The Gili Islands are an archipelago of the three small islands which are Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, located just off the northwest coast of Lombok Island, Indonesia.
The islands are popular destination for tourists looking for a remote island experience. Each island has several small resorts, usually consisting of a collection of huts for tourists, a small pool and restaurant. Most local inhabitants live on Trawangan in a township stretching along its east side just inland (which is also where most recent development is taking place). Automobiles and motorised traffic is prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Diving in and around the Gilis is also popular due to the abundance of marine life and attractive coral formations.
The name of “Gili Islands” is a misnomer, because Gili simply means “small island” in Sasak. As a result most of the islands around the coast of Lombok have Gili in their names, although confusion is averted by referring (in English) to the other Gilis around the Lombok coast by their proper names only.
There is no motorised transport on the Islands. The short distances on land are traversed on foot, by bicycle or Cidomo. The Islands can only be reached by sea, and are frequented by a variety of fast boats operating various routes from Bali. Fast boat services are the quickest and most direct way to travel to the Gili Islands from Bali. There are now numerous direct boat services from Bali to the Gili Islands, all of which continue onto the main island of Lombok, and a few of which also pass by Nusa Lembongan en-route. Established daily services depart from Benoa and Serangan Island in South Bali and from Padangbai and Amed (Bali) in East Bali. Benoa Harbour and Serangan are around 25 min by car, (dependent upon traffic) from the South Bali tourist hub. Padang Bai about another half hour by road. Public ferries and private charters also sail to the Islands from Bangsal harbour on the Lombok mainland, speedboat charters operate from Teluk Nare, south of Bangsal. Lombok International Airport (IATA: LOP) in the south of Lombok is the closest airport to the Gilis. Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (IATA: DPS), is larger and serves more international routes. Connecting Fast boat services on towards the islands from Bali are frequent and take approximately 90 minutes or more, the aircraft services connecting to Bali have a flight duration of around 30 minutes.