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Karimunjawa Islands

The dazzling offshore archipelago of Karimunjawa, a marine national park, consists of 27 coral-fringed islands – only five of which are inhabited. Most islanders are Javanese but there are a few Bugis and Madurese families, who make a living from fishing, seaweed cultivation and, increasingly, tourism. Lying about 90km north of Jepara, the islands are a tropical haven of white-sand beaches, turquoise seas and relaxed retreats.

Holidaying Indonesians account for most of the visitors here, although a growing number of foreign travellers now brave the rough seas (which can occur at any time of year) for a few days of R&R. Independent travellers head almost exclusively for the main island, Pulau Karimunjawa; this lush, mountainous little landmass, ringed with coral reefs, is home to most of the archipelago’s facilities and the only town of any size, also named (somewhat confusingly) Karimunjawa.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Karimunjawa Islands.