Luxury holidays in Gili Gede

Part of the so-called Secret Gilis, a string of 13 islands off the coast of Lombok’s Sekotong peninsula, Gili Gede is the ultimate antidote to mass tourism. While the better-known Gili Islands further north have long been shouted about on the tourist trail, Gili Gede and its surrounding Southwest Gilis exist in quiet whispers – the stuff of travelling myth for would-be Robinson Crusoes. Not quite car-free (but almost), with only a handful of bars and restaurants, it’s the ideal base for an island-hopping adventure, or for those seeking ultimate privacy. Boat trips to neighbouring Gili Rengit and Gili Layar provide a gateway to pristine snorkelling territory, with dolphins and turtles resident in the islands’ coral reefs. A 10-minute speedboat ride away, two of the world’s top 20 most-coveted surf breaks – Desert Point and Bangko Bangko – await.

When to go

A benign climate makes Gili Gede a year-round prospect, with minimal rainfall and balmy average temperatures of 28 degrees.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Bali’s Ngurah Rai airport is the main international hub. From here, flights to Lombok take 30 minutes.
  • Boats

    The fast boat from Bali departs each morning from Serangan, taking 90 minutes to reach Gili Gede direct. If staying at Villa Selalu, a 90-minute transfer from Lombok’s airport to Tembowong before a 10-minute speedboat ride across to Gili Gede, is included.
  • Automobiles

    Check your car keys at the shore… motorised transport is kept to a minimum on Gili Gede, with two feet and two wheels the preferred forms of transport.