Where Are the Best Beaches on Gili Meno, Indonesia?
Gili Meno is the “upmarket honeymoon” member of the main Gili Islands group, a set of three small islands off the coast of Lombok. It’s perfect for lazy beach holidays, honeymoons and anytime you want some respite from the bustle of Bali. It’s also a great option for budget travellers as there are plenty of cheap guesthouses in the interior of the island. But where are the best beaches on Gili Meno? And how do they compare to the beaches on Trawangan and Air (the other two islands).
We walked around Gili Meno during our recent Indonesia honeymoon, starting at the port and then heading anti-clockwise around the island. Keep reading to see all the pristine stretches of beach we encountered.
The first thing you’ll notice when pulling up to Gili Meno is the clear blue water the boat is gliding over. While making for pretty entrance scenery, you’ll want to go a little further afield to find the best beaches on Gili Meno.
Some of Gili Meno’s best beaches can be found at the north / northeast part of the island and this area has heaps of resorts and restaurants. The first really nice beach is in front of Seri Resort, where we stayed during our two nights on the island. This area, part of which is known as “Turtle Point” is one of the top snorkelling / diving spots on the island. It receives boat loads of tourists from the other islands so can sometimes get a bit crowded (although it’s not hard to escape the crowds!). There are some other good sections further north of Seri, but the northern tip of the island is where things start to get really good.
North / Northwest
The beaches keep getting better as you head north — basically there isn’t much difference in quality along the entire northern stretch between Nela Warung and Diana Cafe. This would be a really good place to stay as there are heaps of resorts and restaurants around, but it is a fair hike from where the boat will drop you off, so bear that in mind. From the northern end of Gili Meno you can see across to Gili Trawangan and you can even get a glimpse of Bali’s Mount Agung in the background.
The long stretch between Diana Cafe and Sunset House has some pretty sections of beach, but it doesn’t quite compare to the north of the island. There are some upmarket resorts on this side of the island but outside of that the development is kept at a minimum. Also be sure to venture inland from the west coast to see the little lake.
One of the nicest and longest beaches on Gili Meno is found on the south of the island. There isn’t a lot of development there but we did manage to find a cool little beach bar / restaurant with small dining huts right on the beach (Beach Warung). This is one of my favourite spots on Gili Meno and it’s just around the corner from the more built-up southeast side.
The area south of the port (around Kontiki Cottage / Mallias Resort) definitely has some of the best beaches on Gili Meno, but it’s also one of the busiest places on the island. There are lots of places to stay and eat and it seems like a really good option if you’re looking for accommodation. The sand is white but like all Gili Islands beaches is bit rough in parts due to coral — the water is something special though and it’s easily one of the best places to swim on Gili Meno.
So, where are the best beaches on Gili Meno…?
There isn’t a lot separating the beaches on Gili Meno in terms of quality. It’s far more consistent than the other two islands, so you can’t really go wrong wherever you choose to stay. I really liked the northern end of the island as well as the south / southeast, and the northeast side around Seri Resort is great as well. There are more good bits of beach on Meno than Trawangan and Air, so you’ll have no trouble finding your own piece of paradise.
Where to stay on Gili Meno
We really enjoyed our time at Seri Resort (we didn’t receive a complimentary stay or anything). It was close to all kinds of restaurants (from local warungs to fancy foreign affairs) and wasn’t too far from the port. The sunrises, with views back towards Lombok are a real highlight of staying in this area. I also stayed at a cheap guesthouse during my first trip to Gili Meno in 2014. There are lots of cheap places to stay in the interior of the island and it’ll only take five minutes or so to reach the beaches. There are also way more budget friendly restaurants in the interior. Gili Meno feels quite upmarket at times but you can easily stay there on a backpacker budget.
FURTHER READING: Planning a trip to Gili Trawangan too? Check out my post about the best beaches on Gili Trawangan
Getting around Gili Meno
It only takes around 90 minutes to walk around Gili Meno, but plan to spend longer as you’ll want to stop off for food, drinks and swimming quite often. You can also get around in a cidomo (horse and cart), but concerns have been raised about how the horses are treated so we tried to avoid them. When walking around the island you’ll mostly stick to the coast, although there is a nice lake to check out at the northern end.
FURTHER READING: 14 of the Best Beaches in Southeast Asia
Are you planning a trip to the Gili Islands? Which island looks like it best suits you? Let me know in the comments below!
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