Gili Air is the second-largest Gili and the closest to mainland Lombok with a population of around 1,800. Aptly named “Air” meaning “water”, Gili Air is the only Gili to have fresh underground water wells. Popular with couples and honeymooners, Gili Air has a more tranquil feel and is more suited to those looking to chill out with a wide range of quality accommodation and dining options to suit all budgets.
It has an abundance of activities including watersports such as Kite Surfing and Stand Up Paddleboarding as well as offshore reefs for snorkeling or diving and spotting the turtles as well as a public Gym. On the Eastern side, there is a “strip” with spas and a variety of restaurants, bars and beach clubs with live music and entertainment with an outlook over the luscious green and mountainous Lombok with its’ impressive Mount Rinjani. Gili Air offers a wide selection of dining options both on the coast and inland ranging from Mexican to Italian eateries. In contrast to Gili Trawangan where the focus is mainly around the coast, Gili Air also offers a maze road (some asphalt!) internally which enables you to cut across the island quite quickly and missing some of the deep sandy coastal tracks that make it difficult to cycle (you have to walk these bits that’s why in Gili Air they call them “Push Bikes”!). For sunsets be sure to be on the North West coast of the island where there are uninterrupted views of Bali’s Mount Agung.
All in all Gili Air lends itself to being a more peaceful destination combining seclusion with sufficient facilities such as dive centers, beach clubs, minimarts, etc, and within a hop of the other Gilis by local boat.
Port to Port Padang Bay to Gili Air – 2 1/2 hours
(Boat stops first at Gili Trawangan)
Jetty Padang Bay – Jetty
Gili Air – Jetty
Size 1.5km Long – 1.5km wide
Getting Around On Foot, Bicycle, Cidomo (Horse Carriage)
Roads Perimeter track round the island (hard and soft sand)
Walking – 2 hours
Cycling -1 ½ hours(some parts you have to walk!)
Sunset – travel to the western beaches to see the amazing sunset and Mount Agung in Bali
Cycle – Hire a bike and circumnavigate the perimeter track stopping at secluded beaches and Restaurants
Snorkel – Hiring Snorkel gear is easy, check out the reef and the abundance of turtles
Diving – Experience a trial dive or do your certification with one of the many dive centres
Island Hop – Take a local boat to another Gili for the day and explore