Gili Trawangan may be a small island, but it is now one of the most desirable holiday destinations in Indonesia. It has a little something for everyone. Read on to learn more about the top 10 reasons you need to visit Gili Trawangan.
1. The Beaches
Let’s start with the most obvious…the beaches. This tropical paradise has soft white sand and crystal clear water that is warm and calm most of the year. The beach on the south-east where all the boats arrive is not ideal for swimming, but head just a little bit south and you’ll find the more idyllic Gili beaches. Round the southern point and head north along the west coast and you’ll find some beautiful swimming spots, although the beach here can be a little rocky. The northern shore has softer sand, clear water and less people. The currents can be strong, but the water is deeper and the sand great for lounging and for kids to play.
3. Diving & Snorkeling
Gili Trawangan’s northern beaches offers the best snorkeling. Wade in from the soft sand and out into the water where it’s deeper and super clear. This is also a good area to spot sea turtles. You could spend whole days watching the brightly coloured reef fish swimming happily… just remember your sunscreen otherwise you’ll end up with a burnt back! For divers there are more than 25 great dive sites around the 3 Gilis that are easy to reach from Gili Trawangan. Gangga Divers is a great option for booking diving trips and even a diving course to get certified or add to your certification level.
4. Exploring the Island
Gili T takes around 90 minutes to walk all the way around. You can explore on foot or even better, rent a bicycle and cruise around. There are paved roads, but at some points on the island you might have to get off your bike to avoid tree roots, or potholes. There are no motorcycles or cars on the road so riding around is safe for inexperienced cyclists and kids. Ride into the interior of the island to see how the locals live, or just ride the coast to find the best spots to sunbathe and swim.
5. The Quiet
The island may be known as one of the best party islands in Asia, but there is a very quiet side to Gili T as well. The east side where the boats come in is usually referred to as the main strip and is lined with guest houses, bars and restaurants, but the other side of the island is much quieter. Also north of the harbor where Villa Almarik is located is a quieter part of the island where you can relax in the evening and not be worried about being kept awake by wild parties.
3. The Sunsets
Being off the north-west coast of Lombok, the Gilis face have the backdrop of Bali’s east coast and the towering silhouette of Mount Agung, Bali’s holy volcano. When the sun sets the views truly breathtaking, especially from the southern tip of the island. Crowds do gather around sunset time, but there is plenty of beach space for everyone and also lots of bars and restaurants to grab a cold drink at while you watch the sun sink down behind Mount Agung.
6. The Nightlife
After sunset the party crowds move back to the main strip and get ready for a night of music, barefoot dancing and plenty of cocktails or icy cold Bintang beers. Every night there is some kind of party going on whether it’s live music, reggae, bonfires on the beach or even silent discos during Ramadan. The other not-to-miss Gili attraction is the boat parties that have become popular. Pay to cruise, dance and drink on a luxury yacht for the evening for a real Gili party-crowd experience.
7. Photo ops
There is no denying Gili Trawangan is stunning, which means the photo opportunities are just about endless. From over-water swings, to beanbags on the beach and stand-up-paddle pics, your instagram will be overflowing with content. For honeymooners, families on holiday and dive enthusiasts, the memories you make on the island will be forever sealed in photo form.
8. Horseback riding
There are a few stables on Gili Trawangan where you can head out for a ride on the beach. The best times for riding are sunrise or sunset, both for the gorgeous views and because the heat can be too much during the day. The horses love to splash into the water and the photo opportunities are stunning. Even if you’ve never been horseback riding before, the stable hands will take care of you and make sure you have a horse that is equal to your skill level.
9. Swim with turtles
Sea turtles are incredible to see in the wild and Gili Trawangan is one of the best places in Indonesia to get up close and personal with these majestic animals. There is a turtle hatchery you can visit on the island and you can also join in with turtle releases, which are most frequent between August and November. Snorkeling off the northern shore of the island is the best place to swim with turtles, but they also pop up around the island in other spots.
What’s the one thing you really want to do on a paradise island? Relax of course! Gili T is ideal for relaxation thanks to its gorgeous beaches, warm water and total island vibe. The locals and those who work on the island are friendly, happy and always ready to laugh, so take advantage of the atmosphere and let all your stresses and strains fall away. Soak up the sun on the beach, take slow leisurely walks on the beach, eat fresh seafood, and splash in the warm water. We guarantee you won’t regret booking a carefree holiday to Gili Trawangan!
Have we missed anything you love about Gili Trawangan? Let us know if there is anything you wouldn’t miss on the island.