The largest of the Gili Islands off the coast of Lombok, the picturesque Gili Air is a wonderful destination for an unforgettable family vacation. Gili Air features the best beaches and offers a number of exciting activities that visitors can enjoy during their stay. In comparison to the other Gili Islands, Gili Air is quiet and mostly attracts families and couples, and of the three islands, Gili Air is the closest to Lombok, with the largest population. It is a non-motorized island and the only means of transport are horse carts and bicycles. The island is relatively small and can be traversed by foot in about 2-3 hours. Visitors can either opt to rent bicycles or can also walk around Gili Air. Horse carts are also available on the island and a trip around the whole island can cost up to 100,000Rp.
Gili Air is all about beaches, beautiful views and exciting water sports. Those looking to relax and unwind can find several impressive beaches around the island. The beaches are best visited during the mornings, as after lunch hours the tide recedes and exposes the coral floor. For those who wish to relax on the beach after lunch can visit the ones on the eastern side of the island. The waters around Gili Air are good for surfing, snorkeling, diving and other water sports.
There are several shops around the island that offer items of basic necessities and souvenirs. There are also a number of dive shops on the island from where visitors can buy or rent diving and snorkeling gear.
The Gili Islands do not have any airport. The nearest airport to Gili Air is the Lombok International Airport located close to the city of Praya. There are several boats, ferries and shuttle options available from the Bangsal harbor to Gili Air. A public boat from the Bangsal harbor to Gili Air takes about 15 minutes. There are also chartered boats available from Senggigi to Gili Air and the journey takes about 1-2 hours.
Alternatively visitors can also fly to the Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali and take direct boat services from Benoa, Serangan Island, Padang Bai or Amed to Gili Air.
There is no dearth of Muslim-friendly restaurants in Gili Air. On the island there are numerous restaurants selling fresh seafood delicacies. The Le Cirque, Manta Dive, Warung Muslim Gili Air and Ali Baba serve halal food.
Gili Air is a Muslim dominated island.There is a mosque in Gili Air which is easy to locate; visitors can ask with the locals for the direction to the mosque.