HOME OF THE GODS: CENTRAL JAVA

Welcome to Java’s heartland, where ancient history and powerful forces of nature create unforgettable scenes and vistas

TOUR INTRODUCTION

6 Days, 5 Nights     CONTACT US FOR PRICING

This comprehensive tour of Central Java hits all the highlights as you explore the cultural and historical heart of one of Indonesia’s most vibrant islands. From witnessing the sunrise over some of the world’s oldest Hindu temples to taking in the majesty and power of an active volcano, this tour of Java’s brightest gems will change you.

On the first day of your 6-day Central Java tour, you’ll start with an exploration of Semarang, an important port city during the Dutch colonial era. Next, you’ll drive to the foothill of Mount Ungaran, where you’ll travel up a volcanic slope by horseback and explore the ancient Hindu temples of the Gedong Songo Complex. Next up, a trip to a coffee plantation will reveal a different side of Java, as well as fill you up on a sumptuous set-menu lunch.

 

On day 3, you’ll rise early to witness the majesty of the sunrise over the Dieng Plateau, known as Java’s “Home of the Gods.” After exploring the oldest Hindu temples in Java, you’ll relax at a tea plantation and sip tea on a terrace, then drive to Borobodur, the site of the largest Buddhist temple in the world. Before your Central Java tour is over, you’ll also get a taste for local life with a horse cart ride through Candirejo village, an exploration of Mendut Temple, and a full day to soak in Yogyakarta, arguably Java’s most enchanting city, as well as a wander through Prambanan Temple.

 

I love to recommend central Java to travelers who want a ‘genuine’ Indonesia cultural experience. The locals are friendly in this area, and the food is great as well!

Novi Olivia, Backyard Travel Indonesia Specialist

THE BACKYARD TRAVEL DIFFERENCE

Travel via horseback to the Gedong Songo Temple Complex, situated atop a volcanic mountain
Drink in the sunrise over the Dieng Plateau, the “home of the gods,” and the Borododur Temples
Visit coffee and tea plantations to learn about Java’s local life, industries, and agriculture
Take a full-day city tour of Yogyakarta, the cradle of traditional Javanese history and culture



Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: : Semarang Arrival – Salatiga

    Welcome to Java’s “Home of the Gods,” where ancient history and tropical nature combine to create breathtaking scenes and vistas. To begin your Central Java tour, you’ll arrive at Achmad Yani International Airport in Semarang, where your guide and private car will meet you. (Recommended flights to Semarang: Singapore to Semarang by Silk Air MI102 departing at 09:05 and arriving at 10:10 on Monday and Friday, or departing at 14:15 and arriving at 15:30 on Wednesday. Airfares are not included and will be quoted separately. Schedules are subject to change without prior notice.)

    On the way to your hotel in Salatiga (roughly a 1.5-hour drive away), you’ll have time to see some of the highlights of Semarang, the provincial capital of Central Java and the 7th-largest city in Indonesia.

    Semarang has been an important port on the Java Sea since the Dutch colonial era. This is evidenced at Lawang Sewu, a city landmark and a masterpiece of Dutch colonial architecture. Built between 1904 and 1907, this building was the former headquarters of the national railway of the Dutch East Indies. Its name in Javanese means “Thousand Doors.”

    Tuck into lunch at a local restaurant, and your guide will transfer you to your hotel in Salatiga. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy dinner at leisure.

    Overnight in Salatiga

    Meals included on this day: Lunch

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  • Day 2: Salatiga – Gedong Songo – Wonosobo

    This morning, you’ll drive one hour to the village of Bandungan, gateway to the Gedong Songo temple complex, which houses some of the oldest temples in Indonesia. Located at an altitude of 1,200 meters on the volcanic slopes of Mount Ungaran, this group of Hindu temples was built in the 8th century. A horse will take you up the slopes with ample time to stop for spectacular views on the way.

    After wandering through the ruins of Gedong Songo, you’ll take in the landscape of Central Java on a 40-minute drive to the Banaran Coffee Plantation, where you’ll stop for a sumptuous set-menu lunch. Enjoy views over the coffee fields while you eat, then take a walking tour of the coffee plantation. While you walk, your guide will share encyclopedic knowledge of the organic Robusta coffee grown here. You’ll be able to watch workers and witness traditional techniques for roasting and grinding coffee beans.

    In the mid-afternoon, a 3-hour drive will take you to Wonosobo, a small town located 790 meters above sea level. This is the gateway to the volcanic Dieng Plateau, the “home of the gods.” After checking in to your hotel, you’ll have time for relaxing and dinner at your leisure.

    Overnight in Wonosobo

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and lunch

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  • Day 3: Wonosobo - Borobudur

    Today you’ll wake up early and continue your tour of Central Java with a breathtaking sunrise over the Dieng Plateau. After breakfast, you’ll leave Wonosobo at 04:00 and journey 1 hour to the volcanic Dieng Plateau, the “Home of the Gods,” located at an altitude of 2,000 meters.

    Upon arrival at Sembungan village in Dieng, a 40-minute hike (depending on your fitness level) up Mount Sikunir will be rewarded with an amazing view of sunrise over the plains.

    Next, you’ll observe the volcanic activity of the Dieng Crater and Kawah Sikidang, and explore the oldest Hindu temples in Java. Eight shrines dating from the 7th and 8th centuries line the crater floor amid sulphurous fumes and rugged natural surroundings. (Please note: temperatures during the day range between 15–20oC but can go as low as 0oC in July and August. Warm clothes are recommended to visit the plateau.)

    When the mist rolls in at around 11:00, you’ll depart for the Tambi Tea Plantation for a 1-hour tour of the grounds. Established in 1885 and located at the picturesque foot of Mount Sindoro, the plantation spans 830 hectares and employs 1,100 workers. You’ll learn that the workers here gather around 7 kilograms of tea leaves in a mere 20 minutes, among other intriguing details about farming and picking tea.

    Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed tea on the terrace of the plantation before returning to Wonosobo for a late lunch at a local restaurant.

    In the afternoon, set off for the 2.5-hour drive to Borobudur via Mungkid. You’ll travel over a small road on the southern slopes of Mount Sumbing, an active volcano with an altitude of 3,371 meters. Check-in to your hotel in Borobudur.

    Overnight in Borobudur

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and lunch

    Tea picker on a tea plantation in Puncak, Java, Indonesia
  • Day 4: Borobudur – Candirejo – Yogyakarta

    Depart at 04:30 this morning to witness sunrise over the magnificent Borobudur Temple Compounds, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With your guide, you’ll explore this massive Buddhist temple—the largest in the world—and discover the history behind its construction. Made of thousands of volcanic and river stone blocks, the temple was constructed entirely by human labor and took more than 75 years to complete. You’ll explore the compounds in their full glory, with magnificent carvings and an unusual, yet surprisingly beautiful, bulk structure.

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

    At noon, check out from your hotel and get a taste of local life at Candirejo village with a dokar ride, or a local horse cart ride. The dokar will take you through this peaceful, charming village and bring you to your traditional Javanese lunch in the village. You’ll travel along small lanes of traditional houses and stop to see village activities such as making cassava crackers, playing the gamelan, and harvesting and drying vanilla and chili.

    Next, a visit to nearby Mendut Temple is another insider’s highlight of this Central Java tour. Older than Borobudur, this pyramid-shaped temple houses three impressive stone statues. You’ll also visit Pawon Temple, a simple yet beautiful monument known for its precise symmetry.

    Finally, you’ll set off for a 1.5-hour drive through Central Java to Jogjakarta for check-in at your hotel. Despite the official spelling of “Yogyakarta,” this town is usually pronounced and often written “Jogjakarta,” or simply “Yogya.” It is the most popular tourist destination on Java, largely thanks to its proximity to the Borobudur and Prambanan temples. A center of art and education, Yogya is thought to be the cradle of traditional Javanese culture. Enjoy exploring this charming city at your leisure.

    Overnight in Yogyakarta

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and lunch

  • Day 5: Yogyakarta – Prambanan Temple

    Today, a full-day city tour of Yogyakarta will reveal fascinating new perspectives on this city’s history and cultural traditions.

    Start with a visit to the Sultan’s Palace, also known as Kraton. Built between 1756–1790, it’s a splendid example of traditional Javanese sultanate architecture. You’ll learn more about this aspect of Javanese heritage as you walk through the various rooms and chambers. You’ll also visit the adjacent Taman Sari, the water palace and garden. This addition to the royal complex was built more than 200 years ago by the first sultan who introduced bathing pools for his harem.

    Continue the tour with a visit to Sonobudoyo Museum by becak, a motorized rickshaw. Focusing on Javanese culture, the museum features artifacts such as hand-crafted weapons, wooden wayang puppets, masks, and old Javanese gamelan instruments.

    Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting Prambanan Temple, located roughly 40 minutes from Yogyakarta. You’ll spend your afternoon exploring these ancient Hindu temples, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1991. Built in the 9th century, this collection of sharp, jagged temples features three main inner shrines dedicated to the Hindu trinity: Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Your guide will explain the history and symbolism of the temples as you stroll through the grounds.

    When you return to Yogyakarta, you’ll have chance to relax and freshen up. Then, you’ll be treated to an evening performance of traditional Ramayana Dance while dining at a local restaurant.

    Overnight in Yogyakarta

    Meals included in this day: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

  • Day 6: Yogyakarta

    This morning, you’ll transfer to Yogyakarta Airport in time for your onward flight. Or, you may choose an optional extension to East Java.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room in luxury accommodation. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Why Backyard Travel?


Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.


 

 

 

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