The three Gili islands are located just outside the north west coast of Lombok, and is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Gili Air is closest to Lombok, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan further out.
Boats are leaving Lombok regularly for the different islands from the Bangsal village or Senggigi, it is also possible to rent your own boat to take you to the island you like. Also from Bali you can go by boat to the Gili islands.
Gili Air has the largest population, with white sandy beaches almost all around the island. Not all of these are suited for swimming, the best conditions for snorkeling and diving are on the north and east side of the island. You can find some nightlife on the south side and also many peaceful areas where you can relax.
Gili Meno is the least populated island, and perfect for everyone who seeks a peaceful and quiet place. There is almost no nightlife here, even if Meno has some of the best hotels of the three Gili’s. The best places for snorkeling is on the east and north side.
Gili Trawangan is the largest island, with a good choice of accommodation and restaurants, but still a quite peaceful place to visit. The island is 2 km long and 1.5 km wide with several great beaches. The best spots for snorkeling is outside the northeast coast, the best diving places is best visited by boat. Trawangan is also well suited for exploration by foot. If you also want some nightlife this is the best choice of the three islands, even if the facilities are limited.
All the three islands have the necessary facilities for tourists. The islands are popular spots for backpackers, and the prices are normally low, you don’t have to spend much money here.
You can rent diving and snorkeling gear here, and if you like you can take a diving course (PADI). If you prefer snorkeling you can find the best spots on Lombok here, with a large variety of fish, corrals, turtles and other species. The water between the islands are usually crystal clear because of the currents, which is not strong enough to pose any risk if you take the necessary precautions.
The view of Lombok is great from here, especially on a clear day when you can see Gunung Rinjani, one of the largest mountains in Indonesia.