The heart of the nation, Java is an island of megacities, mesmerising natural beauty, and profound traditions in art, dance, spiritualism and learning.
Boasting a dazzling array of bewitching landscapes – iridescent rice paddies, smoking volcanoes, rainforest and savannah – most journeys here are defined by scenic excesses.
Java's fecund interior is one of the most fertile and heavily populated places on planet earth. Generally the cities are pretty uninspiring, though they do boast the best restaurants and art and music scenes.
Transport can be challenging at times. By road it can be slow going, particularly in the west of the island. However, the rail network is generally reliable and efficient, and flights are inexpensive.
Java is the most complex and culturally compelling island in Indonesia. Invest some time here and you've made a giant leap to understanding this utterly fascinating nation.
If Jakarta is Java’s financial and industrial powerhouse, Yogyakarta is its soul. Central to the island’s artistic and intellectual heritage, Yogyakarta (pronounced ‘Jogjakarta’ and called Yogya for short), is where the Javanese language is at its purest, Java’s arts at their brightest and its traditions at their most visible.
Yogyakarta: the beating heart of Javanese culture
From the all-night shadow-puppet performances to the bold and socially aware graffiti covering many a wall, Yogyakarta, the cultural and spiritual capital of Java, Indonesia, is above all a city of art and culture...
Travels to Hell: inside Indonesia's Ijen volcano
Nobody in Europe had heard of the Ijen volcanic crater during the European Middle Ages, when painters were busy decorating churches and chapels with paintings depicting the gates of Hell...
The dazzling offshore archipelago of Karimunjawa, a marine national park, consists of 27 coral-fringed islands that lie about 90km north of Jepara. The white-sand beaches are sublime, swimming is wonderful and the pace of life as relaxed as a destination defined by coconut palms and turquoise seas should be.