- Wander from Java's temples and volcanoes to Bali's rice fields, feast on the beach and go diving on Lombok
- Taking the train in Java, watching the sun rise over Mount Bromo, street food in Yogya, cycling through rice paddies, rafting in Bali... it's all in the itinerary
- A selection of child-friendly hotels: a trip designed for families
- Concierge service, transfers in a vintage car, smartphone app, all our usual additional services
Contact one of our Indonesia specialists + 44 (0) 20 3958 6120
Your tripA 1961 Mercedes Ponton primed and raring to go outside Yogyakarta airport starts your trip off in style. Along the way, we've made every effort to ensure your journeys are as smooth and as comfortable as possible: private cars with drivers, ferries, speedboats and two train journeys. Train journeys are always a good opportunity to see how people really live. So, let yourself be gently rocked while soaking up Java as it rolls slowly by. At Mount Bromo and Kawah Ijen, travel by car until the start of the trails. The first part is easy, the second requires walking and some stamina.
The tours and activities we have included in your itinerary appeal to both young and old: arts - architecture, sculptures; landscapes - volcanoes, rice fields; wildlife - coral reefs, forests... See all this on foot or riding, cycling and even rafting. Expert guides are available almost everywhere.
The Yogyakarta to Senggigi leg of the trip features charming hotels. Whether they're urban, in the middle of rice fields or by the beach, they always feature a blend of local traditions and a modern twist with plenty of amenities, which is the hallmark of Indonesia's finest establishments. If there are any slight setbacks or you have a last-minute request to do something along the way, contact our on-site Concierge service.
INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT TO YOGYAKARTA
Transfer and three-night stay in a historic house in the centre of Yogyakarta. The mansion house, built in 1918 by a wealthy Chinese merchant, has become a beautiful hotel, combining contemporary services and a Southeast Asian feel with a touch of Art Deco elegance. It has comfortable rooms, a large outdoor swimming pool which will have the children splashing around in no time, a gym and day spa: everything is structured around guests and their wellbeing. In the restaurant, dive into Indonesian cuisine straight away or for a change of scene try Chinese, while starting with a few well-known international classics can offer guests a gentler introduction to local fare. And the hotel is firmly committed to the environment and sustainable development.
Included in the itinerary - tour of Borobudur, with a private guide . With an expert guide, discover a wonder of Buddhist art: the stupas and mandalas of Borobudur. It was built in the eighth and ninth centuries and depicts the cosmos and path to enlightenment. It features a huge set of bas-relief sculptures, which, in a series of panels, guide the pilgrim from the ambiguous acts and values of earthly life to the attainment of perfect wisdom. There is a sense of awe at the scale and consistency of the design, wonderment at its teachings and utter amazement at the sheer skill of the artists. Then, there are some five hundred statues of Buddha, a true sight in themselves.
Included in the itinerary - Street Food by night . With a gourmet guide, get a sense of the different ambiances and authentic specialities the city has to offer, from 'khaki lima', street vendor carts, to 'warung makan', small family-owned restaurants mainly frequented by Indonesians.
Included in the itinerary - a guided tour of the large shiva temple compounds of prambanan, its 240 vesara-style temples feature traditional Indian Hindu temple architecture and bas-relief sculptures illustrating Ramayana. The magnificent architects of the ninth century definitely left their mark on Java's heritage. This is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to get acquainted with the great Hindu deities of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. A visit to the temple of Plaosan, a Buddhist shrine in Bugisan not far from Prambanan, nicely rounds off the trip.
Included in the itinerary - The Ramayana Show - a remarkable demonstration of traditional outdoor ballet and theatre with the majestic setting of Prambanan's temples as a backdrop. The performance features nine acts and more than 200 dancers and musicians and explores art as well as Javanese culture through the legend of Rama and Shinta. The show is then followed by an exquisite meal nearby. A private car with driver then takes the whole family back to the hotel.
YOGYAKARTA - SURABAYA - MOUNT BROMO
Transfer to the train station and train to Surabaya. Private car with driver to Mount Bromo. Overnight stay in the hills, 6,560ft above sea level. The chalets offer spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding natural environment. They're light, cosy and elegant. The restaurant is located next to a small art gallery: the hotel owner is also a photographer. The chef serves food made from organic ingredients. The menu mainly features Indonesian cuisine, of course, but there are also mini burgers and rib steaks with parsley butter for less adventurous children.
MOUNT BROMO - PROBOLINGGO - BANYUWANGI
Included in the itinerary - Climb Mount Bromo . It's an early start to the day, to watch the sun rise over the volcanic cones. The fuzzy golden light that gradually clears away the mists is a magical sight. Then, approach the mountain, a 7,600ft grey volcano – a deity for Hindus – with offerings made to it every year. When the car can't go any farther, mules take over. Then, on foot, climb even farther for a hike in the sea of sand that surrounds the volcano, before finally reaching the crater. It's not that hard to get there. Return to the hotel, refuel, then a transfer to Probolinggo train station and a train to Banyuwangi. Overnight stay nestled in luscious vegetation, in a beautiful mountain setting. The accommodation is the sister hotel to the previous hotel. There is the same level of service and the same responsible management practices that filter down to the fine details. Traditional designs feature more prominently in the architecture here than in the hotel at Mount Bromo.
BANYUWANGI - PEMUTERAN (BALI)
Included in the itinerary - Climb Kawah Ijen. The green crater of Kawah Ijen is south-east of the caldera of Mount Ijen. It contains the world's most acidic lake, however, the splendid emerald colour does make up for this slightly less than appealing quality. At dawn, climb through the rainforest to the bare edge of the crater, at 9,200ft above sea level. This trek requires a high level of physical fitness. Along the way, encounter porters transporting impressive loads of sulphur. With a bit of luck, you might even see the odd gibbon or two. Once out of the mists, the view is breathtaking and definitely worth the climb.
Transfer to the port and ferry to Bali. Transfer to Pemuteran. Three-night stay between the beach and the Bali Barat Nature Park. Technically speaking, the hotel is not right on the sea but just above the beach behind a wall of trees. This private beach is owned by the hotel; the jetty is an excellent starting point for kayaking and snorkelling trips. The bungalows are built and decorated in a modern Indonesian style and are incredibly well-designed and comfortable. Beautiful wooden terraces rise among the trees and the swimming pool in the garden is ideal for doing a few lengths. The whole place has a lovely laidback feel. The sea is a magnet for teenagers and boats can transport the whole family to explore the coast or for a spot of deep-sea fishing.
Already in the itinerary - Snorkelling on the protected coral reef of Menjangan. 'Menjangan' means 'deer' in Indonesian and the island gets its name from the sweet creatures who often visit its beach. Travel by boat with a private guide, who takes care of all your equipment and a delicious picnic, too. You don't have to be an underwater expert to explore the multicoloured world that lies beneath the waves. Simply dive in and enjoy. It's immediately obvious why this is one of the country's finest snorkelling and diving spots. Soft corals, sponges and sand, where garden eels and sea anemones sway about in the ocean currents, and where clown fish and pufferfish glide around gracefully...
Included in the itinerary - Riding in the Bali Barat National Park . Riding is a great way to explore this huge national park in the west of Bali. You don't need to be an expert rider, just hold onto the reins, sit back and soak up the sights. A private guide leads the way and points out wildlife. However, don't get too comfortable as there's a lot to learn. There are the mangroves for starters Spotting Bali starlings, with their white plumage and blue around the eyes, is a real treat, as the park is sadly their last refuge.
PEMUTERAN - UBUD
Transfer to Ubud. This is where the island's artistic traditions are most alive; there are many painters and sculptors in the area and their creations aren't just souvenirs for tourists. The island's love of kite flying will delight the inner child in everyone. Visit Bali Bird Park, set in five acres of gardens, and home to Indonesia's largest collection of birds. Home to 250 species, the birds fly freely and can easily be approached for a closer look at their tropical colours and shapes. For generations, the rice fields have been central to the lives of the people of the Ubud region. They have been beautifully sculpted into undulating terraces on hillsides.
Three-night stay in elegantly simple accommodation in keeping with the idyllic island. The buildings are in traditional style, open to the surrounding natural environment. They feature beautiful wooden platforms and thatched roofs and a spacious open-plan layout wherever possible while still remaining incredibly private. The spa overlooks a lovely waterfall. The hotel has all the necessary amenities, starting with the swimming pool, an instant magnet for children.
Included in the itinerary - A tour of the Ubud countryside in a vintage convertible. Cruise through the Ubud region along its narrow country roads, craft villages, temples, and forests in an authentic 1970s' Volkswagen convertible. Things to see: Sangeh Forest and its monkeys, the village of Mas, famous for its woodcarving; Sukawati's traditional market with its endless stalls of fruits, vegetables and flowers.
Included in the itinerary - A guided walk through the rice fields of Sidemen. Sidemen Valley, an authentic and wild region surrounded by mountains, rice fields, and forests, is located in the heart of the island, away from the crowds. The region is renowned for its weaving industry, and its famous sarongs are still made by hand, sometimes taking several months. The tour includes visiting a weaving and manufacturing workshop for endek and songket textiles and showcases the intricacy of this obsolete art form, the spiritual role it plays and the use of fabrics in the everyday lives of the Balinese people. A walking tour through rice and chilli fields also offers a fantastic insight into farmers' daily lives and way of life, all the while set against the tremendous backdrop of Mount Agung.
UBUD - BANGLI
Transfer to Bangli. Get to know the surroundings with a guided 15-mile bike ride along narrow country roads. Strap on your helmet and set off on an adventure, following the expert guide over mountains and through valleys. Ride through an area that, as yet, is still largely untouched by tourism. Visit Lake Batur in the caldera of the volcano of the same name. From here, the view across Mount Agung is stunning.
Two-night stay in an eco-lodge in the countryside. All around, rice fields spread out against the backdrop of the majestic silhouette of Mount Agung, Bali's sacred (and active volcano. The buildings have the arched shape of traditional Indonesian rice barns. The suites exude rustic charm but also offer excellent luxury and perfect privacy. Live life at a gentle country pace away from the crowds. The guesthouse atmosphere encourages a laidback approach to the day.
Included in the itinerary - Telaga Waja River rafting. White water rafting on the Tegala Waja River is ideal for thrill-seeking teenagers. Enjoy lush natural surroundings and stunning views of the Karangasem rice terraces along a raft alternating exciting rapids and calmer stretches of water.
Included in the itinerary - An introduction to Balinese dishes. Balinese cuisine is mainly rice-based and uses spice mixtures crushed with a pestle in a stone mortar. The paste, which can vary in terms of its spiciness, is then mixed with meat, fish or vegetables that are then fried, grilled or made into a stew sometimes with the addition of coconut milk. This cookery lesson is a chance to taste some Indonesian specialties and to chat with the hosts who help with the different stages of preparation.
BANGLI - LOMBOK
Transfer to the pier and speedboat to Lombok. Three-night stay in Senggigi. This hotel boasts three infinity pools overlooking the beach and there is also a fully-equipped luxury spa. In front of your room's windows and veranda lies a beautiful garden, with flashes of gleaming sea glinting between the luscious green trees. The architecture features a contemporary Indonesian style. Everything here revolves around utter relaxation: going with the flow, being in tune with the waves and taking in the exhilarating sea air.
Going from Bali to Lombok doesn't take long. And yet... It's a whole different world. When crossing the Lombok Strait, you'll pass through the Wallace Line, the transitional zone between Asia and Australasia. To put it simply, to the north-west there are orangutans, and to the south-east, kangaroos. It's not immediately apparent, as you'll be going underwater where it's a different story. Anyone who has dived in Bali will feel at home in Lombok. The west coast is particularly rich in species of all sizes. The island has a less uniform appearance than its famous neighbour. From the coconut trees of the north to the dry lowlands of the south and east, the contrasts are striking. Mount Rinjani is the local volcano here, a hulking grey beast standing at 12,000ft. It dominates the northern third of the region. To the north-west, lie the Gili Islands; three dots in the strait, they are a tourist hot spot and a little slice of paradise. Islam has become part of the Sasak culture of the locals. Bayan Beleq Mosque is the oldest mosque on the island of Lombok, dating back to 1634. The Muslim architecture featuring clay and bamboo is definitely worth a look. Fancy trying a local dish? 'Ayam taliwang' is grilled chicken, tenderised, then fried quickly, brushed with sambal and finished off. It packs a punch, but it's delicious.
Included in the itinerary - Snorkelling on Gili Meno. Trawangan, Air and Meno are three coral atolls known collectively as the Gili Islands. Located between Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, Meno is the smallest, quietest and best-preserved of the trio, with very few hotels. Take a boat and go snorkelling in crystal clear waters to explore the seabed and see countless multicoloured fish, sea turtles and manta rays.
LOMBOK - RETURN FLIGHT
Transfer to Praya airport and return flight.
A la carte
With a few extra days - Stop off in Singapore
Singapore is a city that has kept pace with the modern world, but one of the first definite must-dos has a distinctly retro feel: a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel bar. Then, walk to Clarke Quay, where former warehouses and junk boats have been transformed into trendy boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs. Enjoy chicken rice from one of the 'hawker centres', open-air food centres, which feed Singapore's army of workers each day. The National Orchid Garden in the Botanic Gardens is a magical peaceful haven. Gardens by the Bay is a beautiful and educational space that highlights major environmental projects to raise awareness about our Earth. Parkview Square, designed by DP Architects in 2002, is an amazing example of Art Deco revival. The Dravidian-style 'gopura' (entrance tower) of Singapore's oldest Hindu temple, the Sri Mariamman Temple, dates from 1925 and is a sight to behold with its array of multicoloured statues. In Chinatown, the Taoist temples have beautifully ornate rooftop spikes that curl towards the skies.
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