Whether you’re camping out in Jogjakarta or just passing through the area, the South-West beaches of Central Java are a worthy day trip for those looking for relaxing day of sand and sunshine.
The trip from Jogjakarta is almost as good as the destination itself; a two hour bike or car ride that winds through mountains, forests and rice paddies to finally emerge at a series of beaches that make up the South-West coastline.
Nestled within five kilometer stints of each other, the short-stripped beaches vary in accessibility, swimmability and cleanliness, and it can be hard to weed out of the duds based on the limited amount of information available online.
Indrayanti, Ngangdong and Pok Tunnhal are our favourite picks, each lined with beach umbrellas, fruit vendors and fully clothed Indonesians flinging themselves into the waves with abandon. Relatively clean and not too crowded, you can easily relax for a few hours either on the sand or nestled up in the various lookouts that dot the cliffs that separate them.
For swimming, Ngandong is the clear favourite, with a deep, sandy corner to the left that you can submerge yourself in without worrying about getting over the shallow reef first. Warungs are plentiful everywhere, but Krakal beach is a popular pit-stop, lined with little stilted cubbies set back off the beach, where you can lounge around and watch the waves while tucking into fresh seafood.
While there are basic accommodation options available at most beaches, the lack of creature comforts means many visitors opt to head back to Jogja as the sun goes down.