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Sri Lanka tour

Our 2 week Sri Lanka tour takes you from the spectacular ancient cities of the Central Plains and Cultural Triangle, through Kandy and the scenic hill country...

The Island of Serendipity

This two week Sri Lanka tour takes you from the spectacular ancient cities of the Central Plains and Cultural Triangle, through Kandy, the scenic hill country and it’s tea estates, to a beautiful and undeveloped section of the Southern Coast. We will encounter the flourishing wildlife and stunning scenery of Udawalawe and Horton Plains National Parks. We will visit no less than six UNESCO World Heritage Sites and still have ample time for relaxation and opportunities to ‘do your own thing’.  This tour is an ideal introduction to the magnificent island of Sri Lanka.

Some of the exciting and varied activities include: an evening street food tour of Colombo; exploring the ancient cave temples at Dambulla; early morning ascent of the dramatic rock fortress of Sigiriya with its famous Maidens of the Clouds; joining a blessing ceremony at Kandy’s prestigious Temple of the Tooth; tea tasting at highland plantations; evening and early morning jeep safaris in Udawalawe National Park; a stay in a tranquil South Coast resort; and, weather permitting, a whale watching option at Mirissa.

For our May to October Sri Lanka tour, please see our Ancient Cities and the Tea Country Tour 

Note also: for those with a few more days to spare, we offer a highly unusual and fascinating guided tour of off-the-beaten-track Maldives or a more classic stay at an island eco-resort.


Sri Lanka


Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

Day 1 - Negombo and arrival in Sri Lanka

Arrival at Colombo International Airport, and a short transfer to nearby Negombo on the Island’s West Coast for some relaxation time after your flight. Explore the area, check out the beach or perhaps even try one of the famous traditional Sri Lankan massages?

Extra accommodation in Colombo before your tour is available if required.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.

Overnight: Negombo Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: D,

Day 2 - Columbo - a tour of some of the sights

Leisurely morning to relax at our beach-side resort before an afternoon introductory tour of some of the sites of the nearby bustling capital Colombo. Visits include the Museum, local market and, in the evening, a fascinating guided tour of some of the array of street food on offer.

Overnight: Negombo Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D,

Day 3 - Ritigala - into the interior

Time to head into the interior where our first stop will be the 2,000-year-old ruined Buddhist monastery at Ritigala – an atmospheric and rarely visited site amid dense jungle-clad mountains. In the afternoon we’ll continue to nearby Habarana Town – our base for the following two-day exploration of the Cultural Triangle.

Overnight: Habarana Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 4 - The Cultural Triangle - Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa

Early morning ascent of the rock fortress of Sigiriya to view the surrounding countryside at dawn. Tour of Sigiriya’s rock palace, cliff paintings and ornamental gardens. In the afternoon we’ll head to the nearby picturesque medieval capital of Polonnaruwa – another World Heritage site – for a guided cycling tour of its historic temples and exquisitely carved statues.

Overnight: Polonnaruwa Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 5 - Dambulla -UNESCO World Heritage cave temples

Drive south to Kandy, one of the principal points of the Cultural Triangle via the UNESCO World Heritage site, Dambulla, location of Sri Lanka’s finest cave temples, dating back to the 1st century BC. Time permitting we’ll also pay a visit to a fascinating spice garden at Matale.  Kandy, the second city of Sri Lanka, has a picturesque lakeside setting, a rich historical and cultural heritage, a comfortable Mediterranean-style climate, and again, World Heritage Site status.

Overnight: Kandy Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 6 - Kandy - the ancient capital

Morning at leisure with an afternoon visit to the beautifully kept and well-presented Peradeniya Botanic Gardens on the outskirts of Kandy. In the evening, experience the Buddhist puja (blessing ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered religious relic – one of Buddha’s teeth.

Overnight: Kandy Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B,

Day 7 - Nuwara Eliya - tea plantations and the hill country

Transfer to Kandy railway station for a scenic train journey into the upper Hill Country, passing tea plantations and spectacular waterfalls on our way to Nuwara Eliya, the former British capital of the Hill Country and the highest town in Sri Lanka at 1,900 m above sea level. A tour of a working tea factory to see how ‘two-leaves-and-a-bud’ turns into your daily cuppa.

Overnight: Nuwara Eliya Transport: Train,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 8 - Horton Plains - National Park trek

Drive to Horton Plains for an early morning trek through the heath and forest of Horton Plains National Park, via Baker’s Falls, in time to see the awe-inspiring views at World’s End before the cloud sets in. Return to Nuwara Eliya with some free time to explore the old colonial hill station.

Overnight: Nuwara Eliya Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 9 - Udawalawe - jeep safari in the National Park

Drop down from the Hill Country to the southern plain, over 1,000 m below and continue to Udawalawe. Late afternoon jeep safari in the National Park, Noted for its large elephant population Udawalawe is also noted for leopards, sloth bears, sambar deer, spotted deer, wild boars, crocodiles, wild buffaloes, mongooses, jackals, monkeys, and over 150 species of birds. Overnight on the edge of the park in either a resort or safari camp depending upon availability.

Safari camp subject to availability

Overnight: Udawalawe, safari camp or resort Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 10 - Tangalle - along the picturesque south coast

Early morning jeep safari at Udawalawe before a leisurely drive south to the picturesque and laid-back Indian Ocean town of Tangalle. We’ll stay in a secluded beach resort set in a coconut grove, next to a pristine bay. Afternoon to relax, explore the area, or perhaps try out one of the famous Ayurveda massage treatments?

Overnight: Tangalle Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D,

Day 11 - Tangalle - at leisure or visit some wetlands

At leisure in Tangalle – checking out the beach, going for a swim or exploring the area. Options for the more energetic include a bird watching boat safari through the lagoons and mangroves of Kalametiya Sanctuary, a coastal wetland teeming with bird life.

Overnight: Tangalle Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, D,

Day 12 - Galle - ancient town and World Heritage Site

Continue along the southern coastline to Galle Town – another World Heritage Site. A guided tour of the Old Dutch Fort and spectacularly sited walled town, jutting out on its rocky peninsula. Amble around the ramparts and stroll through the narrow lanes of the Moorish Quarter.

Overnight: Galle Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L,

Day 13 - Galle - at leisure or a whale watching trip

Free morning in Galle with an optional whale watching boat trip at nearby Mirissa where sperm, humpback and blue whales are occasionally spotted as well as pods of dolphins. Afternoon drive north up the West Coast back to Negombo, via Colombo.

Note - the whale watching option is dependent upon weather and sea conditions, but can be booked locally without prior reservation.

Overnight: Negombo Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, D,

Day 14 - Negombo and departure

Morning at leisure in Negombo. Relax by the pool; a last dip in the Indian Ocean, or pick up some last minute souvenirs and late morning end of the tour.

Extra accommodation in Negombo after your tour is available if required.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary


The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Sri Lanka, Temple of the Tooth

Just a few of the many highlights

Wonderful and highly varied scenery, National Parks and their resident wildlife, relaxing at the coast, plus no less than 6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Visit the charming lakeside town of Kandy nestled in the mountains - home to the famous Temple of the Tooth
  • Visit the dramatic Sigiriya rock fortress - truly spectacular and another World Heritage Site
  • Historic Galle - a walled port town perched dramatically on a headland jutting into the Indian ocean.
  • Explore Polonnaruwa ancient city - former medieval capital and now UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Tour the picturesque Hill Country - serene landscapes, waterfalls and of course tea plantations!
  • And last but not least, plenty of opportunities to sample the superb local food

Air Departures (UK)

  • 10 November 18 2,290 GBP
  • 22 December 18 2,490 GBP
  • 19 January 19 2,290 GBP
  • 16 February 19 2,290 GBP
  • 16 March 19 2,290 GBP
  • 13 April 19 2,290 GBP
  • 10 November 19 2,290 GBP
  • 22 December 19 2,490 GBP

Land Departures

  • 11 November 18 1,540 GBP
  • 23 December 18 1,540 GBP
  • 20 January 19 1,540 GBP
  • 17 February 19 1,540 GBP
  • 17 March 19 1,540 GBP
  • 14 April 19 1,540 GBP
  • 11 November 19 1,540 GBP
  • 23 December 19 1,540 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Colombo

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

Paradise Beach Resort, Negombo view

  • Pool, garden and beachfront setting
  • Great place to unwind before & after your tour
  • Great location within easy reach of shops, cafes & eateries

Acme Hotel, Habarana view

  • Well located and comfortable lodge style hotel!
  • Small, low-key and friendly
  • Pool and garden setting plus in-house bar and restaurant

Hotel Suisse, Kandy view

  • A restored, former British governor’s residence
  • Wonderful, central, lake-side location in Kandy
  • Pool, garden, spa, bar and restaurant

Ceybank Hotel, Nuwara Eliya view

  • Another atmospheric, former governor's residence
  • Central location opposite the racecourse and park
  • Colonial chic in Nuwara Eliya

Big Game Camp, Udawalawe view

  • Situated on the edge of spectacular Udawalawe National Park
  • VIP tents complete with bedroom and ensuite bathroom
  • Subject to availabilty

Palm Paradise Cabanas, Tangalle view

  • Lovely beach-side low-key resort
  • Traditional style, comfortable wooden chalets
  • Garden setting and unspoilt beach

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Si Lanka: visas are available on arrival at Colombo International Airport for $40, but we recommend that you obtain an electronic travel authorisation (ETA) in advance for $35.

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