Our most popular destination in Indonesia is Bali, a tropical island located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands. For its small size, Bali offers more than its fair share of attractions – from visits to temples and quaint local villages, to cycling around rice terraces and lounging on picture-perfect golden sands. To make the most of a Bali holiday, we recommend twinning a relaxing beach stay with a few nights in artsy Ubud, the cultural capital of the island. Pairing Bali with Lombok and the Gilis also makes for an excellent island-hopping beach holiday. Local airlines have several flights each day between Bali and Lombok, and it’s also easy to travel between the islands by boat. To get to the secluded Gilis you’ll need to hop on a boat from Bali or Lombok.
Lombok & the Gilis
Idyllic islands of dazzling white sands and emerald interiors, Lombok and the Gili Islands offer a more sedate atmosphere to popular Bali. Lombok lies to the east and is perfect if you’re looking for untouched beaches and excellent outdoor activities – the southern coastline is a surfer’s paradise, while the dominating Mount Rinjani is a magnet for walkers. Off the north-west coast of Lombok, the Gili Islands are exotic hideaways of white sands and bohemian-chic charm. Gili Trawangan is the most cosmopolitan, with great nightlife and luxury beachside resorts, while Gili Air is the most authentic of the islands, with a stunning coral reef and great local character. The smallest island is Gili Meno, the ultimate honeymoon haven with its gorgeous cluster of palm-fringed beaches. While the islands enchant with their own distinct character, all of the Gilis are popular for their marine-rich waters – spectacular wrecks and offshore coral reefs are great for diving and snorkelling.
Java & Komodo
Our Touring and Cruise product ranges include the more adventurous islands of Java and Komodo. Our escorted small group tour of Java ends on the beach in Bali, while our stay & cruise itineraries are on board a beautiful tall ship, sailing around Indonesian islands that include Komodo, the home of the legendary Komodo Dragon.
Diving & snorkelling
Indonesia’s warm waters lie within the Coral Triangle, one of the richest underwater bio-diversities on the planet. Offering some of the world’s best diving and snorkelling opportunities, Indonesia enjoys exceptional coral and reef fish diversity that range from clownfish and mola mola to reef sharks and manta rays. Komodo, Bali, Lombok and the Gilis are some of the best islands in Indonesia to go snorkelling and diving. Off the north-west coast of Bali, Menjangan Island is famed for its dramatic underwater caverns and stunning corals, while the shallow reefs around Gili Trawangan and Gili Meno are great for snorkelling with sea turtles and colourful reef fish. For spectacular undersea landscapes, Komodo National Park offers a one-of-a-kind marine exploration. An underwater utopia where coral reefs flourish, the diversity of marine life here is breathtaking – in this exquisite environment you’ll have the chance to spot sharks, dugongs, blue whales and even tiny pygmy seahorses.
Food & drink
Reflecting the contrasting cultures and landscapes within the archipelago, Indonesian cuisine can be quite varied and diverse. Many regions enjoy different specialities, and you might also notice hints of Chinese, Indian and European influences in the local food, depending on where you are. Throughout Indonesia, one thing you’ll find everywhere is rice, a staple to most traditional meals. You’ll also enjoy lots of tropical fruits and vegetables in the Indonesian diet, thanks to the islands’ rich, fertile soils and warm, humid climates. On a visit to Indonesia, popular local dishes to try include Nasi Goreng, a flavoursome fried rice dish, and Gado Gado, a tasty Indonesian-style salad.
GMT +8 hours
Indonesian, plus a range of regional languages. English is widely spoken.
Since June 2015, a visa is no longer required for UK passport holders flying into Bali for stays of less than 30 days. Visas are still required for Lombok and Yogyakarta (Java) and are available on arrival.