Islands

Lombok’s coastline is framed with tropical islands; with each one bringing its very own romance and appeal.

A trip to the many islands surrounding Lombok is the best way to truly soak up the sun-bleached sand and coconut trees. Make the most of the crystal clear water and incredible visibility with the choice of snorkelling and diving activities. Or take the boat out and bask in the sun for hours; with nothing but the sound of birds taking flight and the water’s calming motion.

In the south-west of Lombok, traverse across remote and uninhabited stretches of land, perfect for lazing the day under the sun at (Gili Kedis, Gili Layar, Gili Nanggu). In the east of Lombok visit Gili Bidara, Gili Kondo and other small islands encompassing. Or explore the more populated Gili Islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno), bringing nightlife and entertainment to each visitor that steps foot on the island.

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image alt Islands Gili Meno

Gili Meno is the quietest of the three Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok. If you are looking for true island life, made up of lazy afternoons by the beach basking in the sun, along with a quieter feel, then Gili Meno will be for you. There are many accommodation options on the island, including luxury villas and cheap guesthouses. In the northwest of Gili Meno sits a beautiful saltwater lake, in the dry season the water evaporates, and the salt is then used for salt production.

When arriving by boat, Gili Meno's crystal clear water sparkling below you is a beautiful welcome onto the island. The island stretches out two kilometres long and one kilometre wide, it is the least developed of the islands. A total walk around the island takes under two hours. As the sun fades away, watch the stars above begin to shine through in this untouched tropical paradise.

Due to the island's tranquil pace, it brings just a small list of things to do. Scuba diving and snorkelling are popular past times for travellers, and the entire coastline provides a choice of beautiful sea life to explore. For scuba diving, Meno Wall is one of the top diving spots, in the northwest coast.

Back on land, discovering the island by bike is a scenic way to get to know your surroundings. Weather temperatures in the Gili’s can heat up, so be sure always to pack water.

Along the beach, visit the Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary, just a small stretch off the beach and home to many pools filled with baby turtles. The sanctuary's focus is on helping them survive before their release into the ocean, with 500 baby turtles hatching each year.

Gili Meno is a quiet, scenic escape perfect for unwinding and savouring island life.

image alt Islands Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan, affectionately known by travellers as Gili T, is the largest and most famous of the three islands. Just a short thirty-minute boat ride from Lombok, boats depart directly from the northwest coast.

Gili T brings together the best of pristine, white sandy beaches and vivid nightlife. The island is home to bustling bars, restaurants, guesthouses and diving schools and you will find a mix of both backpackers and travellers searching for a party paradise. Due to the resort-style accommodation, it also caters well for families, with bungalows, villas and hotels on offer. Across the Gili Islands, motorised transport is not allowed, so rent a bicycle or take a horse cart to move across the land.

Just a two-hour wander on foot will take you around the entire island. There are two main beaches; North Beach, perfect for snorkelling and underwater life and Goodheart, being the main stretch. Many travellers visit Gili T specifically to learn how to dive, with a choice of dive centres along the shoreline and 18 dive sites surrounding the Gili Islands. Throughout the islands, there are 63 biorock structure projects set up, which help to preserve the coastline and regenerate reef and marine life

Gili T is an excellent base for exploring between the islands. By day, enjoy snorkelling, diving and stunning beaches and by night get involved in the nightlife scene with bar hopping and lounge bars coming to life. Plan your trip to Gili Trawangan to make the most of the island’s beach life, nightlife and activities.

image alt Islands Gili Kedis

Gili Kedis sits in the southwest of Lombok and is a tiny island surrounded by colourful reef and active underwater life. It is the smallest of the surrounding islands and only about the size of a tennis court. From above, the island looks like a love heart; it is covered in sand with only just a couple of trees.

Enjoy swimming, snorkelling and relaxing on the beach of this beautiful remote island, like something out of a movie. The seawater is so clear that standing from above you can watch the fish playing in the water below. If you plan on spending the day on Gili Kedis, be sure to bring your own water and food, as there are no shops or inhabitants on the island. The most beautiful time to visit is at sunrise and sunset when the colours of the sun paint across the sky. 

There is a choice of two boats that will take you to Gili Kedis; one from Lembar port, which takes about 60 minutes in total, and another from Tawun, which is just a fifteen-minute ride. Visit Gili Kedis for a relaxing and remote day trip during your stay in Lombok and to get a true taste of island life. The pristine beach and playful fish swimming in the water are a beautiful way to visit one of Lombok's smaller and lesser-known islands. 

image alt Islands Kondo Island

Kondo Island is a beautiful uninhabited stretch of land to explore, exposing you to pristine marine life and crystal clear water. It forms part of the Three Islands (Tiga Pulau), which are Gili Kondo, Gili Bidara and Gili Petagan in the Sambelia subdistrict. Set off the east coast of Lombok in the Alas Strait; the island is a perfect day trip for honeymooners and families.

Kondo Island can be accessed from two ports - the port of Pelabuhan Kayangan just 45 minutes by boat or from Sambelia Transat coast in 25 minutes. From Mataram, it is a two and a half hour drive to reach the Pelabuhan Kayangan port.

Kondo Island is one of the less popular tourist destinations, and what attracts visitors to the island is its remote, untouched beauty. Most travellers visit just for the day. However, if extending your stay on this gorgeous island appeals to you, consider camping for the night to truly indulge and connect with nature. Make sure that you come prepared and bring your own food and water.

Many different tours will also take you to Kondo Island, so you can spend the day in the sun, savouring the white sand and open water without having to plan a thing. Visit Kondo Island to see where the very best of nature comes to life and experience one of the quieter, more pristine islands off Lombok.

image alt Islands Gili Air

Gili Air is considered to be the perfect balance between Gili Trawangan's nightlife and Gili Meno's slow-paced, relaxed lifestyle. The island sits closest to Lombok, and is fringed with stunning white sandy beaches and crystal clear water; perfect for snorkelling in. The name 'Gili Air' means small water island in Sasak. This is due to it being the only one of the three Gili Island's to have a natural source of fresh water.

The small, five kilometre island can be explored on foot or by bike within two hours. Along the coastline, you will see bungalows and restaurants all making the most of the ocean views. Accommodation options bring a variety of choices, from upscale luxury resorts to cosy guesthouses. Close by to the port of Gili Air is where there is a choice of dining and nightlife options and further north the island becomes more remote and isolated. Indulge in the Gili Air’s mix of beach bars and cafes, as well as some small shops throughout, perfect for solo travellers, groups and families. Gili Air's idyllic beaches are also a top pick for snorkellers and divers, to observe colourful marine life up close.

Boats connect daily between the other Gili Islands, departing in the morning and afternoon for you to jump on. Otherwise, group travellers can charter a boat and explore the area at a leisurely pace.

Whether you choose to relax and unwind, or make the most of entertainment and nightlife on the island, Gili Air brings a variety of activities for all types of travellers.

image alt Islands Gili Layar

Gili Layar sits off the southwest coast of Lombok. This small island is a beautiful day trip and a quiet retreat, with its isolated and tranquil environment. Enjoy your time snorkelling, relaxing in the sun, or making the most of the colourful, burning sunsets. To reach Gili Layar, take a boat from Sengiggi in Lombok, which is a two and a half-hour ride, or from Taun Harbor that is just a 15-minute ride.

The island is a popular destination for both locals and travellers to explore, and with just one accommodation option, it is a great way to disconnect and retreat. If you plan to spend the night here, ensure you pre-book your accommodation due to the limited options. The reef sits just off the shore, and the current is gentle enough to make the most of snorkelling in the water. Often in the early morning, turtles can be seen fluttering about too. The beach is quiet, and due to the intense heat of the sun, usually between 10am and 4pm, there are not many people around. As the sun goes down, watch the stars light up the night sky and listen to the sound of the ocean. If you plan to spend the night here, ensure you pre-book your accommodation due to the limited options. During your stay, make the most of discovering other surrounding island like Gili Gede, Gili Rengit and Asahan.

image alt Islands Gili Bidara

While Lombok is known for its famous Gili Islands in the west, in the east you will find a cluster of beautiful, lesser-known tropical islands. Part of that is Bidara Island (or Gili Bidara, Gili meaning ‘island’ in Sasak), which is one of the quieter and untouched havens surrounding Lombok. Nearby you will find Gili Kondo, Gili Kapal and Gili Lampu, which are all set on the Alas Strait. Bidara Island is the only one that is currently inhabited, home to families who have lived on the land for years. Across the island, you will also find sweet potato fields owned by the locals, which are a vital part of the island’s industry. While the island is only small, it is filled with stunning beaches to explore. The underwater life is worth seeing up close and a popular place for divers and snorkellers, with colourful fish and coral throughout. The view from the beach overlooks onto Mount Rinjani, and its outline sits boldly in the distance tracing out a beautiful sight for spectators.

To reach Gili Bidara, access the port from Sambelia in Lombok and then take a boat directly to the island. Camping on the land is the best option with limited accommodation options. You will find a pavilion for shelter, which you can set your tent in, and be sure to bring your own food and water.

For a tropical escape, and an alternative to the busy Gili Islands, visit Bidara Island to relax and reconnect with nature.