Discover the natural beauty and ancient architecture of Java on this introductory small group tour, staying at boutique accommodation along the way. Visit colossal temple sites including Prambanan and Borobudur, trek to a milky-blue crater lake in one of East Java’s last rainforests, and witness one of Indonesia’s most famous sights – sunrise over Mount Bromo.
• Bandung: 2 nights
• Wonosobo: 1 night
• Yogyakarta: 2 nights
• Bromo: 1 night
• Ijen Plateau: 1 night
• Bali beach: 1 night
Extend your stay in Bali to enjoy further post-tour relaxation on the beach.
Day 1: UK to Bandung Depart the UK on your overnight flight to Jakarta.
Day 2: Bandung On arrival, meet your English-speaking guide and travel to the cool mountain region of Bogor. Here, you’ll stop to visit the Bogor Botanical Gardens. Dating back to 1817, this beautiful 200-acre space is home to over 13,000 types of plant and is a major research centre for agriculture and horticulture. Continue on a scenic drive through tea plantations and the mountainous Puncak Pass. Afterwards, set off for Bandung where you’ll visit a local music school to listen to a short angklung (a traditional bamboo instrument) performance by the children. Stay: The Papandayan (or similar). L.
Day 3: Bandung After breakfast, set off on a full-day excursion to the Tangkuban Perahu volcano. There are incredible views from the edge of this active volcano. A two-hour walk around the area will give you the chance to see inside the crater and take in panoramas of its surrounding landscape. On the journey back to Bandung, stop at the hot springs in Ciater to soak in the warm sulphurous pools, which are fed by mineral springs heated by the nearby volcanoes. Stay: The Papandayan (or similar). B, L.
Day 4: Bandung to Wonosobo A scenic train journey awaits today. Transfer to the train station in Bandung to board the Argo Wilis train, travelling executive class to Kutoarjo with a picnic lunch en route. On arrival in Kutoarjo, continue by car to Wonosobo on the slopes of the Dieng Plateau for the night. Stay: Gallery Kresna Wonosobo (or similar). B, L.
Day 5: Wonosobo to Yogyakarta Leave Wonosobo and drive through the Dieng Plateau’s lush paddy fields. This mountainous region lies at an altitude of approx. 2100 metres and is known for its mystical atmosphere, with ancient temples built by the Sanjaya Dynasty set amid the steep rocks, mineral lakes and active volcanoes. On the descent, you’ll stop at Borobudur Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world. During its construction from 775-856AD, it required an estimated 30,000 stone carvers and 15,000 porters to complete this colossal monument. The site’s footprint takes the form of a mandala – a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism that represents the universe. The temple consists of a pyramidal base, three circular platforms with 72 stupas each containing a statue of Buddha, and a giant stupa at the very top. En route to your hotel you’ll also stop briefly at the Candi Mendut and Candi Pawon temples. Stay: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B, L.
Day 6: Yogyakarta Today you’ll discover Central Java’s most important city on a city tour. Yogyakarta has a population of one million and is known for its art production and forward-thinking universities alongside its cultivation of Javanese traditions. Visit the 18th-Century Sultan’s Palace, also known as the Kraton, where you can stroll around ornate courtyards and admire the elegant Javanese style of architecture. The tour also takes in the ruins of the water palace of Taman Sara, the Old City, batik workshops and a silver factory. One of today’s highlights is a visit to the Prambanan Temple, a 9th-Century Hindu complex that contains over 200 temples and is one of the largest of its kind in South-East Asia. Discover the three major temples and shrines, which are dedicated to the Trimurti trinity of Hindu deities – Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. This evening is at your leisure, perhaps to explore Jalan Malioboro – Yogyakarta’s major shopping street with street food vendors and a lively atmosphere – or catch a traditional performance of the Ramayana Ballet. Stay: The Phoenix Hotel Yogyakarta – MGallery by Sofitel (or similar). B, L.
Day 7: Yogyakarta to Mount Bromo Enjoy an early breakfast before transferring to the train station to take the Argo Wilis train to Surabaya. The train arrives in Surabaya, the capital of East Java, in the early afternoon. Travel on by car to the Mount Bromo region for a restful night ahead of an early adventure tomorrow. Stay: Jiwa Jawa Bromo (or similar). B, L.
Day 8: Mount Bromo to Ijen Plateau Today there’s a very early morning start (4am) for Penanjakan, leaving the hotel by jeep and arriving at the Tengger crater in time for an enchanting sunrise. This is one of the most famous natural spectacles in Indonesia and it’s deservedly popular. While it can get busy with fellow travellers and be a little touristy, the sunrise over the stunning panorama will be one of the most memorable images of your trip. As the sky gets brighter, the magnificent peaks become even clearer. Afterwards, you’ll drive down into the huge caldera of the Bromo crater. Return to your hotel for breakfast then travel on to the Ijen Plateau, stopping briefly at coffee, cocoa and clove plantations on the way. Stay: Ijen Resort & Villas (or similar). B, L, D.
Day 9: Ijen Plateau to Bali beach Take an early morning 4x4 journey through coffee, cocoa and clove plantations around the pretty village of Licin. This area is one of the last rainforests of East Java, and a one-and-a-half-hour uphill trek will lead you to the Ijen crater where stunning views await of the tropical rainforest. After reaching an altitude of 1880 metres, you will be rewarded with the glorious sight of the milky-blue crater lake, surrounded by yellow sulphurous rocks. Keep a look out for the sulphur carriers who make daily trips up and down the path, carrying up to 80kg of this yellow stone. Your time in Java comes to an end today, as you transfer to Ketapang harbour to make the short ferry crossing to Gilimanuk in west Bali. On arrival in Bali, a scenic drive will take you to your beach hotel on the island’s south-east coast. Sanur is one of Bali’s original holiday resorts and a firm favourite. Many of the hotels here are Balinese in style and sit across from the long golden beach, where traditional ‘jukung’ fishing boats dot the shore. A well-paved path runs along the beachfront and watersports on offer range from kitesurfing to paragliding. Protected by a coral reef, the resort is visited less by the surfing crowd and is more of a family-friendly destination thanks to the calmer waters and quieter vibe. Stay: Puri Santrian (or similar). B, L.
Day 10: Bali beach Check out after breakfast and transfer to Bali’s airport for your overnight return flight to the UK.
Extend your stay in Bali to enjoy further post-tour relaxation on the beach.
Is this for you?
A great choice for first-timers to Java, taking in its natural and cultural highlights.
Good to know
• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 12 guests
• A maximum of 16 guests.
What to expect
• We recommend packing some warm clothes for the sunrise viewing at Mount Bromo as temperatures can drop as low as 2 degrees.
Accommodation on tour
There’s a boutique feel to the accommodation throughout. We’ve chosen some hotels because they’re in the most scenic locations, like the Ijen Resort & Villas – an intimate retreat set in four-acre gardens at the edge of the rainforest of Ijen National Park, where views look out over the rice terraces to a row of volcanoes. Then there’s the Phoenix Hotel in Yogyakarta – a deluxe heritage hotel and colonial landmark that dates back to 1918.
Single room supplement from £485
2018 Apr 07; Jul 06; Sep 14; Oct 12
Included in price
• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.
Upgrade your tour
Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £285 per person
This boutique tour offers an introduction to the highlights and culture of Java. It visits some of the island’s most famous sights, including two of South-East Asia’s finest temples, and includes the iconic experience of witnessing the sun rise over Mount Bromo. We’ve chosen to end this itinerary in Bali, so it’s easy to extend your time in Indonesia with a few extra days on the beach.