Guide to Biking Around Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia

5 minIndonesia

Wind in your hair, sand in your toes, open paths await you on this car free island! Here's your expert travel guide to bike riding around Gili Trawangan Island in Lombok, Indonesia.

How To: Getting the bikes

All over the island, including at hostels, restaurants, bars etc. are bike stands with multiple bikes ready for pickup! You can rent a bike for the day for only $3 USD (50,000 IDR) in the low season and $5 USD (75,000 IDR) in the high season. On this island most motorized vehicles are prohibited. No cars or motorbikes will get in the way of your bicycling fun. Horse drawn carriages, called cidomo, are the main mode of transportation.

However, since we've visited the island, electric scooters have now been allowed as transportation. The main reason motorized vehicles were banned was to limit the pollution and keep the island air fresh. Electric scooters have no damaging emissions, so they have been allowed on the island and have been becoming increasingly popular over the last couple years. (But we still believe bicycle riding is the best way to travel the island! More fun, more exercise and less hassle!)

The Trek: Time and Terrain

Gili Trawangan Island is so small that the average time it takes to bike around the island is only one hour! The whole island is only 5.792 mi² in size! For our bike riding adventure we took stops along the way for rest, filming and picture taking, so it took us about three hours. However, my husband would exercise by running around the island and that only took him one hour to do! Although some areas aren't paved and you might have to push your bicycle now and then, it's overall very flat, with the max elevation being -20 ft! There are no pesky hills or mountains to damper the ease of your pedaling.

Hot Tip: Try to rent a bike with large sand tires to make the ride easier on non-paved areas. This also allows you the flexibility to ride on the sand.

What to Bring: Packing Guide

For your day out exploring, you'll need to be prepared!

  1. Extra cash - in case you want to stop at a bar for drinks or lunch.

  2. Sunscreen - Reapply even if you slathered yourself earlier in the day!

  3. Dry bag or wet bag - Something you can throw in your bike basket and then bring on the beach to hold all your belongings. See me posing with my favorite dry bag below!

  4. Sunglasses - No one likes riding with sun in their eyes.

  5. Bathing Suit - We just wore our bathing suits while biking so we could get a tan, but if you're more modest then wear them under your clothes in case you want to hop in the ocean.

  6. GoPro or Action Camera - We used our GoPro while riding so that we could have our hands free and still get awesome action shots.

  7. Tripod - You'll want to stop and take pictures for sure! There are people around the beach areas but in the more rural parts of the island there are mostly just cows, and cows can't take pictures for you.

View this aloha garden dry bag here.

Where to Stop: The best part of any road trip is the adventures along the way!

Our number one must see spot to stop at is the Captain Jack Bar. This is a hippie beach bar with artistic installations to explore, including beer bottle sculptures, floating umbrellas and a mini pink beach hut that I wanted to live in! Stop here for the good drinks and good vibes.

Another spot we loved was the Desa Dunia Beda Beach Resort. We had a delicious lunch with no-tourists in sight! It's on the upper northwest corner of the island. This made it a very peaceful spot to get away from the crowds. We enjoyed a lunch of gado-gado, an Indonesian dish of boiled or steamed vegetables paired with hard boiled eggs and peanut sauce.

At the end of your bicycling day, when you've returned your rentals and you're ready to unwind, make sure to get a sunset-viewing spot at the PinkCoco Beach Bar. We loved eating dinner while watching the sunset at this beach-side restaurant. They also have live music! Here's a short snippet of a dj and saxophonist performance that blew our minds! See more of our evening Gili T experience in this vlog where I ride a horse in the ocean at sunset!

Final Thoughts

Bicycle riding around Gili Trawangan is an easy, active, cost-effective and relaxing way to spend the day on the island. If you liked this Gili Trawangan island travel guide then make sure to check out my Idyllic Indonesia video playlist and Indonesia blog articles for even more Indonesia travel tips for the areas of Bali and Ubud.

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Guide to Biking Around Gili Trawangan Island in Indonesia


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