Solo (or Surakarta) in Java is at the epicenter of the famous island’s identity and traditions! Shying away from the desire to integrate into Westernised ways, the city has retained much of its original character.
The seat of the former Javanese monarchy and King Pakubuwono XIII, Solo boasts a regal and proud character even though its heritage has not been perfectly preserved.
Today, it is the city’s reputed music and dance academies that attract students and teachers from around the country, and who celebrate traditional performing acts with vigour.
If you appreciate handicrafts then this is also an ideal location for you to visit, as Solo’s regional batiks are an international speciality.
Roemahkoe Heritage Hotel is a beautifully secluded boutique hotel set in the heart of Solo, just ten minutes from the Radya Pustaka Museum. Stay on one of 14 simple yet beautifully designed rooms and suites.
Experience an afternoon tour of Solo, with visits to Sukuh and Cetho – two of Java’s oldest Hindu temples that were built before the island converted to Islam in the 16th century. Located on the western slopes of Mount Lawu, you can enjoy spectacular scenery overlooking the terraced tea plantations. Sukuh Temple has a pyramidal shape to it, not dissimilar to the Mayan temples of Central America, and yet it boasts stone phallic carvings that symbolize the Hindu god Shiva. After exploring and learning about its history, head to Cetho Temple, which is located in a more remote mountain location and attracts fewer visitors. Although the stone ornaments of Cetho Temple are similar to those at Sukuh Temple, their structures are dissimilar. The Cetho Temple has an interesting and distinctive layered architectural style that is believed to date back to the fifth century. (Half Day; Private activity & transfer; Duration: 4 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; If you have a preference for timing, please tell your travel consultant at the time of booking, otherwise our team will schedule the tour at the best available time.)
Prambanan Temple Tour (En route to Solo)
En route to Solo, explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Prambanan Temple, a 9th century Hindu temple complex, located about a 45 minute drive away from the city of Yogyakarta. These imposing temples contain three important shrines, dedicated to the Hindu holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, which your local guide will explain in depth. Learn more about the symbolism and myths and afterwards, continue onwards to your next destination. (Half Day; Private activity and transfers as this is en route to Solo; Duration: 2 hrs; Fitness level: Easy; This activity is appropriate if you stay for 2 nights in Yogyakarta and travel over land in Java.)