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What To Do On And Around Gili Air

Posted on 10/06/2018

We all know you love to dive. Obviously. But in the rare situation that you fancy doing something other than diving during your stay, we’ve collected some of our favourite things to do on and around Gili Air.

Watch The Sky

Silke Müller - Sunrise over Mt. Rinjani

No matter how long you are staying on the island for, you should catch at least one sunrise. Perhaps one of the most stunning sunrise spots, the East coast of Gili Air offers phenomenal views of the sun rising over the foot of Mt. Rinjani. Watching the entire sky turn shades of purple, pink and orange is definitely a great start to the day.

Sunsets here are always an event. In the evenings, many islanders gather on the west coast of the island to view the burning skies above Mt. Agung and the other two Gilis. Many restaurants along the beach offer live music, hammocks and swings in the shallows to provide you with the ultimate island vibe.

Work On Your Tan

Silke Müller - Turquoise water

With turquoise waters and white beaches, Gili Air is the ideal setting to work on your tan. Many beach-side restaurants offer lounge chairs and umbrellas. Doze the day away, sip on a coconut whilst watching the waves and feel all your worries melt away. With warm waters all year round, enjoy a refreshing swim in between those delicious coconuts. If you’re not diving but still can’t get enough of the underwater world, simply put on a mask and snorkel and swim out from the shore. Gili Air is surrounded by reefs teeming with marine life and an unrivalled population of turtles. We can’t guarantee 100% that you’ll see one since it’s the open ocean and not a zoo. So a 99,9% chance of a turtle sighting it is! Often you can even see them coming up for air while lounging on the beach.

Find Your Inner Peace

For those in search of inner peace, there are daily yoga and meditation classes offered on the island. Our favourites are Flowers & Fire Yoga Garden and H2O Yoga Meditation Center. Both centres offer a variety of courses for all levels of experience.

If you want to take your yoga practice up a notch, Jacqui at Blue Marine will take you out onto the water for some SUP yoga. Stand-Up paddle boarding without the yoga is also an option and the perfect way to enjoy a sunset on the water.

Hit The Gym

In search of some exercise but yoga’s not your style? First of all: have you ever even tried yoga? If the answer to that question is no, we’d highly suggest you try it at least once. If you have tried yoga and it’s really not your thing, don’t worry. We have multiple gyms on the island where you can break a sweat without having to put on tight stretchy pants. Holiday Fit for example. Yes, there is air conditioning!

Get a Massage

If you’re in need of a massage, Gili Air doesn’t disappoint (let’s be honest: there aren’t many areas in which Gili Air disappoints!). Many spas around the island offer different treatments at an affordable rate, but our favourite ones are Natural Spa on the main street by the harbour and Belair Spa.

Meet New People

There are many social events happening around the island every evening. Whether it’s bingo night, movie night, a pub quiz, or a bonfire on the beach, there are always opportunities to meet new people or catch up with your island friends. It’s a pretty close community and you’ll soon find yourself often stopping your bike during the day to chat with new friends.

Go Island Hopping

Should you ever feel the need to escape Gili Air for the day, you can easily take a boat to one of the other Gilis. With public boats (IDR 35.000 to Meno, IDR 40.000 to Trawangan) going between the three islands every day, you can pop over to lively Gili Trawangan for a day or relax on quiet Gili Meno.

While there are some parties on Gili Air every now and then, Gili Trawangan definitely has a more vibrant social scene. So if you’d like to dance the night away, Gili T is the place to be!

If you prefer to be on your own and enjoy the Gilis without many people around, Gili Meno is the perfect solution for you. As the smallest and least developed of the three islands, it’s the ideal place to recharge your batteries.

Silke Müller - Gili Meno underwater statues

Another great reason to visit Gili Meno is the underwater statues. The statues are located just off the beach of Gili Meno. While snorkel tours from Gili Air and Gili T will take you there, staying on Gili Meno will allow you to go early in the morning and experience them before anyone else gets there. Many tour operators take people snorkelling by the underwater statues so it does get pretty crowded from around 9.30 am.

Explore Lombok’s Waterfalls

If you feel the need for some adventure, all you need to do is take the boat over to Lombok. The public ferry leaves for Bangsal harbour multiple times a day and costs just IDR 12.000 from Gili Air. Once you get to Bangsal, rent a scooter for the day (around IDR 70.000 + gas) and you’re ready to go exploring!

Silke Müller - Lombok waterfall

With many stunning waterfalls hidden in the jungle and fewer tourists than Bali, Lombok is the perfect place to discover your inner Tarzan or Mowgli away from the crowds. Some waterfalls are within a 2-hour drive from Bangsal and can be done in a day trip. Others are a little further away and you might want to combine them with an overnight stay.

Hike Up a Volcano

Alfred Minnaar - Mt: Rinjani sunrise

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you can also trek up the volcano Mt. Rinjani (the second highest volcano in Indonesia). Located in the North of Lombok, the trek up Rinjani is only possible from April to December. During the months of January to March, the trails are closed because of heavy rain.

Typical tours take around three days with nights spent camping in tents along the trails. Be aware that this trek is not for everyone and requires you to be in good physical condition. If you do make it, the sunrise views from the top are worth any physical duress you went through.  

Help Our Ocean

Now we know what you’re thinking: “White sand beaches, waterfalls and volcanoes all sound pretty nice, but how can I actually make a difference?” We’re glad you asked! At Manta Dive, we do regular beach cleanups (with free beers for everyone afterwards!) and have a biorock program. What are biorocks? Find out more about biorocks and how you can get involved here .

Silke Müller - Manta Dive biorocks

These are our favourite things to do on and around our little island (when we’re not diving of course!). We realise you’ll need to spend quite a bit of time here to try them all. But then again: more time on a tropical island in the sun doesn’t sound too bad does it?


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