The beguiling Indonesian archipelago encompasses over 17,000 islands and offers travellers a huge diversity of adventures and experiences, be that simply idling on a blissful beach, searching for dragons, exploring culturally significant landmarks or trekking across scorched volcanic landscapes.
Those craving nothing but the beach life will find a spectacular assortment of sands adorning Bali’s coastline. The popular sun-drenched southern shores entice with family-friendly Sanur, exclusive Nusa Dua and the stunning sunsets of Seminyak. Further east is tranquil Candidasa with its volcanic sands, while on the north west coast is Menjangan which lies within the unspoiled West Bali National Park and is one of the island’s best snorkelling spots.
Venture inland to glimpse Bali’s true charm amidst its emerald-green rice terraces, roadside shrines and evocative temples where devotees leave their canang sari (offerings) as a gesture of gratitude to the Gods. Visually alluring music and dance performances further highlight the islanders spirituality, culture and tradition. For all this and so much more, the artsy hub of Ubud is just the place or, if you fancy a true escape, Munduk Moding Plantation on the slopes of north Bali’s mountains, is sure to appeal.
Travel across the Lombok Strait to laidback Lombok for relatively untouched beaches, epic surf, fantastic dive spots, thundering waterfalls and verdant forests all presided over by Mount Rinjani. Lombok is also gateway to the celebrated Gili’s, three tiny traffic-free islets which brag exquisite beaches along with superb diving and snorkelling spots.
Java is Indonesia’s heartland and jam-packed with smoking volcanoes, mesmerising temples, national parks and pea-green paddy fields. Highlights include distinctive Yogyakarta, a fascinating stronghold for tradition and culture, the majestic Borobudur temple complex, equally impressive Prambanan, and the lunar-like landscapes of the volcanic Bromo region.
At Rinca Island wildlife watchers are also in for a treat. Part of Indonesia’s Komodo National Park it’s one of very few places to spot ferocious Komodo dragons in the wild.
Consider also combining a stay in Bali, or one of its neighbouring islands, with other Far East or Middle Eastern destinations.
GMT + 8 hours
There are no non-stop flights between the UK and Bali, travel is usually via Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur and the total travelling time including a 90 minute stop is approximately 17 hours. Lombok is 2 hours from Bali by ferry or a short 35 minute flight. Gili Meno is around 30 minutes by boat from Lombok. Flights to Java from Bali are approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to Jakarta; 1 hour 10 minutes to Yogyakarta and 40 minutes to Surabaya.
While April to October is considered the best time, there is never a bad time to travel to Bali, Lombok or Java, as it’s generally warm throughout the year. Although more rain tends to fall from November to March, it’s usually a short, tropical downpour.
A visa may be required. Please ask for details.Find out more
A half day tour offering an introduction to Bali’s arts and crafts. At Celuk see skilled artisans creating silver jewellery and ornaments; at Mas watch fine woodcarvers; and in Ubud view paintings.
On this half day tour of Bali’s largest city, see the attractive main square which houses the Bali Museum, visit the colourful pasar – Indonesian market and stop at the Bali Arts Centre.
A full day tour which includes a colourful market, scenic views of the Gili Islands from Pusak Pass and a walk through tropical rainforest to see Sendang Gile Waterfall.
A full day tour which includes a walk through scenic terraced rice fields, the Royal Temple of Menegwi, the sacred Monkey Forest and Tanah Lot, famous as the sunset temple.
Enjoy fabulous cycling amongst fields of local fresh fruit and vegetables, while higher altitudes offer scenic views of the hauntingly beautiful mountains and terraced rice fields.
Ride in a specially designed jeep on this thrilling tour which takes in stunning scenery and allows you to venture onto the volcanic terrain, exploring the rugged landscape with a knowledgeable guide. Discover also local villages.
A full day tour which gives you the chance to discover the secrets of authentic Balinese cuisine. The cooking class starts with a visit to a traditional market before you travel to Rumah Desa cookery school. Here, the team offer a real insight to Balinese food in terms of tradition, culture and religion, before you have the chance to cook and enjoy a delicious lunch (included in price).