3 of the best things to do in Gili Islands

From colourful markets to climbing an active volcano, here are the best things you can do in the Gili Islands - apart from the marine activities of course.

A woman rides a bike through the tropical forest on the Gili Islands.
  • Laura Waters
  • October 2019

Surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Lombok Strait, the Gili Islands are renowned for their stunning beaches and colourful coral reefs. But there’s much more to the Gili Islands than diving and snorkelling. Here are some things to do back on dry land.

Spectacular sunsets

Sunsets on the west coast of Gili Trawangan are legendary, almost cinematic in drama and scale. Watch the show at one of the chilled beach bars offering beanbags and cocktails on the sand or perch on the giant ocean swing at Hotel Ombak Sunset. Alternatively, ride a horse on the beach as the sky swirls pink, orange and purple.

Two people stand on swings at the Hotel Ombak Sunset.
The swing at Hotel Ombak Sunset is an Insta-worthy spot.

Food at night markets

The delicious scent of barbecued meat and seafood begins to drift through the air when a night market awakens near the ferry terminal on Gili Trawangan’s east coast. Pull up a plastic chair and tuck into a plate of curry.

Go island hopping

Skip between the Gili Islands using local boat services that run the loop twice daily. It’s just a 15-minute boat ride to Lombok and its many attractions, including Gunung Rinjani, an active volcano.

A view of the Mouth Runjani active volcano.
The 3,726 metre Mount Rinjani is one of Indonesia’s best volcano climbs.

So if you need a break from the water, there’s plenty more to do on the stunning Gili Islands.

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