So you’re thinking about celebrating your newly wedded bliss on the island of Gili Meno? Trust us, you won’t regret it!
Here’s everything you need to know about the perfect Gili Meno honeymoon…
Reasons Why You’ll Love Your Gili Meno Honeymoon
1. Gili Meno is actually nicknamed ‘The Honeymoon Island’
Known for its sandy beaches, turquoise waters, colourful underwater gardens and quiet island life, Gili Meno is actually nicknamed ‘The Honeymoon Island’. In other words, it’s the perfect escape from everyday life for couples in search of beauty, tranquility and quiet conversation.
2. Gili Meno has some of the best snorkel and dive spots surrounding it
It’s a little known fact that Gili Meno easily has the best snorkel and dive spots of all the Gili Islands. In fact, snorkel and dive excursions from the other two islands often end up near here, so you may as well stay on the island of Gili Meno if you plan on snorkelling and diving a lot. Plus it’s an absolute haven for turtles! More on that later though…
3. The sunsets and sunrises are incredible
As Gili Meno is a small island and easy to walk around, it’s possible to see the most epic sunrise and sunset in just one day. While the sunrises are framed by the mountains of Lombok, the sunsets are framed by Gili T… so they’re picture perfect every single time.
Romantic Things To Do On Your Gili Meno Honeymoon
1. Get up early and watch the sunrise
Where was the most incredible sunrise you’ve ever seen? For us, it would definitely be the ones we saw every day during our Gili Meno honeymoon.
The sky was pretty in pink, the mountains of Lombok glowed blue in the foreground and it looked just like we’d wandered straight into the perfect postcard picture.
And the best bit? For most of the year, the sunrise doesn’t happen until after 6am so you won’t need to get up ridiculously early during your honeymoon.
You’ll want to head to the east of the island. We were lucky to be staying at the Karma Reef Resort, which is in the ideal location to watch the sunrise from the beach.
But there’s also nothing stopping you from walking along this side of Gili Meno to catch the sunrise even if you’re staying somewhere else.
2. Chill on the beach and watch the boats go by
One of the most picturesque beaches on Gili Meno is along the eastern side of the island (close to the turtle sanctuary).
This stretch of beach not only has the powder white sand and turquoise waters you’d expect from an Indonesian island, but it’s also in the prime position for you to watch the boats come into port.
Easily the perfect place to relax and watch the world go by…
3. Try out all the best snorkel spots
Gili Meno has some of the best diving and snorkelling spots of all the Gili Islands – and it’s possible to see turtles even when snorkelling!
Head out to Turtle Point in the north east (near where the Warung Bungalows are), and as the name suggests, you might spot some turtles. Within just 20 minutes, Scott had seen two of them.
Sadly, we were too slow to get them on camera so here are some of the butterflyfish we saw in this spot instead.
4. See the famous underwater statues
But in case you haven’t…
This group of 48 life-size statues of couples embracing and lying down is called the ‘Nest’ project and were commissioned by BASK, the beachfront eco-resort, which is being built opposite where the statues can be found.
And they have a secret…
Not only are these statues hauntingly beautiful, but they’re actually designed to create a man-made reef where coral can grow, so it’s forbidden to touch them.
They can be found just 100 metres from the large BASK sign on the beach, 4 metres down and the water leading up to them is so shallow that they’re easily accessible from Gili Meno. Perfect for a short snorkelling trip!
5. Drink cocktails on the beach at sunset
Not only does Gili Meno have gorgeous sunrises every day, but also stunning sunsets.
Head to the north of the island where the Slainte Irish Bar is, chill out on the colourful bean bags on the beach, drink cocktails or Bintang and simply watch the sun go down over nearby Gili T.
6. Try scuba diving and search for turtles
If you want to increase your chances of seeing turtles even more then you simply must go scuba diving!
Whether you’re experienced or completely new to diving, you’ll have an amazing time – especially if you dive at Turtle Heaven in the north.
We personally went with Blue Marlin Dive, which was our first time diving. We had a pool session early in the morning to get used to the equipment and breathing techniques, and by lunchtime, we were 13 metres down and surrounded by colourful coral, thousands of fish and six large Green Sea and Hawksbill turtles.
From red tooth triggerfish and clownfish, to giant pufferfish and (my personal favourite) neon damselfish, we saw so much – and we were only underwater for a total of 42 minutes. Easily a highlight of our Gili Meno honeymoon!
7. See baby turtles at the Turtle Sanctuary
If you’d prefer to stay on dry land and still see turtles then why not wander around the Turtle Sanctuary?
Home to hundreds of tiny turtles that are awaiting their time out at sea, the sanctuary runs off of donations and warrants a short walk around.
8. Cycle or walk around the island
Gili Meno is a small island and it only takes an hour or two to walk around the whole thing! So there’s nothing stopping you from walking hand in hand along the sandy paths together.
You could also hop on bikes (lots of resorts on Gili Meno have them available for hire), although you might want to stick to the roads in the centre of the island as some of the beachfront roads are covered with deep sand that’s tricky to navigate on two wheels.
9. Island hop to feel the vibe of the other Gili Islands
Gili Meno is one of three Gili Islands, and as it’s in the middle of the other two, it’s really easy to island hop and feel the vibe of the other islands.
While Gili T is known as ‘The Party Island’, Gili Air is a healthy balance of the two. It has more bars and restaurants than Gili Meno, but fewer residents than Gili T, making it an ideal local escape – even if it’s only for a day.
10. Stay in a beachfront safari tent or bungalow (this is glamping at its best!)
If you want your Gili Meno honeymoon to conjure up some very unique memories for the pair of you then you simply must stay in a beachfront safari tent or bungalow.
Whether you enjoy waking up to the sound of the waves lapping against the shore or want to be steps from a picture perfect sunrise every morning, upmarket glamping on Gili Meno is the most common way to sleep – and is truly a must!
Romantic Gili Meno Honeymoon Hotels & Resorts
As Gili Meno is known as the honeymoon island, it comes with plenty of choice for romantic places to stay.
During our time on the island, we stayed in a rustic 3.5-star beachfront safari tent at the Karma Reef Resort.
Breakfast was included every day, while the restaurant served delicious food for dinner and even put on themed events like BBQ nights and movie nights. The resort is also close to the harbour making it easy to island hop and when heading back to Bali.
Karma Reef also has two-story beachfront bungalows as well. They’re more expensive than the glamping tent we stayed in, but have more space and slightly better facilities if you’d rather not try full on glamping during your honeymoon.
Either way; the chance of being just steps from the beach and watching an epic sunrise every morning makes for a very special Gili Meno honeymoon indeed.
Aside from Karma Reef, here are a few other resorts and hotels that come highly rated for honeymooners and couples:
- Meno House: 3.5-star beachfront hotel with restaurant near the Turtle Sanctuary | Check Prices
- Meno Dream Resort: Private 3-star bungalow villas; just five minutes from the bounty wreck diving spot | Check Prices
- Two Brothers Bungalows: Charming 3-star bungalows close to the beach | Check Prices
- Blue Moon Meno: 2-star garden view glamping chalets with private outdoor bathrooms | Check Prices
- AVIA Villa Resort: Beautiful 3.5-star beachfront villa and bungalow resort; some villas come with their own private pool | Check Prices
- Sunset House Gili Meno: Comfortable 4-star beachfront hotel; some rooms come with balconies and sea views | Check Prices
How To Get To Gili Meno
Gili Meno can only be accessed by boat. There are two ports in Bali that send express fast boats to and from the Gili Islands: Serangan in the south and Padangbai in the north.
We personally went with Blue Water Express and couldn’t fault the service. They ran on time and gave everyone bottles of water and sea sickness pills for free.
You normally have to dock at Gili T first and then get another boat to Gili Meno. But some hotel resorts send their own private boat transfers to pick you up from Gili T to make it a bit easier for you.
How To Get Around Gili Meno
No cars or motorcycles can be found on any of the Gili Islands. Although horse-drawn carts are a popular way to get around, we would heavily advise against using them.
Sadly, all of the horses we saw on Gili Meno looked tired and malnourished. And it isn’t just us worried about this either!
There’s an article by the PETA about the Gili Island horses and they say:
“If you’re travelling to the Gili Islands, please refuse to take carriage rides, and remember to leave reviews highlighting the cruelty on a variety of travel websites. When tourists stop contributing to this cycle of abuse, authorities will be forced to replace horse-drawn carriages with alternative means of transport. Please also let your friends and family know about the plight of these horses – the more people who know, the better our chances of ending the cruelty.”
Horses like this are supposed to live for 20-30 years, but that same article claims the ones on the Gili Islands live for just 1-3 years on average.
Given how small the islands are, we’d suggest getting around on foot or by bicycle – it won’t take you very long at all!
So… what do you think of spending your honeymoon on Gili Meno? Could you be tempted? We’d love to hear what you think so feel free to jot a few notes down in the comments below…
Fancy seeing Bali during your Gili Meno honeymoon too? Check out this 2 week Bali and Gili Islands itinerary or this 10 day Bali honeymoon itinerary!
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