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Gili Air: What To Do, Where To Eat, Where To Sleep


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Dagmar Magana



Gili Air, a small island located off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia, is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and tranquility. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and laid-back atmosphere, Gili Air is a dream destination for travelers seeking a peaceful retreat away from the bustling crowds.


Despite being smaller than its neighboring islands, Gili Air has a lot to offer. Whether you are a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply someone looking to relax and unwind, there are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you entertained during your visit.


One of the main attractions of Gili Air is its stunning underwater world. The island is surrounded by vibrant coral reefs teeming with diverse marine life, making it a paradise for snorkelers and scuba divers. Explore the depths of the ocean and discover colorful corals, tropical fish, and even sea turtles. The calm and clear waters of Gili Air make it an ideal spot for beginners and experienced divers alike.


For those who prefer to stay on land, Gili Air offers picturesque scenery and beautiful sunsets that are worth capturing. Take a leisurely stroll along the white sandy beaches, relax under the shade of palm trees, or simply bask in the sun while sipping on a refreshing coconut drink. The island’s tranquil ambiance will surely rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.


Aside from its natural beauty, Gili Air also has a vibrant dining scene. From cozy beachside cafes to seafood shacks and international restaurants, there is a wide range of culinary options to satisfy every palate. Indulge in fresh seafood dishes, try local Indonesian cuisine, or sample international delicacies prepared with locally sourced ingredients.


When it comes to accommodation, Gili Air offers a variety of options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether you are looking for a luxurious beachfront resort, a cozy guesthouse, or a budget-friendly hostel, you will find plenty of choices. Wake up to breathtaking views, enjoy personalized service, and immerse yourself in the island’s laid-back vibe.


In this article, we will guide you through the best things to do, where to eat, and where to sleep on Gili Air. Get ready to embark on a memorable journey filled with adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences.


What to Do

Gili Air offers a range of activities that cater to every traveler’s interests and preferences. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an adventure seeker, or simply looking to unwind, there’s something for everyone on this idyllic island.


1. Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the vibrant coral reefs surrounding Gili Air and immerse yourself in a world of colorful marine life. Rent snorkeling gear or take a guided snorkeling trip to popular spots such as Turtle Heaven and Meno Wall. If you’re a certified diver, sign up for a diving excursion to discover the underwater wonders of the island.


2. Sunset Horseback Riding: Experience the magic of watching the sun go down as you ride along the pristine beaches of Gili Air on horseback. Enjoy the gentle sea breeze and stunning coastal views during this unique and serene activity.


3. Yoga and Wellness: Unwind and find your inner peace with a yoga class on the beach or at one of the island’s yoga studios. Gili Air offers a range of wellness activities, including meditation workshops, spa treatments, and holistic healing therapies.


4. Cycling and Exploring: Gili Air is easily navigable by bicycle, making it the perfect opportunity to explore the island at your own pace. Pedal through the charming village, visit local shops and cafes, and soak in the laid-back island atmosphere.


5. Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP): Rent a paddleboard and glide across the calm waters surrounding the island. Enjoy the tranquility and breathtaking views while getting a workout at the same time.


6. Island Hopping: Take a boat trip to explore the neighboring islands of Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan. Visit the famous Gili Trawangan night market, snorkel with sea turtles in Gili Meno, or simply enjoy the beach vibes on each island.


7. Cooking Class: Learn the secrets of Indonesian cuisine by joining a cooking class. Discover the spices, techniques, and flavors that make Indonesian dishes so delicious. Enjoy the satisfaction of indulging in your own culinary creations at the end of the class.


8. Beach Escapes: Gili Air is known for its pristine white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Spend your days sunbathing, swimming, or simply lounging under a beach umbrella with a good book.


These are just a few of the many activities you can enjoy on Gili Air. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, this enchanting island has it all.


Where to Eat

Gili Air may be a small island, but it has a vibrant food scene that will satisfy even the most discerning palates. From local Indonesian cuisine to international flavors, there are numerous dining options available to cater to every taste and preference. Here are some top recommendations on where to eat in Gili Air.


1. Scallywags Organic Beach Club: This beachfront restaurant offers a casual and relaxed atmosphere, perfect for enjoying a delicious meal with stunning ocean views. The menu features a variety of dishes made with fresh, organic ingredients sourced locally. From seafood delicacies to vegetarian options, there is something for everyone to enjoy.


2. Mowies Bar & Restaurant: Located on the east coast of Gili Air, Mowies is a popular spot known for its laid-back vibe and beachside setting. Feast on mouth-watering burgers, wood-fired pizzas, and fresh seafood while sipping on refreshing cocktails. Don’t miss their famous BBQ nights, where you can indulge in grilled specialties under the starry sky.


3. Pachamama Organic Cafe: For health-conscious travelers, Pachamama is a must-visit. This cozy cafe focuses on serving organic, plant-based dishes made with love. From nourishing smoothie bowls to vegan-friendly wraps and salads, their menu is a delightful combination of flavors and nutrients.


4. The Mexican Kitchen: Craving Mexican cuisine? Look no further than The Mexican Kitchen, a lively restaurant serving up authentic Mexican dishes. Feast on tacos, quesadillas, and burritos, accompanied by refreshing margaritas. With its colorful decor and friendly staff, this restaurant brings a taste of Mexico to Gili Air.


5. Pesona Beach Bar & Restaurant: Located on the west coast of Gili Air, Pesona is a popular spot to unwind while enjoying delicious food and drinks. Indulge in their fresh seafood selection, traditional Indonesian dishes, and international favorites. The beachfront setting provides the perfect backdrop for a lovely dining experience.


6. Ruby’s Cafe: If you’re in search of a cozy and relaxed cafe, look no further than Ruby’s. This quaint little spot offers a range of dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options. From morning coffee and breakfast delights to comforting pasta dishes and homemade cakes, Ruby’s is a fantastic place to satisfy your cravings throughout the day.


7. Le Pirate Beach Club: This beachfront establishment not only offers a laid-back atmosphere but also serves delicious food and unique cocktails. Indulge in their international menu, featuring fresh seafood, hearty burgers, and tantalizing desserts while enjoying the stunning ocean views.


These are just a few of the many dining options available on Gili Air. From beachfront cafes to international cuisine, you’ll find a diverse range of flavors to tantalize your taste buds on this enchanting island.


Where to Sleep

When it comes to accommodations, Gili Air offers a range of options to suit different budgets and preferences. Despite its small size, the island provides plenty of choices, ensuring that every traveler can find a comfortable place to rest and unwind. Here are some recommendations for where to sleep on Gili Air.


1. Vila Ombak: As one of the island’s most luxurious resorts, Vila Ombak offers a range of spacious villas and rooms with stunning ocean views. Enjoy access to a private beach, multiple swimming pools, spa facilities, and various dining options. Indulge in the tranquility and privacy offered by this upscale resort.


2. Gili Air Escape: This boutique resort provides a perfect blend of comfort and serenity. Offering stylishly designed bungalows, guests can relax in an oasis-like setting surrounded by lush tropical gardens. Enjoy the resort’s swimming pool, onsite restaurant, and friendly, personalized service.


3. 7SEAS Cottages: Situated just a stone’s throw away from the beach, 7SEAS Cottages offer cozy and affordable accommodation options. Choose from their traditional wooden bungalows or modern rooms, all equipped with air conditioning and private bathrooms. The resort also features a swimming pool, restaurant, and friendly staff.


4. Begadang Backpackers: If you’re a budget traveler, Begadang Backpackers is a great option. Offering dormitory-style rooms and private bungalows, this hostel provides a lively and social atmosphere. Enjoy the communal areas, including a pool, bar, and restaurant, and connect with fellow travelers from around the world.


5. Pink Coco Gili Air: This boutique hotel offers a unique and stylish experience with its pink-themed decor. Stay in one of their cozy rooms or private villas, each designed with modern amenities and a touch of elegance. Relax by the pool, indulge in delicious food at the onsite restaurant, and enjoy the hotel’s convenient location.


6. Gili Air Lagoon Resort: Nestled amidst lush greenery, Gili Air Lagoon Resort provides a tranquil and secluded retreat. Stay in one of their charming bungalows or villas, each boasting beautiful views of the lagoon or garden. Take advantage of the resort’s swimming pool, spa services, and lovely restaurant.


7. Samsara Gili Air: Located on the east side of the island, Samsara offers comfortable and modern accommodations just steps away from the beach. Choose from their spacious rooms or private bungalows, each featuring stylish designs and thoughtful amenities. Relax at the pool, dine at the restaurant, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.


These are just a few of the many accommodation options available on Gili Air. Whether you’re looking for luxury, boutique charm, or budget-friendly stays, you’ll find a range of choices to suit your needs on this charming island.