Are you planning to visit the Gili Islands? This short guide about fast boats to the Gili Islands might come in handy.
We will explain the most important things you need to know to make your trip to the Gili Islands from Bali an awesome experience.
We answer questions on how to get to the Gili islands, which fast boats to use, how the free hotel shuttle service works and some great activities you can do during your holiday on the Gili islands. We hope this helps you make a well-balanced choice on which fast boat operator and route to choose that fits your situation and how booking a fast boat from Bali to Gili Trawangan works.
The Gili islands exist of three small islands, Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. The islands are part of Lombok, Indonesia and are situated on the North West coast off Lombok. The islands are famous for their beautiful coral reefs, beaches, sea turtles and snorkeling.
Fun fact: Did you know that there are no cars on any of the three islands? And you can only get there by sea and must people choose to go there by fast boat from Bali or Nusa Penida.
Getting to any of the three islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno) is easy and travel times depend on which ferry route you choose. The most popular island is Gili Trawangan and most people who visit the Gili islands travel directly from Bali by a fast boat, also known as a fast ferry to Gili Trawangan. You need to keep in mind that you are always dependent on weather conditions as you will be traveling over sea. Currently, there are many fast boat operators offering fast ferry transfers both from Bali to Gili and Lombok's mainland to Gili making it easy to get lost in all the offers, sailing schedules and ticket prices.
Most of the Bali fast boats to Gili depart each morning from Padang Bai harbor on the east coast of Bali. Most fast boats operate two scheduled ferry sailings per day, one in the morning departing between 9 and 10 am and another in the afternoon between 12 and 2pm. If you are a late riser and like to take things easy the afternoon trip might be a good option.
There are also a few other ports of departure besides Padang Bai harbor, which are Serangan harbor (South Bali) and Amed’s beach (North west Bali). Most established fast boats operate ferry routes with departures from Serangan and Padangbai. Serangan harbor is more closely located to Bali's main tourist areas such as Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Canggu.
One might think that this would be the best port to depart from but most of the boat operators will sail from Serangan to Padangbai harbor first before continuing their trip to the Gili’s, resulting in a longer boat journey, which sometimes can be very rolling and wet, depending on the sea conditions. Some of us might enjoy this, but we always suggest departing directly from Padangbai, so you will spend less time on the fast boat and as a bonus enjoy some sightseeing of the beautiful Bali countryside on the way to the harbor. Most fast boat operators offer free hotel pickup & drop service from the popular tourist areas in the South, more about this is below.
In case you are staying in the area of Lovina (North Bali), Tulamben or Amed (North-East Bali) we always advise departing from Amed’s beach as this connection has the fastest travel times from Bali to Gili. We suggest booking your fast boat to Gili ticket with Freebird Express operating from Amed and offering daily fast boat trips from Amed to Gili.
The average sailing time from Bali to Gili Trawangan is 1,5 hours depending on where you are staying in Bali. In case you are traveling from South Bali (Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu..) add another 1-2 hours to get to the port of Padang Bai or you can choose to depart from Serangan to Gili Trawangan (which is only 20 minutes by car from Kuta) with Gili Getaway.
What is the best fast boat to the Gili Islands? This is a question we get quite often. The answer to this question depends on which location you are traveling from to the Gili islands and your travel budget. We offer fast boat tickets for both low-budget fast boat operators and more high standard ferry operators.
In this case, we will assume you will be traveling from Bali to Gili Trawangan or to any of the other two Gili islands.
If your hotel is located in the Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, Sanur, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Uluwatu or Ubud area we suggest to travel from Padang Bai harbor with either Eka Jaya Fast Boat or Wahana Gili Ocean.
Bali Eka Jaya Fast Boat is a well-established, trusted and safe fast boat operator departing three times daily from Padang Bai to the Gili islands. Eka Jaya also offers routes from Nusa Penida to the Gili islands. Prices start from $30 USD one way. Use the ferry search fare box at the top of this page to find schedules, prices and book your fast boat ticket to the Gili islands with instant confirmation and e-tickets.
In case you are looking for a more affordable fast boat to Gili we suggest booking with Ostina Fast Boat or Wahana Gili Ocean, sailing two times daily from Padang Bai harbor to Gili. Prices start from $27 USD for a one-way ticket.
The main difference between the two is that Eka Jaya uses bigger vessels and offers more routes and destinations.
There are of course other good fast boat operators, you can check different time schedules and prices by using the search box at the top of this page.
Are you staying in the area of Lovina, Tulamben, or Amed? Then booking your fast boat to Gili with Freebird Express is a smart choice with a great price value ($30 USD) and as a bonus, it is one of the fastest ferry routes from Bali to the Gili islands. Freebird Express departs every morning from Amed's beach.
Health Protocol for Passengers:
The general rule is that you can bring approx. 25 kg (max) per person. 1 large suitcase and 1 piece of hand luggage.
Special baggage such as surfboards, surf skis and canoes can have a surcharge depending on the policy of the operator. If you are unsure, please contact us in advance.
This can be confusing, and it's no secret that we get tons of questions about this. We will try to explain this as well as possible on how this exactly works. To avoid confusion, the free pick up and drop shuttle service is a service offered by the fast boat operator, We from Giliferries.com do not operate any shuttle service.
To start off, there is no pickup or drop service on the Gili Islands as cars are not allowed on the islands. The free pick up and drop service is only available on Bali’s mainland, when departing or when returning to Bali. With Nusa Penida and Lembongan island, it’s a different story, but we will not get into that in this article.
When booking your fast boat to Gili on our website you will have the option to fill out a pickup/drop request, this will only be shown if it’s available. Here you can fill in the address details of your accommodation from where you would like to be collected or dropped off.
The free pick up and drop service is only available in some areas, which vary from operator to operator. While filling out your pickup request you will find a link above it which will take you to the individual operator’s page with more details about which areas are included in the free pick up and drop service. Please make sure you read this. In case you are not sure, please feel free to contact us by WhatsApp, so we can assist you by double-checking this for you with your operator of choice.
For some areas which are outside the free zone, there might be a central collection point or the operator will have an extra charge for the pickup/drop service. In case there is an extra charge they will inform you about the extra charge in the reconfirmation email you will receive from the boat operator after completing your online booking. The extra charge is always paid directly to the operator/driver on the day of travel. Please note that this can take a few hours, so please be patient. In case you feel the extra charge is too high you are always free to arrange your own transportation.
No, pets are not allowed on most of the fast boats as they can be a safety issue and cause inconvenience to other passengers.
No, motorbikes and cars are not allowed on any of the Gili Islands.
Important note: The pickup service is a service by the operator you booked with and is subject to availability.
We hope this article helps to plan your trip to the Gili islands more easily and gives you more insight on booking your fast boat to Gili. In case you have any questions about choosing the right fast boat to Gili, please do feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. We are always happy to assist you.