Getaway to the Gili islands – but which one?

Diving at Scallywag Divers on Gili Air

Last weekend, me and my friends visited the Gili’s. I was sooo excited because everyone is always talking about those islands and I had never been there before. Time to check it out! We decided to discover all three of them – Meno, Air and Trawangan – so we could find out by ourselves which one we would love most.

Meno – day 1

First, we went to Gili Meno. People already told us that this island would be the mellowest of all three. Indeed, nothing was less true. There was this great, relaxed vibe which was delicious for us to taste because we’re all hard-working girls in Bali. 😉 We decided to take advantage of the tranquillity and quietness so we went to the beach and got ourselves some drinks at this cute beach bar. They even had a cute pool with baby-turtles in it! After getting a nice tan, we wanted to discover the island a little bit more. Because of the small size of the island, we could just walk alongside the beach and see the whole island. The sunset gave us an amazing view and it already felt so good. In the evening, there were some great places to get some fresh seafood. The island is not crowded so it’s a perfect place to relax and lay back. You can’t find any motor cycles around the islands, which makes them quiet and natural. Such a great first day!

Hammock at the beach on Gili Meno


Meno / Air – day 2

We woke up early, because the locals told us that an amazing underwater world can be discovered when the island is still calm and serene. Again, the locals were right. We went snorkeling at the places where we were most likely to see some sea turtles. And oh yes, we saw them!!! It’s so impressive and intense watching these amazing creations in their natural habitat. We really felt like we were participating in the latest Finding Nemo-movie: and this was even real. It really was one of the highlights we did when on Meno. If you prefer being on an island where it’s calm, relaxed or if you want to visit one of the islands during your honeymoon, I recommend you to go to Meno; it’s the loveliest one.

Then, we went to Gili Air by boat ( of course 🙂 ). Gili Air is the perfect mixture when it comes to relaxed beach vibes and having drinks with fellow travellers. While Gili Trawangan obviously turns out being the greatest party island, Gili Air seems to be a good combination of the quiet Gili Meno and crowded Gili Trawangan. We decided to go to the beach (we really love to relax at the beach, that’s for sure) and we had a couple of drinks. We tried to make photos while we were posing on a swing – next to a beautiful sunset (I can watch it over and over again and it never bores me!). However, this plan seems to work out better on Gili T, because you will find more swings on Gili Trawangan (so if you’re there to get the best Instagram-photos, go to Gili T 😉 ). So we decided to just get a picture of ourselves:

Friends having fun at the beach on Gili Air

There are many great spots to have lunch, diner or just for a few drinks. For us, dinner was served on the beach – best gado gado ever! We arranged an appointment at Scallywag Divers (located at Air and Trawangan) for the next morning, because we really wanted to go diving so we would be able to see more of the underwater world.

Air / Trawangan – day 3 

Surfboards at Scallywag Divers on Gili Air

So we went diving the next morning! What a great experience. I really recommend you visit Scallywag Divers and they will give you an unforgettable time. We all decided to do a discovery dive, which means that you don’t need a Padi or any experience. First, we got some safety information and we learned how to handle this big backpack (including a huge air bottle) – even the backpackers would find this one heavy ;). We stepped into the sea and we learned some tricks, for example how to get rid of water in your diving glasses and the signs you need to make when everything is (not) going okay. Lots of our fellow divers were staying at Scallywags, where the rooms are gorgeous and the beach club is a perfect place to enjoy food, drinks and views.


Preparations at Scallywag Divers on Gili Air

And then… We went to Shark Point – 30 minutes by boat and one of our biggest dreams came true! It’s an incredible feeling to swim next to the biggest sea turtles, the most amazing fish and to see the most beautiful coral underwater! It was truly unbelievable. Together with the greatest guidance, it’s also possible for the most nervous people (like me!) to descend to 12 meters below surface. Thank you again, Scallywag Divers; we had such a good time!

We got ourselves a good meal after this experience and then we had to leave; unfortunately. However, we were going to Gili Trawangan and this wouldn’t be a punishment at all.

When we arrived at Gili Trawangan, it immediately looked like a very busy, crowded and touristic island. It seemed to be the perfect island to go to on a Saturday night. Besides this, a friend of mine would turn 21 that night, which means this would be a great combination.
She really wanted to have an Italian meal for dinner, which I would never turn down. Let’s go Italian! We decided to go to La Dolce Vita (sounds Italian, right?) where we really enjoyed our dinner. For me, it would be a Ravioli-pasta combined with a sweet cheese-sauce and definitely the best Ice-Cappuccino I had tasted for a very long time. I recommend you go upstairs: get a table there and you will have an amazing view over the sea while enjoying your Italian food. Sounds like a great combination, right?

Gili Trawangan really is the best place to party compared with Gili Meno and Gili Air. It’s a lot more touristic which makes it a hotspot for lots of travellers who like to surround themselves with many other backpackers/visitors on the island. It’s all about your preferences. However, it’s clear that every single one of them has got this relaxed island-vibe which gives you such a chilled feeling: it really feels like vacation.

gerretje hangmatje
Chilling in a hammock on Gili Trawangan


Trawangan – day 4

After a good – but short – sleep at Trawangan Nirvana Hotel (love it there, breakfast included) we had to pack our stuff. This would be our last day already… Time definitely flies when you’re having fun. However, memories last forever, but to get these memories more physical we decided to capture some moments on camera as well. Let’s go to all these swings, hammocks and beanbags to get the best pictures for Instagram and Facebook ;-). And that went pretty well on Trawangan. A photo says more than 1000 words, right?

Swing in the sea on Gili Trawangan

And then we went back to Bali… Which isn’t too bad either 😉 Bali already feels like home!


Favorite island

I definitely want to go back to Gili Air someday, because this little paradise almost reaches perfection. The peaceful and relaxed vibe there really got us and secretly, verrrry secretly, if we could do this trip again, we only would have gone to Gili Air. Of course, this is just my opinion and it’s okay that not everyone shares this, but to visit 3 islands in just 4 days… We were just a little too busy with traveling between the islands. However, we’re so glad that we’ve finally seen all three of them. This whole weekend; it was such a great experience and an amazing memory that’ll last forever.

Please contact me if you would love to get more information about this trip – think about boat tickets, places to stay, where to eat/party etc. I’d love to tell you more about it!!!

Swing swing swing

Love, Gerlien


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