Romantic Explorers

10 Ultra Romantic Reasons to Escape to the Gili Islands in Bali


The Gili Islands are 3 little islands named Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air, located in Indonesia close to the coast of northwest Lombok Island. With a speed boat, it is a 2 hour trip from Bali.

I had a short visit to the islands for 2 nights from 16 October to 18 October 2016. I would recommend staying an extra night as there is much more to experience that I missed out on - such as cycling, seeing seaturtles and good shopping :) Here's 10 Ultra Romantic Reasons to visit these incredibly romantic islands based on my experience: 1. Beautiful shades of blues and mints in the water and white sandy beaches

I will only describe it as magical shades of milky mint and then let the pictures do the rest of the talking for this point!

2. Romantic Swings When I saw a picture of the swings located at Hotel Ombak Sunset for the first time on Pinterest, I nearly died - I don't think I looked forward to anything more planning my Bali trip than to finally get onto these unique swings and it was everything and more I dreamed of!

At times, especially during sunset, there is a bit of a wait in line to sit on the swings but most of the day they were open when we looked. There are 3 sets of swings at Hotel Ombak Sunset - one is a single swing (on the left looking out towards the ocean), the second is a set of two swings and the third I'm not entirely sure if it was a single swing only suited to carry 1 person or 2 (swing option 1 and 2 were enough of a distraction to keep busy and unable to confirm this exactly!) There are plenty of other swings to enjoy on the 3 islands too, but I found the ones at Hotel Ombak Sunset to be the most "sophisticated" looking :) The one in the first picture of this blog is located on Gili Air - there is a note stuck on it asking that you please purchase a drink at the bar in order to use the swings.

​​3. Hammocks Ah hammocks on islands... there's just something incredibly romantic about them! They are lovely to share and relax in and there's plenty where that came from on the Gili islands - enough said!

4. Sunsets to die for I don't think I've seen a more beautiful sunset than the sunsets you can experience while sitting back on a beanbag on the beach at Hotel Ombak Sunset!

5. Snorkeling with an abundance of colorful fish I loved every minute of snorkeling in the gorgeous waters of the islands! Our guide gave us a tip to buy some bread at a shop on one of the islands (he knew just where to get it really cheap) and with the bread, we attracted hundreds of fishes - we were surrounded with a colorful, watery dream for hours on end - absolutely magical! You can feed the fishes bread by hand, or stuff the bread into a plastic drinking bottle (if you are worried the fish might nip your fingers :P)

6. Celebrity-like private boat experiences for only US $100 for a full day I couldn't believe my ears when I was told that it is possible to book a PRIVATE glass bottom boat to take you and your significant other snorkeling and beach hopping around all 3 of these amazing islands. I felt extremely fortunate to experience this and we felt like celebrities all day long, having the whole boat and guide to ourselves - the best USD $100 I've ever spent probably!

Our private guide and glass bottom boat waiting for us in the harbor of Gili Trawangan to go exploring!

These private boats can be booked from the harbor - there are many shops that offer this experience.

Our guide took us to 3 different snorkeling spots and we got to set foot on each of the islands, walked around a bit to take it all in and even enjoyed some food and drinks wherever we chose to. Our guide was also happy to take these priceless romantic photos for us. Such a wonderful romantic activity!

7. Pool bars & yummy cocktails To me, a pool bar is a unique experience and an absolutely wonderful one to have. Few things are as lovely as being able to enjoy a gorgeous pool in which a yummy cocktail is only a short swim away - and you don't even need to get out of the water to enjoy it! Keep an eye out for Happy Hours to save $ on drinks :)

8. Romantic music During one of the nights we stayed at Hotel Ombak Sunset, there was a violin player playing popular romantic songs with the sunset as a backdrop - it was mindbogglingly beautiful! Let's hope you get to experience it too.

9. Dreamy seating areas to relax in One of my absolutely favorite things about these islands are the very many unique romantic structures that one can sit back or lay down on and relax or have a drink. They are everywhere too! Here's a couple of my favorites from all 3 islands:

10. Unique horse and carriage experience Upon arriving at Gili Trawangan you will notice that the only way to get to your hotel, is via a horse and carriage! I've never experienced this during any of my travels and sharing another "first" with your loved one is always special! The going rate (during October 2016) was between 120 000 IDR to 150 000 IDR to Hotel Ombak Sunset which was on the other side of the island from where the speedboat drops you off. It's certainly an experience that you don't come across often. The details on these carriages are just amazing to see, but watch your head! When the carriages hit bumps in the road, one can easily get a HARD knock on the head (which happened to both my husband and I during our trip).

I recommend checking out early from your hotel on your last day as there isn't always enough carriages around the hotel to take you back to the harbor - we very nearly arrived too late to catch our speed boat back as we had to wait a long time for more carriages to arrive to take us.

As I'm writing this, my heart yearns back to this special place! May you enjoy it us much as we did or more...it really is the perfect romantic escape, anniversary celebration trip or honeymoon destination! Would love to hear your experiences in the comments below or at our Facebook Group Romantic Explorers, hope to see you there!

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