Bali and Lombok nab most of the tourist trade in Indonesia, but as more and more travellers appreciate this truly beautiful destination, they are exploring further afield. Java was the first wider foray and now, hard on Javanese heels, come these twin island gems. Flores and Komodo holidays allow you to experience Indonesia in the raw, with the emphasis on appreciating the authentic local culture, landscapes and wildlife. As a result, this is a far cry (and compelling contrast) from the immaculate hotels and luxurious lifestyle available on Bali - don't expect seven star accommodation, on Flores holidays,
you'll more likely be staying in a guesthouse where local nuns might join you for the night. The lack of creature comforts is all well worth it when exploring the otherwise inaccessible surroundings, with particular highlights being the bizarrely morphing coloured crater lakes at Kelimutu, and trekking to the traditional village of Belaragi. But arguably the greatest attraction, despite the island's name, is not the flora but the fauna, and in particular the vast colonies of bats, and, on the neighbouring islands of Komodo and Rinca, the eponymous dragons. Seeing these extraordinary beasts in the wild is pretty unbeatable, and beneath the waves of the Komodo National Park lie further giant creatures, this time mantas and whale sharks, and some of the best diving in the region. While travelling overland in Flores is for the hardy and adventurous, exploring the islands, beaches and reefs of the Komodo archipelago can be done in relative luxury - particularly if sailing on some of the luxurious phinisi schooner boats that ply these waters from April to October each year.
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Holly made excellent suggestions and creates the perfectly balanced trip that ticked all our boxes. The Concierge was very helpful throughout and the absolutel highlights were seeing monkeys and deer on Manjangan Island, and watching the sunset from the magnificent tower.
What are the best ways to discover the islands of Flores and Komodo?
Comprising over 17,000 islands, Indonesia is an expansive archipelago with big-name attractions at every turn. Bali, Lombok and Java are all dazzling headline acts that endlessly beckon visitors – combine them with the wilder, lesser-known islands of Flores and Komodo for an Indonesian immersion that delves that little bit deeper. Or, for a family adventure that hits all bases, fashionable Seminyak and the paradise-on-earth Gili Islands are perfect bookend destinations to Flores and Komodo holidays. However you decide to structure your break, an exploration of the islands of Flores and Komodo offer an insight into Indonesia that’s more untamed than the country’s well-worn paths.
What can you find on the islands of Flores and Komodo that you won't find anywhere else?
Undoubtedly one of the biggest draws of Flores and Komodo holidays is Komodo National Park, a natural paradise that includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, plus many smaller islands. Diving here is world-class and the incredible underwater ecosystem bursts with marine life, from turtles and dolphins to manta rays and whale sharks. On dry land, the island’s iconic namesake, the Komodo dragon, can be seen in massive numbers - there are over 5,000 roaming the island. Follow expert guides on treks across the park to catch a glimpse of the magnificent predators, or spend your days hopping from island to island by luxury yacht. Flores is a great springboard for the natural delights of Komodo, but its beautiful landscapes and low-key atmosphere make it a gorgeous under-the-radar destination for travellers looking to beat the crowds. Disappear into the greenery of Flores’ interior as you search out hidden villages, such as Wae Rebo, which can only reached by foot and is famed for its conical thatched houses and lofty location surrounded by mountains. Take a pre-dawn trip to Mount Kelimutu and watch the sunrise behind the magical Tri-Colored Lake, or spend a day relaxing on the quiet sandy coast of Koka Beach, one of the island’s most beautiful stretches of sand.
Special things to do on the islands of Flores and Komodo
Explore Komodo by boat
The best way to enjoy a Komodo holiday is to take to the high seas for a truly unforgettable exploration of the archipelago. From simple wooden houseboats to luxury yachts and everything in between; pick your vessel of choice then set sail and hop from one wondrous experience to the next. Dine on board your plush floating palace, dive in the incredible waters and spy Komodo dragons hulking across the land.
Visit Komodo’s pink beach
The rose-coloured sands of Komodo’s Pantai Merah, or Pink Beach, are a photographer’s dream. Blushing sands are flanked by foliage-covered mountains and turquoise waters for a truly stunning natural vision. Lie back, relax and take in your surroundings, or dive into the waves and snorkel amongst the tropical locals.
Best time to visit Flores and Komodo
Indonesia’s dry season runs from around May until December, although Flores is one of the drier parts of the country, so even during the rainy season you can expect to get a decent amount of sunshine each day. If you’d rather not risk it, the best time to visit Flores is between April and June, when you can expect pleasant temperatures and calm seas. Weather conditions are similar in Komodo, with the rainiest months falling between January and March. So the best time to visit Komodo is between April and June, particularly if you are keen to dive, as the seas are calm and you may have the chance to sea whale sharks. Visit our guide page for more information on the best time to visit the different regions of Indonesia.