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  • Writer's pictureVanessa Valenti

Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: complete 2-week itinerary and a 3-week alternative

The Bali - Gili Islands - Lombok triangle is one of the most loved itineraries by tourists in Indonesia, thanks to their proximity and the very convenient maritime connections.


Bali

Bali is certainly the most touristic, varied and particular: it contains a whole world all in a relatively small island. In fact, what I loved most about Bali is its variety: in an instant you can go from the sea to the mountains, from the touristic and westernized centers to the very green jungle that constitutes its heart.. And Hinduism colors and perfumes all the streets with a wonderful smell of incense that mixes with the delicious aromas of the amazing food that you will taste in every corner of the island. If you ask me what I liked most about this trip, I really don't know what to answer, it was really all too beautiful and intense to be able to choose anything. What I can tell you is that Bali is certainly the pearl of this triangle and deserves the most conspicuous part of the trip: it needs time to be thoroughly visited, but whatever you choose to do, there will always be something more to see. If we really want to say something negative about Bali, maybe it lacks a bit in beaches: most of the coast does not have particularly beautiful beaches, apart from the south coast of Bukit Peninsula, near Uluwatu. If you are looking for a truly dreamy sea, we must move to Nusa Penida or Nusa Lembongan, in order not to go too far from Bali, otherwise opt for the Gili and Lombok islands, which however are more distant.


Gili Islands

The Gili Islands are a real paradise, in my opinion it's really a shame to go to Bali and skip these tiny islets located on the coast of Lombok. To reach them from Bali (leaving from Padangbai) it will take you just over 90 minutes, and believe me it will be worth it - to find out how to get to the Gili Islands..

Of the three Gilis, I wholeheartedly recommend Gili Trawangan, the first you will come across when coming from Bali and also the largest. It's known for being the liveliest, most youthful island and the ideal destination for those looking for parties and nightlife... and yes, Gili Trawangan is all this but also much more. The area in front of the port, along the seafront, is a long strip of cafes, restaurants and a few nightclubs that come alive in the evening with young backpackers but here you will also find an excellent cooking school, lots of diving, beach clubs where they make excellent live music and a splendid Night Market where you can dine. The rest of the island is a completely different story. Straw or sheet metal houses, children running barefoot on dirt roads, no cars or scooters. In Gili Islands you will move exclusively on foot, by bicycle or on a kind of wagon pulled by horses, called Cidomo (which I strongly advise against given how they treat animals). On Gili T you will also find splendid beaches, a breathtaking sunset point, yoga centres, the turtle point where you can see sea turtles even comfortably lying on the beach. In our opinion, Gili T really represents an excellent compromise compared to Gili Meno and Gili Air which are even smaller and where apart from a few resorts and restaurants there is very little to do. Anyway there are very frequent boats that will take you back and forth for a few pennies from one Gili to another. To find out more about the Gili Islands and in particular Gili Trawangan..


Lombok

Finally, Lombok .. often underestimated, much less touristy and totally different from Bali. The first huge difference that you notice once you arrive is religion: if Bali is Hindu and the temples and statues all over the island will prove it, Lombok is instead Muslim. The way people dress and approach will strike you, as well as the numerous mosques that take the place of Hindu temples; you will find different landscapes, flavors and even scents, but Lombok remains splendid. They certainly have in common the expanses of greenery, from the jungle to the rice fields..

Monte Rinjani, Lombok, Indonesia

The sea is much better in Lombok, the southern area around Kuta in particular. But Lombok is also much more .. one of the main attractions is Mount Rinjani (3726m), the second highest mountain in Indonesia, it's also a volcano that attracts many tourists and trekkers thanks to the numerous paths (its ascent is demanding , but a guarantee of breathtaking and unique panoramas) and to the volcano's caldera (about 2000m), bathed by the lake called Segara Anak, Son of the Sea, which they say has blue waters like those of the sea. We really wanted to do the 3-day excursion sleeping in a tent to climb to the summit and then go back, but unfortunately we didn't have enough time, they say it's a unique experience. To find out more about Lombok and its magnificent landscapes click here - Lombok


Now let's give a look to the itinerary of our trip: we had 16 days so we tried to see as much as possible. We chose to arrive in Bali and leave by plane from Lombok (to find out more about how to reach Bali click here): consider that being very far from Italy, the round trip will take you 4 days in total, therefore the useful time for the holiday is actually 12 days. After being there, I can tell you that the ideal would be to stay for at least 3 weeks, but even with 2 you will be able to do and see many things and I must say that the result was a not bad and quite low-budget trip. We were extremely satisfied.

I therefore propose our 2-week itinerary, but also the 3-week alternative with the additions that we would have liked to have made if we had more time available.

After many researches on many blogs, I decided to move around Bali and change also accommodations in order to optimize times and reduce the journeys by motorbike as much as possible. The roads in Bali are not excellent and the traffic is often intense and, also considering the size of the island, it has proved to be an excellent solution. We moved every 1-2 days to the major centers, in order to move comfortably by motorbike during the day without wasting hours and hours driving.

Girare Bali in Scooter

In Bali, renting motorbikes is very simple, also for just one day. For moving between cities and therefore from one accommodation to another, we always used the taxis found with Grab Superapp, so that we could carry our suitcases: the prices are excellent and you won't have to go crazy.

As for traveling by sea from one island to another, don't worry: the routes are extremely popular and cheap, we always bought tickets on site and on the spot. The most popular alternative is to stay always in one place to base for the entire duration of the stay: the majority choose one of the more touristic townns such as Kuta, Canggu, Seminyak, or Ubud. If you prefer this option, then I suggest you choose Ubud: it's far more central and will allow you to reach every part of the island more easily. READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: how to plan your trip to Indonesia on your own

2 week itinerary - Bali, isole Gili e Lombok

Where we stayed:

  1. Seminyak - 2 nights

  2. Sanur - 2 nights

  3. Ubud - 2 nights

  4. Sidemen - 1 night

  5. Padangbai - 1 night

  6. Gili Trawangan - 2 nights

  7. Lombok - 3 nights

For more details on where we stayed, to see the places, resorts and for the link to the accomodations..

READ ALSO: Bali, Gili Islands and Lombok: how to plan your trip to Indonesia on your own As for the first 4 parts, therefore those in Bali, we always moved early in the morning, in order to avoid heavy traffic and always have the whole day available. Don't worry if the places you choose have late check-in times: we've always arrived very early when the rooms weren't available yet but they've always kept our bags for us without extra payments.

To find out what and where to eat along the various places.. READ ALSO:

Itinerario di 2 settimane a Bali

Now let's see in detail day by day how to plan your itinerary

Day 0 - traveling to Ngurah Rai airport (Denpasar) - Bali

  1. Tanah Lot Temple

  2. Exploring Canggu by foot visiting the Love Anchor Market, other cute markets walking to the beach

  3. Lunch at La Brisa, Canggu

  4. Sunset at La Plancha, Kuta

  5. Night walk in Seminyak

  1. Pantai Balangan

  2. Pantai Padang Padang

  3. Pantai Suluban and Delpi Cafè

  4. Pura Lehur Ulu Watu at sunset time

  5. Dinner in Sanur

Day 3 - Nusa Penida

  1. Broken Beach, Nusa Penida

  2. Klingking Beach, Nuda Penida

  3. Diamond Beach, Nusa Penida

  4. Sunset in Sanur waling on the promenade

  5. Dinner in Sanur

Day 4 - Ubud

  1. Puri Saren Agung - Ubud Royal Palace

  2. Pura Taman Saraswati - Ubud Water Palace

  3. Ubud Market

  4. Pura Gungung Lebah

  5. Campuhan Ridge Walk

  6. Monkey Forest

  7. Ubud Palace Dance Show

  8. Dinner in Ubud

  1. Breakfast on the rice fields

  2. Tegalalang Rice Terrace

  3. Pura Tirta Empul

  4. Kaveri Spa at the Udaya

  5. Folk Pool & Gardens

  6. Dinner in Ubud

  1. Pura Ulun Danu

  2. Sekempul Waterfalls

  3. Fiji Waterfalls

  4. Dinner in Sidemen

Day 7 - Eastern Bali

  1. Tirta Gangga Water Palace

  2. Pura Panataran Lempuyang

  3. Dinner in Padangbai

  1. Boat to Gili T from Padangbai

  2. Coral Beach, Gili Trawangan

  3. Sunset Beach, Gili Trawangan

  4. Golden Hour at Sunset Point, Gili Trawangan

  5. Dinner at the Night Market, Gili Trawangan

  6. Walk on the promenade, Gili Trawangan

  1. Snorkeling boat tour in Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air

  2. Sunset Beach, Gili Trawangan

  3. Cooking class, Gili Trawangan

Day 10 - Gili Trawangan

  1. Island tour on a bike

  2. Sunset Beach, Gili Trawangan

  3. Boat to Lombok

  4. Dinner in Kuta, Lombok

Day 11 - Lombok

  1. Selong Belanak Beach

  2. Mawun Beach, Lombok

  3. Dinner in Kuta, Lombok

Day 12 - Lombok

  1. Pink Beach, Lombok

  2. Tanjung Aan Beach, Lombok

  3. Dinner in Kuta, Lombok

Day 13 and 14 - back home from the airport Lombok International


Below all this trip destinations and detailed descriptions of everything we did, so that you can better think about what to include or not in your trip.

To find out what and where to eat along the various places.. READ ALSO:

I give you also an alternative itinerary for those who have 3 weeks available: consider that it's just my personal proposal based on what Enrico and I experienced during our trip and what we would have liked to do with more time


Alternative 3 weeks itinerary - Bali, isole Gili e Lombok

Basically it's an extra day in Nusa Penida, a real jem that certainly deserves a more in-depth visit: a night here will allow you to gain a lot of time for this island which in any case is much larger than the Gilis and whose rough roads require slower and more cautious driving. We then added an extra day in Ubud, which is perhaps one of the areas we liked the most, in order to visit it more calmly and discover other hidden corners. An additional day is also well deserved by Sidemen, in the heart of Bali: here there are lots of activities to do, from waterfalls, to the Mother Temple, as well as other splendid rice fields. Enrico, who has literally fallen in love with the Gilis, would have gladly spent one more day there. Finally, 3 extra days in Lombok to climb the Rinjani mountain/volcano, which we read about in this splendid book -100 Hikes of a Lifetime (which I recommend if you are a trekking lover). Rinjani is one of the main attractions of Lombok and offers beautiful trekking to the summit of the volcano for 3 days and 2 nights. The climb is quite demanding, so be wary of those who offer shorter excursions. This is perhaps my biggest regret: I really wanted to go but unfortunately with two weeks available it was really impossible. If you decide to go, leave the last two days of the trip to the southern area of ​​Lombok, to dedicate to the sea to recover from the Rinjani effort.


Where we would have stayed:

  1. Seminyak, Bali - 2 nights

  2. Sanur, Bali - 1 night

  3. Nusa Penida - 1 night @Tree House

  4. Ubud, Bali - 4 nights

  5. Sideman, Bali - 2 nights

  6. Padangbai, Bali - 1 night

  7. Gili Trawangan - 3 night

  8. Senaru, Lombok - 1 night to base before the Rinjani climb

  9. Lombok - 2 nights in a tent on the Rinjani

  10. Kuta, Lombok - 3 nights

For more details on where we stayed, to see the places, resorts and for the link to the accomodations..

To find out what and where to eat along the various places.. READ ALSO:


Now let's see in detail day by day how to plan your itinerary

Day 0 - traveling to Ngurah Rai airport (Denpasar) - Bali

  1. Broken Beach, Nusa Penida

  2. Klingking Beach, Nuda Penida

  3. Crystal Bay

  4. Snorkeling at Manta Point

Day 4 - Nusa Penida

  1. Diamond Beach, Nusa Penida

  2. Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida

  3. Way back to Bali and travel to Ubud

  1. Sunrise at Mount Batur

  2. Tukad Cepung Waterfalls

  3. Pura Besakih

  4. Sidemen

Day 10 - Eastern Bali

Days 18 and 19 - Kuta, Lombok

Days 20 and 21 - back home from the airport Lombok International



Whether you have 1, 2, or maybe 3 weeks, the luckiest maybe even more, Bali will give you unique emotions, as well as Gili and Lombok. The options are many and whatever your choices are, this will be a trip that will stay in your heart forever. I really hope I gave you some interesting ideas for planning your trip and that they can be useful for you. For any question or curiosity, just write me.


Check also each destinations of this amazing trip:

To find out what and where to eat along the various places.. READ ALSO:

For all the practical and logistical information to plan your perfect trip to Bali..


If you think this post is useful, please like it or a comment, while if you need moreinformationdon't hesitate to contact me!


Have a nice trip (:




2 Comments

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Roxanne Bonin
Roxanne Bonin
Jul 08, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Hello! Great blog! If you only had 13 nights and had to start and finish in DPS, what would you recommend please? Thanks!

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Vanessa Valenti
Vanessa Valenti
Jul 09, 2023
Replying to

thank u!! maybe I wouldn’t do Lombok and ad a night in Gili, one in Nusa Penida and one in Sideman! what where u thinking about? let me know, we can make a good plan!

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