking classes are a great way to meet new friends and try something different – especially if it’s one of the few occasions when it’s raining on the Gilis.

Gili Cooking Class on both Gili T and Gili Air offer a variety of options from 3- to 6-courses all in a fun and friendly environment.

Sweet and Spicy Cooking School on Gili T is another good option for learning to cook Indonesian favourites. After the class, join your new friends in sampling the dishes you’ve cooked for lunch or dinner!

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