Photo: Early morning on Gili Layar.

Lombok is so big, we’ve split it up into areas, select one of the below for detailed accommodation and food listings in that area. Sights and general overviews for Lombok as a whole can be found via the icons above. Don’t know where to start? Read an overview of Lombok’s different areas.

Go back to Lombok main page »

Introduction

Our rating:

The latest of the "secret gilis" to begin to see some development, Gili Layar lies just to the west of the considerably more developed Gili Gede and to the east of Gili Asahan, but offers far superior off-the-beach snorkelling and a decidedly laid back beachside vibe. We liked it here. A lot.


There’s just the one place to stay here, the rather unimaginatively named "Gili Layar Bungalows" and the main pastimes are eating, drinking, snorkelling and sleeping. The bungalows catch the full brunt of the rising sun over Gunung Rinjani so you’ll most likely be rising fairly early, but there is enough shade out front to watch another day get underway.

No don't make us leave! Photo taken in or around Gili Layar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

No don't make us leave! Photo: Stuart McDonald

Daytripppers, both local Indonesians and foreigners staying on other nearby islands visit Gili Layar during the day to snorkel the house reef and laze around on the beach, but as this is the hottest time of the day, we suggest escaping the "crowds" with a siesta. Save the occasional fisherman, you’ll have the beach largely to yourself before 10am and after 4pm.

This should do nicely. Photo taken in or around Gili Layar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

This should do nicely. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The house reef sits directly offshore with a medium strength current running left the right, meaning once you’ve swam the short distance out to the reef and drop-off, there is really very little swimming required as the current will have you drifting at a comfortable pace with no effort. Considering the amount of day trippers, the reef is in decent condition and now that the bungalows are operating, they hope to stop all boats from motoring directly over the reef. Turtles apparently can be seen in the morning and late afternoon, but we lucked out.

Dawn over Rinjani. Photo taken in or around Gili Layar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Dawn over Rinjani. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Out of the water, at low tide it is a straightforward walk around the island and there is a small hill (home to the final resting place of the first inhabitant of the island we were told) where you can enjoy a sunset view. Once the sun has sunk, walk 50 metres away from the bungalows and flop down onto the sand to enjoy a starry scape from horizon to horizon while the waters lap softly onto the sand.

Did someone say boat trip? Photo taken in or around Gili Layar, Indonesia by Stuart McDonald.

Did someone say boat trip? Photo: Stuart McDonald

Other activities include snorkelling trips to other islands and SUP hire can be arranged through Gili Layar Bungalows.




Best places to stay in Gili Layar

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Gili Layar.


Orientation
Gili Layar is reached from Tembowong boat landing (the same access point for Gili Gede), the boat trip takes roughy 30 minutes and costs 150,000 rupiah to charter the boat (one way). There is a patchy EDGE connection on Gili Layar and Gili Layar Bungalows offers WiFi which works haphazardly.

What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Gili Layar.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Gili Layar? Please read this.





By .


Like what you see? Then you’ll love our newsletter

The Travelfish newsletter is sent out every Monday and is jammed full of free advice for travel in Southeast Asia. You can see past issues here.


Onward travel

Gili Layar is on the way to or near ...