Lying in the epicentre of a fertile crescent of rice land, overshadowed by smouldering Mt. Merapi and bordered by the churning Indian Ocean, the graceful old city of Yogya is one of only two traditional court centres remaining in Java’s ancient hinterland.
Ruled by various dynasties, formerly Hindu, then an Islamic Kingdom, many inspiring statements remain carved in stone – including the world-renowned monuments of Borobudur and Prambanan. After a long and convoluted series of rebellions and s...
Yogyakarta - Prambanan Temple
Yogyakarta city tour: we visit the sultan’s palace built in 1756, Taman Sari, the colourful bird market and Mt. Merapi’s observatory, where is collected all data about its volcanic activity: another great way to better understand this volcanic island.
We also visit the Prambanan Hindu temple, in particular the so-called Loro Jonggrang complex, generally considered to be Java’s most elegant and awe-inspiring candi (temple), and noted for the graceful proportions of its 47 m central Siva temple.
Prambanan Temple - Yogyakarta
Back to Yogyakarta. Overnight at hotel.
Yogyakarta - Suroloyo
Suroloyo - Borobudur Temple
We begin our walk in a small daily market hidden away in the Menoreh hills, 25 km west of Yogyakarta. We help you discover the workings of a traditional Javanese market place and test out your bargaining skills. On this walk, up-hill at first, we experience the tranquillity and beauty of local countryside: below us, green fields and rice terraces, and on the horizon the amazing panorama of surrounding volcanoes, including Mt. Sumbing, Mt. Merbabu, and Mt. Merapi… and in the distance, the monumental Borobudur temple. We may join traditional farmers attending to their land.
Finally, upon arrival at the astounding Buddhist sanctuary, we visit this huge temple
Borobudur Temple - Sukuh Temple
In the afternoon, we leave Yogyakarta to reach Sukuh. Overnight at hotel.
Sukuh Temple - Tawangmangu
This morning, we visit the Sukuh temple, situated on the slopes of Mt. Lawu, overlooking Surakarta (or ‘Solo’). This temple was the last bastion of Hinduism remaining in Central Java after the expansion of Islam. Situated in the midst of forests and tea plantations, this temple has a original Hindu iconography, including phallic symbols and turtle-like tables. These relics reveal the past existence of initiation rites, probably orgiastic.
Tawangmangu - Tumpang
In the afternoon, we proceed to Tumpang. Overnight at guesthouse.
Tumpang - Cemorolawang
In the morning, 4WDs takes us to Tengger, a region where the famous smoking peak of Mt. Bromo stands at 2,329 m. The surrounding caldera forms an enormous desolate sea of lava sand. Our discovery trip takes us through the astonishing Tengger-Bromo-Semeru National Park. We walk partly on the caldera’s crest, before continue down to the sand sea. We visit the village of Cemorolawang (on a crest situated on the opposite side). In the afternoon, we hike up this active volcano and walk around its crater. Looking into its seething cauldron of bubbling water, ash and sulphur, it is easy to understand why the ancient Javanese regarded it as the entrance to purgatory. Overnight at hotel
Cemorolawang - Bromo
4WD takes us down to the sea of sand and on a drive to the summit of Mt. Pananjakan (2,775 m). From the top, we enjoy a striking sunrise over the caldera, Mt. Bromo as well as over the nearby slopes of Mt. Semeru, both mountains belching out volcanic ashes. As aboard an airplane, we admire the Tengger volcanoes lined up before us in a single, sweeping panorama. Mt. Semeru’s presence is so immediate we can almost touch it. This is unique scenery!
Bromo - Ketapang
In the middle of the day, we transfer to an area closer to the Kawah Ijen. Overnight at hotel.
Ketapang - Kawah Ijen
We enjoy a sunrise over the landscapes surrounding the Kawah Ijen crater, and proceed to the sulphur-processing site. Here miners extract sulphur from the largest acid lake in the world. You also attend sulphur weighing. These workers have a difficult job: they carry on their backs 100 kg of sulphur to a factory 15 km away. As for us, we reach the site slowly and carefully, as sulphur is an irritant.
Transfer to Bali