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Sri Lanka: Beyond the Ordinary

This two week Sri Lanka holiday takes you off the beaten track and beyond the ordinary. Explore the Cultural Triangle, the unexplored treasure of Gal Oya, the highlands of Sri Lanka and much more.

14 Days / 13 nights

Travel dates anytime in September & October 2018

Highlights: Colombo –  Makandura – Habanara – Kandy – Gal Oya – Ella – Galle

Price: from £2,084 per person, based on 2 people sharing a room


DAY 1:

Welcome to Sri Lanka! On arrival into Colombo proceed to the arrivals area, where you will be met by your private guide and transferred to your starting hotel.

Rest of the day at leisure to simply relax and settle in. Overnight at The Notary’s House, Makandura.

DAY 2:

During breakfast, you will be joined by your host who will help you spot the magnificent local birdlife.

After breakfast, grab a bike and explore the village and surrounding forest at a leisurely pace to soak in the local culture and environment.

DAY 3:

Head towards the cultural triangle, where you will visit the Ritigala Archaeological Monastery. Ritigala has an undiscovered feel to it, with a sense of mystery as you proceed though the long pathways into the jungle, where you will have the opportunity to connect with nature in the ancient sacred mediation ground.

Afterwards, proceed to your hotel in Habarana where you will spend the evening at leisure.

DAY 4:

Enjoy an early-morning visit to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, also known as the Lion Rock. The fortress rises above the plains of the Sigiriya plains, offering fantastic views of the emerald plains, the leafy villages beneath and the skeletal layout of the ancient city.

This trip is suggested for the early-morning to make the climb easier by avoiding large crowds and the heat that comes later in the day.

DAY 5:

Proceed to Kandy, the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings. Today Kandy is a big city that still retains its colonial history which you will see whilst wandering the streets and the local markets. Head to the Garrison Cemterary, where you will potentially have the opportunity to meet Charles Carmichael – the caretaker.

Later in the evening, visit the Temple of the Tooth, before heading to your hotel in the city.

DAY 6:

Say goodbye to the hills and travel to Gal Oya – an unexplored treasure of Sri Lanka, with no phone signal, allowing you to completely switch off from the digital world.

The Gal Oya lodge is committed to eco-tourism, which benefits the wildlife of this national park. Nearby you can spot deer, wild boar, jungle cats, porcupines and the thick-tailed pangolin, which have become highly endangered.

DAY 7:

Enjoy a boat safari through the national park – truly a unique experience! This is a great opportunity to observe the wildlife from the stunning Gal Oya Lake, including crocodiles, elephants and a variety of birds.

Later in the afternoon, join a resident naturalist for a walk around the lodge to enjoy the abundant birdlife and beautiful surroundings.

DAY 8:

The day starts with a trek to Monkey Mountain for dramatic 180 degree views over the forest as the sun rises over the hills in the distance.

Later in the afternoon, you will be joined joined by the chief of the Veddha community for a walk of discovery. Learn about the local nature as the chief explains his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings.

DAY 9:

After a relaxed breakfast, say goodbye to your lodge and travel towards Ella, located high up in the highlands of Sri Lanka. Here the air is cooler, the vegetation is lush and fruits grow aplenty in the pleasant hill climate.

Ella is one of Sri Lanka’s prime hiking destinations, but also a perfect spot for a few days of relaxation. Stay at the 98 Acred Resort & Spa.

DAY 10:

Start the day with a leisurely hike to Little Adams Peak, following the trail that starts from your hotel.

Afterwards, travel over to the Nine Arch Bridge, an architectural marvel of its time back in British Ceylon. The bridge is uniquely built entirely of stone, bricks and cements due to a shipment of steel steel being halted during World War 1.

DAY 11:

Say farewell to the hills and proceed towards Galle in the south.

On arrival into Galle, take a tuk tuk through the quiet, green paddy fields, towards the stairs leading up to Yatagala Temple (meaning “under the rocks”). Take in the peaceful atmosphere surrounding the Buddhist statues and meet up with a Buddhist guide who will take you on a spiritual journey of the site.

DAY 12:

Morning at leisure.

In the afternoon enjoy a guided walk around the Galle Fort, which is rich in Arabic, Portuguese and Dutch history. The Galle Fort is a living monument that is home to Buddhists and Muslims, however is currently undergoing change due to the rise in tourism, as families choose to sell up so their homes can be turned into hotels to house guests and visitors.

DAY 13:

After breakfast, travel to Colombo – the commercial hub and largest city of Sri Lanka. In the afternoon you will meet up with a local guide who will take you to the unseen parts of the city, including Slave Island and the bustling markets of Pettah.

Whilst exploring, you will gain an insight into local life. You are recommended to sample some Kottu Rotti, an everyday Sri Lankan meal not to be missed!

DAY 14:

Unfortunately, your time on the isle of Serendipity has come to an end! After a leisurely breakfast you will have the rest of the morning at leisure to relax, pack your bags and prepare for your return home.

At around midday (hotel check-out is typically 12:00), you will be picked up from your hotel to travel to Colombo airport in time to check-in for your departure flight home or further afield. Farewell Sri Lanka!

The above Sri Lanka holiday is on special offer for dates of travel in September & October 2018. To book the above holiday give us a call now on 01932 424252 or email us on

If you like the above itinerary but would like to modify it in any way, please call us to discuss and we will adjust it accordingly and send you an updated itinerary & quote.


From £2,084 per person, based on 2 people sharing a room



  • Accommodation in shared room with private bathroom
  • Meals as stated in the programme
  • Transfers and tours with local English-speaking chauffeur guide in private air-conditioned vehicle
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in the programme
    • Cycling Ride and Village Walk at Notary’s House
    • Ritigala Archaeological Monastery
    • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
    • Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
    • Tales of the Dead – Visit Garrison Cemetery in Kandy
    • Boat Safari with picnic Breakfast at Gal Oya
    • Bird Watching Nature Walk at Gal Oya
    • Monkey Mountain Hike at Gal Oya
    • Veddha Walk at Gal Oya
    • Trekking to Little Adam’s Peak and Nine Arch Bridge in Ella
    • Spiritual Journey in Galle
    • Galle Fort visit with Chauffeur Guide
    • Rashan’s Walk in Colombo
    • Bottled Drinking water available in the vehicles



  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Sri Lanka (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Electronic Travel Authorization fee for Visas upon arrival (Please note that an ETA is compulsory for nationalities besides nationals from the Republics of Singapore and Maldives)
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme