Senggigi beach is the main tourist strip of Lombok, stretched out along several kilometers of the beachfront just to the north of the capital, Mataram, which easily can be reached with Lombok airport bus/taxi (approx. 2 hour). While Gili Islands (Gili Air, Gili Meno, Gili Trawangan) are an archipelago of three small islands just off the northwest coast of Lombok. The Gilis can only be reached by sea, and are frequented by a variety of fast boats operating various routes from Bali or from Lombok (Bangsal harbor & Teluk Kodek harbor). There is no motorised transport on Gili islands. The short distances on land are traversed on foot, by bicycle or 'Cidomo'.
Gili Air is the second smallest of the islands and the closest to mainland Lombok, making it popular with honeymoon couples and travelers seeking a quiet retreat. It has a population of about 1,800. The island offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving off its east coast, and turtles can be seen along the coral reef. Other water sports such as Stand Up Paddleboarding and Kitesurfing are also available.
Gili Meno is the middle of Lombok's three northwest coast Gilis and smallest of the islands. Gili Meno has a population of about 500, mainly concentrated on the centre of the island. The main income comes from tourism, coconut plantation and fishing. On the west side of the island there is a small shallow lake that produces salt in the dry season. Until a few years ago there was also a small production of seaweed on the reef at the north end of the island. Gili Meno has swimming beaches all around the island, and a turtle sanctuary, as well as an impressive bird sanctuary. The island attracts fewer tourists than Gili Trawangan and is the quietest. However, honeymooners are often drawn to the crystal clear water and idyllic, secluded white beaches.
Gili Trawangan is the largest of Lombok's Gili Islands and the only one to rise significantly (30 m) above sea level. Trawangan is the most developed and geared towards tourism. The main concentration of settlement, recreation, accommodation and diving business is situated on the eastern side of the island.
Scuba diving and free diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations. Most famous diving spots are Shark point, Manta point and Simon's reef.
How To Get There
Flights from major international cities regularly fly in and out of Lombok International Airport (LOP/WADL). Continue with 2 hour car drive to Bangsal seaport to cross to Gili islands for a further 20-30 mins.
There are direct transfer fast boats departed through 5 ports in Bali; Padangbai, Sanur, Serangan, Benoa and Amed, to seaports in Lombok (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Bangsal, Teluk Kode, Teluk Nare, and Senggigi) that can be reached in around 1.5 hours from Padangbai harbor and 2.5 hours from Sanur or Serangan harbor in Bali.
The cheapest way to reach Lombok from Bali is by ferry, but spend more times on the sea, about 4-5 hours.
There is airport bus to Senggigi (3 am - 8 pm) & Mandalika bus terminal (4 am - 7 pm), continue with local transport to Bangsal harbor (for Gili Air), or to Teluk Kodek harbor (for Gili Trawangan), and fast boat/regular boat to each Gili Air and Gili Trawangan, as well as private car arrangement with your hotel/tour operator to each harbor.
You can have a private taxi from the airport, or share it with other travelers going the same way with you, or arrange a shared/private pick up with your hotel/tour operator.
Very wide selection of accommodation are available in Lombok, Senggigi beach, Gili Air, Gili Meno, and Gili Trawangan.
Lombok and the Gilis are home to Sasak people. They are the native inhabitants of Lombok, predominantly Muslim, who live harmoniously together with Balinese Hindu, Catholics, Buddhists and other religions on the island. They are friendly and interesting people.
Sasak people are culturally and linguistically closely related to the Balinese, but unlike the Hindu Balinese, the majority practice local Muslim faith and traditions. Lombok has a rich indigenous culture; its own Sasak language, dance and music traditions. The strong remnant culture and history of the Sasak people is one of the many unique attractions of the island, including 'Gendang Beleq' an art & music performance, 'Presean' - stick fighting between two Sasak men, and the famous traditional food 'Nasi Ayam Taliwang'.
Welcome to Gili Islands!
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