Java, Bali & Gili Explorer
Go island-hopping on this unforgettable Indonesia adventure. After an in-depth exploration of Java’s volcanos, highland plantations and iconic temples take a short cruise to Bali. Get a dose of local culture and marvel at vibrant rice terraces then jump over to Gili Trawangan for a few days of seaside bliss.
- Economy class international and domestic flights
- Accommodation & breakfast throughout
- Meals as detailed
- Local English speaking private guides throughout
- Airline departure taxes
PriceFrom $4,347.00 per person based on two people sharing*
Best time to go
The drier months of May through to September make these the best months to travel to Indonesia.
- See Java's natural wonders
- Explore Bali's spiritual side
- Relax on Gili Trawangan
Day 1: UK Departure
Depart London Heathrow on your overnight flight to Kuala Lumpur
Day 2: Yogyakarta
Arrive in Kuala Lumpur, and connect with your onward flight to Yogyakarta in Java. On arrival, you will be met by the guide and driver. From the airport, visit a home batik factory and attend a short demonstration of Wayang Kulit, the famous Javanese leather puppet before enjoying lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, head to your hotel to check-in. The rest of the day is free to spend at leisure. Relax at the hotel or head out for a bit of independent exploration.
Accommodation: Hotel Tentrem [Lunch]
Day 3: Local Market - Kraton - Taman Sari - Borobudur - Yogyakarta
After breakfast in the morning, travel along Jalan Malioboro to Beringharjo Traditional Market. According to locals, Beringharjo symbolises traditional elements of the local economy with its 'four in one pole’ consisting of South Square, Sultan Palace, North Square, and Beringharjo Market. The local guide will point out the exotic vegetables and spices unique to Indonesian cooking, as well as the seasonal tropical fruits – there’s even the opportunity to taste what’s in season!
Stepping up to the second floor, the guide will explain the tradition of jamu in Indonesia – a traditional medicine and beverage based on locally blended herbs and spices that is used to treat a variety of ailments. Learn more about Yogyakarta’s historic and cultural traditions with a half-day city tour. Start with a visit to the Sultan’s Palace, also known as Kraton. This building, built between 1756 –1790, is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. While walking through the various rooms and chambers, learn more about this aspect of Javanese heritage and culture.
Then it's time to take a ride in the local cyclo, becak, to Taman Sari Water Palace and Garden. This addition to the royal complex was built over 200 years ago by the first Sultan, with bathing pools for his harem. Lunch will be in a local restaurant in Yogyakarta.
In the afternoon, drive to the UNESCO Heritage site of Borobudur, 42 kilometres west of Yogyakarta. With the guide, explore this massive Buddhist temple- the largest in the world- and discover the incredible history behind its construction. Comprised of thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks, the temple was assembled entirely by human labour and took more than 75 years to complete. Continue with a visit to nearby Mendut Temple. Older than Borobudur, this pyramid-shaped temple houses three impressively carved stone statues; Sakyamuni (Sitting in a cross-legged pose with a hand gesture turning the wheel of dharma), Awalokiteswara (A bodhisattva as a human helper), and Maitreya (The saviour of humans for the future). The statues are thought to be some of the most impressive in Java. There will also be a stop at Pawon Temple, a simple yet beautiful monument known for its precise symmetry and was a former storehouse for King Indra's weaponry.
Accommodation: Hotel Tentrem [Half Board]
Day 4: Yogyakarta – Kaliadem Cycling – Prambanan Temple (B,L)
Enjoy breakfast at hotel.
Drive to Kaliadem, around a one-hour drive from Yogyakarta for a two-hour cycling trip. Hop on a bike and peddle through the village with stunning view of Mt Merapi until the finish point in Candi Plaosan. (Cycling level: easy to moderate, mostly downhill)
Sit back and relax after cycling in Prambanan Resto where your lunch will be served. Following lunch proceed to Prambanan Temple, the ancient Hindu temples built in the 9th century. This collection of sharp, jagged temples features three main inner shrines dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. UNESCO named Prambanan a Heritage Site in 1991. Your guide will explain the history and symbolism of the temples as you walk around.
Return to your hotel in Yogyakarta for the evening at leisure.
Overnight at the Hotel Tentrem.
Day 5: Yogyakarta – Mojokerto – Ngadisari (B,L,D)
Receive a wakeup call at 05:30. A breakfast box will be provided by the hotel (to be eaten on board the train).
At 06:00, be transferred to Yogyakarta Railway Station for a scenic train ride to Mojokerto in East Java. The guide will be along on the journey.
Travelling by train in Java is a wonderful opportunity to meet local people, and is also the best way to enjoy the volcanic landscapes of Central and East Java.
Upon arrival in Mojokerto, meet with the local driver who will be waiting and travel by road to Ngadisari, with a stop for lunch in a local restaurant along the way.
The final leg of today’s journey is a 4-hour drive to the village of Ngadisari on the edge of Tengger Caldera. These spectacular villages are one gateways to Mount Bromo.
Check-in at the Jiwa Jawa Resort and freshen up before dinner at the lodge.
Day 6: Ngadisari – Banyuwangi (B,L,D)
Awake early in the morning for a sunrise tour of Mount Bromo. Travel by 4WD jeep to a viewing spot with stunning views of Bromo volcano and its surroundings. Watch sunrise from behind the volcano in Penanjakan -a truly unforgettable experience, and one of the most photogenic occasions to be had anywhere in Asia.
Afterwards, continue by jeep down to the volcano caldera, often still covered by mist in the early morning. The mist, combined with the grey ashen-covered ground form to create an unusual atmosphere, often compared to the surface of the moon.
A 20-minute ride on horseback heads to a set of stairs which lead to the rim of the still-active Bromo crater.
Return by horse and jeep to the hotel for breakfast. Check out and continue by road to Banyuwangi via Probolinggo.
This is a full day of driving through some very scenic areas. A lunch stop and photo breaks will be made en route.
Follow a scenic coastal road in East Java to the Bangsring Breeze for the evening.
Upon arrival, check in and spend the rest of the evening at leisure -but be sure to tuck in early, as it’s another very early rise on the next morning.
Day 7: Mount Ijen – Kaliklatak Coffee Plantation (B,L,D)
Awake early this morning for an excursion to Mount Ijen. Breakfast is served at the hotel before setting off by 4WD jeep.
After a 90-minute drive, reach the Paltuding Base Camp (1850m). The trek to the top is 3 kilometres and follows a wide, packed-dirt pathway. At the top of Mount Ijen is a large crater lake surrounded by sulphur mines.
Upon reaching the top (2,385m) take time to enjoy views of the crater lake which is 200 metres deep and contains about 36 million cubic metres of steaming, acidic water. Witness the agility and strength of the famous miners as they collect and carry the sulphur blocks up to the crater rim.
Return via the same route to base camp and continue by road to the former Dutch Plantation of Kali Klatak. Take a delicious traditional lunch on arrival complete with a sampling of local coffee before embarking on a tour to learn about the production and harvesting of produce such as cacao, coffee, pepper and rubber using techniques that have been handed down from generation to generation. Finish the tour with afternoon tea at a viewpoint that provides a fantastic vista across to Bali.
Enjoy dinner at your resort this evening.
Overnight at the Bangsring Breeze.
Day 8: Banyuwangi – Bali – Lovina Beach (B)
After breakfast in the morning, travel across the Bali Strait to the island of Bali by local ferry for a scenic journey to Gilimanuk, on Bali’s western shores.
Upon reaching Bali, continue by road to Lovina – one of Bali’s renowned volcanic black sand beach destinations, on Bali’s peaceful and scenic north coast.
After arriving in this sleepy town, wander along the beach or relax on your resort deck chairs under palm trees.
Overnight in Lovina at the Lovina.
Day 9: Lovina – Beji Temple – Kintamani – Ubud (B,L)
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day before meeting the local Balinese guide and driver around 10:00. Start the morning with a visit to the Pura Beji, a temple famous for its beautiful stone carvings and for being the largest ‘rice temple’ in Bali.
Travel along the winding mountain roads before stopping at the temple of Pura Puncak Penulisan for amazing 360-degree cloud-shrouded views across the valley – well worth the steep ascent by stairs. This temple also holds a vast collection of deified king and queen statues dating to the 10-14th centuries.
Continue to the crater village of Kintamani, which offers spectacular views over Lake Batur and its volcano. Mount Batur stands at 1,412 meters tall and, although it’s not the tallest volcano in Bali, it is the most active, having erupted more than twenty times during the last two centuries. It’s also surrounded by a spectacular caldera.
Here, enjoy a late lunch in a local restaurant.
Afterwards, continue the drive to Ubud, in the centre of Bali, and check into the Como Uma Ubud late in the afternoon. The rest of the evening is free to spend at leisure.
Day 10: Rice Field Walk – Blanco Museum – Monkey Forest (B,L)
Enjoy breakfast before travelling north to the lush rice terraces of Tegalalang. Here, take a soft two-hour trek through the rice fields and learn from the guide about subak systems of rice irrigation, which are a signature method of cultivation in Bali. These quiet verdant paths lined by palm trees provide astounding photographic opportunities, so be sure to bring a camera along!
Afterwards, visit the Blanco Renaissance Museum. Antonio Blanco is arguably the most famous artist to have ever lived in Bali, and his former home has been converted into a museum with an extensive collection of works as well as his studio. The museum stands as testament to his love for Bali.
Take lunch at a local restaurant with views along the Ubud River.
Then, learn about the Hindu spiritual significance of the Pura Dalem Agung at Sacred Monkey Forest. This temple is located at the highest point in the forest and is still used for ceremonies. The guide will also explain the architectural details of the Holy Bathing Temple and the Cremation Temple.
The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to explore the many arts and crafts that are available in central Ubud until being picked up from the hotel at 19:00. Early in the evening enjoy a local performance of one of the many styles of Balinese dance in a local village -one of the most magical experiences to be had in Bali.
Dinner at leisure.
Overnight at the Como Uma Ubud
Day 11: Ubud – Kertagosa – Besakih – Tirta Gangga – Taman Ujung – Candidasa (B,L)
After breakfast, start the day with a morning tour of the traditional Ubud Market. This is the best time to see the market as it is full of fresh exotic produce from all over the island. Mingle with the locals as they go about their morning activities buying fruits, vegetables, spices and sweets. The market is also filled with the colourful flowers that the Balinese use in daily temple offerings.
Continue to the smallest regency of Bali, Klungkung, to visit the former Royal Court of Justice known as Kertagosa. The highlight here is an elaborately decorated ceiling featuring a wayang-style painting depicting the battle of good versus evil. Kertagosa Taman Gili is a unique building set on a fishpond giving it a ‘floating’ appearance.
The excursion continues along small, scenic roads to Besakih, which is also known as the ‘Mother Temple’ of Bali. Located on the western slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s tallest volcano (2,567 m), Besakih is the largest and most religiously important temple on the island.
Take lunch at Maha Giri Restaurant, with stunning terraced ricefield views against a backdrop of Mount Agung, Bali’s tallest volcano.
Pay a visit to Tirta Gangga. Meaning 'water of the Ganges,' this sacred water palace was built in the early twentieth century by the last king of Karangasem. It boasts many decorative ponds, fountains, lush plant life and natural bathing pools.
From here, drive to the nearby Taman Ujung Water Palace. Built in 1909 and designed by Dutch and Chinese architects, it’s one of the most impressive and unique buildings Bali has to offer and is not very well known amongst tourists as it is not one of the famous sights in Bali.
Continue along roads of terraced rice fields to the less-visited east coast of Bali to the Alila Manggis in Candidasa. Dinner at leisure.
Day 12: Candidasa – Padang Bai – Gili Trawangan (B)
Be picked up from the hotel for the transfer to the nearby harbour in Padang Bai. From there, depart Bali on a speedboat to the Gili Islands.
Upon arrival in the tropical paradise of Gili Trawangan, be welcomed by a representative and transferred by cidomo (horse-drawn cart) to Villa Ombak.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure to relax on the beach or take a bike ride around the island. Don’t miss sunset on the western side of the island with views across to Bali.
Day 13: Gili Trawangan (B)
Today there are no planned activities, so relax and enjoy or take an excursion. Options include snorkelling trips, touring of the other islands, scuba diving or glass-bottom boat excursions. In addition to being some of the clearest and bluest waters in Indonesia, the waters around the Gilis are also teeming with coral, a multitude of tropical fish, sea turtles and other marine life.
Overnight at Villa Ombak
Day 14: Departure (B)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the morning and spend some time on the beach before a mid-day departure. Take a local boat in the afternoon to Lombok and, upon arrival, continue by car to Lombok Airport for your overnight flight to London Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur.
Visas, other meals were not mentioned in the programme, drinks, overweight luggage, personal expenses, travel insurance, tips & gratuities
These itineraries are samples itineraries for previous clients. Speak to one of our travel experts at 020 7843 3531 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements.
* This is a guide price, based on travel in low season