Gili Air is a fair bit smaller and more refined compared to Gili Trawangan. Compared to both Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, it is safe to say that Gili Air offers the best of both worlds and is the second most popular island to head to after the more established Gili Trawangan.
The island’s south-eastern coast is packed with a variety of dining and nightlife choices, while the northern coastline with its beautiful beaches is almost isolated from the crowds down south, making it a perfect place for those seeking a more tropical island vibe.
Getting around Gili Air is easy: You can rent a bicycle, by horse cart ‘Cidomo’ or by foot. It will take approx a half-day to explore the Island on foot. Gili Air is also a perfect stopover for those heading for Lombok’s mainland.
Because Gili Air is a mix between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno it has a full range of activities for young and old. You can go snorkeling everywhere around the Island. Learn how to freedive or get your PADI. Discover the island on foot, by bicycle and even by horse carrier. Enjoy the delicious local food at the night market or in any of the many restaurants. Watch a movie on the beach or sign up for a yoga course, the possibilities are endless.
Gili Air has some very good freediving schools where you can learn freediving. Freediving is for everyone and you can learn it in just 2-3 days. From absolute beginners to instructor candidate sessions. For those with less time, they also offer half-day introductions. Most of the free dive schools offer both AIDA and PADI certification courses.
If there is one activity you can do while visiting any of the three Gili Islands it is snorkeling and diving. Gili Air has beautiful coral reefs with crystal clear waters waiting to be explored. You can snorkel straight from the beach and for those who are seeking a bit more adventure you can also rent a local boat to bring you to an offshore reef where you can snorkel for a few hours before returning to the island. Masker, snorkel and fins can be rented on the island against a small fee
For those who are looking to feel completely connected to your mind, body, and spirit or take a breather from the regular island life you can sign yourself up for one of the many yoga retreats on Gili Air, a popular one is the H2O Yoga and Meditation Center. Being by the beautiful ocean with stunning views of Mt. Rinjani and Mt. Agung makes Gili Air an ideal setting to practice yoga. There is something for anyone at any level. Go on a spiritual journey.
Just 500 meters South-West of the island called PlayGilis you will find a perfect right-hand break. Don’t let the name fool you, the wave breaks over a very sharp coral reef, creating solid barrels, making it more suitable for the experienced surfer. The break is not super consistent but when there is a good swell rolling through it will be on fire. For the beginning surfer, there is a more friendly break to the south of the island in front of Tami’s Neverland.
For those of us who want a laid-back evening after a full day of island adventure, why not watch a movie? A movie directly on the beach. There are two outdoor cinemas on Gili Air showing movies every night from 8 pm. Visit Ombak Paradise on the South-West coast or Bel-Air on the East Coast to find out which movies will play.
When it comes to nightlife and parties, Gili Air has a lot to offer, from luxury restaurants to cozy beach bars with live music. Most happening on the East coast of the island. Several parties a week will take place between different bars. Unlike Gili Trawangan which has nightly parties taking place, Cheeky Monkey Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Legend Bar is when Gili Air goes off. Please keep in mind that during the month of Ramadan (July) the party scene will be a bit less than normal.