Bali and Java Explorer
Day 1 Yogyakarta (1D)
Arrive at any time. Transfer to hotel. You will have a group meeting around 6pm (look out for the Welcome Note in the hotel lobby) and dinner afterwards to get to know your fellow group members.
Days 2-3 Yogyakarta (2B)
Explore the city by bicycle rickshaws, including the Sultan's Palace, markets and the batik and puppetry workshops of Yogya. On Day 3, take an excursion to the Buddhist Temple complex of Borobudur with a local guide on foot and by horse cart. Options include shopping, taking in a Wayang puppet show or a Ramayana dance performance. Once home to the Mataram Palace, Yogyakarta (or Yogya as it’s known locally) lies in the shadow of Mt Merapi, but is most famous for the nearby Buddhist Temple complex of Borobudur. Built in the 8th century, this stunning artistic and architectural marvel lay undiscovered under layers of volcanic ash until 1815 when Sir Stamford Raffles, then Governor of Java, ordered that the area be cleared. Further attempts at restoration were finally completed in 1983, and no visit to Java would be complete without a visit to this awe-inspiring World Heritage Site. Other options in and around Yogyakarta include the impressive Kraton, an 18th century palace built by the Sultans of Yogya and one of the finest examples of Javanese palace architecture or Taman Sari Water Castle, built around the same time as a pleasure park for the Sultan. Yogyakarta is very walkable and a stroll around the fascinating bird market is always interesting, and if silver is of interest, then a trip to Kota Gede is definitely worthwhile to pick up a hand-beaten bowl or some fine filigree. Of course, being the home of arts, this really is the place to take in a Wayang (puppet) show, or a dance performance- usually based on the Ramayana story.
Days 4-5 Solo (2B)
Visit Prambanan, the largest Hindu temple complex in Java. Continue on to Solo where we visit the Mangkunegaran Palace. On Day 5, take an excursion to the slopes of Mount Lawu including visit to the Candi Cetho and Candi Sukuh Temples. Option to visit the Batik Museum. Prambanan is the largest Hindu temple complex in Java. Built between the 8th and 10th century, these temples stand as a one of the most outstanding works of Hindu art, with a wealth of intricate design, particularly on the Shiva temple. Solo, also known as Surakarta was selected by Pakubuwono II as the new capital of the Mataram Kingdom, following the sacking of Kartasura in 1745. Ranking alongside Yogyakarta at the heart of Javanese culture, Solo boasts Kraton Surakarta, the magnificent 18th century palace and museum of the Royal Family as well as producing some of the finest Batik in Java. Approximate driving distance on Day 4: Estimated travel time: 2.5 hours
Days 6-7 Malang (2B,1L)
Journey to the colonial city of Malang, the second largest city in East Java. On Day 7, take a scenic excursion to Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park where we ascend to the top of Mt Bromo - part of the Tengger Caldera, the largest volcanic range in the area. Dating back to at least AD760 Malang has been a regional center of government for successive dynasties eventually being enveloped by the Mataram Kingdom in 1614. Owing to it's altitude (476 meters) the climate here is cooler then the lowlands and therefore became very attractive to European settlement during Dutch colonisation. Spend the afternoon checking out the gorgeous parks, the bird and flower market, Singosari temple, Jago temple or Kidal temple or just relaxing with a cup of local tea. On Day 7, drive through the tropical winding landscape of Eastern Java, climbing ever upwards and further out of the heat towards the grandeur of Mt Bromo- part of the Tengger Caldera, the largest volcanic range in the area. Bromo is only one of many peaks, but is distinct in appearance, having blown its top completely off and is constantly smouldering with white smoke. Day 7: Estimated travel time: 9 hrs
Day 8 Ubud (1B)
Catch our flight and transfer to Ubud, the cultural and artistic heart of Bali and our base for the next 3 nights. Surrounded by scenic rice fields, small villages, art and craft communities, ancient temples and palaces it's easy to see why Ubud has inspired painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and writers from all over the world. You too will be inspired by the laid back way of life, the beauty and the scenic splendor that is Ubud. Get to know the town on an orientation walk provided by your CEO.
Days 9-10 Ubud (2B,1L)
Enjoy a cooking class with an expert local chef, who shows us how to prepare a traditional meal for lunch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. On Day 10 explore spiritual Bali, following mountain roads through the jungle to visit Tirta Empul Temple with its bubbling spring, said to hold curative powers. Continue to Gunung Kawi, a Hindu temple complex surrounded by terraced rice fields. Continue to Kintamani, perched 1500 meters above sea level on the edge of a crater overlooking Lake Batur with active Mount Batur towering above. Some free time allows you the option to enjoy a display of traditional Kecak dance or maybe try Gianyar night market for some local cuisine. You could also take a stroll through the rice fields, chow down on some organic food or white water raft. Just outside of Ubud you could visit the Bali Zoo, the Bird Park or the Elephant Park to get a taste of the South East Asian wildlife. You might even see the rare Komodo Dragon!
Day 11 Sanur (1B)
Our journey takes us across the island of Bali through the rich tropical jungle, passing by idyllic terraced rice fields, and quaint scenes of local village life before arriving at our base for the ne xt 3 nights on the magnificent beaches of Sanur. Sanur is a laid back beachside town with restaurants, shops and stunning beaches to enjoy.
Days 12-13 Sanur (2B,1D)
Take an excursion to Karangasem, visiting the Klungkungs Court of Justice, Goa Lawa Temple and the village of Tenganan. Also visit Besakih, the ‘Mother Temple” - the largest and holiest Hindu temple in Bali. This spectacular temple is located at 1100 meters on the slope of Mt Agung. Day 13 is free with options to raft, bike or explore on your own.
Day 14 Sanur (1B)
Depart at any time today.