Travel by train, road and boat from Central Java to Bali on our exciting new 2-week Indonesia tour
Ancient temples, towering volcanoes and some truly vibrant street life
Our fascinating, varied and original Java Overland tour takes you on a 2-week tour by road, rail and boat through Central and East Java to finish at a charming eco-lodge in a little-visited corner of the island of Bali.
Beginning in delightful Yogyakarta Town, we’ll travel through emerald paddy-fields, lush forests, coffee plantations and past towering volcanoes, traditional villages and ancient UNESCO temples. We’ll visit the fun and friendly towns of Yogyakarta, Solo and Malang with their ancient Dutch colonial period architecture, colourful markets and vibrant street life, and of course, delicious street food.
A few of the many varied highlights on our Java Overland tour: dawn at awe-inspiring Borobudur – a 9th-century Buddhist temple; a dusk trip to another World Heritage site, Prambanan Temple; an early morning jeep ride through an active caldera to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo; hiking through the misty valleys of the mysterious Dieng Platea; a walk through Malang’s amazing labyrinthine ‘Rainbow Village’; and a day’s exploration of the rarely visited Alas Purwo National Park.
As with our other tours, the emphasis is on combining both famous and off the beaten track sites, while staying in smaller. boutique and eco-style hotels, sampling the superb, authentic local cuisine and meeting plenty of the island’s fantastically friendly inhabitants.
We’ll finish the tour in Bali, which along with its convenient flight connections, offers the opportunity for a variety of beach or island extensions. An optional 3-day/2-night tour of the capital Jakarta is available before joining the tour in Yogyakarta. (See the Extensions page for details.)
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 2 - Yogyakarta - countryside and street food tours
Optional early visit to the colourful local market, before heading out of town to a nearby village for a leisurely cycle ride through the farms, orchards and countryside. We will have the opportunity to meet the locals and discover some of the village’s cottage industries. Afternoon walking tour of the colourful, riverside district, followed by an evening street food tour.
Overnight: Yogyakarta Transport: Bike, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 3 - Yogyakarta - World Heritage sites of Borobudur and Prambanan
Early morning departure for sunrise at the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage, 9th-century Buddhist temple of Borobudur. Return to our hotel for late breakfast and time to relax – check out the pool or spa, or stroll around Yogyakarta’s leafy lanes before an afternoon visit to catch sunset at another UNESCO site – the 10th-century Hindu temple, Prambanan.
Overnight: Yogyakarta Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 4 - Magelang - coffee plantation and boat tour
Scenic drive to Magelang for a guided tour of a spectacularly situated Dutch period coffee plantation and a boat trip around picturesque Rawapening Lake with its stilt fishermen’s cottages. Continuing to the remote town of Wonosobo at the foot of the Dieng Plateau where we’ll stay overnight in a 100-year-old, colonial period hotel.
Overnight: Wonosobo Transport: Minibus, Boat, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 5 - The Dieng Plateau and on to Solo
Morning drive onto the mysterious Dieng Plateau with its pine forests, swirling mists, ancient temples and steaming craters for a hike through the farmland and traditional villages. In the afternoon, we head across country to Solo City, with a stop to check out the well-preserved reliefs at ancient Mendut Temple.
Overnight: Solo Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 6 - Solo walking tour - batik, the Sultan's palace and a local market
Morning walking tour of Solo including the bustling and very friendly market, Pasar Legi and the City’s famous old Sultan’s Palace. In the afternoon we’ll do a walking tour of Laweyan – a charming labyrinth of narrow lanes and old houses that form Solo’s traditional batik-making quarter.
Overnight: Solo Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 8 - Malang - the 'Rainbow Village'
Explore the fantastic ‘Rainbow Village’. This crumbling, labyrinth-style quarter was formerly earmarked for demolition before local students teamed up with a paint company to create one of the best urban renewal schemes we’ve come across. We’ll also have time to take in some of the City’s celebrated Dutch-period architecture, before a drive to Bromo National Park.
Overnight: Bromo Transport: Minibus, Train, Meals: B, D,
Day 9 - Bromo - up a volcano before breakfast!
Early morning jeep drive into the national park for sunrise views of awe-inspiring Bromo Volcano, plus a hike through the caldera itself. Return to our charming, little family-run chalet-style resort for breakfast and relaxation time with an optional afternoon visit to one of the park’s nearby waterfalls.
Overnight: Bromo Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 11 - Alas Purwo National Park - jeep tour
Day tour by jeep to the nearby Alas Purwo National Park, located on a remote peninsula in the far southeastern corner of Java. On the itinerary is wildlife spotting, a picturesque beach, a boat trip through the mangrove swamps and, time-permitting, a visit to a turtle sanctuary.
Overnight: Kalibaru Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L,
Day 13 - Pemuteran - day at leisure
Day at leisure. Options include relaxing by the pool or at the spa, or for the more energetic, a snorkelling trip on some nearby islands, a hike through the lush surrounding countryside or even trying your hand at an Indonesian cookery class?
Overnight: Permuteran Transport: Walk, Meals: B, D,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
The island of Java offers a wealth of picturesque, photogenic, fascinating, historic and unusual sites which you can discover on this unique 2-week Yogyakarta to Bali adventure
- Sunrise and sunset at 2 the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage sites, Borobudur and Prambanan
- Street, market and architecture tours of Yogyakarta, Solo and Malang - 3 of Indonesia's most interesting, fun and friendly towns
- Take the boat from Java to Bali for a stay at a delightful eco-resort in tranquil Pemuteran fishing village
- An early morning ascent of Mount Bromo by jeep for dawn over the volcano and a hike through the caldera
- Bucolic landscapes of emerald paddies, patchwork planations, traditional villages and lush forest set against towering volcanic cones
- Colourful markets, vibrant street life, awesome food and some of the friendliest locals in Southeast Asia
Air Departures (UK)
- 20 October 19 2,690 GBP
- 22 March 20 2,690 GBP
- 21 October 19 1,895 GBP
- 23 March 20 1,895 GBP
Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed
*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from
*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.
We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...
Greenhost Boutique Hotel Yogyakarta view
- Quiet location yet close to cafes, bars and restaurants
- Super friendly, helpful and efficient staff members
- Tons of plants plus a rooptop, hydroponic veg garden!
Kresna Hotel Wonosobo view
- Stately colonial period hotel built in 1917
- Cluedo-style; billiard room, dining room and ballroom!
- Former guests inc. President Sukarno and Charlie Chaplin!
Roemakhoe Heritage Hotel Solo view
- Stylishly converted 30s batik merchant's villa
- Convenient in-house restaurant, bar and coffee shop
- Located in the old Lawean batik-making district
Bromo Terrace Hotel view
- Delightfully low-key: simple, cosy and comfortable
- Garden setting with a volcano backdrop!
- Stunning views from their terrace bar & restaurant
Margo Utomo Hillview Resort Kalibaru view
- Stunning setting with pool, river and jungle backdrop
- Chalets set in a lush tropical garden
- More friendly staff and great restaurant and bar area
Kubuku Eco Lodge Pemuteran view
- Charming low-key garden setting with mountain views
- Snorkelling, spa, cookery, hiking are a few of the options
- Wonderful staff, great cafe/restaurant - all-round top spot!
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas: for most nationalities, a 30-day tourist visa is automatically issued on arrival at an international airport. (See list here.) As usual, 6 months validity from the date of arrival is essential as is at least 1 empty page in your passport and you may be asked to show proof of departure from Indonesia. The fee is $35, payable in US only.
Tipping: we recommend a kitty system for the smaller, daily tips such as hotel/restaurant staff and local guides and drivers. Amounts inevitably vary with group size but would generally be in the region of around $2 per person, per day. With regards guides accompanying you for longer periods we’d recommend a separate tip of approximately $2-3 per person, per day though of course, this is always discretionary and performance related. (Local currency or USD are fine.)
Meals: as usual breakfasts are generally hotel buffets with lunch and dinners based on local food. Many Indonesian dishes are internationally famous such as sate, nasi goring, rendang, gado gado etc but there’s much much, more with the already varied cuisine supplemented by plenty of regional specialities as well. Dishes are generally mildly spiced with sambal, the ubiquitous chilli sauce, served separately and there’s a wealth of vegan and vegetarian choices.
For certain, included, meals your tour-leader will order a selection of dishes, local-style, while a number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’.
Accommodation: our selection consists of comfortable 3* options with en-suite bathrooms, air-con and, in most cases, pools with the emphasis on smaller heritage and/or eco-style choices. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination
Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered, including trekking, can be tailored for any fitness level or alternatives suggested. Be warned there are a couple of very early starts for sunrises on this one!
Further info: detailed descriptions and photos can be found on the corresponding page of our travel blog.
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