In a corner of Indonesia, the small Gili Islands are affirming for the beauty of their beaches and their relaxed rhythms without giving up a lively nightlife. For these characteristics they are in contrast with the nearby Bali, from which tourists escape in search of a bit of tranquility. Thanks to word of mouth, in the era of social media and travel bloggers, in last years tourism has literally exploded, but many are still travelers who are just passing through here. In this article we want to take you on a virtual tour to discover the beautiful beaches of Gili Trawangan, to give you more than a good reason to stop a few days, so that the Gili will be not just a small parenthesis of your trip to Bali.
As a starting point of our tour we chose the beach in front of our hotel, then we moved along the island (by feet or by bike) stopping at the beaches that struck us more. We do not know if these beaches have a name, so we will just point them out with a red marker on our map.
A suggestion that we give you is to provide you with sea shoes, because the shores are full of pieces of corals and in some places the shallow waters are completely covered; in some beaches you can not avoid to walk on bases of corals and rocks to access the sea and this is more accentuated as the tide is low.
Here is our map:
A fortunate event for us was to find out that the beach of our hotel was exactly at the island’s “turtle point”. Snorkelling a few steps from the shore (here in fact access to the sea is a bit less gradual than other points on the island) you can come across many beautiful sea turtles. We leave you a little video of what our experience has been with these fascinating and peaceful creatures.
We recommend you do not forget the fins because here the currents are a little bit stronger and you may struggle to follow the swimming of turtles. If you decide to rely on an organized snorkeling tour, surely this part of the island will be one of the planned stops. At the turtle point indicated on the map, the beach looks like this:
Moving along the promenade, the landscape remains almost unchanged until you reach the port area (at the first of our 3 “Beach” markers): here the nuances of the sea are more intense and the contrasts are so accentuated that you can not avoid to take a dip in these wonderful waters. Buoys delimit the areas intended for bathers preserving them from the passage of boats. Avoid this area at the time of arrival of fast ships from Bali, ie around 11-12 and 15-16, so as not to encounter the hustle and bustle of vehicles and people. Alternatively, you can stop in the beach immediately before the port, ie immediately after the Egoiste Beach Restaurant, where our photo was taken:
Continuing to walk, after the port, the scenery changes and the colors become softer. Here the bathouses of the big hotels take place, the sea is calmer, the beaches more flat and the water more clear. You could stop for a drink by the sea to admire the beauty of this area. We are talking about the beaches that are located in front of the Natya Hotel, Vila Ombak Hotel and the beautiful Pearl of Trawangan with its bamboo huts and its spectacular restaurant. We are at our second “Beach” marker; here below is a small collection of pictures:
Continuing towards the southern area of the island (third “Beach” marker), the scenery changes again and you come across a wide white beach where for tens of meters from the shore you walk on a basement made of rocks and fragments of white corals. Here the waters are very quiet because the waves are attenuated at a great distance from the shore and between one rock and the other there are small natural pools that emerge at low tide.
One thing we have noticed is that here the tide really plays a fundamental role: the beach can change a lot in its appearance depending on you visit it in the morning or in the afternoon, on a clear day rather than windy. In the image below you can see how the same beach has changed in a moment of very low tide.
The day comes to end and it’s time to move to the opposite side of the island to enjoy the sunset show by the sea. There are plenty of places to sit and have a drink while waiting, but alternatively you can walk on the shore, put your towel on the sand or even take a ride on horseback. This side of the island is characterized by the picturesque swings in the water: when the tide is high you sway almost touching the waves of the sea, when it is low you must literally climb on the poles that emerge from the sandy bottom…needless to say that they are always crowded of people intent to take romantic souvenir photos. Very famous is the one with the inscription “Pandawa“, from the name of the beach resort in which is located.
A small timelapse video will give you a better idea of the reason for coming to the “sunset point” to watch the sunset.
After having talked about the Gili Islands in a completely general way and about the way to easily reach them from Bali (you will find all the information here), we felt the need to dedicate an article exclusively to their beaches and their turquoise waters. In particular, we focused on Gili Trawangan, the main of the 3 islands, which in addition to being the largest is also the most lively. After this little multimedia tour, we hope to have convinced you to spend a few days of vacation in this little prodigious Indonesian island, where you can breathe an atmosphere of great serenity.
See you soon