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Java Overland

Travel by local train, road and boat from Central Java to Bali on our exciting new 2-week Indonesia tour

Ancient temples, towering volcanoes, vibrant street life

Our fascinating, varied and original Java Overland tour takes you on a 12-day 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 include; dawn at awe-inspiring Borobudur – a 9th-century Buddhist temple and a dusk visit to Prambanan Temple – both World Heritage sites, an early morning jeep ride through an active caldera to watch the sunrise over Mount Bromo; a walk through Malang’s amazing labyrinthine ‘Rainbow Village’; meeting the extremely friendly locals on a walking tour of Solo’s colourful market and a day’s exploration on foot, by boat and by jeep of the remote and rarely visited Alas Purwo National Park.

As with our other tours, the emphasis is on combining both the 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 including our fantastic 1-week mini-tour to Flores and Komodo.  For those with more time, a 7-day Sumatra tour – including Lake Toba and UNESCO-listed Gunung Leuser National Park – can be added before joining the tour in Yogyakarta making for an 18-day Sumatra, Java and Bali tour while, last but not least, an optional 4-day/3-night tour of the capital Jakarta is also available.

Also, note that options to any other part of Indonesia can be arranged on request.

Please note; since airfares are fluctuating wildly at present, as well as varying considerably from period to period, our ‘with flight’ prices, below, are approximate only.



Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

Day 1 - Arrival in Yogyakarta

Arrival in Yogyakarta and transfer to our well-located eco-hotel, with time at leisure to explore the area before a local-style, welcome dinner.

Overnight: Yogyakarta Transport: Taxi, Walk,  Meals: D,

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 9th-century Hindu temple, Prambanan.

Overnight: Yogyakarta Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B,

Day 4 - Solo - walking tour of the friendly town

Short drive to nearby Solo where we’ll head for the bustling and very friendly market, Pasar Legi, plus the town’s fascinating flea market and the 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 5 - Head east on a train ride to Malang

Departure across country, past scenic villages, plantations, paddy fields and of course volcanoes, on a train ride to the leafy and charming City of Malang in Eastern Java.

Overnight: Malang Transport: Train,  Meals: B, D,

Day 6 - 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, L, D,

Day 7 - 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 hike to one of the park’s nearby waterfalls.

Overnight: Bromo Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B,

Day 8 - Kalibaru - east by train

Transfer to Probolinggo Town to catch the train further east to the small country town of Kalibaru where we’ll stay in garden chalets at a beautifully situated, riverside eco-resort.

Overnight: Kalibaru Transport: Minibus, Train,  Meals: B, D,

Day 9 - Alas Purwo National Park - boat and 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 are wildlife spotting, a picturesque beach, a boat trip through the mangrove swamps and a visit to a turtle sanctuary.

Overnight: Kalibaru Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 10 - Pemuteran - catch the ferry to Bali

A drive to nearby Ketapang for a short ferry ride across the Straits to the island of Bali where we’ll transfer to our charming, low-key eco-resort in the small fishing port of Pemuteran.

Overnight: Permuteran Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B,

Day 11 - 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,

Day 12 - Pemuteran and on to Denpasar

Morning at leisure before a transfer across the island to Denpasar Airport for a return flight.

Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary


The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Indonesia. Java Overland. Local-style nasi campur

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 12-day Yogyakarta to Bali adventure

  • Sunrise and sunset at 2 the fabulous UNESCO World Heritage sites, Borobudur and Prambanan
  • Streetlife, markets and architecture 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 plantations, 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) *From

  • 20 June 23 2,725 GBP
  • 20 July 23 2,675 GBP
  • 17 August 23 2,550 GBP
  • 21 September 23 2,675 GBP
  • 12 October 23 2,675 GBP
  • 23 November 23 2,650 GBP
  • 22 December 23 3,050 GBP
  • 19 January 24 2,725 GBP
  • 16 February 24 2,725 GBP

Land Departures

  • 21 June 23 1,625 GBP
  • 21 July 23 1,575 GBP
  • 18 August 23 1,575 GBP
  • 22 September 23 1,575 GBP
  • 13 October 23 1,575 GBP
  • 24 November 23 1,550 GBP
  • 23 December 23 1,550 GBP
  • 20 January 24 1,625 GBP
  • 17 February 24 1,625 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Yogyakarta

*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!

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 visa on arrival is issued on arrival at any international airport such as Medan, Yogyakarta or Jakarta. The cost is 500,000 rupiah, which looks like a lot of zeros but $35 (approx. depending on exchange rates) also does the trick. (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.

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 $2-3 per person, per day. With regards to 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 3-4* 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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