Last updated: Apr 10, 2020

 

The Gili Islands: Which Island to visit?

The Gili Islands are a group of 3 islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air – off the northwest coast of Lombok.

It’s famous for its fine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and party scene, making it a great side trip when in Bali.

All equally beautiful, each of the 3 islands offers a different atmosphere.

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 beach 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 laidback atmosphere at Gili Air.

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

 

How to get to the Gili Islands from Bali?

Once you decided which of the three Gili Islands to visit, it’s time to book your ferry tickets.

The easiest way is to choose a ferry company that drops you off at the island you want to stay. 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.

The ocean between Bali and the Gili Islands can be quite rough and that’s why it’s better to leave from the port that is close to the Gili Islands.

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

Although the overland trip to Padang Bai takes a bit longer than the trip to Serangan or Sanur port, you will be rewarded with a shorter ferry ride when leaving from Padang Bai. To compare, the ferry from Padang Bai takes 1.5-2hrs, while ferries from the other two ports take 3-4.5 hours.

Besides that, there are also more ferry companies operating from Padang Bai which means more competition and therefore lower priced ferry tickets.

 

What is the best ferry company to book with?

Most ferries from Bali to the Gili Islands drop off passengers at Trawangan and most also at Gili Air.

Below, we will explain the best options depending on the Island you want to go to.

From Bali to Gili Trawangan or Gili Air

Wahana Gili Ocean

After analyzing all options (ferry ports, ferry companies, tours and DIY), we came to one clear conclusion: Wahana Gili Ocean clearly offers the best value for money. 

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

Gili Fast Boat and Blue Water Express

Although Wahan Gili Ocean is one 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 Gili Fast Boat ($39) or Blue Water Express ($58), which also include pick up services.

 

From Bali to Gili Meno

When you are staying at Gili Meno your options will be more limited, but don’t worry there are still two ways to reach this tranquilo Island.

Ekajaya Fast Boat

The first option is to book Ekajaya Fast Boat, which drops off passengers at all three islands, including Gili Meno. Tickets cots $20 and the ride takes 1hr 45m from Padang Bai.

However, a disadvantage of this ferry is that company doesn’t include pick-up which means you still have to organize the transport to Padang Bai.

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

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.

 

Staying in Sanur?

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.

Scoot Cruises 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.

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.

 

Why we don’t recommend to take the public ferry to the Gili Islands

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.

 

Ferry schedules to Gili Islands

To give you a better overview of all ferries leaving to the Gili Islands, we divided the trips to the different Gili Islands per ferry port.

We strongly recommend to book a company with pick-up as this will save you the hassle, time and money from organizing your own transport.

If you booked a ferry without pick-up, scroll to the bottom of this page to read the description on how to get to the ferry ports.

Ferry schedules to Gili Trawangan

From Padang Bai to Gili Trawangan

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
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)
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
10:30-12:00
13:30-15:00
1h 30m280,000 IDR ($20)
Hijau Holiday Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
09:00-11:15
13:00-15:15
2h 15m377,000 IDR ($27)

From Serangan to Gili Trawangan

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
08:00-12:304h 30m409,000 IDR ($29)
Gili Getaway
Book with BookAway
09:00-12:003h579,000 IDR ($41) + free pick-up from
Kuta & Seminyak
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

From Sanur Beach Port to Gili Trawangan

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Scoot Fast Ferries
Book with 12GoAsia
09:30-13:15
3 hr 45min610,000 IDR ($39)

 

Ferry schedules to Meno

From Padang Bai to Meno

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
09:00-10:45
10:30-12:15
1h 45m282,000 IDR ($20)

From Serangan to Meno

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia

08:00-11:303h 30m409,000 IDR ($29)

From Sanur Beach Port to Meno

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Scoot Fast Ferries
Book with 12GoAsia
09:30-13:00
3 hr 30min610,000 IDR ($39)

 

Ferry schedules to Gili Air

From Padang Bai to Gili Air

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Wahana Gili Ocean
Book with BookAway
09:30-11:30
13:00-15:30
2h
2h 30m
296,000 IDR ($21) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Ubud
Gili Gili Fast Boat
Book with BookAway
08:30-10:352h 05m522,000 IDR ($37) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud
Blue Water Express
Book with BookAway
08:00-09:50
12:15-14:05
1h 50m776,000 IDR ($55) + free pick-up from
Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu, Ubud
Semaya One
Book with 12GoAsia
09:00-11:15
13:00-14:30
2h 15m
1h 30m
252,000 IDR ($18)
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
09:00-10:30
10:30-12:30
13:30-15:15
1h 30m
2h
1h 45m
280,000 IDR ($20)

From Serangan to Gili Air

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Gili Getaway
Book with BookAway
09:00-12:003h 579,000 IDR ($41) + free pick-up from
Kuta & Seminyak
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
Ekajaya Fast Boat
Book with 12GoAsia
08:00-12:304h 30m405,000 IDR ($29)

From Sanur Beach Port to Gili Air

Ferry OperatorScheduleDurationCosts
Scoot Fast Ferries
Book with 12GoAsia
09:30-13:304 hours610,000 IDR ($39)

 

How to get to the ferry ports

Again, we strongly suggest to book a ferry that includes pick-up from your accommodation. This will save you the costs of taking a taxi and also the hassle of finding the right ferry desk at the port.

However, if there is no ferry company that provides pick-up services from your area, you’ll need to take a taxi or travel by mini-van from Kuta to the ferry ports.

 

How to get to Padang Bai

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 423,000 IDR ($30). 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 30m
85,000 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).

 

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).

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