Splendours of Sri Lanka

This outstanding introductory tour to Sri Lanka combines the cultural triangle’s ancient cities with scenic hill country, man-made marvels and abundant wildlife. Explore Kandy, the last Sinhalese city to fall to the British, and search for leopards and sloth bears in Wilpattu National Park. Finish the tour with a relaxing 2-night stay on one of the island’s golden palm-fringed beaches.

From £2,745 pp

Highlights

  • 3 safaris in Wilpattu in search of wild elephants and leopards
  • Sri Lankan cookery lesson
  • 2-night luxury beach stay
  • Stay in 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • Small group size – average 12 people (maximum 18)
  • Single occupancy of double / twin rooms as standard

Inclusions

  • 4- & 5-star accommodation
  • Twin / double rooms for single use
  • Flexible – extensions, room & flight upgrades available
  • Small group size – average 12 people (max 18)
  • Direct international flights with Sri Lankan Airlines
  • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
  • 12 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 10 dinners
  • Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
  • Welcome and farewell group dinners
  • Experienced local tour manager
  • Wildlife safaris & national park entrance fees

Important information

Solo Travellers group tours

These small group tours have been specially created for solo travellers. Benefits include single occupancy of double / twin rooms as standard and at sensible prices, plus the company of like-minded travellers.

Superior tour

The majority of the tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation, with the exception of 2 nights in 3-star accommodation in Nuwara Eliya.

Accessibility

Due to high altitude and uneven terrain, the Horton Plains trek requires a good level of fitness. Visits to certain ancient monuments in the cultural triangle require steep climbing, including ascending more than 1,800 steps in one instance.

Tour variations

Due to changes to seasonal schedules and opening times, there are minor itinerary variations for certain departure dates. Please check for details.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Colombo

Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. (N)

Day 2: Chilaw

Arrive and transfer to the Anantaya hotel (or similar) for 1 night. Welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3: Anuradhapura

Drive to Anuradhapura via Wilpattu National Park. Afternoon wildlife safari in search of leopards and sloth bears. Stay 3 nights at the Forest Rock Garden Resort (or similar). (B, D)

Day 4: Wilpattu National Park • Anuradhapura

Full-day safari in Wilpattu National Park. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Anuradhapura

Drive to the ancient city of Anuradhapura. For 1,400 years, this city was the capital of Sri Lanka and contains fabulous Buddhist shrines and relics. Afternoon at leisure. (B, D)

Day 6: Dambulla

Transfer to Dambulla. Stay 2 nights at the Amaya Lake hotel (or similar). Afternoon cookery lesson. This evening enjoy a sunset boat ride on the lake. (B)

Day 7: Sigiriya • Polonnaruwa

Morning visit to the Unesco-listed rock fortress town of Sigiriya. Continue to the 11th-century medieval capital of Polonnaruwa. (B)

Day 8: Dambulla • Kandy

Morning visit to Dambulla, home to Asia’s most impressive cave temples. Continue to the beautiful hill station of Kandy and stay 2 nights at the Amaya Hills (or similar). Afternoon sightseeing tour. In the evening, watch a traditional Kandyan dance performance and visit the Temple of the Tooth for the evening Puja ceremony. (B, D)

Day 9: Kandy

Kandy is set on the shores of a beautiful manmade lake and the area abounds in rich and varied plant life. Morning visit to the Royal Botanical Gardens. Afternoon at leisure to explore Kandy’s markets. (B, D)

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya

Morning drive to the hill station of Nuwara Eliya via a tea plantation. Situated at 2,000 metres, Nuwara Eliya attracted the British in the 18th century and their legacy is still visible. Stay at the Araliya Green Hills (or similar) for 2 nights. (B, D)

Day 11: Horton Plains

Early morning visit to Horton Plains, situated on Sri Lanka’s highest plateau (this excursion involves a 2.5-hour walk*). Horton Plains is inhabited by large populations of monkeys and sambars. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B, D)

Day 12: Wadduwa

Drive to Wadduwa. Stay 2 nights at the Blue Water Hotel, a luxury hotel with breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. (B, D)

Day 13: Wadduwa

Day at leisure. Farewell dinner. (B, D)

Day 14: Fly to London

Transfer to Colombo and fly to London with Sri Lankan Airlines. (B)

Meal basis
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.