Bali to the Gili Islands

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Overview Compare Gili Trawangan Gili Meno Gili Air

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.

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.

No one likes to spend a few extra hours on a ferry when you could spend this time on a pristine beach on the Gili Islands instead.

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?

Which Gili Island should I visit?

Aerial view of Gili Islands
Aerial view of Gili Air, Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan

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 to, we’ll first explain the differences between the 3 Gili Islands.

TIP: Not sure whether to go to the Gili Islands or Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan? Check out this guide on how to get from Bali to Nusa Penida where we briefly compare the three destinations.

Gili Trawangan – the 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 Trawangan is also the perfect spot to see huge sea turtles. If the ocean is calm, there is almost a guarantee that you will see several sea turtles when snorkelling or even from the beach. You’ll get the best chance to see them on the east side of Gili T. Best in the morning around 8AM or afternoon after 4PM.

Gili Meno – a romantic getaway

Gili Meno is the quietest and also the most romantic. It’s probably best for honeymooners or solo travellers 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.

Passengers arriving with the ferry from Bali at the first Gili Island

How to get from Bali to Gili Islands?

Fast ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands typically take 1.5-2 hours, and most of the ferries leave from Padang Bai. As the public ferry takes almost an entire day (+8 hours), we only recommend the fast boat/ferry.

The fast boats from Bali to Gili normally first stop at Gili Trawangan, then at Gili Meno and last at Gili Air. More often than not, the ferry also makes a brief stop at the mainland in Lombok. It’s very close to the Gili Islands, but be aware that it can make the total journey last longer than the indicated 1.5 hours.

The cheapest tickets for this route sell for around $20-$25 for a single trip, while more luxurious ferry companies offer tickets for around $40-$45. If you book several days in advance, you find the best prices on 12GoAsia. This trusted platform is easy to book with and also accepts international payment options.

Best options to travel from Bali to the Gili Islands

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Gili Trawangan1hr 30min294,000 IDR ($20)Check Ferry Tickets
Gili Meno1hr 45min332,000 IDR ($22.50)Check Ferry Tickets
Gili Air2 hours294,000 IDR ($20)Check Ferry Tickets

The ferry prices above are based on the recommended ferry operated by Eka Jaya if you book via BookAway. This trusted platform sells tickets for the Eka Jaya fast ferry for a discounted rate of 294,000 IDR ($20). If you book via the Eka Jaya website or via 12GoAsia, tickets cost 375,000 IDR ($25.50).

The reason we prefer Eka Jaya is that they operate larger ferries compared to the other companies operating between Bali and the Gili Islands. This doesn’t just mean more seating area, but also a more stable ride.

In particular on this route, the ocean can get rough and that’s why we recommend booking a ticket for a larger ferry. (Tip: If you are prone to motion sickness, we recommend bringing your motion sickness pills.)

Below, we will continue sharing the available ferry options for each of the three Gili Islands.

Ferry schedules to Gili Trawangan (July 2022)

Ferry companyScheduleCosts
Eka Jaya09:00-10:30
294,000 IDR ($20)
Book Your Tickets
Ostina09:30-11:30303,000 IDR ($20.50)
Book Your Tickets
Semaya One09:15-12:00308,000 IDR ($21)
Book Your Tickets
Gili Getaway09:00-11:15625,000 IDR ($42.50)
Book Your Tickets
Blue Water Express09:1510:45
725,000 IDR ($49)
Book Your Tickets

Eka Jaya and Ostina depart from Padang Bai, but Gili Getaway departs from Serangan. We recommend booking a ferry departing from Padang Bai, as it has the closest proximity to the Gili Islands.

Make sure to be at Padang Bai at least 30 minutes before departure. You also need to pay a small village entrance fee in Padang Bai before you board the ferry.

The ferry will bring you in about 1.5 hours to Gili Trawangan, then Meno and last Air. While dropping off passengers at each of the island, they will also pick up the returning passengers going from the Gili Islands back to Bali.

As mentioned above, Eka Jaya offers the most steady ferry ride. It’s the most popular and also the largest ferry operator on this route.

Ferry from Bali to Gili Trawangan

Ferry schedules to Gili Meno (July 2022)

Ferry companyScheduleCosts
Eka Jaya09:00-10:45332,000 IDR ($22.50)
Buy Your Tickets

Most ferries only stop at the two busiest Gili Islands, which are Gili Trawangan and Gili Air. Luckily, Eka Jaya also drops off passengers at Meno.

As Meno doesn’t have a big harbour, you will be transferred to a small ferry pier that will bring you in a few minutes to Meno Island.

Ferry transfer for ferries from Bali to Gili Meno
Transfer hub for passengers for the ferry arriving in Gili Meno

Ferry schedules to Gili Air (July 2022)

Ferry companyScheduleCosts
Eka Jaya09:00-11:15
294,000 IDR ($20)
Book Your Tickets
Semaya One09:15-12:15296,000 IDR ($20)
Book Your Tickets
Ostina09:30-11:15303,000 IDR ($20.50)
Book Your Tickets
Gili Getaway09:00-11:30625,000 IDR ($42.50)
Book Your Tickets
Blue Water Express09:1511:20
725,000 IDR ($49)
Book Your Tickets

Availability is the same as for Gili Trawangan. As ferry companies normally first stop at Gili Trawangan, sometimes Gili Meno and then Gili Air, the ferry ride takes about 30 minutes extra.

Eka Jaya and Ostina depart from Padang Bai, but Gili Getaway departs from Serangan. We recommend booking a ferry departing from Padang Bai, as it has the closest proximity to the Gili Islands.

As shared before, we recommend booking with Eka Jaya for the most steady ride.

Relax after ferry ride from Bali to Gili Air
Beachfront cafe on the eastern side of Gili Air

Ferry ports in Bali

Padang Bai Ferry Port in Bali
Padang Bai ferry port n the east of Bali

The majority of the ferries from Bali to Gili Islands depart from Padang Bai. There also used to be several ferry companies leaving from Serangan Port and Sanur, but almost all of them suspended their operations to the Gili Islands.

This leaves you with only one option, which is leaving from Padang Bai. Luckily, this port always used to be the best option anyway.

UPDATE: Gili Getaway started operating from Serangan again in May 2022 with one-way tickets selling for 625,000 IDR ($42.50). We still don’t see an advantage to booking with them over Eka Jaya though. Tickets are more expensive with Gili Getaway and the ferry journey takes longer. Also, Eka Jaya (leaving from Padang Bai) offers a more comfortable boat.

Why we recommend leaving from Padang Bai

The ferries and fast boats from Bali to Gili Islands used to leave from three main ferry ports:

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

Either way, we recommend taking a ferry from Padang Bai, regardless of the Gili islands you want to stay. From Padang Bai. The distance to the Gili Islands is the shortest, which means ferries only take 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.

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.

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

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.

How to get to Padang Bai?

Padang Bai - Bali
Padang Bai is about 1.5 hour drive from the most popular destinations in the west side of Bali

Although there were several booking options available with pick-up services pre-pandemic, you will now need to organize your own transport to Padang Bai.

Grab and Gojek offer the most competitive rates and when you share the costs, the extra bill won’t be too high.

An advantage compared to shared pick up service is that your transfer won’t be delayed by picking up other passengers. This alone could already add 1-hour extra time to get to Padang Bai.

Below you’ll find the best options to get to Padang Bai, from Bali’s most popular destinations.

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 ($23.50). 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 ($5.50). 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 ($9.50).

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 CompanyScheduleCosts
Perama Tour06:00-08:30
85,000 IDR ($5.50)
Book with 12GoAsia

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 ($45.50).

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 IDR ($5.50). 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 ($5.50) 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 CompanyScheduleCosts
Perama Tour07:00-08:30
85,000 IDR ($5.50)
Book with 12GoAsia

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 ($23.50).

What is the best ferry company to book with?

Ferries to the Gili Islands waiting in Padang Bai
Ostina and Eka Jaya ferry operating between Bali and the 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.

COVID UPDATE: Ferry operators are slowly opening up their routes again, but as of May 2022, the number of operators is still limited. We recommend to check the schedules shared above or check if there are any new options added on BookAway or 12GoAsia.

Smaller ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands

Small ferry from bali to Gili Islands
Smaller ferries from Bali to Gili Islands are only worth considering if you are not prone to sea sickness.

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

Large Eka Jaya ferry going from Bali to Gili Islands
Larger boats provide a calmer ride 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.

Inside ferry from Bali to Gili Islands
Inside seating area of Eka Jaya

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 van from Bali to Padang Bai
Shuttle van at parking area in Padang Bai

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 cost you around 350,000 IDR ($23.50).

#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.

From Sanur and Serangan to the Gili Islands (N/A during pandemic)

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 OperatorScheduleCosts
Scoot Fast Ferries09:30-13:15610,000 IDR ($41.50)
Book with 12GoAsia

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
Incl. free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Ubud
2h 30m776,000 IDR ($52)

Book with BookAway
Gili Getaway
Incl. free pick-up from
Kuta & Seminyak
09:00-12:003h579,000 IDR ($39)
Book with BookAway
To Gili Trawangan, Air & Meno
Ekajaya Fast Boat08:00-12:304h 30m409,000 IDR ($27.50)
Book with 12GoAsia

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 ($7.50).

From Canggu or Seminyak, you can reach Serangan Port in about 1 hour. Rates start at 212,000 IDR ($14).

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 ($23.50).

Gili Islands from above
The Gili Islands from above

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

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 the south of Lombok 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.

Public boat between the Gili Islands

Public boat operating between the Gili Islands

If you can’t decide which Gili Island you want to go, no problem. You can take a private speedboat for around 300,000 IDR ($20) or the public boat for just 40,000 IDR ($2.70).

This is also an ideal solution if you are staying at Gili Meno and your ferry from Bali is not making a stop at this island.

The public ferry is a small boat that fits 20-30 people. They used to leave almost every hour pre-pandemic, but currently, they leave only 2 times a day (APRIL 2022).

Public ferry schedule between Gili Islands

Departure from Gili TrawanganReturn time Gili MenoReturn time Gili Air
09:30 AM08:50 AM08:15 AM
16:00 PM15:20 PM15:00 PM

Costs: Gili Trawangan – Gili Meno: 40,000 IDR ($2.70). Gili Trawangan – Gili Air: 45,000 IDR ($3.05)

Inside public ferry operating between the 3 Gili Islands

More routes to Gili Islands

Bali to Gili Islands

More routes from Bali

Bali Airport

Bali to Lombok

Bali to Nusa Penida

Jakarta to Yogyakarta

Lombok to Nusa Penida

Yogyakarta to Bali

Yogyakarta to Ijen

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