Some may call it the party islands, some may consider it a serene escape. Either way, these 3 beautiful islands offer a strong and rich culture dating back to 1900’s.

Gili means small Island in Sasak; the traditional language of Lombok. From this term alone, the three well known Islands received their name. The Gili Islands, namely Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, are located off the northwest coast of Lombok. Lombok is known as “Bali’s Sister Island” and retains much of its natural and uncrowded charm. Lombok has more than 30 Gilis, but “the three Gilis” are the most popular and visited ones.

Today they are easily accessible with a fast boat, but that’s not always the case.

the gili island

The history

The first who inhabited the Islands were sailors and fishermen from Bugis (Sulawesi). They exploited the land for coconut plantations and fishing activities. When tourism started to flourish in Bali – Lombok, as a neighboring island, was often visited too. Many people started to make daytrips to the Gili Islands. Due to missing infrastructure and fresh water supply, long stays were not planned to happen.

Seeing the potential of the Gilis, namely because of the rich marine life and being conveniently located close to Bali, the Indonesian Government decided to invest in infrastructure. Therefore the Maldives of the east was born. With the diving industry growing swiftly, and western influences over the tiny islands, the Gilis prospered. They began building a wider spectrum of accomodation, and entertainment developed that catered to a broader range of visitors.

Today, every Gili Island has its own character and charm.

  • Gili Trawangan is famous for its party vibes.
  • Gili Meno has more of a laid-back and family friendly atmosphere.
  • Gili Air remains the underdeveloped Island, suited for those who seek more of an adventurous flare.

Being so close to the equator, the Island possess a unique tropical climate making it an irresistible retreat for those who loves the sun.

Many people choose to travel to the Gilis by fast boat, as it serves as a comfortable and economical transportation solution. Fast boats are also the quickest, and worry free way for reaching the Gilis from Bali. Blue Water Express fast boats offers a schedule with multiple daily departures to fit with your schedule.
Our fast boats are equipped according to international standards. Our staff are professional and well trained to ensure your maximum safety during the trip.