Karimunjawa Islands, Indonesia
- SIZE 27 square miles
Indonesia is a country entirely made up of islands – at least 17,000 of them by some counts. While the island of Java at the heart of the archipelago is home to more than 140 million people, Karimunjawa is another story. This tropical escape 50 miles north of Java, reached by a bumpy plane ride or an equally bumpy ferry trip, comprises 27 islands, countless nodding palms and a few sandy beaches.
Most visitors spend the greater part of their time face down and ignoring all the above, however, as Karimunjawa has some of Indonesia’s best snorkelling. For a good introduction, board a boat departing from the principal hub of Pulau Karimunjawa to Menjangan Besar and Menjangan Kecil – two islands with no permanent residents, but whose surrounding reefs are home to shoals of technicolour fish and endangered turtle species.
- GETTING THERE – Karimunjawa’s airport mostly serves small charter planes, such as those booked by the Kura Kura Resort (flights May-Oct; kurakuraresort.com). Otherwise, there are fast ferries from Semarang (4 hours) and Jepara (2 hours) on the main island of Java. AirAsia flies to Semarang direct from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.