Stop the search, I have found the desert island of your dreams. Small and secluded. Tranquil waters and pure white beaches. Swimming with turtles and the best damn sunset I ever seen. Welcome to Gili Trawangan.
The Gili Islands consist of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan and are located just off the Indonesian island of Lombok but are easily accessible from Bali as well. Being the biggest (but still tiny), Gili Trawangan, or Gili T as it is known, is the most popular with tourists. Don’t let the fact that it is ‘popular’ put you off, you will still get that remote island experience that many crave.
Finding somewhere to stay in Paradise is easy. There’s plenty of choice from beach bungalows to secluded apartments to hotels and hostels. The best news is that all options are incredibly cheap. A standard double bungalow with breakfast will cost about $10 a night. Breakfast tends to consist of a hot drink, fresh fruit and eggs or pancakes.
So what do you do once you’re here? As little or as much as you’d like. Spend every day sunbathing if you’d like, or hire a bike and cycle around the island. The latter I would definitely recommend. We took some snorkel gear with us and spent the day cycling to different snorkel spots and relaxing on secluded beaches. You can also try paddle boarding or even an open water dive. There are companies based on the island where you can gain your PADI qualification as well.
You can stay on the other Gili Islands as well or you can just visit them by taking a boat trip around Gili Air and Gili Meno which we did. These boat trips run everyday and include lunch on Gili Air. The best thing about this trip is you are pretty much guaranteed to swim with a turtle which is a really special experience.
I hope you get a chance to visit this beautiful island one day, I’m glad I did!