Gili Air is the perfect island for a vacation with a child

Gili Air is a tranquil yet well-developed island for a great family vacation. Compared to the bustling scene on Trawangan, there are fewer people and less music here. Unlike neighboring Meno, Gili Air offers a selection of excellent cafes with diverse cuisine and various hotels.
Photo: 123RF
Plan your vacation for at least 3-4 days to enjoy the paradise beaches and the splendid oceanic air.

For travelers with children, it's advisable to book boat tickets in advance.
We used MyBalitrips services with the company Wahana Virendra. Boats depart from Bali, and the ferry leaves from Padang Bay. The travel time is 1.5 hours. Motion sickness depends on individual factors and weather conditions, but speedboats are generally comfortable with four seats on each side.
The boat follows a route, picking up tourists from Bali, then heading to Gili Trawangan, dropping off the first passengers (90% disembark here), proceeding to Meno, then Air, and Lombok. Simultaneously, it picks up travelers back to Bali. Therefore, choosing a seat on the return trip can be challenging as passengers occupy spaces from Trawangan.
Boat Wahana Verenda
Overall, the cost of one-way tickets for two adults is approximately 1.5 million Rp. Children under 3 years old travel for free, while older children require a separate ticket.
All boats arrive at the main and only port, Gili Air Port. A short walk from the pier, turning left, allows you to rent a bicycle. The cost with a child seat is 50,000 Rp per day, and without it, 35,000 Rp per day. Negotiating for 50,000 Rp is possible if offered at a higher price. This is the average rental price on the island.
Another option for transportation is horse-drawn carts, which cost around 100,000 Rp per trip. Walking or strolling with a stroller is comfortable on the island, with asphalt paths leading to different parts of the island. There are no bikes or cars, but it's advisable to stay on the side as horse-drawn carts regularly pass by.
The entire island can be circumnavigated by bike in approximately 30 minutes. However, be prepared for some parts of the roads along the waterfront being covered with sand, causing bikes to sink, requiring occasional dismounting and walking.
The most comfortable beach for swimming with a child is located near the Sunrise Resort and Sunset Point. Here, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the hills of Lombok and a sandy bottom without reefs, although some pieces of dead corals may be present.


Accommodation options on the island vary in price. The most suitable areas for comfortable swimming are marked on the map. Here are some hotels that offer king-size beds or two bedrooms, or multiple beds. It's preferable to choose accommodation right by the ocean to experience the island's atmosphere, go out at sunrise, and observe the tides. While we stayed 50 meters from the waterfront, it didn't hinder our experience.
Sunrise Resort
Tipsea Turtle Gili Air
Sejuk Cottages
Villa Coco Republic
Juliantos by the sea
Island View Bar & Bungalow


Horseback riding

Entertainment on the island includes horseback riding, with a cost of 400,000 Rp per hour. It's better to book in advance, especially if you want to ride at sunset, the most popular time. Your guide may come to your hotel, but I recommend choosing a beautiful side of Gili for the ride to enjoy the sunset and capture magical photos.
Contact: +62 878-6484-2818

Snorkeling and diving

Snorkeling and diving are crucial activities drawing many tourists to the Gili Islands. Snorkeling options are available in every hotel, guesthouse, and along the main road. You can either book a boat tour to the main points of the three islands or go on your own by renting equipment.
Several companies offer diving on the island, allowing you to obtain a license in just three days and have an unforgettable experience of underwater exploration in the paradise islands near Lombok. Here are some of them:
Four Elements Eco Dive - Diving Center Gili Air
Gili Island Diving Center
PADI IDC Indonesia


Flowers and Fire Yoga Garden Gili Air
A very cozy studio with regular schedules for yoga and other practices like meditation and ecstatic dancing. The premises include several chalets for rent, a pool, and a cafe where you can have a delightful breakfast after morning yoga. We tried dining here and were very satisfied with the quality of balanced healthy food. One significant advantage of this space is the children's playground, the coolest on the island.
H2O Yoga and Meditation Center
Holiday Fit Gili Air Gym Centre
Opening hours: 7:00 - 20:00
There is one gym on the island, quite small in size, but you make do with what's available. It attracts many Europeans, and the staff is friendly. If you didn't bring your workout gear, no worries: there's a mini-shop on the premises. They also make protein shakes, all to keep you in shape.


Slow Spa
The massage quality and interior are excellent, but the massage cost is three times higher than in Bali.
PinkCoco Gili Air Spa
This well-known adults-only hotel on the island offers spa and massage services.
Lovely spa
Spa Bonita Gili Air


The cost of dishes in cafes on Gili is slightly higher than in Bali, probably because nothing is produced or grown here, and everything is delivered to the island by boats.
Barefoot Blondie
Opening hours: 7:30 - 17:00
The cafe is ideally located on the main street leading to the center of the island, near the port. Therefore, if you've just arrived, I consider this place perfect for having breakfast or refreshing drinks.
Kopi Susu Gili Air
Opening hours: 07:00 - 17:00
A stylish coffee shop with a decent choice of breakfast options. Delicious coffee, unlike many other places.
Mowies Gili Air, Bar and Bungalows
Opening hours: 9:00 - 21:00
This beach club is situated on one of the most beautiful beaches of Gili. The place is perfect for breakfast or dinner at sunset. A huge plus of the restaurant is its location on the beachfront of the most beautiful beach on Gili, with views of part of Lombok on one side and the sun setting behind Bali's main volcano, Mount Agung, on the other.
The menu includes burgers, salads, steaks, and soups. They have highchairs for children, and nearby, there is a stall with children's items for playing in the sand.
Opposite the cafe, there are several charming shops where you can find beachwear.
Pituq Café
Opening hours: 9:00 - 21:00
A completely vegetarian restaurant that we fell in love with on the island. Wonderful staff, delicious food, and very kids-friendly: they have highchairs, a fantastic balanced kids' menu, and many toys available for everyone. We spent hours here, having breakfast and snorkeling on the best side of the island for it. We encountered turtles there, but also enjoyed the corals and variety of fish.
There's a cool eco-shop on the premises where you can buy souvenirs at an attractive price. Here, you can find shoppers, eco-soap, wooden tableware, bottles, candles, and more. Additionally, the cafe offers a nanny service! There's an announcement at the store's cash register about the nanny service. 1 hour - 100k.
Mama Pizza
Opening hours: 11:30 - 23:30
A fantastic place for dinner if you're not afraid of gluten. Delightful Italian pizza from the oven and pasta with delicious cheese! The restaurant is located on the beachfront sunset line.
Tip! Be sure to try the pizza with salmon. They also offer room delivery.
Captain Coconuts Healthy Cafe and Accommodation
Opening hours: the hotel operates 24/7, the cafe from 8:00 to 20:00
A very cute kids-friendly hotel-hostel and cafe with healthy cuisine. You can consider it as an accommodation option on the island, or just come and order something from the menu, stay by the pool with a kids' area, or use the children's playground with a slide. It's quite simple, but it's better than nothing. I recommend trying their ice cream for dessert, it's finger-licking good. Turns out, this brand is also present in Bali.
PokeGiliAir Fresh and Healthy Food
Opening hours: 12:00 - 21:00
This place can be very convenient for dining with children. There's a wide selection of dishes suitable for both children and adults. Moreover, there's a kids' area with a wooden kitchen.
Musa Cookery
Opening hours: 09:00 - 21:00
A vegetarian restaurant with incredible bowls and jackfruit gyros. Payment at the cafe was only in cash.
Burger Lady
Opening hours: 9:00 - 21:00
An inexpensive authentic cafe with a decent menu, mainly burgers with various fillings.
Mama’s Garden
Opening hours: 9:00 - 22:00
A homey cafe with pleasant prices. Almost everything is a fixed price - 45k per dish. Tasty wraps with jackfruit, curry, and salads. Note that they make falafel from sweet potatoes.
JUJU Zero Waste Store and Vegan Cafe
Opening hours: 7:30 - 21:30
A cool store and cafe in one. Here you can find handmade goods: candles, tableware, soap, clothing, bulk nuts, granola, and more.
Gili Coffee Roasters
Opening hours: 08:30 - 16:30
A very pleasant coffee shop in the jungle. Suitable for coffee lovers and those who enjoy a tasty breakfast. The guys roast the coffee themselves.
Ra Healing Food
Opening hours: 9:00 - 19:30
A raw food cafe in the north of the island. Grab a glass of homemade kombucha and enjoy the sunset. Also, I recommend trying the lasagna.
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