Bali Vibe Unplugged: Islands Near Bali

 In Bali, Holidays, Islands, Places To Visit, Travel, Travel Journal

Known as the Land of the Gods, Bali allures through its sheer natural beauty of picturesque shorelines and terraced rice fields to fascinating adventurous water sports and spending hours on some of the most stunning and serene beaches. Bali enchants with its dramatic Kecuk dance and colorful ceremonies, its arts and crafts, its luxurious beach resorts, and exciting nightlife. And everywhere, you will find intricately carved temples.

It is one of the 975 islands that make up the Lesser Sunda Islands. Hence island hopping and island day trips are one of the Things to do in Bali

When planning your trip to Bali, make sure to include these islands as part of your itinerary in your Bali Trip Package

Whilst each of these locations boasts tropical beaches, there are different advantages of each island to keep in mind when planning your trip. Whether you are travelling as a family, in a group, or on your honeymoon, let us help you choose the island that best suits your preferences – including things to do and how to get there!

Islands Near Bali

Java Island


Java Island is the cultural hub of Indonesia and lies on the west of Bali. With its numerous temples, architectural wonders, exquisite Indonesian culture & heritage, and a handful of volcanoes, Java is often called Mini Indonesia. Jakarta, Bandung, Jogja, Malang, and Bogor are the famous cities of this traditional island near Bali. The ancient Hindu temples of Borobudur and Sultan’s palace symbolize the royal Indonesian culture.

Distance from Bali: 613 km
How to reach: On a ferry from Bali
Things to do in Java: Sightseeing, exploring the monuments & temples, witnessing the cultural performances, and hiking
Best time to visit: May to September

Lombok Island

Off the East coast of Bali, Lombok is a large volcanic island. Lombok island is like a kaleidoscope around Bali. When you are planning to explore islands close to Bali, Lombok is something that you cannot afford to miss. The south of the island has got a namesake of the Kuta in Bali; another Kuta in Lombok. Kuta Lombok is considerably less crowded and has some of the most spectacular beaches in Indonesia, making it a must-visit destination for couples.

In the north part of the island lies Mount Rinjani which has some spectacular waterfalls. The mountain also has a fiery active volcano which is accessible and offers a stunning view of the island.

  • Distance from Bali: 212 km
    How to reach: Via Padang Bai by a boat; via Lembar by road
    Things to do in Lombok island: Hiking, sightseeing, exploring the waterfalls, photography tours, and scuba diving
    Best time to visit: July to August

Gili Islands


The Gili Islands are an archipelago of three small islands or Gili island triplets — Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno, and Gili Air — just off the northwest coast of Lombok, Indonesia. The local name of these three islands is Gili Indah which means “small beautiful islands”.

The islands are a tourist destination. Each island has several resorts and the largest Indonesian settlement is located on Gili Air. However, due to the amount of western expats who live in Trawangan together with the locals, it has become more densely populated, concentrated in a township stretching along its east side (this is also where the majority of tourist development has taken place). Automobiles and motorized traffic are prohibited on the islands by local ordinance, so the preferred method of transportation is by foot and bicycle or the horse-drawn carriage called a cidomo. Scuba diving and free diving in and around the Gilis is also common due to the abundance of marine life and coral formations. The most famous diving spots are Shark Point, Manta Point, and Simon’s Reef.

Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan is a Hippie Heaven.Noisy vendors and a heap of backpackers smoking on a wharf in close vicinity is a frequent sight here. Gili Trawangan is one of the best islands near Bali, Indonesia to visit, frequented mostly by backpackers on a Bali tour.

Though infamous for its hipster appeal, this island in Indonesia also can be explored by couples looking for a good time and some romance. This Island has got a marine life, so vivid that it is very easy to see the turtles and the shades of corals. And the Ombak Sunset Swing on the shores is totally worthy of an Instapic! Besides, the island has a great nightlife as there are a large number of bars that throw out late-night parties by the beach. This is one of the best islands to visit near Bali if you are looking for a little bit of everything on your to-do lists.

Distance from Bali: 104 km
How to reach: Via Padang Bai, on a boat
Things to do in Gili Trawangan: Yoga, scuba diving, surfing, and partying at night on the beaches
Best time to visit: September to November

Suggested Read: Nightlife In Bali

Gili Meno


This is the most romantic among all the Gili islands near Bali, Indonesia. Gili Meno is a prime honeymoon destination. Since it is the quietest and smallest of the islands it is quite famous amongst honeymooners because of its crystal clear waters and idyllic secluded white beaches.

It also has the best of the snorkeling facilities and secluded restaurants- So what more can a pair of newlyweds ask for? When going island hopping from Bali, don’t forget to include this mini Island

Distance from Bali: 106 km
How to reach: Via Menjangan Island
Things to do in Gili Gede: Snorkeling, beach walking, and romantic dining at the restaurants
Best time to visit: September to November

Gili Gede

Gili Gede is totally a souvenir if you get to explore the hidden gems around Bali. A part of the Lombok’s Gili islands, it is located off the south coast. The romantic island near Bali is almost an undiscovered tropical beauty and is known for its snorkeling launch points. The undiscovered Snorkeling Souvenir has some of the most pristine reefs for underwater explorations. Couples? Are you keeping a note?

Distance from Bali: 103 km
How to reach: Via Menjangan Island
Things to do in Gili Gede: Snorkeling and lazing around the beach
Best time to visit: May to September

Gili Air


Gili Air is where you can find luxury as compared to the other 2 Gili islands. It’s often considered an alternative holiday island escape after the more popular Gili Trawangan. Gili Air offers a great combination of white sand and crystal-clear waters that are favoured by divers and snorkelers. It also has some great shopping areas, beach bars, and dive shops.

It is closest to the Lombok mainland and is the second most popular island after Trawangan.

Gili Air is smaller but more refined than Trawangan. The island’s main south-eastern coast near the boat docks is unsurprisingly packed with a variety of dining and nightlife choices. The beaches around the northern coastline are hushed and isolated from most of the southern crowds – great for those looking for a truer sense of escape on the island.

Getting around Gili Air is easy: by rented bike, by cidomo (traditional horse-drawn cart) or by foot – it’s easy to explore the island in a half-day of walking. Gili Air’s proximity to the mainland also makes it a popular stop off for those heading to Lombok.

Distance from Kuta/Bali Airport: 110 km

Best time to visit: May to September

Komodo Island

The UNESCO-listed world heritage site of Komodo National Park is situated on Komodo Island. It has the world’s largest lizards – the Komodo Dragons. 

Undoubtedly these animals are the main attraction of the Island, but the surrounding waters also offer great scuba opportunities for wildlife enthusiasts and couples. The underwater world of Komodo Island is home to the famous manta rays, sharks, and some of the most spectacular reefs in Indonesia.

Distance from Bali: 479 km
How to reach: Via Lombok, on ferries
Things to do in Komodo Island: Exploring the wildlife in the Komodo National Park and scuba diving
Best time to visit: April to September

Nusa Penida Island


The Nusa Penida gives you bird-watching opportunities that are complemented by excursions to some of the oldest found caves of Indonesia. This island of rugged caves has got a Crystal Bay that boasts of pristine white sandy beach and crystal clear waters for the couples to explore. 

The beauty of the FNPF Bird Sanctuary in the Ped Village only adds to the reasons that make this destination rank among the most wonderful nearby islands near Bali.

Distance from Bali: 66 km
How to reach: By speedboats and public ferries from Bali via Sanu, also from Nusa Lembongan via public boats
Things to do in Nusa Penida: Birdwatching, cave excursion to the famous Giri Putri Caves in Pakraman village, and scuba diving
Best time to visit: May to September

Nusa Lembongan

If you are looking for an even more laid-back version of Bali, Nusa Lembongan is the place to be. No traffic, No hawkers, and with the best of the accommodations – this island is one of the most romantic getaways from Bali. 

The island does not allow any four-wheelers and that explains the no traffic thing. The locals either walk or cycle around.

While on a romantic holiday in Bali, one just can’t afford to miss this 20-year-old version of Bali as it has got an enormous amount of adventurous activities to offer. The island has picturesque villages to escape into, gorgeous aquamarine life to explore, and thick mangrove forests to boat into; thereby making it ideal for a honeymoon trip. This is one of the most beautiful islands to visit around Bali.

Distance from Bali: 55 km
How to reach: Via Sanur Beach or Benoa Harbour; fast boats take 30 minutes and local slow boats take more than 90
Things to do in Nusa Lembongan: Paddleboarding, surfing, snorkeling with mantas, cliff jumping, diving, & romantic walks through the villages
Best time to visit: May to September

Suggested Read: White Water Rafting In Bali

Nusa Ceningan


An escape into the forgotten Lands.

Once easily accessible via a rickety yellow bridge from Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan is famous as the forgotten cousin of Bali island. Even less crowded, the island is known for seaweed farming and adventure. This little stony gem has got a 12-metre high cliff jumping point called Blue Lagoon that calls for the attention of all daredevils. 

And for the romantics, there’s a whole lot of beauty to enjoy. It is easily one of the best islands to visit near Bali.

Distance from Bali: 57 km
How to reach: Cross the bridge from Nusa Lembongan
Things to do in Nusa Ceningan: Cliff diving, village walks, boating, and understanding seaweed farming
Best time to visit: May to September

Nusa Menjangan

It is Bali’s well-kept secret. A complete underwater wonderland, Menjangan Island in Bali is a paradise underwater. And to add to that, the deep sea in this mystery island has a treasure in a 150-year-old shipwreck of an unknown origin. If you are adventurous and seeking old relics is something that excites you, then this island is a must-see!

This is the ideal island when you are looking for islands for your day trips from Bali to other islands. There’s also a temple of Lord Ganesha on the island.  

Distance from Bali: 8 km
How to reach: Via Labuhan Lalang port or from Terima Bay
Things to do in Menjangan islands: Snorkeling, beach exploration and treasure hunting at the shipwreck
Best time to visit: Throughout the year

Sumba Island


Situated southeast of Bali, Sumba Island is a hidden gem in the East Nusa Tenggara province, Indonesia. Known for its ancient traditions, Sumba Island captivates with its magnificent stone structures, vibrant tribal culture, and annual Pasola ritual. The island boasts of pristine beaches, lush landscapes, and iconic traditional villages. Rich in cultural heritage, visitors can witness intricate weaving, and distinct architecture, and engage with friendly locals. 

Distance from Bali: approximately 380 km

How To Reach: Via Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport to Tambolaka Airport in Sumba

Things To Do: Shop local weaves like Ikkat, etc, and other arts and crafts, Snorkelling, and diving.

Suggested Read: Honeymoon Guide In Bali

Flores Island

Flores, part of the East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia, is a captivating island known for its diverse landscapes and rich cultural heritage. The island has rugged coastlines, lush green hills, volcanic mountains, and traditional villages.

You will also find Kelimutu National Park on Flores, which boasts a volcano and 3 rich coloured crater lakes, plus hot springs and caves galore.

Labuan Bajo, a town in Flores, serves as a gateway to the renowned Komodo National Park, famous for its Komodo dragons and vibrant marine life. The island offers a blend of adventure and cultural experiences, with opportunities for trekking, diving, and exploring traditional villages with distinctive tribal cultures. Flores Island provides a unique and immersive destination for travelers seeking both natural beauty and cultural exploration.

You can reach here by taking a flight from Denpasar or Labuan Bajo to Flores

Serangan Island


Serangan Island is often called Bali’s ‘turtle island’, due to it once being a frequent nesting ground for green sea turtles. 

Situated along Bali’s southeastern shoreline, Serangan Island stands out for its commitment to turtle conservation and its appeal to water sports enthusiasts. This serene island with its untouched beaches, provides an ideal retreat for those seeking relaxation and adventure through activities such as snorkelling and diving.

Serangan Island is easily reachable from Denpasar and is only 15-minute drive from Kuta and Sanur.

What are the best islands near Bali for diving and snorkeling?

Gili Gede, Gili Meno, and Nusa Menjangan are some of the best islands for snorkeling.

Are there any secluded islands near Bali for a romantic getaway?

Gili Gede, Gili Meno, Sumba Island, Nusa Ceningan, etc are some of the secluded islands for a romantic getaway.

What are the top activities to enjoy on the Gili Islands near Bali?

Gili Islands are great for diving, snorkeling, romantic dinner getaways, etc

Which are the most accessible islands from Bali for a day trip?

The most accessible islands from Bali are Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, Lombok, and Menjangan Island.

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