The Gilis are some of the best day trips from Bali you can plan. Not only are they much smaller than the “Big Sister” island, but they each have their very own character and vibe. Here’s how to reach them best.
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What is the fastest way to reach the Gilis from Bali?
There are different options for reaching the Gili Islands from Bali, by the sea or air. Neither way is particularly faster. If you’re in the area anyway, I’d say the fastest way is from Bali’s Serangan to Gili Trawangan.
Can I fly to the Gili Islands?
Depending on how fancy you feel, you can opt for flying via plane or helicopter.
And yes, you can fly into the Gili islands. Kinda.
Lombok has its own small airport and many airlines flying into it are small as well. They are local Indonesian airlines, the biggest one being Indonesia Air. From Lombok, you can take the ferries over to the Gili islands.
The flight from Bali to Lombok takes 30 minutes.
How much does flying cost?
Airline tickets cost around IDR 375,000 – IDR 499,000 (27-36 USD) per ticket and you have to factor in shuttle costs to the airport as well, which are 250.000 IDR (18 USD) from around South Bali to Denpasar.
The shuttle from Mataram airport on Lombok costs 250.000 IDR as well. Don’t forget to negotiate prices if they quote you higher.
What boats into Gili are there?
The most typical options are local ferries or express boats. You can reserve them online, through your hotel reception/local tour agency or onsite.
Operators that offer ferry trips from Bali are Blue Water Express, Eka Jaya Fastboat and Gili Gili Fast Boat.
Alternatively, you could book a private charter or tour to take you around the Gili Islands. This way, you have much more freedom on where to go and you can really enjoy the sea.
Should I stay close to the ferry ports?
It’s best to start your trip to the Gilis early, so it makes sense to stay close. However, visitors generally prefer to stay in bigger towns that are nearby, such as Kuta.
Sanur is even closer and there are beautiful hotels and resorts by Sanur Beach. This way, you can keep on having a relaxed holiday without having to forfeit comfort.
When is the best travel time?
Waters get choppy during rainy season and the weather isn’t that reliable either. So much rainfall every single day! So if you can, avoid January and February. You can’t travel during Nyepi.
The best months to visit the Gilis are from August to November. Note that peak season is in July to September as well as during Christmas season. Expect prices to rise and crowds to increase then.
If you are travelling spontaneously and have a flexible schedule, check weather and water reports to avoid windy and rainy days.
How to Get from Bali to Gili Trawangan
To get from Bali to Gili Trawangan, take the ferry from Padang Bai, which leaves around four times a day and costs between 35 to 55 USD. The ferry ride takes a little over an hour.
Should you don’t want to drive up to Northeast Bali, there’s an alternative ferry option from Serangan. You can go straight from Serangan to Gili Trawangan, which takes around 2 to 2.5 hours.
If you’d rather have everything organized before your trip and not onsite, save time by booking your speed boat ticket here.* Air conditioned hotel transfer is included. You’ll get an instant confirmation and can show your ticket on your phone. No printing and time saved.
How to Get from Bali to Gili Meno
First, make your way to Gili Trawangan. From there, take the local boat to Gili Meno. It leaves four times a day and costs between 35 to 55 USD.
How to Get from Bali to Gili Air
Same with Gili Meno, you take the ferry to Gili T and then change into a local ferry to Gili Air. A direct option is taking the ferry from Amed to Gili Air.
It’s the easiest to get from Bali to Gili Air and costs between 30 to 50 USD.
How to Get from Bali to Lombok
From Padang Bai you can take the public ferry to Lembar in Lombok. It leaves hourly and on a daily basis (except for Nyepi). The trip is rather long and can take up to 5 hours!
With the fast boat, you pay more but you also get there faster. Boats leave from Padang Bai and Serangan and departure times vary according to the provider.
Such a sped up trip between Lombok and Bali takes around two hours.
There is a third option to get to Lombok from Bali. Take the fast boat from Amed, which takes only 45 minutes. It costs 250,000 IDR (18 USD) one way.
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