Photo: Wild Parangtritis Beach attracts big local crowds.

Parangtritis Beach

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Wild seas, jagged cliffs, sand-boardable black dunes, huge skies with stunning sunsets, Parangtritis Beach, 30 kilometres south of Yogyakarta, is certainly atmospheric. And if the tempestuous landscape isn’t enough, the local myths and legends will send chills running down your spine.

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The Sultanate of Yogyakarta and its precursor Mataram have long been shrouded in mysticism and folklore. Key is the legend of Kanjeng Ratu Loro Kidul, the Queen of the Southern Seas (also known by a number of other names).

Hanging out on Parangtritis Beach. Photo taken in or around Parangtritis Beach, Yogyakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Hanging out on Parangtritis Beach. Photo: Sally Arnold

As the story goes, Sutawijaya, Sultan of Mataram (1584–1601), spent three days and three nights in her watery palace, where he was offered everlasting power and her love. We’re not sure what the payoff was, but she became his wife and pledged herself to all his descendants. Many Javanese believe she is the reason Yogyakarta remains politically powerful to this day. However the love of the Sultan is not enough for this insatiable sea nymph, and she likes to entice swimmers into a watery grave, apparently preferring handsome young men, but anyone wearing the colour green will suffice. Locals are very superstitions about this, so bear that in mind when you’re dressing for a day at ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 600 words.)

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Popular attractions in Yogyakarta

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Yogyakarta.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Yogyakarta? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Indonesia.

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