From all the things we did in Indonesia, I think our trip to east Java was one of the highlights. In 6 days we traveled from Yogyakarta back to Bali and we did a lot of exiting things. Since it took me a while to figure out the route that we were going to take, I’m sharing our East Java travel route with you since might come in handy when planning your trip to Indonesia!
Day 1 – Arrival in Yogyakarta.
Our first day was the arrival day in Yogyakarta. Since we stayed in Bali and went by plane we were there pretty quick! Find yourself a place to stay around Jalan Malioboro since that is the main street. I advice you took book your tour for tomorrow and book your train tickets for the day after tomorrow, since that might take a while. We just explored Yogyakarta a bit, took one of the rickshaws for a bit of sightseeing and wandered around.
Day 2 – Borobudur & Prambanan
When in Java visiting the Borobudur is just something you have to do. We booked a tour that picked us up at 4.30 am to visit the Borobudur, which is pretty early haha! I highly suggest you to do your same since your experience will be 100x better when you visit the temple before the locals do. I wrote an entire blogpost about the Borobudur temple which you can read here. We booked a tour that also involved visiting the Mendut and Prambanan temple. The Mendut temple is one you can easily skip in my opinion, but the Prambanan is a nice one! We were back around noon so you have a bit more time to do some sightseeing in the city and maybe stroll around one of the markets.
Day 3 – Surabaya
We took the 7 am train from Yogyakarta to Surabaya. This journey takes about 4 -5 hours. Surabaya isn’t a really interesting city to visit in my opinion, but for our trip it was more of a stopover city before going to the bromo volcano. We had a relaxed afternoon visiting the cinema, doing some shopping in a big shopping mall and having a lovely dinner. The owner of the guesthouse we were staying in helped us booking a tour for the next couple of days.
Day 4 – Surabaya – Probolinggo – Ngadisari
From the Purabaya busstation you can take a local bus to Probolinggo. From here our booked tour started and with a mini van we were brought all the way up to Ngadisari, a small village close to (and with views on) the Bromo Volcano. All this traveling basically took a couple of hours since it’s quite far and high up, but the route up to Ngadisari is very beautiful. We rented some wintercoats since in a few hours we traveled from 30 degrees Celsius to about 15 degrees Celsius, and we figured we’d probably wanted a winter coat the next morning. Ngadisari is a village that is very different from all other places we’ve seen in Indonesia, it almost had something spooky about it haha, but it’s nice to walk around a bit!
In Probolinggo there are multiple tour offices where you can book your tour to the Bromo volcano. Since it’s quite hard to get there yourself without having a tour booked I highly suggest to book one! We also wanted to visit the Ijen, so we also included that in the tour. Hotels were also included in the tour which is pretty convenient since you won’t end up staying in touristic areas where it’s easy to book a hotel or hostel.
Day 5 – Bromo volcano – Sempol
Another early morning for us! We were picked up at 04.00 to go to the viewing point to watch the sunrise behind the Bromo volcano. When the sun is up our jeep takes us to the foot of the volcano to climb all the way up to the crater. An entire blogpost about our Bromo adventure is already up here. After we visit the volcano we go back to the hotel to have some breakfast.
At 9.30 we are picked up and we go back to Probolinggo. From Probolinggo we take another route to Sempol. This is quite a big journey, I reckon we arrived at Sempol around 04.00. There wasn’t a lot to do at the place we were staying so we played some tennis with locals and walked around the grounds a bit before having dinner.
Day 6 Sempol – Ijen – Bali
And yes, another early morning haha! At 4 am we are picked up to go to the Ijen, which is about an hour of driving. After climbing the Ijen our guide drops us off at the harbor in Banyuwangi, where we take the ferry back to Bali.
Tips for this trip:
- Book a tour to visit the Bromo & Ijen, this is your best option to visit both sights without to much of a struggle.
- Bring warm clothes. We didn’t really anticipated on the fact that the Bromo is pretty high up (whoops), but you’re definitely want to wear something warm here.
- Wear good shoes or you won’t be so happy when climbing the Bromo or the Ijen
- Bring a book / music since there is a lot of time spend on the road and in hotels without a lot of things to do.
- Go to bed early. You basically have an early morning every day this trip. Getting up at 3 or 4 am every morning and being very active each day asks for an early night to get your body going.
- Book your train ticket to Surabaya on the day you arrive in Yogyakarta to make sure the train isn’t fully booked. Make sure you have (a copy of) your passport for this!
This is the East Java travel route I really suggest you to make, even though I was completely broken and ill afterwards and had to stay in bed for an entire week haha! It was seriously one of the best trips I ever made 🙂