Gili Meno Island Guide: Your Guide To The Smallest Of The Three Gili Islands

Gili Meno is often referred to as “honeymoon island” as it’s the smallest and quietest of the Gili Islands.

It’s where people go when they want a real taste of island life and that laid-back lifestyle that has long since disappeared in the West.

If you’re in need of some rest and recuperation or a romantic getaway with somebody special in your life, Gili Meno might be the perfect place for you.

Our guide will help you better understand this tranquil slice of paradise and what to expect, where you can stay and more.

Where Is Gili Meno?

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Gili Meno is one of three Gili Islands off the Northwest Coast of Lombok extending from the Sire Peninsula out into the Indian Ocean.

The word “Gili” just means island and the locals call these three islands, “Gili Indah” (the beautiful islands) as nearly every island off the coast of Lombok has “Gili” in its name.

Gili Meno is the smallest island of the group and the least visited Gili Island.

How To Get To Gili Meno From Bali

There are several fast boat services to Gili Meno from Bali. They leave from Sanur, Serangan, Padang Bai and Amed.

The main services are from Padang Bai and Amed and takes around 2 hours to get to Gili Meno.

The services from Sanur and Serangan can take nearly twice as long and are probably best taken only if you’re staying nearby to these ports.

The pricing of these boat journeys tends to reflect the comfort level and “newness” of the boat that you’re on.

The boat leaves in the mornings from most ports and there is no guarantee of an afternoon service.

If you need to leave in the afternoon, we recommend that you check in advance before you travel as these services tend to run only in high season when the demand is at its maximum.

It’s best to book your tickets in advance online or through a travel service like the Bali Res Centre (details can be found in the FAQs) and we’d recommend booking a return ticket (if you don’t know when you’re coming back, you can always leave the ticket “open” but you must confirm the return date, at least, one day before you travel).

How To Get To Gili Meno From Lombok Island

If you’re going to fly to Lombok International Airport, you’re going to need to take a car or ride-share to the Teluk Nare Harbour on the West Coast which takes about two hours.

Then, you can jump in a shuttle boat to Gili Meno which takes only two minutes to reach the island.

If you arrive after 4.30 p.m. these boats stop running but you can easily get a private boat hire out to the island if you want to be there immediately or you can stay overnight in a guesthouse near the harbour and wait for the morning ferry service to resume.

You can also get to Gili Meno from Bangsal Harbour on a public boat and the ride takes about 25 minutes.

Be warned, if you go to Bangsal Harbour, you should buy your ticket from the public ferry ticket counter – don’t get fooled by the touts outside, they’re only going to overcharge you for what is a very cheap journey (25,000 IDR which is about $2 USD to $2.50 AUD).

How To Get Around Gili Meno

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There are three ways to get around Gili Meno and there is no motorized traffic anywhere on the island:

  • On foot – Gili Meno is a very small island. There’s really no need for any transport you can stroll between the beachside cafes and to the mangrove forest and saltwater lake inland with very little effort. You can walk around the whole island in about an hour and because it’s the least visited island of the Gilis, there are fewer tourists and nothing ever gets extremely crowded as it does elsewhere in the region.

  • By bicycle – if you just can’t bear the thought of walking, you can rent a bicycle for 50,000 IDR ($3 USD or $5 AUD) for the day or 15,000 IDR ($1 USD or $1.50 AUD) for an hour. Be warned that the roads aren’t well maintained and you will need to keep a close eye on the road surface to avoid being thrown off in the first pothole that you encounter.

  • By horse-drawn carriage – these have a certain novelty value but unless you have a lot of luggage with you, there’s really no need to rent one of these carriages. Some people have raised concerns regarding the animal’s welfare too.

When Is The Best Time To Visit Gili Meno?

Silhouetted female tourists watching sunset over sea, Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indonesia

We maintain that there’s never a bad time to visit Bali and this applies to Gili Meno too.

However, we do need to point out that the sea journey can be extremely rough when the weather is stormy and you might prefer to visit in the dry season months from April to October if you suffer from seasickness.

We’d also recommend that you take a sea sickness tablet prior to travel in any season if you’re worried about becoming nauseous on a long boat journey.

As for the best time of day to arrive? Most day trips and ferry journeys arrive in the morning and there are very few services from Bali running out to Gili Meno in the afternoons.

Things To Do On Gili Meno

Gili Meno offers plenty of things to do for a small island and some of the highlights include:



There is an amazing underwater sculpture garden just off the coast of Gili Meno and you can swim out there without any problems. The underwater statues are designed by a famous Caribbean artist.

However, many people opt for a snorkelling tour which takes in Gili Meno, Gili Air and Gili Trawangan. A boat takes you out for about a four-hour trip and lets you take in the best sights including some of the coral reefs in the area.

These tours are quite cheap (from 150,000 IDR per person, that’s $10 USD or $15 AUD) and a lot of fun.


top view of two blond girls sunbathing on the sand

While we enjoy partying on Gili Trawangan as much as anyone else, we come to Gili Meno for the peace and quiet and there’s nothing quite like sitting on a comfy sun lounger on the white sandy beaches on the island.

Just make sure to bring some suncream as it can get very hot in the middle of the day and you don’t want sunburn on Gili Meno as there are very few medical facilities away from the mainland.

Walk Around The Island

We think one of the big joys of staying on Gili Meno is how small the place is and it’s great to take a walk all over the island.

It won’t take more than a couple of hours even if you zig-zag back and forth between coasts and visit the interior of the island and the fresh air and bracing sea breeze is lovely.

With no motorised vehicles to worry about, you can look for the best beaches and other attractions without the fear of getting involved in an accident.

Scuba Diving

Mesmerizing view of a female scuba diver swimming underwater

Scuba divers say that this island isn’t the best place for diving as the other islands around Bali have more to see, however, they do recommend this island for learning to dive as the local dive schools are cheap and have fully qualified PADI instructors.

The waters around the island are beautiful and you can see plenty of sea life including sea turtles and bright coral reefs.

Hit The Outdoor Gym

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Yes! There’s an outdoor gym on Gili Meno and it provides the perfect environment to burn some calories, build some muscle and enjoy the sunshine and sea breeze.

It’s not the best-equipped gym we’ve ever seen, but it’s fine for getting the basics in and removes any excuses about skipping leg day while you’re on the island.

Go Hut-Hopping

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If you love great food and cold beers, then you have to go “hut-hopping” as there are plenty of tiny warungs on the island which each serve their own take on the best food in Indonesia.

If you’re on a day trip to Gili Meno, you might not have the chance to try them all even on such a small island but if you’re staying for longer, this is the best way to indulge in the local culture that we can think of.

See The Turtle Hatchery At Sea Turtle Point

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Sea turtles are a protected species and there’s a small hatchery on Gili Meno and if you visit you can see the creatures at every stage of development before release.

There’s something truly thrilling about watchin a young sea turtle being returned to the ocean to live its life.

Enjoy The Sunrise And Sunset

Beautiful sunset and silhouette of different people on the beach

Hit the East Coast for the sunrise and then the West Coast for sunset. Sunset and sunrise in this part of the world are truly spectacular and there’s nothing like settling in at a local warung with some delicious food and cold drinks and watching the light show above the crystal clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

Visit Gili Meno Lake

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This is a lovely place for a sunset or sunrise walk and there are a few huts by the mangrove forest on its shores, where you can always curl up with a book and let the world go by you.

Places To Stay In Gili Meno

There are plenty of great places to stay on this island including:

  • Seri Resort – the luxury Seri Resort is one of the most desired adults-only residences on the island. It has a beachfront pool, access to the white sandy beach and more.

  • MAHAMAYA Gili Meno – with wonderful service, amazing breakfasts and kayak and bike rental, you can’t go wrong at this pleasant resort.

  • Bask Gili Meno – this is a great value resort with an excellent private pool and bar area.

  • The Rabbit Tree Hostel – this place looks amazing and is ideal for the perfect Instagram shot. The owner keeps the place in first-rate condition and the guests are always friendly.

  • Meno House – this beautiful boutique hotel is all about elegant design and calm surroundings.

Places To Eat In Gili Meno

There are also plenty of great places to eat on this island including

  • Jizzy Warung – they serve amazing Asian and Indonesian fusion options and everything is delicious.

  • MAHAMAYA Gili Meno Restaurant – probably the best seafood place on the island.

  • Diana Cafe – get a great view of the sunset and enjoy the tasty mix of Asian foods on offer.

  • Adeng Adeng Restaurant – if you want a great pizza, this is the place to visit.

  • Bask Beach Club and Restaurant – one of the few places to get a good steak on the island.

Is Gili Meno For You?

Gili Meno is for people seeking to truly get away from it all.

It has absolutely no party scene compared to Gili Trawangan or even Gili Air and it’s a place to enjoy the sand, the sea, and quiet contemplation or to spend some romantic time with a significant other.

Are There Any ATMs In Gili Meno?

Yes, there are quite a few ATMs available in Gili Meno.

We’d recommend that you take, at least, a little cash with you to ensure you have some money in your pocket when you arrive, but you won’t have any trouble withdrawing some cash during your stay.

It doesn’t cost any more to withdraw on the island than it does in Bali or Lombok.

Other Gili Islands

Gili Trawangan

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Gili Trawangan has a reputation as a party island and while you can have a quiet time on this island, it does attract a backpacker crowd seeking a good time.

There are late-night parties on the beaches and while there’s a laid-back atmosphere, if you want a peaceful island to get away from it all, you’d be better off on Gili Air or Gili Meno.

Gili Air

mowies gili air

Gili Air is kind of half way between Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno in its approach to life and it’s the best island for water sports lessons.

If you want to visit either island from Gili Meno you can get a local boat for a very low price.


Is Gili Meno Worth Visiting?

Yes! We think Gili Meno is the perfect destination for somebody seeking a break from the stress of the day-to-day rat race and who values quiet time and communing with nature.

If you want to party, you can always visit Gili Air or Gili Trawangan or stay in Canggu and come and join the best party in Bali at FINNS Beach Club the world’s best beach club but Gili Meno Island is for recharging your batteries between parties or spending some romantic time with somebody special.

Can You Swim In Gili Meno?

As with all three Gili islands, the water isn’t always perfect for swimming and you need to be careful at times as the water currents can become quite strong during tide changes and pull swimmers out to sea.

However, Gili Meno Beach is a great place to swim and the sand is soft and not harsh underfoot. The only downside is that you can’t go out too far or you risk being injured by boats, but you can swim and snorkel near the shore to your heart’s content.

In fact, we think it’s the best place in the three islands for a swim.

Can You Swim To The Gili Meno Statues?

Yes, you can swim to the Gili Meno statues. You will need to head to the West Coast of the island and then look out for the sign that says “BASK.” When you see it, it’s about a 100-meter swim offshore to the statues.

However, most people visit this area on a boat tour as it takes you around all the Gili Islands and all the best places to snorkel around the vibrant coral reefs and beautiful seas.

How Long Does It Take To Get To Gili Meno?

From Bali, it takes about 2 hours to get to Gili Meno assuming you’re coming from Padang Bai or Amed. It takes longer from Sanur or Serangasan.

From Lombok, it takes about 20 minutes to reach Gili Meno on the public fast boat service.

What Are The Best Months To Visit The Gili Islands?

The Gili Islands are lovely all year round, however, the journey out to the islands from Bali can be very rough in stormy weather and many people prefer to visit during the dry season for that reason.

Are The Gili Islands Cheaper Than Bali?

It depends. It’s cheaper to book accommodation and to do certain activities (such as PADI Diving qualifications) in the Gili Islands than it is in Bali but food and drink (except for local seafood) tend to be a bit more expensive as they need to be imported from the mainland.

We’d prefer to say that the Gili Islands are good value for money rather than push them as a budget destination, once you’ve spent the money getting out to Gili Meno Island, Gili Air or Gili Trawangan, you probably won’t save a lot of money compared to spending time on the mainland.

How Do You Get Around On Gili Meno?

The best way to get around this small island is to walk. It really is a tiny island and you can walk all the way around the perimeter in an hour.

You can also get around this Gili Island in a horse-drawn carriage or by renting a bicycle but we don’t think Gili Meno is big enough to make that worthwhile (unless you arrive with a lot of luggage).

Are There Any Sharks Around The Gili Islands?

Yes, but mainly they’re reef sharks and they pose no threat to swimmers or travellers. You can see them while you’re out snorkelling and they will avoid you as you swim.

It’s nice to be out swimming or scuba diving and see a shark go past, it gives you a real feeling of how exciting the marine life here is.

How Do You Book A Holiday To Gili Meno?

If you want to visit the laid-back and peaceful island of Gili Meno or anywhere else in and around Bali, we always recommend that you make your bookings through the awesome Bali Res Centre.

That’s a locally owned and operated travel service that specializes in travel in Bali. They can get you amazing rates on hotels, flights, transport and tours.

The best thing about dealing with the Bali Res Centre is that it means your holiday money stays in the Balinese economy rather than being siphoned off overseas by multinational companies.

Final Thoughts On Gili Meno

The smallest member of the Gili Islands, Gili Meno still has plenty of charm and Gili Meno offers a very different style of holiday compared to staying on the mainland.

If you’re looking to rest and recharge your batteries before hitting the local party spots, Gili Meno is a great place to spend some time.

And once you’re fully rested, why not pop into FINNS Beach Club when you return to the Bali Mainland?

It’s the perfect party destination, the world’s best beach club and has incredible sunsets over the Indian Ocean for you to enjoy.

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