Bask in the sunshine, swim with turtles and learn to dive in the Gili Islands. The archipelago is a tropical paradise marooned in the Indian Ocean. Take your pick of three postcard-perfect islands - Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno. All swap motorised vehicles for bicycles, which keeps the islands tranquil.
Popular with backpackers, Gili Trawangan has a lively and youthful vibe. Learn to dive at a local scuba school, sunbathe on palm-fringed beaches and sip cocktails as you watch the sunset. Gili Air is quieter, though you’ll still find plenty of action. A handful of thatch-roof bars and restaurants line the beach and will tempt you with Indonesian dishes like “nasi goreng” fried rice and satay chicken skewers.
Stunning beaches and luxury accommodation make Gili Meno a favourite with couples. The island has a laid-back feel and is popular with honeymooners. Swim out to Turtle Point to snorkel with sea turtles and marvel at rainbow-coloured coral.
Boats are the easiest and most affordable way to get to the Gili Islands. Speed boats run between Bali and the Gili Islands in around 2.5 hours, while slow boats take around five hours. Public boats ferry passengers between Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno.