If Gili Trawangan is too much, but Gili Meno is too quiet, then GILI AIR might be just right. Gili Air offers a verdant alternative for those interested in travelling off the beaten track without foregoing a wide array of options and modern conveniences. Named after the Indonesian word for water, ‘air’ (pronounced “aye-r” like “why-er)”, Gili Air is the island of water, charm and balance in the Gili trinity.
Bestowed with natural beauty and an effortlessly slow pace of life, Gili Air is your place to sit back, breathe and take it all in. However, there’s plenty to do, should you wish to engage in activities other than relaxing! In addition to the famous diving and snorkelling, try out one of the many yoga shalas, enjoy a cooking class or try out the island’s surf spots. The island also plays host to the yearly Air Festival, a 3-day music festival held in late March/early April that encapsulates the island’s spirit. Weaving in elements of performance, ceremony, activism and the sacred, this festival celebrates collective intention with an exciting line-up of electronic and world music.
Just as you’ll find on the other Gilis, there are no motorised vehicles. Cidomos (horse carriages) and bicycles are your best form of transportation and the entire island can be circumnavigated by foot in just a few hours. Gili Air is home to the Gilis’ largest local community, one that remains steeped in tradition and cultural identity. Bahasa Indonesia is spoken throughout the Gilis, but most locals speak Sasak, Lombok’s signature dialect.
As you listen to the birds chirping, the breeze whispering through palm leaves and the waves rolling onto the beach, pretty soon you’ll be falling head over heels in love with the tranquillity. After you watch the sun dip below the horizon in hues of purples and pinks, it’s time to hit one of the great restaurants and then either turn in early or venture out into the night, where there’s a good chance you’ll find some live music and the occasional party.
Meno is the ultimate island retreat, so bask in what Meno's best for - enjoying doing nothing! Whether it's taking a book out by the beach, catching up on some new music, soaking in some rays or just enjoying listening to the sound of the waves break on the sand - break away from the rigours of daily life and recharge.
If you’re up for a leisurely beach stroll, take off your shoes and get the sand between your toes as you view the island at your own pace. You can walk around Meno in roughly an hour and a half- and make sure not to forget your camera! Find your own perfect secluded beach and enjoy your day in the true island style. Or if you’re up for an adventure, grab yourself one of the friendly local horse cart drivers near the harbour and get moving! You can even take a horseback riding tour from the local stables.
On the south of the island located in a serene jungle setting is Mao Meno Yoga Centre where you can do everything from daily yoga classes to full immersion yoga retreats. Facilities include bungalows, an art studio, kitchen and juice bar as well as an onsite cook and masseuse. The ideal site to be at one with your surroundings! For more information visit www.mao-meno.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hire a kayak by the hour or for the day and be your own tour guide. This is a great activity to do on Meno to have a look at the island and its pristine waters from a different angle!
On the southwest side of the island there is a right-hand reef break known as “Bongkas” that can be enjoyed by intermediate and advanced surfers all within the company of an enthusiastic local crowd. Bring your board as there are no rental facilities on the island.
Development moves slowly on our side of the island, so expect plenty of local warungs serving simple food. Blue Marlin’s beachside restaurant serves a combination of Western and Indonesian cuisine. Try our new menu packed with healthy options such as superbowls and sandwiches. For those willing to venture a little further, plenty of delicious cuisines await on the other side of the island. Choose from Indian butter chicken over wood-oven baked Italian pizza to authentic Mexican enchiladas, from fish sashimi to raw vegan food and from greasy English breakies to the best local Gado Gado.