As you may have gathered if you have read my other blog on Bali – for two weeks, I certainly did a lot, so I just had to write another!
Ulutwatu was dreamy; for surfing, relaxing, eating and yoga but the Gilli islands were calling, we had heard so much about them.
However a serious hangover combined with the slow boat to the Gilli Islands is not the experience anyone should go through, I seriously advise either go a day later, or just don’t drink any long island ice teas at the renowned Single Fin party in Uluwatu. And always bring a backpack travelling, my suitcase fell into the sea…
Landing on Gilli Trawangan shores and escaping the madness of the port – the beauty of the island really becomes apparent. Walking through the backstreets you will find many vegan restaurants all with bright and healthy menus, and yoga schools. We found these amazing restaurants including Pituq Café, which is a vegan paradise, with wooden interiors, and gorgeous Japanese style situation where you sit cross legged to eat your food. The cafe exudes calm, chill and Zen vibes, with nourishing smoothies, Thai inspired food and desserts, and a soul bowl or two will keep you happy and healthy in this relaxing scenery.
Hire bikes and explore the island – its only a 20 minute bike ride around the whole island, and you discover not only incredible views, but great bars, empty beaches, beach clubs and also a remote area on the north tip of the island where you can swim and watch baby turtles un-hatch and wriggle down to the sea.
With coral bays that are protected by the surf, the islands are calm, and the majority of the beaches are completely empty, apart from the odd horse or two.
There are of course beach bars that are scattered along the length of the island, that are incredible locations to see the sunset, where you can see Mount Agung, and horses trotting in the shallows of the sea.
To relax with the locals, and other like minded people hit up the beach bars – our favourites were The Exile – bean bag heaven, sipping on cocktails whilst watching the sunset… what can get any better? It was a lot more chilled out than the others that we explored, and the chilled live music made it our favourite spot.
La Pirate Beach Club you should hit up just because it says ‘your floating paradise’ on its website… On a serious note, the little beach huts are divine, very picturesque and the choice of endless infinity pools to lounge next to whilst watching the sea makes this place a must for your schedule whilst you are on the Gilli Islands.
Casa Vintage Beach is a beach you will find if you hire bicycles, and it is certainly worth the effort. A gorgeous stretch of untouched sand and dried coral, with the only shade you can get on a beach, on the island. Getting into the sea will cause some laughs as it is impossible to get in without being stabbed by coral but its certainly worth it! The beach is accessorised with vintage wooden furniture, swings, and with the best smoothies you will get on the island on tap. If you want to eat whilst you chill, this place has the best Jamaican menu (random but great), that will cure any tummy grumbles!
If you come to the Gilli islands, you have to go snorkelling and diving – its almost a necessity with this amazing turquoise water at your feet every day. Snorkelling trips will take you from Gilli Air, to Meno and then back to Trawangan – but I actually recommend the diving. Not only will you be able to see more wildlife, including turtles swimming about in the deep – but also the coral is very much still intact, and untouched. Sadly the Gilli islands are now heavily affected by coral bleaching, either due to the large amount of backpackers coming to see the coral themselves and climate change. It is still a unique experience swimming in the water, but dive to see the real stars under the sea.
Gilli Meno and Gilli Air were also gorgeous islands, and generally a lot more untouched than Gilli T – if you have time on your trip, you should visit. I didn’t get the chance but when I do I will certainly go back and explore them.
Ubud deserves its own blog, and i am unashamedly enjoying blogging about my experience in Bali, so if you have enjoyed this one – my final stage of my trip will be blogged about very soon.