The world’s most populous island offers its visitors lots of attractions and activities. You can explore stunning temples, active volcanoes, beaches, lakes, secluded caves and waterfalls.
In Central Java you will find Borobudur, the largest Buddhist temple in the world. The neighbouring city Yogyakarta is a good starting point to explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most famous attractions in Indonesia boasts 72 sculpted figures of Buddha, built of lava rock in the late 8th century. Climb to the central platform which affords you amazing views over the whole temple complex, particularly stunning at sunrise and sunset.
You can also explore Candi Prambanan that dates from the 9th century. The largest Hindu temple site in Indonesia, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located approximately 17 km (11 mi) northeast of the city of Yogyakarta. There are more than 200 temples in the complex. Walk around and explore the winding alleyways and shrines. Candi Sewu is situated only 800 meters north of Prambanan. The eighth century Mahayana Buddhist temple is not as well preserved as others, but the ornate carvings will allow you to imagine the complex as it would have been in its glory days.
Photo: R.M. Nunes, Jan Jerman - Shutterstock
How to get there:
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Where to stay:
In Surabaya, we encourage you to stay at 4* Mercure Surabaya, with excellent reviews and located in Surabaya. This 4-star hotel offers modern and cosy accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free WiFi in all areas of the property, and free on-site private parking for guests who drive. All rooms are air-conditioned and each one is fitted with a cable TV, a fridge, minibar, wardrobe, and an en suite bathroom featuring bath or shower facility, slippers, bathrobes, and free toiletries. Fresh towels and linen are also provided. The concierge service at the 24-hour front desk are available to help guests with laundry requests, arranging car hire and babysitting service, as well as organising massages at the on-site spa and wellness centre. Other facilities like fitness centre, luggage storage, newspapers, safety deposit box and sauna are accessible for free.
In Jakarta we suggest you staying at 5* Aryaduta Lippo Village for only €53/night with free cancellation and excellent reviews! This 5-star hotel offers access to several facilities including tennis courts, a fitness centre and spa. It provides free Wi-Fi in public areas and free parking. Featuring spacious layouts, air-conditioned rooms come with classic light wood furnishings and pleasant floral prints. They are fitted with satellite channels and a safe. A bathrobe and toiletries are provided in private bathrooms. For leisure, enjoy sun-filled afternoons on the loungers by the large landscaped pool or enjoy relaxing treatments at the salon. Staff at the 24-hour reception can assist with business and laundry needs.
What to do:
Stroll along the beaches of Java and enjoy a wealth of water sports like jet skiing and parasailing.
Go trekking through jungle to secluded caves and waterfalls. For example, you can trek to Jomblang Cave (Goa Jomblang) in the Gunung Kidul area or visit the waterfalls of Baturaden, located in Purwokerto. In West Java you can explore the Ciparay Waterfall, in East Java there is Madakaripura Waterfall – the tallest waterfall in the island.
Hike up the Dieng Plateau and enjoy its breathtaking pools filled with spring water.
In Jakarta, the capital and largest city of Indonesia, you should visit Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta Cathedral and Museum Bank Indonesia, do some shopping in the Grand Indonesia Mall or Senayan City and stroll in the Central Park.
Experience Java’s rural life in one of the farming villages, participating in traditional activities. Tours of the coffee plantation are a must.
Attend the Pakuwon Food Festival to taste a wide range of local cuisine. Sample authentic Javanese street food and have a bowl of the traditional spicy soup or gepuk, which is a hot curry made with fried beef. East Java is known for its ayam penyet, a dish of fried chicken that comes with a traditional sambal sauce of chilies crushed with garlic. Some of the local specialties include keradok which is made from a mix of bean sprouts, beans, cabbage, cucumber and a spicy peanut sauce topped with basil.
Discover marine gardens and wildlife reserves that East Java can offer.
Admire the stone-age columns of Gunung Padang Megalithic Site, located in Karyamukti village in West Java.
Visit the Sidoarjo Mud Volcano, a steaming pool of mud that covers more than 25 square kilometres and is still expands.
Discover Gereja Ayam, a massive bird-like chapel in the middle of a jungle. Its name means “Chicken Church”. This abandoned the crumbling building is located on a forested hill near Magelang in Central Java. You can even climb up to the top of the bird’s head to enjoy the view.
Head to Yogyakarta to shop for batik, a traditional Indonesian fabric that is made using a manual wax-resist dyeing technique to form intricate patterns.
Those in search of entertainment can enjoy the nightlife in Surabaya or Jakarta and cool of and have fun at the Ciputra Waterpark. There is also a number of golf courses to enjoy.
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