Closest of the Gilis to Lombok, Gili Air blends Gili T’s buzz and bustle with Meno's minimalist vibe, and is for many just right. The white-sand beaches here are arguably the best of the Gili bunch and there’s just enough nightlife to keep the sociable happy. Snorkelling is good right from the main strip along the east coast – a lovely sandy lane dotted with bamboo bungalows and little restaurants where you can eat virtually on top of a turquoise sea.
Though tourism dominates Gili Air’s economy, coconuts, fishing and creating the fake-distressed fishing-boat wood vital to any stylish Gili guesthouse are important income streams. Buzzy little strips have developed along the beaches in the southeast and the west, although the lanes are still more sandy than paved.