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Overview

Be enticed by Central Java with a six-day journey filled with cultural discoveries and spectacular landscapes. Gaze in awe at majestic Borobudur, travel by horseback through Mt Ungur’s ancient Hindu temples, sip coffee at highland plantations and experience incredible Javanese traditions.

Trip Highlights

Best of Central Java

Explore Central Java’s best temples

Watch sunrise at Borobudur, visit nearby Pawon and Mendut temples and travel on horseback through Gedong Songo ancient Hindu temples.

Get an in-depth look at Yogyakarta

Take a full-day guided tour to see iconic sites like the Sultan’s Palace and visit artisan workshops and local neighbourhoods.

View Central Java’s stunning landscapes

See a bubbling mud crater in the scenic Dieng Plateau, tour a highland coffee plantation and drive through beautiful farmland.

Itinerary

1

Yogyakarta arrival – Borobudur

Yogyakarta Airport – Borobudur (45 km): 90 minutes

Upon arrival at International Airport in Yogyakarta, meet with the local guide and receive private transportation to the selected hotel in Borobudur for check in and lunch.

Recommended flights: Silk Air from Singapore to Yogyakarta  MI152 arriving at 09:50 on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday

Note:

  • Check in time at 14:00.

After taking some time to freshen up at the hotel, head out on a short tour for an introduction to the stunning architecture of ancient Central Java. Visit two small temples in the vicinity of Borobudur: the pyramid-shaped temple of Mendut which houses three impressively carved stone statues, and Pawon Temple, a simple yet beautiful monument known for its precise symmetry.

Afterwards, return to the hotel and spend the remainder of the day at leisure.

Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Borobudur.

2

Sunrise Borobudur and Surroundings

Borobudur Temple - Candirejo - Borobudur (10 km): 20 minutes

Rise before dawn for an unforgettable visit to Borobudur for sunrise -the most mystical time to view this incredible UNESCO World Heritage site.

Before the crowds arrive, 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. As the sun rises behind the distant volcanoes, watch as the temple comes aglow with brilliant golden light. The silhouette of dozens of small stupas along the terraced platforms of the temple make for one of Asia’s most spectacularly photogenic settings.

Return to the hotel for breakfast and spend the rest of the morning at leisure.

In the afternoon,  get a taste for local life with a horse cart ride through Candirejo Village. Lunch is served in the village before embarking on a horse cart known as a dokar. Ride through this peaceful, charming village and travel along small lanes lined with traditional houses. Stop to see village activities such as making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan and the harvesting of local crops.

The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure.

Dinner at leisure.

Overnight in Borobudur.

3

Borobudur – Wonosobo – Dieng Plateau – Ambarawa

Borobudur – Magelang – Temanggung – Wonosobo (85 km - Route used for buses starting 11pax): 3 hoursBorobudur – Mungkid – Wonosobo (73 km – Route used for vehicle up to 10 pax): 2 hours 15 minutesWonosobo – Dieng (26 km): 1 hourWonosobo – Losari (63 km): 2 hoursWonosobo – Ambarawa (78 km): 2 hours 30Wonosobo – Salatiga (90 km): 3 hours

Depart early in the morning from Borobudur for a drive to the small town of Wonosobo in central Java. This is the gateway to the volcanic Dieng Plateau. Located 2,000 metres above sea level, it’s known by Javanese as the “abode of the ancient gods”. 

Upon arrival in Dieng, visit the area’s lake and discover Sikidang Crater to watch the incredible volcanic activity of the plateau, famous for its sulphurous fumes and bubbling craters.

Note: The plateau is generally covered with fog from 11:00, so an early start is necessary to visit in good conditions

From here, proceed to Arjuna where, at the heart of a wild natural landscape, stands the oldest Hindu temples in Java: 8 sanctuaries dating from the 7th and 8th centuries.

Explore these other-worldly surroundings and then return to Wonosobo for a late lunch at a local restaurant.

Continue by road to Losari or Salatiga, located near Ambarawa in Java’s central highlands and check into the accommodation for the night. 

The remainder of the day is free to relax.

Overnight in Losari or Salatiga, near Ambarawa.

4

Ambarawa – Gedong Songo – Yogyakarta

Losari – Gedong Songo (42 km): 1 hour 20 minutesSalatiga – Gedong Songo (26 km): 1 hourLosari – Yogyakarta (65 km): 2 hours

After breakfast in the morning, head on an excursion to Gedong Songo, another ancient complex of Hindu temples located at an altitude of 12,00 metres on the slope of Mt Ungaran. This group of nine small 8th-century Hindu temples are amongst the oldest and most stunning in Java.

Afterwards, embark on a horse ride with local ponies to reach the mountaintop for a chance to roam among ancient monuments with spectacular views over the many volcanoes that dot the landscape of the Central Java’s highlands. 

Proceed (or return for deluxe option) to Mesastila Coffee Plantation for a set-menu lunch at the restaurant with superb panoramic views.

After lunch, enjoy a walking tour of a local plantation. The guide will explain everything that’s needed to know about the quality organic Robusta and Arabica coffee grown on the property while walking through the fields. At the coffee shed, witness traditional techniques of roasting and grinding coffee beans.  Then stop to enjoy a tasting session of coffee and jamu -a Javanese herbal drink.

In the mid-afternoon leave Losari for a two-hour drive to Yogyakarta via Magelang. 

Despite the official spelling of ‘Yogyakarta’ this town is usually pronounced and written ‘Jogjakarta’ or simply ‘Jogja’, for short. It is the most popular tourist destination on Java, largely thanks to its proximity to the temples of Borobudur and Prambanan. Jogja is a centre of art and education and considered to be the cradle of traditional Javanese culture

Check in at the selected hotel in Yogyakarta

Dinner this evening is at leisure.

Overnight in Yogyakarta.

5

Yogyakarta and Prambanan

Yogyakarta city center – Prambanan Temple (20 km) : 40 mins

After breakfast, head out to explore the unique culture of Yogyakarta.

Start with a visit of a visit to Sonobudoyo Museum. Focusing on Javanese culture, the museum features exhibits of artefacts such as hand-crafted weapons, wooden wayang puppets, masks and old Javanese gamelan instruments.

Next, visit The Sultan’s Palace, also known as Kraton, it’s central to Javanese cosmology, and considered to be at the centre of the Mt Merapi and Parangtritis Beach. This building, constructed between 1756 and 1790, is a fine example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. This living museum, which is still home to Java’s sultan, features a showcase of Javanese culture and relics. Depending on the day of the visit, there will be a cultural performance ranging from Golek Menak Puppet‘s to classical Javanese Poetry performance known as Macapat.

Continue with a 30-minute ride by becak (similar to a cyclo or trishaw) and explore the neighboring Kauman Village built in the vicinity of Kraton. This village is considered to be the central keeper of the Islamic religion as authorized by the Javanese Sultanate. The small gangs (laneways) of this village are designed to minimise the disturbance of noise and traffic so as to not interrupt the Santri, or Islamic students, from their studies. It is also said that, by ensuring the laneways are only passable on foot, every man is equal. 

End the becak ride at the Taman Sari Water Palace. This addition to the royal complex was built over 200 years ago by the first Sultan, with picturesque bathing pools for his harem.

Afterwards, enjoy lunch in nearby local restaurant in Yogyakarta.

In the afternoon, visit a home batik factory to attend a short demonstration of Wayang Kulit, the famous Javanese leather puppet. Then proceed to Prambanan.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the ancient Hindu temples at Prambanan, located 17 kilometres from Yogyakarta. Built in the 9th century, this UNESCO-recognised collection of sharp, jagged temples features three main inner shrines dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The  guide will explain the history and symbolism of the temples while walking around.

Return to Yogyakarta for a chance to relax and freshen-up. In the evening, be treated to a performance of traditional Ramayana dance while dining at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Yogyakarta.

6

Yogyakarta - Departure

Yogyakarta Hotel – Yogyakarta Airport (13 km): 30 minutes

Transfer to Yogyakarta Airport, after breakfast in the morning, in time for an onward flight. Alternatively, choose to embark on an optional extension to visit East Java by train.

Important Information

Our Services Include:

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin/double room with daily breakfast.
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
  • Tours and transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles.
  • Service of English/French/German/Dutch/Spanish speaking local guide
  • All entrance fees and tours as indicated in itinerary.

Our Services Do Not Include:

  • Visa arrangements
  • International and domestic flights
  • International and domestic departure tax
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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