Definitive Sri Lanka Tour

Tour route

  • Colombo: 1 night
  • Yala: 2 nights
  • Nuwara Eliya: 2 nights
  • Kandy: 2 nights
  • Sigiriya: 3 nights
  • Jaffna: 2 nights
  • Passikudah: 1 night
  • Negombo: 1 night

Prices from £3,874 per person for 15 nights

Trip highlights

OVERVIEW OF TOUR – This is the Sri Lanka tour; the one that takes you from north to south and from east to west, with everything in between. Combining culture, history, nature and beach, it is the tour for those who want to see everything, even if it means relinquishing some of their creature comforts for a visit to an untouched, authentic part of Sri Lanka.

Stay longer

Sri Lanka beaches 3 nights
Relax after your tour with a short beach stay on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful golden beaches.

Maldives 5 nights
Relax in paradise on your chosen Maldivian Island. Snorkel, dive or just dig your toes into the soft sand.

Highlights

This tour offers the unique opportunity to witness the contrast between each of the different regions of Sri Lanka, visiting the city of Jaffna, which has not long been opened up to visitors after a troubled recent history. As well as temples and colonial architecture you will also witness the thought-provoking remnants of the civil war, giving you a completely different view of the island.

Good to know

  • All departures are guaranteed
  • For guests over 16
  • Average group size of 6 guests
  • A maximum of 6 guests.

What to expect

  • Basic but adequate accommodation in Jaffna
  • Intercity rail travel between Anuradhapura and Jaffna
  • Some long journeys by road as you cross the country
  • The Sigiriya excursion is recommended for energetic and physically fit guests as there is lots of climbing involved.
  • Intercity rail travel between Anuradhapura and Jaffna

Accommodation on tour

We have chosen some charming, secluded or beautifully-situated boutique style properties. In Jaffna we have opted for the most centrally located and best quality hotel available. Particular favourites are the The Langdale by Amaya in Nuwara Eliya, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Group and The Bungalow by Amaya which is located in a secluded position on the outskirts of Kandy.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice.

Prices from £1986 per person.

Single Travellers

  • Single supplement from £1305

Tour Dates:

2019
Jan 23; Feb 13, 27; Mar 13; Apr 10; Jun 12; Jul 31; Aug 14; Oct 16; Nov 13; Dec 04

Included in price

  • Quality accommodation
  • Insightful local tour leaders
  • Hand-picked itineraries
  • Flexible arrival times
  • Small groups and a relaxed approach
  • Porterage and guide tips
  • Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
  • All specified flights.

Please Contact Us for current prices and availability.

Tour itinerary may be subject to change.

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Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Colombo

Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Sri Lanka.

Day 2: Colombo

On arrival in Colombo transfer to your hotel where you’ll stay one night. This evening there will be a welcome dinner in the hotel’s main restaurant. Approx. journey time: 1¾ hours; 62 miles. Stay: Mount Lavinia (or similar). Dinner.

Day 3: Colombo to Yala

Travel south to the beautiful walled city of Galle. On arrival, proceed to the Lady Hill Hotel for lunch before joining an introductory tour of Galle. Continue along the south coast towards Yala National Park. Today is a relatively long day of travelling as you journey from the west coast to the south eastern corner of the island. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 174 miles. Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 4: Yala

A leisurely morning is spent at your hotel. The rest of the day’s sightseeing – a visit to the world-famous Yala National Park – is a real highlight of the tour. It is known locally as leopard country as it plays host to one of the world’s highest density of leopards. This afternoon’s safari into the park provides you with one of the best chances to see one of these elusive creatures. Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 5: Yala to Nuwara Eliya

Head away from the coast and into the beautiful Hill Country towards Nuwara Eliya. Stop for lunch at the 98 Acres Resort & Spa, a scenic tea estate, and then head to the Hakgala Botanic Gardens. Visit a strawberry farms, one of which you can visit en route to your hotel. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 105 miles. Stay: The Langdale by Amaya (or similar). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 6: Nuwara Eliya

Today begins with a few hours to relax. You’ll then head into the town to take in the sights and perhaps get some lunch at one of the local restaurants (payable locally). Later, take high tea at The Grand Hotel – a quintessential Sri Lankan experience. Stay: The Langdale by Amaya (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy

This region of Sri Lanka is the heart of Sri Lanka’s renowned and historic tea producing industry, a subject you will learn more of during the day’s experience. Head to a local plantation and factory where you can learn the skill of tea plucking and discover the process the leaves go through between the plant and your cup. The tea picking will be followed by lunch at the Glenloch Tea Factory before you continue on to the city of Kandy. Later in the afternoon, head to the most famous of Kandy’s attractions, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the local city market to witness the day-to-day life of the people of Kandy. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 78 miles. Stay: The Bungalow by Amaya (or similar). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 8: Kandy

The day begins at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. You’ll find a vast selection of Sri Lanka’s native flora as well as many exotic species and a renowned orchid collection. This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to spend an hour or two exploring the city at your own pace. Stay: The Bungalow by Amaya (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 9: Kandy to Sigiriya

The journey continues this morning as you head north towards the Cultural Triangle. Stop for a typical Sri Lankan lunch at Ranweli Spice Garden en route to the incredible Dambulla cave temple complex. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 68 miles. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 10: Sigiriya

This morning, you can choose to join an excursion to the iconic Sigiriya Rock, which we recommended for guests who are active and willing to climb to the summit of this granite peak. This afternoon, a game drive into Minneriya National Park – one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants – is included. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Day 11: Sigiriya

The day begins with an insight into rural life on a nature ‘trek’ in the village of Hiriwadunna. At the start of this four-hour immersive experience you will be transported via a paddy farmer’s tractor and trailer through a shaded forest to the edge of a man-made reservoir that is covered with pretty lily pads. Cross the water on a traditional boat before continuing your village exploration on foot and discovering the everyday lives of Sri Lanka’s rural population. Early this afternoon there’ll be an opportunity to get involved in creating your lunch during a curry cooking demonstration. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 12: Sigiriya to Jaffna

Following breakfast, depart your hotel and travel north to the once-glorious Sacred City of Anuradhapura. You’ll have time to explore the ruins before transferring to the train station for your journey to Jaffna. As you travel north you’ll witness some incredible off-the-beaten-track landscapes. Approx. journey time: 2 hour drive, 46 miles; 2¾ hour train journey. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 13: Jaffna

Today, explore Jaffna, visiting Jaffna Fort, the Nallur Kovil Temple, Jaffna Library and Jaffna Museum. This afternoon, enjoy a unique opportunity to try some local ice cream before continuing on to the Springs of Keerimalai and Dambakola Patuna Port. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 14: Jaffna to Passikudah

Travel south towards the island’s beautiful east coast. It’s a relatively long journey, however you pass through a part of Sri Lanka that has been off limits to international travellers for many years – an experience not to be missed. Stop in the city of Trincomalee and join a city tour before continuing on to the coastal resort of Passikudhah, where you will stay for one night. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 211 miles. Stay: Uga Bay (or similar). Breakfast, Dinner.

Day 15: Passikudah to Negombo

Transfer to Batticaloa airport for your Cinnamon Air flight to Colombo. Stay: Jetwing Sea (or similar). Breakfast.

Day 16: Negombo to UK

Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Breakfast.

Is this for you?

For the traveller who wants to travel from the south of the island to the untouched north, as well as taking in the Hill Country and Cultural Triangle in between.