Gili Air is the closest island to Lombok. The island still has more of a rural, established feeling than the other two, and it is no surprise that many locals seem to prefer living on Gili Air. It has the highest permanent population of about 1,800.
Gili Air with its more relaxed pace of life attracts travelers who prefer to dive, snorkel, meet other fellow travelers or are simply looking to unwind. Gili Air also has a variety of accommodation and restaurants to choose from. Most of the activities are located on East and South Coast facing towards Lombok, and the harbor is in the middle of the main village. There is a coastal path, which leads around the circumference of the island. If you are walking slowly around the island, you can expect to travel the entire fringe in about an hour and a half.
Small and relaxed, Gili Air also has everything you’ll need as a tourist. If you are looking to do some shopping or dining in local restaurants, there is an ATM located about five minutes east of the ferry arrival terminal. There is also a second ATM, which can be found a little further north past the Turtle Beach Hotel. If you need your basic necessities, there are shops by the boats’ disembarking point and also around the east side of the island. You can also purchase local Lombok handicrafts from vendors around the island.
There are plenty of great places to eat as you walk northwards along the coast. When you are eating on the island, make sure you try some of the delicious grilled fish, which is freshly caught from the ocean surrounding the island. There are plenty of Western eating options available as well.
Classico, which is on the East Coast is an Italian pizza restaurant. They have a selection of standard pizzas or you can choose to create your own from the options that are provided in front of you. While this is not the cheapest place to eat on the island, it is one of the better quality options.
Located on the north east coast is Alibaba. This quirky place is one of the best place for a meal on the island. You can choose from a local menu as well as wood fired pizzas. You’ll be able to enjoy your meal right on the beach.
If you want to spend your days lounging around under the sun, sipping on cocktails and having delicious food on call, consider paying a visit to Scallywags Beach Club. Located on the east side of the island, the white sand beach leads you straight into the calm turquoise waters to cool off. It’s also a good spot for some snorkeling with many brightly colored fish to be seen on the reef. If you are looking for a chilled out spot to enjoy a drink, try Mowie’s bar located on the west coast – it’s a fantastic place to enjoy a wonderful Gili Air sunset.