GMT +8 hours
Indonesia offers a wonderful blend of culture and scenery, appealing to sunseekers and bargain hunters as well as adventurers. From the beaches and beautiful interior of Bali – the fabled ‘Island of the Gods’ – and the stunning volcanic landscapes of Lombok, to Komodo – the land of dragons, this nation really does have it all.
Best time to visit
Between June and September.
Depending on the type of holiday you are looking for you can spend two weeks or more exploring the many islands of Indonesia, however if you are short on time then perhaps just take a week or to relax on one of Bali’s beach resorts. For first time visitors our Bali Experience private tour is ideal as you can combine a cultural journey taking in the coastal towns of Lovina and Candidasa as well as the beautiful interior region of Ubud and spending a total of 6 nights on the beach. If you are looking to delve a little deeper – an ideal opportunity for repeat visitors – we also feature a few itineraries that will take you that little bit further. Don’t forget we can also help you to tailor make your own personalised itineraries; just speak to one of our Personal Travel Experts.
Bali and its Beaches
For an island that is such a small size, Bali boasts more than its fair share of attractions, including stunning beaches, world famous surfing, historic temples and a verdant interior of forest, charming villages and terraced rice paddies. Bali’s main beaches are found in the south of the island, while at the island’s heart lies Ubud, the laid-back, cultural heartland. You can choose to follow a stay in a host of Far East cities with time in Bali or even choose to combine both Bali and Lombok or the Gilis.
Lombok & the Gilis
Across the water from Bali lies the largely unspoiled island of Lombok which is the perfect destination if you are seeking shores that are a little less developed than its neighbour. Trekkers are enticed by the towering active volcano of Mount Rinjani where, from the summit on a clear morning, a blue-green crater lake can be seen in all its glory. Lombok’s lush, mountainous interior is ideal for walking and cycling whilst along the coastline, rugged sweeping sand bays curve in and out for miles.
The three small and largely undeveloped islands of the Gilis, located just off the north west coast of Lombok, demonstrate island life at its most charming. Rustic and serene, they are incredibly laid back, with no motorised vehicles allowed (transport is by traditional horse and cart or bicycle) and excellent diving. A favourite combination of ours is a stay in Bali’s interior followed by some time on the shores of Lombok and the paradisical Gilis.
Java consists of a string of 38 volcanic mountains whose slopes taper down to tropical rainforest, agricultural land, the densely populated towns and cities – which make this Indonesia’s most populated island – the mangrove forests that line the north coast and the rugged cliff tops of the south. This strikingly beautiful island is perfect for those looking for a something a little different in Indonesia than Bali’s world renowned beaches.
The island offers a different vibe from laid-back Bali, boasting an energy that is almost frenetic. Explore resplendent historic temples, palaces and a collection of South East Asia’s most sacred sights before travelling to the slopes of the active volcano, Mount Bromo, which is one of the island’s most beautiful and natural wonders. This majestic sight is located within the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park, alongside the island’s highest peak and its most active volcanoes – Mount Semeru. This almost perfect cylindrical cone, whose peak stands at 3676 metres above sea level, is also known as the Great Mountain and can often be seen with clouds of ash and smoke rising from its peak.
On our Voyage to Komodo Cruise aboard the traditionally styled Bugis schooner Ombak Putih, or her sister ship the Katherina, you can take to the seas and visit – along with Bali, Lombok and the Gilis – the captivating islands of the Komodo Archipelago, home to the world’s largest lizard, the incredible Komodo Dragon. Enjoy treks to track down these fierce creatures spotting an array of local wildlife, bird life and flora as you do. The Komodo National Park consists of the three main island of Komodo, Padar and Rinca, as well as 26 smaller islands, and was founded in an attempt to protect these incredible, yet endangered species. The park has been selected as one of the New7Wonders of Nature alongside the Amazon Rainforest and River, Halong Bay in Vietnam, and Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.
You can also visit these islands as part of a Stay and Cruise holiday on board the Azamara Quest as part of our featured Temples, Dragons & Beaches itinerary.
A few relaxing days on this Indonesian island, which is the largest of the 3000 or so islands in Indonesia’s Riau archipelago, is the ideal addition to a city stay in busy Singapore as it can be reached in just 45 minutes by ferry. A number of high-end resorts are located on the island’s north coast, including the Banyan Tree Bintan which is our featured hotel. As would be expected of a weekend getaway for those who live in Singapore there are a number of world class golf course on the island, and you can also snorkel and dive or enjoy watersports in the clear waters of the South China Sea.
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