Gili air

Gili Air has a relaxed, friendly and attractive bohemian vibe, quite distinct from the other islands. It offers a good balance between the buzz of Gili T and the chill of Gili Meno, and draws guests to return year after year.

Gili Air is the island closest to the mainland and can be reached in around 20 minutes by local boat or five minutes by speedboat.

Being the closest of the Gilis to the mainland, Gili Air has the largest local population of the three islands; combining the charm of a tropical island with the people and culture that make Lombok unique.

Like all the Gilis, the best swimming beaches are on the east coast and most development runs along the beaches here down to the harbour in the south.

The views from all points of the island are stunning but the east coast, facing Lombok, is probably the most fantastic – looking back at the big island with its white beaches and green mountains dominated by Indonesia’s second largest volcano, Mt Rinjani.

Accommodation on Gili Air ranges from simple back-packer bungalows to luxurious air-conditioned rooms and private villas with swimming pools.

There is a good variety of restaurants and beachside cafés on the island, offering everything from traditional Indonesian dishes to up-market international fare, while vegetarians and vegans are well catered for too. Fresh seafood is readily available.

The bar scene can get pretty lively in the evenings and, during high season, the island kicks into high gear with Full Moon parties on the beach. Alternatively, pull up a seat at one of the beach bars and enjoy live music by some talented local musicians.

Activities include walking and cycling around the island, sun bathing, and swimming, excellent diving opportunities, snorkelling from the shore, free diving, thrilling Subwing adventures, stand up paddle boarding, surfing and other water sports.

Gili Air RelaxFor exploring, there is a path running parallel to the beach and it takes around 90 minutes to circle the whole island. The interior is criss-crossed with a maze of tracks that can get confusing, but all lead back to the beach.

The calm waters and good visibility make Gili Air an ideal place to learn to dive or to upgrade diving skills. There are a number of professional dive centres on the island and, of course, it is easy to explore the other islands from here.

Popular dive sites on Gili Air that attract divers from the other Gilis include Air Wall off the west coast, Hans Reef and Frogfish Point off the north coast.

The water surrounding the island is a clear, translucent aquamarine, made even more pure by the sparkling white sand beneath.

For those who have never had the pleasure of viewing the magical world beneath the ocean, Gili Air offers a superb opportunity to do so in safety and comfort.  Other activities on the island include yoga and meditation classes and retreats, cooking classes, browsing the quaint shops, relaxing massages and body treatments, and simply chilling out on a beautiful little tropical island.

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