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How long should I stay in Gili Trawangan? or Gili T, as it’s most commonly known? After visiting twice, and living there, I’d say that 3 days in Gili T is a good amount of time.
Of course, if you have longer, I would recommend it as this island off the coast of Lombok has something to offer everyone and it’s easy to get stuck into island life on Gili T and end up spending 1 week in Gili Trawangan! In my opinion, when it comes to which is the best Gili island to visit?, I say Gili Trawangan because of all of the things to do in Gili T!
To help you plan your trip to Gili Trawangan, here is the best itinerary for Gili Trawangan and my Gili Trawangan blog.
Gili Islands Itinerary
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Best time to visit the Gili Islands.
The Gili Islands see the same 2 seasons as Bali and Lombok. Wet Season is from November to March and Dry Season is from April to October. You may think that dry season sounds more appealing but this also means it is high season in the Gili islands during these months so it depends what you want when you’re thinking about when to visit Gili Trawangan.
One thing to note is that the Gili Islands get a lot less rain than Bali and Lombok during the wet season and it arrives later in January. November is pretty dry and late December only receives the odd rain shower so the winter months are a good time to visit Gili Trawangan.
Day 1 in Gili Trawangan
How to get to Gili Trawangan.
It does take a few hours to get from Bali or Lombok to Gili Trawangan but it is worth it, this is also why I suggest you spend at least 3 days in the Gili islands.
Getting from Bali to Gili Trawangan
The most popular route that people do is to land in Bali International Airport and then travel to Gili Trawangan.
There is only one port and pier in Bali where the boat from Bali to Gili Islands runs and that’s from Padang Bai in the North.
You can book a minibus and boat package which will pick you up from your Bali Hotel, take you to Padang Bai and then will take you to your boat over to the Gili Islands. The whole journey takes about 5 hours depending on where you’re staying in Bali and they leave 2 or 3 times a day.
If you want to fly into Bali and travel straight to Gili Trawangan, unless you land early in the morning, I would suggest spending one night in Bali and travelling to Gili T the next day as the boats do not run in the late afternoon.
You can book your own boat online from Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan on 12GO Asia and I recommend using the company Eka Jaya as they have the best boats!
Getting from Lombok to Gili Trawangan
The Gili Islands are much closer to the island of Lombok than Bali so it is quicker and easier to get to Gili Trawangan from Lombok than Bali.
If you want to go straight to the Gili Islands I recommend looking at flights into Lombok Praya Airport, from here you can travel from Lombok Airport to Bangsal Harbour in 90 minutes by taxi and get the boat from Bangsal to Gili Trawangan in just 20 minutes which runs regularly.
Where to stay in Gili Trawangan.
You’ll arrive in Gili T around check-in time so go straight to your Gili T accommodation and drop your bags.
The best thing about Gili Trawangan accommodation is that it offers something for everybody and for all budgets whether you’re looking for cheap accommodation in Gili T or resorts with a swimming pool in Gili T.
BEFORE YOU BOOK YOUR AIRBNB, create a NEW ACCOUNT USING THIS LINK, to get $30.00 off your first stay. If you already have an Airbnb Account, just make a new one to save money!
Things to do in Gili T.
The best thing about Gili Trawangan is that it has something to suit everyone, in fact, there are so many things to do on Gili Trawangan I wrote this post with 30 THINGS TO DO IN GILI T FOR EVERYONE so make sure you check that out too to help plan your Gili Islands 3 day itinerary further.
But on this itinerary for Gili Trawangan, I suggest that once you are settled in your Gili T hotel, you hire a bike and explore the island.
How long does it take to bike around Gili T? It takes 1-2 hours to loop the outside of the island, depending on how often you stop. Gili Trawangan is by no means big but it’s also not tiny. Luckily the island is flat but the bike ride can feel like a work out so take your time and enjoy the views!
Can you walk round Gili Trawangan? Yes, but it will take a lot longer and it is harder in the midday heat. If you want to walk all the way around Gili T, the best time is in the morning or around sunset.
Sunset in Gili Trawangan should never be missed and sunset beach on the west side of the island is where you should head. There are lots of restaurants and bars with beanbags on the beach, some have live music, some don’t. I recommend Goa Sunset Bar or Gili Teak for the best place to see sunset in Gili Trawangan. Be sure to stick around until well after the sun has set as this is where the magic happens when it comes to sunsets in Indonesia!
Sunset is also the perfect time to get that famous Gili T swing photo! Here are the best swings on Gili T!
Come evening, there are a few things to do in Gili Trawangan at night. If you want a chilled night you can find live music on the beach, there are also many outdoor cinemas on the beach in Gili T. For more information on where to find these, have a look at this post!
If you want to party, you’re in the right place! There’s a different party on Gili T every night. Most people start their night in Sama Sama or Jungle Bar and then go onto the party. Note that the nightlife in Gili T doesn’t start until late, about 11:00 pm or midnight!
Day 2 in Gili Trawangan
Start your day with the best thing to do in Gili T – going out in the islands crystal clear water, and to see the Gili T turtles!
You can take a Gili Trawangan snorkelling tour with one of the many operators on the beach, you can join a group trip or hire a private boat. Alternatively, you can go snorkeling from the beach in Gili T, my recommendation is to go from Turtle Point.
For more information, see my post on the best places to snorkel on Gili T!
Diving and Freediving schools are abundant on Gili T so whether you have your open water certificate or not, you can go diving on Gili T and expect to have a great experience.
For lunch, there are lots of places to eat on Gili T, my favourite Gili Trawangan cafes and restaurants are Casa Vintage Living, The Banyan Tree and Kaya Cafe.
When it comes to what to do in Gili Trawangan, there some unique things to do in Gili T and things you may not expect like playing mini-golf, going for a flower bath, and making your own jewellery. If the beach or seeing more of the island doesn’t sound appealing this afternoon, why not do one of these.
For more information on where to find these, have a look at this post!
If you want to go horse riding in Gili T at sunset, you can! I recommend STUD Horse Riding as the best horse riding stable in Gili T as I know they look after their horses well. They only offer rides in the morning and at sunset and you need to prebook with them which you can do via Facebook or Instagram.
On this note, the Gili islands are car-free and motorbike-free so horse and carts are used to get around, to read about how these horses are treated and the positives steps being made, read my horse and carts on Gili T post here!
There are lots of restaurants for dinner in Gili T, you can eat on the beach on both the East and West sides of the island or in one of the many inland restaurants. If you want a really good Pizza, Regina Pizza is known to serve the best Pizza on Gili T, however, Non Solo Pizza is a good runner up too!
If you want a cheap dinner, head to the Gili T night market by the pier which is open every night.
Day 3 in Gili Trawangan
To have the best time in the Gili Islands, I suggest seeing another Gili Island today so take a day trip from Gili Trawangan to Gili Air or Gili Meno.
In terms of which is the best Gili island to visit?! Out of Air and Meno, I’d say to take a day trip to Gili Air from Gili T as Gili Air has more going on and the Gili Air snorkelling is really good!
You can travel to and from the Gili Islands by local boat which is the cheapest option but they run less frequently so you can also get a tourist fast boat between the islands. Here’s my post with all the boat timings to get from Gili T to Gili Air and Gili Meno!
Places to visit after Gili Islands.
If you want to go on to explore more of Lombok, have a look at my Lombok itinerary which will take you to Senggigi, Kuta Lombok and more!
If you want to go back to Bali after Gili T you’ll need to get the boat back to Padang Bai and you can adapt my Bali and Gili Islands itinerary.
If you want to go to Nusa Lembongan, there are direct boats from Gili T to Nusa Lembongan so it is easy to do this journey.
For more of my Gili Island blog posts to help you plan your trip see: