With 17,000 islands to choose from in Indonesia, where do you start? Let us help you decide. We suggest a three-island stay, beginning with Java’s ancient temples. Bali is your next stop, with visits to the lush jungles and artisan markets of Ubud, plus beach time on the southern shores. Then it’s time to retreat to the paradisiacal island of Sumba, where you can swim, snorkel or sunbathe your heart out.
Journey to Java and kick things off with a visit to the spectacular Buddhist temple of Borobudur. Climb to the top of the UNESCO World Heritage Site temple to watch sunrise over the serene surroundings of volcanoes and rice paddies. You’ll be staying a short drive away at Amanjiwo, where you can enjoy jaw dropping views and spa treatments galore across a three-night stay. There’s plenty of activity too. Hike the lush slopes of the Menoreh Hills, passing traditional villages as you go, or river rafting can be arranged for the adrenaline-inclined.
Onwards to Bali for a three-night stay in Ubud, the island’s cultural and artistic hub. Renowned for its spa culture and craft markets, it’s a perfect centre for hiking, yoga and some of the best restaurants in the country. Visit local temples, trek through picturesque rice terraces and take in the panoramic views from Mount Batur. Cycle around the beautiful countryside, or try your hand at painting or kitemaking with local artisans, keeping your eyes peeled for monkeys in the surrounding jungle.
By now, the beach is calling. Tuck yourself away in a quiet corner of the southwest coast with three nights at Soori Bali. Nestled between lush rice fields and glistening volcanic black sands lapped by the Indian Ocean, you’re away from the crowds yet well positioned to explore if you want to. Visit local markets, learn to cook Balinese specialities, then head to Tanah Lot temple for a crimson, clifftop sunset. Or stay slumped by the pool if you prefer.
An hour’s flight from Bali brings you to Nihi Sumba Island. A Robinson Crusoe experience for the 21st century, we’ve saved the best for the last. Expect spa pavilions, a beach cinema, fine dining and exceptional service. You’ll spend five nights here in your own private pool villa, and can be as relaxed or active as you want. Start the day with yoga at dawn, then snorkel with turtles and enjoy weaving with women from the local village. Or take the morning spa safari, a guided walk through rice paddies followed by breakfast and an oceanfront massage, before curling up with a book for the day.