Relax in the laidback atmosphere and beautiful natural environment of the Gili Islands where not even a street vendor or any form of motorised transport will interrupt the peace and tranquillity of your holiday. The Westerners who originally started out holidaying on the Gili Islands now live there and operate tourism businesses, allowing them to enjoy the gorgeous location and enviable lifestyle every day.
As its popularity and urban culture continues to increase, the Gili Islands provide a fantastic array of quality Asian and Western bistros, seafood buffets and beachside cafes so you don't have to lift a finger on your Bali holiday if you don't want to.
Once a haven for watersports and partying, the Gili Islands are now known for their more contemporary visitors who prefer a more relaxed pace filled with fine wine, dining and fascinating cultural experiences although watersports are still plentiful if you feel like giving them a go. With an established reputation as an excellent diving teaching centre, the Gili Islands are known around the globe for their amazing marine and plant life. With visibility generally within 15-20 m, drift diving is also a popular activity making the most of the strong currents and the islands' exposed position.
Unfortunately due to their popularity the reefs have sustained some damage in the past although there is now a strong environmental movement aiming to protect the reefs and prevent any further damage. Diving is not the only way to enjoy the Gili Islands' crystal waters; there is also fantastic snorkelling and surfing. However one of the most popular ways to enjoy the islands' beautiful beaches is with a good book or working on your tan sipping a cocktail.
The weather and climate of the Gili Islands is warmer and drier than that of Lombok but at night the temperature cools while sea breezes refresh. The rain season falls between November and April but the rainfalls are lighter than those of Bali's main islands. However the absolute best time to visit the Gili Islands is between July and August and December and January when the weather is at its best.
With no cars or motorbikes to disturb the holiday peace of the island you can enjoy the tropics in peace, however it also means options for getting around the island are limited. There are horse-drawn carts known as cidomo, but the islands are just a few kilometres wide making walking one of the more convenient ways of navigating the Gili Islands. Walking is also a great way to discover every inch of the islands but there are also a number of main tracks where you can ride the bikes for hire that are stationed around the island.