I arrived at Sawarna beach stiff and exhausted after a heavy seven hour car ride from Jakarta. I desperately needed to stretch and snap my bones back into their proper place. In fact, what I really needed was a massage, but that just wasn’t going to happen, so I settled for arching my back while breathing in the crisp sea air.

sunrise Sawarna Beach

It was still at least an hour until dawn, so we decided to drop off our bags at the hostel. Thirty minutes later we turned to Sawarna beach to watch a beautiful sunrise. After such a long all night car journey this was just a magical way to start the day. The sunrise was spectacular, and as we sat motionless and exhausted, we watched the sky go through shades of purple, red, orange and yellow, before eventually settling on blue.

Surfing Sawarna beach

We spent the next few hours exploring Sawarna beach and simply relaxing; listening to the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks and rolling up the beach. If you come here you can’t miss the fact that Sawarna beach is popular with surfers and before we left a couple of locals decided to try their luck with the morning waves.

Farming Sawarna Beach

The countryside surrounding Sawarna beach is as beautiful as the unspoiled beach itself. Emerald green paddy fields spread out across the rolling hills and are cut up by patches of forest. There are caves to explore, rutted country paths to wander along and plenty of friendly people and smiling children to talk to. Coming to places like Sawarna beach gives you a great sense of the beauty of rural Java.