Gili Islands

Bali to the Gili Islands

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Important COVID-19 update: Because of the COVID pandemic, many ferry companies seized their operations. Eka Jaya has still several ferries per week departing from Bali to the Gili Islands, but schedules are not daily. Also, of December 2020, you need to show negative results of a swap test before you can enter the ferry to the Gili Islands. Check the latest regulations before you book your tickets.

Best ways to travel from Bali to the Gili Islands

Famous for its fine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and party scene, the Gili Islands are a great destination to head to after you explored Bali.

Ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands typically take around 1,5-2 hours from the main harbour in Padang Bai and the cheapest tickets sell for around $20-$25 for a single trip.

BookAway and 12GoAsia both have a large offer of ferries from Bali to Gili Islands, but before you book your tickets, we recommend to read the tips below.

There are tons of different ferry companies, harbours to leave from in Bali and 3 different Gili Islands. By reading this post, you will know all the important info to decide which ferry from Bali to Gili Islands is best for you.

Don’t want to read the full article? See here the ones that offer the best value:

  • Wahana Gili Ferry from Padang Bai, with free pick-up for only $21 (Not available till 1st of Jan 2021, due to covid)
  • Eka Jaya from Padang Bay, excluding pick-up for $21. Same price, but larger boat, meaning a more steady ride. (also operating during the pandamic)

2 essential things to know before booking your ferryFerry arriving from Bali to Gili Islands

In the guide below, we share two tips that help you make a better decision when booking your ferry from Bali to the Gili Islands.

Not only can you save money with these tips, but also a lot of time.

You don’t want to arrive in the late afternoon on a beautiful beach to discover you could have taken another ferry that already arrived 2 hours earlier.

Tip #1: Decide first on which Gili Island you want to visit

Aerial view on Gili Islands

Almost all ferries will first stop at Gili Trawangan and most also at Gili Air, but less stop at Gili Meno.

Booking a ferry that drops you off at your island of choice, will save you lots of time and extra costs.

You can still take a public ferry or pay a local boat driver to drop you off at one of the neighbour islands, but why would you make it more complicated than needed?

How to get from How to decide which island to visit?

The Gili Islands are a group of 3 islands off the northwest coast of Lombok.

All equally beautiful, each of the 3 islands offers a different atmosphere. From west to east, the islands are named:

  • Gili Trawangan
  • Gili Meno
  • Gili Air

Before you travel from Bali to the Gili Islands, you’ll have to decide which one you want to visit. If you haven’t decided yet which island to go, we’ll first explain the differences of the 3 Gili Islands.

– Gili Trawangan, the most liveliest

Gili Trawangan, often called Gili T, is the liveliest of the Gili Islands. Go to Gili T if you want to party at night and relax at the white sand beaches during daytime.

You are sure to find a similar soul who likes socializing and getting to know people from all walks of life.

– Gili Meno, a romantic getaway

Gili Meno is the quietest and also the most romantic. It’s probably best for honeymooners or solo travelers who want some peace of mind.

Note though that most hotel choices are on the expensive side. If you’re on a budget, check first if the few remaining budget hotels still have available rooms.

– Gili Air, laidback beach life

Gili Air is a good mix of the two other Gili islands. Partying is still an option, but more of the chill hippy kind. Mostly you can enjoy the beaches with good music and a laid-back atmosphere at Gili Air.

If you’re into yoga, there are also a few great options at Gili Air.

Tip #2: Leave from Padang Bai

Padang Bai port

Second, it’s important to check the ferry port the ferry departs from.

When taking a ferry from Bali to the Gili Islands, you can leave from three different ferry ports:

  • Padang Bai (close to Amed)
  • Serangan Port (close to Sanur)
  • Sanur Beach Port (only 1 ferry p/day)

We recommend to take a ferry from Padang Bai, regardless of the island you want to stay.

From Padang Bai, the distance to the Gili Islands is the shortest, with ferry rides only taking about 1.5-2 hours. The ocean between Bali and the Gili Islands can sometimes be quite rough and that’s why it’s better to choose for the shortest distance over water.

Inside of the ferry from Bali to Gili Islands

PRO-TIP: If you are prone to motion sickness, don’t forget to bring your motion sickness pills.

To compare, the ferry from Padang Bai takes 1.5-2hrs, while ferries from Sanur and Serangan take 3-4.5 hours.

Another reason to leave from Padang Bai is that there are more ferry companies operating from Padang Bai to the Gili Islands. This means more competition and therefore lower priced ferry tickets.

Ferry schedule from Padang Bai to the Gili Islands

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
To Gili Trawangan & Gili Air
Wahana Gili Ocean
Book with BookAway
09:30-11:00
13:00-15:00
1h 30m
2h
297,000 IDR ($21) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud
Gili Gili Fast Boat
Book with BookAway
08:30-10:001h 30m524,000 ($37) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud
Blue Water Express
Book with BookAway
08:00-10:15
12:15-14:30
1h 15m779,000 IDR ($55) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Ubud
Semaya One
Book with 12GoAsia
09:00-10:451hr 45m252,000 IDR ($18)
To Gili Trawangan, Air & Meno
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with BookAway
10:30-12:00
13:30-15:00
1h 30m280,000 IDR ($20)

Note that ferry normally first stops at Gili Trawangan, then Gili Meno, sometimes Lombok (very closeby) and Gili Air as last destination.

The indicated arrival time is based on Trawangan, so if you stay at Gili Air, expect to arrive about 30 minutes later. Prices are the same for all three Gili islands.

What is the best ferry company to book with?

Ferries from Bali to Gili Islands

Most ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands drop off passengers at Trawangan and most also at Gili Air. Still, there are many differences between the ferry companies operating between Bali and the Gili Islands.

The most popular ferry companies are Eka Jaya, Wahan Gili Ocean, Scoot Fast Cruises, Semaya One and Ostina.

Smaller ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands

Small ferry from Bali to Gili Islands

If you can handle boat rides quite well and normally enjoy the rides, you can buy ferry tickets with one of the smaller boats like Semaya One, Wahana, Ostina and Putri Island.

The journey with one of these smaller ferry companies from Bali to the Gili Islands will only cost around $20-$25, sometimes even including pick up. Wahana Gili Ocean is normally the cheapest option.

Wahana Gili Ocean

After analyzing all options (ferry ports, ferry companies, tours and DIY), we came to one clear conclusion: Wahana Gili Ocean is clearly the cheapest option.

It’s the quickest and cheapest option to get to the Gili Islands. Tickets start from $21, including pick-up and the ferry ride takes only 1.5 hour.

The biggest advantage of the Wahan Gili ferry is that this service includes (free) pick-up from almost all popular destinations in Bali:

  • Denpasar Airport
  • Legian
  • Kuta
  • Seminyak
  • Kerobokan
  • Jimbaran
  • Ubud
  • Sanur
  • Canggu ($4)
  • Ulu Watu ($3.50)

You can book the Wahan Gili Ferry for $21 on BookAway

Large ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands

Ekaja ferry from Bali to Gili Islands

Does your stomach easily turn upside down after a boat drive or just prefer some more comfort to enjoy the ocean views from the deck?

Then we recommend to book one of the larger ferries. Most of these larger ferries are more expensive, with the exception of Eka Jaya.

These ferries are better in absorbing the shocks of the ocean, making the journey less rough.

Eka Jaya

Eka Jaya is one of the biggest ferry operators to the Gili Islands and operates large boats with a capacity of over 200 passengers.

Tickets are similar to Wahana Gili Ocean (around $20). The only disadvantage of this ferry is that company doesn’t include pick-up. This means you still have to organize the transport to Padang Bai.

Blue Water Express and Gili Fast Boat (for more comfort)

Although Eka Jaya and Wahan Gili Ocean (the one we mentioned above) are some of the most popular companies, not everyone is satisfied with their services.

In our opinion, the service is good for the price you pay, but be informed that pick-up and departure times are not always accurate.

If you prefer more luxury, we recommend to book with Blue Water Express ($58) orGili Fast Boat ($39), which also include pick up services.

With or without pick-up services?

Shuttle service from Bali to Gili Islands

Ferries that already include pick-up service will save you the hassle and money from organizing your own transport.

However, it’s not so straightforward that it’s always better to book with pick-up service.

Advantages of booking with pick-up

#1 Saving money

If you are travelling alone or only with one more friend or partner, you can save quite some money by booking a ferry with pick-up.

As an example, a taxi from Canggu to Padang Bai will costs at least 350,000 IDR ($25).

#2 No responsibility

The other advantage is that you don’t have to organize your own transportation. The ferry company will organize a shuttle and with this, they also take the responsibility to be on time.

If the shuttle is too late or gets stuck in traffic jam, the responsibility is with the ferry company to make sure you still reach the Gili Islands.

When you booked your own transport, it will be another story when you arrive too late at the port…

Advantages of organizing your own transport to the harbour

If you are travelling with a large group, it can be cheap to split the costs of the van ride to the port.

#1 No need to pick up other passengers

The main advantage of booking your own transport is that you don’t need to pick up other passengers. The van/taxi will drive straight to the port and you can ask to make a stop whenever you want.

Pick-up services might pick up passengers in multiple destinations in Bali and therefore the trip to the harbour can take longer.

Own experience: When I travelled back from the Gili Islands to Bali, our van went from Padang Bai to Sanur, Kuta and the Canggu (where I was staying). In total, the journey lasted a bit over 2 hours, instead of just a little over 1 hour on the way to the port. For me, it wasn’t a big issue, but if you don’t feel like picking up other passengers, better book your own transport.

#2 More space

If you book your own transport you don’t have the share the van or taxi with other passengers and if your group is not too big, you will likely have more space. Of course, you need to make sure you book the right size van/taxi.

How to get to Padang Bai?

Padang Bai harbour

If you booked a ferry without pick-up, you’ll need to take a taxi or travel by mini-van from Kuta to the ferry ports.

This also includes an estimation of the costs and duration from the most popular locations.

From Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu to Padang Bai

When traveling from Kuta, Seminyak or Canggu to Padang Bai, you have 2 options: You can take a direct 2-2.5 hour taxi ride to Padang Bai for around $30 or you can take a minibus for $6.

Note that the minibus departs from Kuta, so you might need an additional taxi transfer when coming from Canggu or Seminyak.

By Taxi

The 1st option is to take a taxi direct to Padang Bai for at least 350,000 IDR ($25). The journey takes about 2-2.5 hours. We recommend to book one via Grab as they often offer the cheapest rates. If Grab is not available, you can also use Bali’s other reliable taxi booking app, Gojek.

By minibus

If you want to save a few dollars, an alternative option is to take a minibus for 85,000 IDR ($6). The minibus departs from the Perama Tour Office at No. 39 Jalan Legian Road in Kuta city center. It’s only a short walking distance or taxi ride from Seminyak. If coming from Canggu, you might need to take a 45-min taxi ride to Kuta for about 141,000 IDR ($10).

Keep in mind that the travel time with the minibus is a bit erratic and can take between 1.5 to 3 hours, depending on the schedule you book. See the table below for more details.

Minibus CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Perama Tour
Book with 12GoAsia
06:00-08:30
07:00-08:30
10:00-13:00
13:30-16:30
1h 30m
1h 30m
3h
3h
85,000 IDR ($6)

From Uluwatu to Padang Bai

From Uluwatu, Padang Bai Port is at least 2 hours away by taxi. The journey costs about 674,000 IDR ($45).

An alternate option is to take a combined taxi and minivan ride from Kuta. First, take a 1 hour taxi to Kuta for 225,000 IDR ($15). Then transfer to a minibus bound for Padang Bai for 85,000 ($6). You can refer to the table above for schedules.

From Ubud to Padang Bai

The cheapest way to reach Padang Bai from Ubud is via minibus. A ticket costs 85,000 IDR ($6) and the journey takes around 1.5-2 hours. The minibus departs from the Perama Ubud Office at Pengosekan Street and you can book a ticket through the link below.

Minibus CompanyScheduleDurationCosts
Perama Tour
Book with 12GoAsia
07:00-08:30
11:30-13:00
15:00-16:30
1h 30m85,000 IDR ($6)

If none of the above schedules fit your itinerary, you can also take a taxi to Padang Bai which will cost about 345,000 IDR ($23).

Gili Air beach bar

From Sanur and Serangan to the Gili Islands

When you’re staying in Sanur, some travelers will consider to take a ferry from Serangan or Sanur Beach Port.

Obviously, the advantage of taking a ferry from Sanur Beach Port is that you won’t have to take the extra van ride.

However, we would like to inform you that the total journey to the Gili Island will probably take the same time or even longer when taking a ferry from Sanur Beach compared to taking a ferry from Padang Bai.

To illustrate, the ferry leaving from Sanur will take about 3.5-4 hours, while the ferry from Padang Bai only takes 1.5-2 hours. Even when you add the 1.5 van ride from Sanur to Padang Bai, you will likely reach the Gili’s at the same time or even earlier.

Ferry from Sanur Beach Port

If you want to leave from Sanur Beach port, you only have one option if you want to take a ferry from Sanur beach port.

This is the ferry operated by Scoot cruises leaving at 9:30am from Sanur and arriving around 1:30pm at the Gili Islands.

Tickets for this ferry costs $38 an can be booked at 12GoAsia.

Ferry schedule from Sanur to the Gili Islands

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Scoot Fast Ferries
Book with 12GoAsia
09:30-13:153 hr 45min610,000 IDR ($39)

Note that ferry normally first stops at Gili Trawangan, then Gili Meno, sometimes Lombok (very closeby) and Gili Air as last destination.

The indicated arrival time is based on Trawangan, so if you stay at Gili Air, expect to arrive about 30 minutes later. Prices are the same for all three Gili islands.

Ferries from Serangan Port

Last, you can also book a ferry from Serangan Port, which is the second-largest port (after Padang Bai) for ferries leaving to the Gili Islands.

While the port looks very closeby to Sanur, it is still a 30 minute drive south and the ferries will take at least 3 hours, compared to 1.5 hour from Padang Bai.

Concluding, you will probably be better off to take a ferry from Padang Bai.

Still interested in the ferry schedules? Check them out below.

Ferry schedule from Serangan to the Gili Islands

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
To Gili Trawangan & Gili Air
Blue Water Express
Book with BookAway
08:00-10:30
11:00-13:30
2h 30m776,000 IDR ($55) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Ubud
Gili Getaway
Book with BookAway
09:00-12:003h579,000 IDR ($41) + free pick-up from
Kuta & Seminyak
To Gili Trawangan, Air & Meno
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
08:00-12:304h 30m409,000 IDR ($29)

How to get to Serangan Port?

From Canggu, Seminyak or Kuta to Serangan Port

Serangan Port is only 20mins by taxi when coming from Kuta. The journey costs at least 113,000 IDR ($8).

From Canggu or Seminyak, you can reach Serangan Port in about 1 hour. Rates start at 212,000 IDR ($15).

From Uluwatu to Serangan Port

When traveling from Ulu Watu, over the east coast up North, you will first pass Serangan Port. If you take a taxi, you can reach the harbour in about 1 hour, depending on where you are staying in Ulu Watu. The journey costs about 300,000 IDR ($20).

From Ubud to Serangan Port

You can reach Serangan Port from Ubud in just a little over an hour if you take the taxi. The journey costs about 345,000 IDR ($23).

Gili Islands helicopter view

Public ferry from Bali to the Gili Islands (not recomended)

We don’t recommend traveling to the Gili Islands by public ferry, because the journey will take almost an entire day (8+ hours).

First, you’ll need to take a ferry to Senggigi (Lombok mainland) and then transfer to another ferry to reach the Gili Islands.

Thereby, it is really hard to beat the cheap price of Wahana Gili Ocean if you add the costs of the transport to the ferry port.

For these reasons, we decided to only focus on the fast boat/ferry to the Gili Islands.

Alternative way to get from Bali to Gili Meno

When you are staying at Gili Meno your options will be more limited. Luckily Eka Jaya also stops at Gili Meno, but if you booked with another company we still have a solution for you.

Transfer platform for ferry from Bali to Gili

Fast ferry to Gili Trawangan, then public ferry to Gili Meno

An easier option is to book with a ferry company including pick-up that drops you off at Gili Trawangan and then continue with the public ferry to Gili Meno.

The public ferry is a small boat that fits 20-30 people and leaves almost every hour. Tickets costs about 25.000 IDR and the ride only takes 10-15 minutes.

More routes to Gili Islands

Bali to Gili Islands

More routes from Bali

Bali Airport

Bali to Lombok

Bali to Nusa Penida

Most popular routes in Indonesia

Bali to Nusa Penida

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Lombok to Nusa Penida

Yogyakarta to Bali

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