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Ultimate Gili Islands Honeymoon Guide + Map (2024)

An aerial view of the turquoise coastline of one of the tropical Gili Islands

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If you’re planning a Gili Islands honeymoon, you won’t be disappointed! These gorgeous islands in Indonesia are picture-perfect and are ideal for a romantic, tropical honeymoon.

I visited the Gili Islands as part of my trip to Bali. So if you’re wondering which Gili Island is best for your honeymoon or you want to know what to see, do and experience while you’re there – I’ve got you! 

This Gili Islands honeymoon guide covers everything you need to know about the Gilis so you can plan the ultimate paradise trip!

What are the Gili Islands?

The Gilis are 3 tiny islands in Indonesia located between the bigger islands of Bali and Lombok. Thanks to their location, they’re great to combine with Bali for a multi destination honeymoon – you’ll find a slice of paradise that’s perfect for relaxing!

The three coral-fringed islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno – are absolutely heavenly.

They’re surrounded by turquoise waters and offer everything you’d expect from a tropical setting with white sandy beaches, swaying palms and hammocks to chill out in. 

The best thing about the Gilis is that there are no motorised vehicles or cars on the islands either. The islands themselves are tiny so you can easily walk or cycle around them. They also feel authentic, rustic and are perfect for a barefoot beach experience!

A traditional boat on the beach in the Gili Islands

Getting around the Gili Islands

There are no cars or vehicles on any of the Gilis, which is amazing because it feels much more relaxed and calm. Therefore the best way to explore the Gili Islands is on foot or by hiring bicycles.

You’ll also find horse-drawn carriages on the Gilis which can carry heavier luggage. However, it’s worth checking out the ethical issues of these. And if possible, pack light!  

Gili Islands honeymoon hotels

There aren’t as many super luxury accommodation options in the Gili Islands compared to Bali.

Out of the 3 islands, Gili Trawangan is known more for its backpacker scene, so there is a bit more of a focus on hostels and budget accommodation. 

However, there are still amazing options for honeymooners across the islands with gorgeous boutique hotels, rustic-luxe villas and beach resorts. With the Gili Islands becoming more and more popular, there are lots of new hotels and resorts springing up, too.

TOP PICKS: Majo Private Villas, BASK Gili Meno + Villa Tokay 

A small, boho-style beach villa surrounded by greenery in the Gili Islands

Which Gili Island is best for honeymoon?

Even though the Gilis have similarities, I found a different experience on each. I wouldn’t say any of the islands is better than the others. But each has a different vibe so you’ll find one that’s more suited to you!

Gili Trawangan honeymoon details

Best for: Couples looking for vibrant nightlife

Gili Trawangan (known as Gili T) is the most popular of the Gili Islands and is the biggest and most developed. It’s known for being on the backpacker trail and is the liveliest of the three islands. 

Gili T is famous for its nightlife and its vibrant party atmosphere, as well as its younger crowd. You’ll find bars and restaurants along the main strip that are always busy.

That said, there are also areas of Gili T where you can find more seclusion – such as the western side which is a lot quieter.

Gili T also boasts white sandy beaches, amazing dive spots and gorgeous sunsets! Because it’s the biggest island, it’s also the island with the best choice of hotels, restaurants and things to see and do. 

Where to stay in Gili Trawangan

Gili Meno honeymoon details

Best for: Couples wanting a quiet + secluded experience

Out of the 3 Gili Islands, Gili Meno is the smallest and least visited (it’s also my fav for a Southeast Asia honeymoon!). Aptly it’s known as the ‘Honeymoon Island’ so it’s easily the most romantic!

This gorgeous island has a big focus on relaxing and doing very little. It’s a heavenly destination where your days will be filled with romantic beachside strolls, bike rides and incredible sunsets.

Because it’s much less touristy than the other two you won’t find nightlife or the same choice of hotels. But, if you want to escape the crowds and have a peaceful experience, Gili Meno will be absolutely perfect for you.

The island also boasts some of the best beaches and snorkelling spots in the region. It’s an idyllic, picture-perfect island where you can slow down and spend lots of quality time together.

Where to stay in Gili Meno

Gili Air honeymoon details

Best for: Couples wanting a balanced escape

Gili Air finds its place in the middle of the other two – it’s not as busy as Gili T but it’s much more lively than Gili Meno.

It offers a balanced and well-rounded experience so it’s a great choice if you can’t decide which Gili Island to go to!

Even though Gili Air sees fewer tourists than Gili T, you’ll still find restaurants and fun bars to enjoy on your honeymoon (albeit with less of a party vibe). Plus, there’s a decent choice of hotels that are perfect for newlyweds.

Like the other two Gilis, Gili Air has dreamy beaches and amazing coral reefs. It also boasts gorgeous views towards Lombok’s coast. It’s an island that feels super chill as well as authentic.

Where to stay in Gili Air

Island hopping in the Gili Islands

If you can’t decide on just one Gili Island, it’s easy to travel between them so they’re perfect for an island-hopping honeymoon. 

You could either stay on each island to mix things up or base yourself on one island and day trip to the others. There are options for catching a fast boat between the islands.

What are the Secret Gili Islands?

When people refer to the Gilis, they usually mean Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. BUT, there are some secret Gili Islands that are more of a hidden gem!

The word ‘gili’ simply means ‘small island’, so it’s no surprise there are loads more Gilis to explore around Lombok. These secret Gilis are a cluster of paradise islands off the south western coast of Lombok – some hardly bigger than a sandbank.

If you want to explore these islands on your honeymoon, you can join an island-hopping tour from Lombok. Some of the places you’ll get to see are Gili Nanggu, Gili Sudak and Gili Kedis. 

Gili Islands map

Things to see & do in the Gili Islands

As you’d expect, the Gili Islands are most known for their incredible snorkelling, diving and gorgeous white sandy beaches. If you want to know exactly what to expect on your honeymoon, here are some of the top things you can do across the islands!

Go scuba diving & snorkelling

Underwater sculptures of people in the Gili Islands

There are amazing reefs with colourful marine life and turtles around the Gili Islands. You’ll be able to rent snorkel equipment locally and you can take PADI scuba diving courses, too. 

Gili Meno is arguably the best of the Gilis for snorkelling – it’s also where you’ll find the famous ‘Nest’ underwater sculpture.

>> I recommend this private snorkelling tour for seeing the best sites around the islands <<

Take boat trips

One of my fav things to do in a tropical destination is take a boat trip. There are so many options around the Gilis with tours that take you to the different islands while stopping off for snorkelling and swimming. 

Go kayaking & paddleboarding

There are places in Gili T and Gili Air that offer water sports rentals like kayaks and standup paddleboards. This is a fun way to explore the water and trip around the islands.

See sea turtles

The Gili Islands are known for their turtles – we saw lots in the waters when we were there! A popular dive site is Turtle Heaven, which is off the coast of Gili Meno. You could also visit the little Gili Meno Turtle Sanctuary.

Go on bike rides & walks

Renting bikes is a fun way to explore the Gili Islands. It’s easy to do this on all of the islands and is great to take in the gorgeous views. You can also go for sunset strolls along the beaches.

Join a horseback riding tour (Gili T)

If you’re dreaming of romantic horse riding on the beach, you can do this on Gili T (with sunset options, too!)

Party & enjoy the nightlife (Gili T)

If you want to celebrate (it’s your honeymoon after all 😉) there’s amazing nightlife in Gili T. As a lively destination, you’ll find a young and vibrant bar scene. There are also full moon parties and venues with live music.

Eat at a night market (Gili T)

The night market is a popular dining spot on Gili Trawangan. You’ll find open-air food stalls with local offerings.

Watch the sunrise & sunset

One of the best things about the Gilis is the incredible sunrises and sunsets. On all three islands, you’ll be blessed with beautiful spots to take in the views.

Take photos on an ocean swing (Gili T)

What’s a trip to Indonesia without seeing a swing?! There are several iconic ocean swings around Gili Trawangan, including the original swing at Ombak Sunset Resort.

A woman (me!) in the distance sat on a swing in the sea at sunset

Join a cooking class (Gili T + Gili Air)

Cooking classes are always fun and are a great way to immerse yourself in local culture. There are options to join classes on both Gili T and Gili Air.

Have a spa sessions

Across the Gili Islands (but especially in Gili T), you’ll find spas that are brilliant for a pamper. Some well-rated options include Azure Spa, The Rose Spa and You Spa. Some hotels have spa facilities, too, so there’s no excuse not to treat yourself!

Relax on the beach

If all you want to do is kick back and relax, the Gili Islands have some of the most pristine beaches. You’ll be able to chill out in a hammock, on the sand or in the shade enjoying the best of island life!

RELATED: Bali or Thailand: Which is Better?

When to visit the Gili Islands

The best time to visit the Gili Islands is during the dry season which is from May to September. This is the same as Bali, so they’re perfect to combine.

It’s best to avoid the rainy season (October to April) in the Gilis. A big focus is beaches and snorkelling and the water visibility can be lower when it rains. Boat trips and transfers could also get cancelled due to bad weather.

How to get to the Gili Islands

It’s easy to get to the Gili Islands by boat from Bali and Lombok. You can get a fast ferry from Padangbai in eastern Bali to Gili T, which takes around 1.5 hours.

From Lombok, there’s a public ferry that departs from Bangsal, as well as fast boat services from Teluk Nare that get you to the Gilis in around 15 mins.

TIP: Boats can be cancelled in bad weather so give yourself enough time to travel out of the Gilis before an onward flight.

>> Check out the best transfers + book in advance here <<

Gili Islands honeymoon FAQs

Which is the best Gili Island for couples?

This really depends on your preferences and travel style. Gili Meno is typically known as the honeymoon island and is super idyllic for a romantic getaway. If you want to experience the best nightlife and have more to see and do, you’ll probably prefer Gili T. Gili Air is a good choice that’s balanced between the two!

How many days do you need in the Gili Islands?

You don’t need a ton of time in the Gili Islands – 2-3 nights would be perfect. This will give you enough time to relax and explore the islands.

Which Gili island is best for snorkelling / diving?

All three Gili Islands have amazing snorkelling and dive spots. I’d say Gili Meno has a slight edge for snorkelling. It’s also where you’ll find the underwater ‘Nest’ sculpture. For diving, Gili T has the most dive centres and diverse dive sites.

Which Gili Island has the best beaches?

Each Gili Island is blessed with beautiful beaches, but Gili Meno is my top choice. It has all the paradise vibes and is also a lot more peaceful.

Are the Gili Islands worth it?

The Gili Islands are absolutely worth visiting! Especially if you’re already in Bali or Lombok, it makes sense to add on a few days in the Gilis. They’re a perfect spot for kicking back, relaxing and enjoying a tropical island setting.

READ MORE: Best 3 Day Ubud Itinerary, Bali (2024)

An aerial view of the Gili Islands

Gili Island honeymoon: Final thoughts

There’s a lot to love about the Gili Islands for a romantic escape. Even though they’re small, they’re well worth a visit if you want a more rustic and barefoot island experience.

The islands feel super relaxed, they have postcard vibes and each has something different to offer. They’re a brilliant place to unwind – and given the location, make a perfect add-on to a Bali itinerary.

I hope this post helps you decide which Gili Island is best for you so you can plan your dream honeymoon!

READ MORE: Best 3 Day Ubud Itinerary, Bali (2024)
READ MORE: Is Bali Worth Visiting in 2024? (Honest Pros & Cons of Bali)
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READ MORE: Best Honeymoon Destinations in Southeast Asia

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