Thrill vs Chill – The Top 10 Activities for Thrill Seekers in the Gili Islands

Thrill vs Chill – The Top 10 Activities for Thrill Seekers in the Gili Islands

Renowned globally for their breath-taking beauty, pristine white sandy beaches and tranquil turquoise waters – the Gili islands are about as good a spot as you’ll ever find for sunbathing or sipping cocktails while the sun goes down.

However, should you have the urge to swap your sunlounger for some more energetic activities, here are our favourite 10.


1. Diving or snorkelling

Teeming with beautiful biodiversity, the Gilis are blessed with some of the best diving spots in the world. With more than 20 different diving sites across the three islands, PADI courses are offered at almost every level. Diving with Blue Marlin or Scallywags is truly an unforgettable experience. If you’re feeling really adventurous, try the night diving – use UV torches to light up the seabed and see the ocean in a whole new way.

With shallow water surrounding the islands, snorkelling may be an easier option for those who prefer to keep their head partially above the water – perfect for spotting sea species without getting in too deep!


2. Paddle boarding / kayaking

paddle boarding in the gilis

Will you get lucky enough to share the sea with a turtle or manta ray? Hop on a paddleboard, kayak or canoe and set out to explore each of the islands. For an afternoon watching the flora and fauna on the ocean floor, grab a see-through kayak or paddleboard from Paddle Gili or Horizontal Bar on Gili Trawangan, and prepare to be seabound for a while.


3. Horse riding

horse riding in the gilis

Top off a perfect day by galloping along the golden coast with the setting sun in your wake. Perfect for families, or a romantic activity for couples, Sunset Stables on Gili T offers experienced guides for less confident riders.

If you’d prefer a more easy-going experience, with time to take in the breath-taking views, forgo the cantering for a horse drawn cart (“Cidomo”) and enjoy the scenery at your own speed.


4. Cycling

cycling in the gilis

With no cars on the islands, bikes and horseback are the main ways of getting around. Luckily you can rent them from almost anywhere. Parts of the islands have paved roads but the bikes are equipped with special tyres to make cycling over the sand easier.

Each of the islands can be cycled around and by packing your swimmers you can take a dip en route.


5. Surfing

surfing in the gilis

If you like to surf there are great swells in the dry season and reef breaks all year round. Don’t worry about bringing all the gear, as rental shops are easy to find. Head over to the southeast corner of the island to a spot that the locals call Secrets and you’ll likely to have the waves all to yourself.

With fantastic windy spots, especially on the southeast side of the island, kitesurfing and windsurfing are also growing in popularity.


6. Water sports

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush or want to try something new, then make your way over to Gili Air. Swoop down and try a subwing snorkelling trip leaving at 9:00am every morning. Forget swimming with dolphins, with the help of Gili Air Divers you can dip, dive and feel like an actual dolphin for the day.

If you want to take water sports to the next level then you should try Aqua Flight with South Sea Nomads. Soar out of the water, spin in the air and really get that heart racing.


7. Fishing trips

fishing in the gilis

The adventurous among you can take a trip on a fishing boat and sail out to catch your own fish to cook. These trips are open for beginners as well as experts, anyone can cast a rod and experience this pastime, while witnessing the beauty of the islands from further afield.

You can charter a boat from your hotel or book a fishing tour at your nearest pier.


8. Trekking

trekking in the gilis

For the more hard-core hikers, nearby Lombok offers Mount Rinjani. It typically takes 2-4 days to climb and boasts some amazing views back across the Gilis. For those who prefer a more leisurely stroll, the stunning beaches around all of the islands offer incredible scenery.


9. Helicopter Tours

helicopter tour in the gilis

Witness the pristine islands, beautiful beaches and turquoise blue water from above, with organised helicopter tours taking you over the three Gilis and the neighbouring islands. You will see everything from lakes and coastlines, to ancient temples and mountains.


10. Paragliding

paragliding in the gilis

Grab a glider and feel the warm air on your face as you float down to watch the sunset on these picturesque islands. Fly Gili offers guides and gliders to prepare you for your perfect parasailing experience.

While known for their incredible white beaches and quiet relaxation, the Gili Islands are full of adventure too. From horse riding to hiking and from boating to biking, there really is something for everyone on these idyllic islands.