Chill vs Thrill – The Top Ten Activities for Chill Seekers in The Gili Islands

Chill vs Thrill – The Top Ten Activities for Chill Seekers in The Gili Islands

With their unspoilt beauty and serene calm, the Gili Islands are the ideal place for a relaxing retreat. While lounging in the sun and bobbing in the islands’ crystal clear, warm waters is hard to beat for relaxation, the islands have much more to offer natural born chillers. From spas and sculptures, to music and markets, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

BASK has chosen 10 of the best activities to try on a tranquil trip to the Gili Islands, and our list blends simple pleasures with a dash of culture.


  1. Yoga / pilates

gili meno yoga in Gil Islands

Connect with your mind as well as your body in one of the various yoga retreats offered on the islands. Surrounded by the ocean and with supremely stunning views, the Gili Islands are the ideal setting for a soothing sun salutation. The early morning sessions are perfect for enjoying the sunrise and setting you up to make the most of your day. Gili Yoga on Gilii Trawangan offers eight different types of yoga for all different abilities.


  1. Visiting the turtles

bask turtles in Gil Islands

A trip to a turtle sanctuary is an extraordinary experience where you can get up close and personal with the turtles. With hatcheries on both Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno, you can make a donation and choose a turtle to set free on the seashore. The sanctuary on Gili Meno is a charming little place with pools and bathtubs on the beach filled with baby turtles. Your support will help give these amazing animals, which are currently at risk of extinction, the best chance of surviving in the wild.


3. Cooking classes

BASK cooking

Enjoy a true experience of Indonesian culture and learn how to cook authentic local cuisine on the islands. You will be hosted by professional chefs and provided with all the ingredients and expertise to make your own gourmet Gilian dishes. There are great Indonesian cooking classes on the small paradise island of Gili Air. Not only can you hone your pro cooking skills but you will also have free rein to eat everything at the end.


  1. Spa experience

BASK spa

Relax and unwind with a variety of spas on the islands, offering all day pamper packages for those who want to indulge or individual treatments for those who want a brisk bathe. Spa Ottalia on Gili T caters for romantic massages for two at a beautiful and peaceful place with a pool. The reflexology treatments are an Indonesian speciality and can be the perfect way to detoxify your body, as you listen to the sounds of the waves lapping in the background.


  1. Boat tours

Boat Tours

See the islands from a distance and take an organised boat tour. Choose a boat with a glass bottom to experience the incredible underwater wildlife or book a tour on a sunset party boat and socialise with the other sunseekers. The party boats leave from Gili T but you will cruise around all three islands, usually leaving around midday.


  1. Nest

BASK Nest Sculptures in Gil Islands

Marvel at the truly unique underwater sculpture by the internationally acclaimed eco-sculptor Jason DeCaires Taylor. It’s just yards away from the Gili Meno shoreline and so is easy to snorkel out to. As well as being a beautiful work of art, it also highlights the plight of coral reefs around the world. It is the perfect splash of culture mixed with adventure and you will potentially have the chance to see the exquisite underwater wildlife at the same time.


7. Batu Bolong Temple

BASK Batu Bolong Temple in Gil Islands

A short trip to the neighbouring island of Lombok will bring you to the sacred Hindu temple of Pura Batu Bolong. Enjoy the spiritual atmosphere of ancient Indonesia, with beautiful views over the ocean. This is particularly stunning at sunset and is the perfect evening activity whether with the family or a romantic trip for two.


  1. Night market 

Night Market

Take an evening stroll through the bustling night market, or “pasar malam” as the locals call it, and experience the charms and tastes of the islands. Serving local dishes and fresh seafood, the night market on Gili Trawangan is a tasty treat and a great opportunity to soak in the local culture.


  1. Island hopping 

BASK Island Hopping in Gil Islands

Make the most of being there and hop across the islands! There are boats making regular trips between the Gilis and the beautiful island of Lombok – offering different types of boat transport. For those looking for a relaxing trip to take in the island life and soak up the sun there is the Island hopping boat – slow Gili style – which runs twice a day and is exactly what it says on the tin. For those on a higher budget, there’s the luxury speedboat option, to take you to your destination in no time at all.


  1. Live music 

BASK Live Music in Gil Islands

Soak up the sounds as well as the sights. Listen to live music in the various cafes and bars scattered across the islands. You can relax on the beach to some reggae, join in and play the instruments yourself (if that’s your thing), or grab a cocktail and watch one of the many live bands. If dancing is more your vibe, there’s plenty of examples of traditional Sasak dancing.


More of a thrill seeker? Be sure to check out our guide to The Top Ten Activities in The Gili Islands for ‘Thrill Seekers’.