The Gili Islands are famous for many things, one of which is snorkeling. We have visited Gili Trawangan two times before during our Bali holidays. This year we decided to go to Gili Air.
When you are planning a holiday in Bali I think you should also consider taking at least a couple of days on one of the islands around Bali as well. Last year we skipped the Gili Islands all together, and went to visit Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida. But this year we wanted to go back to the Gili’s. But not Gili Trawangan which we had visited twice before. The choice fell on the smallest island of the three – Gili Air.
We stayed on the north side of Gili Air. 10 minutes away from the harbor if you use horse carts. 5 minutes if you use bicycles. The villa is only a minute away from the beach and all sorts of beach bars and restaurants. And with walking distance to what became one of our favorite restaurants – The Mexican Kitchen. Highly recommended.
Best place to swim and see the sunset
There are many nice beaches around Gili Air, but most of them can be a bit tricky to go out in due to the corals. Our favorite beach was around Scallywags, down by the harbor. Very nice sandy beach. Scallywags also serve great food and very decent (free) wifi.
After you have spent a long day at the beach, you might want to have something healthy to eat before you set off to see the beautiful sunsets at Gili Air. You will however not see them from Scallywags, as the sun sets on the other side of the island – towards Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. However, by bike it only takes you a few minutes to see it.
We visited Gili Bliss several times during our days at Gili Air. Very good and healthy food served in a small restaurant located in the main street, just a few meters from the harbor.
If you want to enjoy the magnificent sunset Gili Air has to offer, going to the east side of the island will be best. That’s also where we enjoyed a pizza one of the nights – at Mama Pizza.
And what more than the sunset does the Gilis have to offer… The swing of course. They are to be found everywhere around the island. Somewhat of a tourist thing to do – for “that Instagram moment” if you are into that.
Having said that, the sunsets from the beach where Apalagi Villas are located are not too bad either. Nor is the hammock that Gustav very much enjoyed to relax in.
Or the swing that Hedvig took one of the mornings we went out on a bike ride.
We had a fantastic time at Gili Air and staying at Apalagi Villas was truly a pleasure. Hedvig in particular loved the fact that she could bike alone around the island. To meet new people. See all the aspects of the island and the people visiting and living there. This was a trip and a visit we will remember for ever.
By sea or by air
Going to Gili Islands can be troublesome is you don’t like staying on a boat a few hours in what can often be described as rocky. If you want to go by sea – takes approximately 4 hours from the harbor of Bali to one of the three islands – I would recommend going with Patagonia Express. It takes longer than some of the smaller boats, but I would argue you feel safer, as the boat is much bigger and thus “handles” the sea in a much better way.
Having said that – after experiencing all of the harbors in Gili islands and Bali being closed due to high sea resulting in a long trip which included speed boat from Gili Air to Lombok harbor. Taxi from the harbor to the airport, and then a flight from Lombok to Surabaya, and from Surabaya to Denpasar – you should also consider going to Gili islands with air in stead of boat.