Gili Trawangan, the largest of the Gili Islands off the northwest coast of Lombok, is an incredible option for a paradise island getaway without having to sacrifice luxury accommodation, great food and plenty of things to do.
If you’re planning on a 3 night break on Gili Trawangan you’ll have plenty of time to relax, soak up the sun and explore the island. Here are our recommendations on what to do with your 4 days on Gili Trawangan!
Arriving on Gili Trawangan you’ll notice that there are no cars or motorbikes, which means you’ll have to walk, cycle or grab a dokar (horse drawn cart) to get around. Since the island is only small, you can walk the coastline in around 90 minutes. The walk is flat and easy…as long as you don’t head out in the middle of the day with the full force of the sun on you. Cycling is also fun and bicycles are cheap to rent on a daily basis.
If you feel like a bit of an adventure you can head uphill from the island’s village and enjoy a stunning sunrise from the highest point on the island. The views towards Bali and also to the towering Mount Rinjani on Lombok’s mainland are truly breathtaking.
If you’re a diver, you might want to book a day or 2 for dive trips around the Gilis. There are more than 25 great dive sites around the 3 Gilis that are easy to reach from Gili Trawangan. You could also book yourself on a PADI certified diving course with Gangga Divers. This can be a short taster course or if you are already dive certified, up your skill level with a specialized dive course.
For non-divers there are still plenty of ways to get wet and enjoy the incredible marine life in the waters around Gili Trawangan. Rent snorkeling gear and wade in straight from the beach in front of Villa Almarik for your best chance of seeing sea turtles, or get a boat to take you out to one of the shallower reefs. You could spend a whole day just drifting over schools of brightly colored tropical fish and healthy corals.
You can also rent a kayak or stand up paddle board and head out onto the calm waters. Looking down from your board the water is clear enough to see fish swimming underneath you and if you get out far enough you might even encounter dolphins or small reef sharks.
Of course you might not want to do anything at all but find a nice beanbag on the beach and chill out. There are tons of cafes and restaurants lining the beaches on Gili Trawangan where you can do just this. Order yourself a smoothie, grab your book and soak up some of that famous Gili island sunshine. Don’t forget to take pictures though; the beaches are perfect for photographers or social media lovers. Make your friends back home extra jealous by finding one of the over-water swings or hammocks and take some gorgeous pictures.
Speaking of gorgeous photos, you won’t want to miss Gili Trawangan’s stunning sunsets. The southwest of the island facing back towards Bali is the best side to see the beautiful colors of a Gili sunset, and there are tons of beach bars and restaurant where you can claim a spot for the show. However, you can also head up the hill for a quieter, wider view. Even more spectacular, but not for the faint-hearted, is a climb up Trawangan lighthouse for a 360 degree view of the setting sun. You’ll have 3 evenings to watch the sun drop into the sea, so why not try a different view every day…or even take a sunset horse ride on the beach!
After sunset Gili Trawangan’s vibe changes a little. The island is well known for its rowdy nightlife and for good reason. From reggae bars to beach clubs with DJs on the sand, there are parties going off all along the main beach. Weekdays blend into weekends, so don’t worry if you aren’t there on a Friday or Saturday night…there is music, dancing and drinking all the time.
If the wild nightlife isn’t your scene, have a nice beachfront dinner at one of the many restaurants and enjoy the quiet of a Gili night away from the party spots. These few days are the perfect time to step away from the stresses and strains of modern life, slow down, read a book or just enjoy the quiet lapping of the waves on the shore.
4 days on Gili Trawangan might seem at first like a long time on such a small island, but the slow pace of life, the beauty of the island and the hospitality of the locals will make you wish you could stay forever.
What do you love best about Gili Trawangan? Or maybe you’ve never been but you’re thinking about a Gili holiday… leave us a comment below!