This two-week itinerary has all the ingredients for a memorable holiday, combining key Sri Lankan temples and sights with fantastic wildlife.
Highlights: Negombo – Polonnaruwa – Sirigiya – Dambulla – Kandy – Nuwara Eliya – Yala National Park – Mirissa – Galle.
Arrive at Bandaranaike airport; transfer to Negombo
On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met and driven to your hotel in Negombo, just 7 miles away. The wide sandy coastal strip is the main attraction of Negombo. It is also safe for swimming. Negombo is 23 miles north of Colombo.
Negombo - Sirigiya
Transfer to the cultural triangle. On the way there'll be a stop to explore Ritigala Archeological Monastery which involves an easy walk of about an hour and half through the jungle to reach the ruins of this ancient Buddhist monastery (dating back about 2000 years).
After exploring Ritagala continue to your hotel near Sirigiya.
Excursion to Polonnaruwa; afternoon elephant safari.
Polonnaruwa enthrals visitors with a timeless reflection of the country’s glorious history. The area is studded with sites of archaeological importance.
Afternoon safari to one of the nearby national parks, depending on the the location of the herds of elephants.
Excursion to Sirigiya Rock Fortress (Lion's Rock)
Visit the magnificent Fortress of Sigiriya. The site was the domain of King Kashyapa whose aim was to build an impregnable fortress and within it, a heavenly abode. It is a fairly tough climb of 1200 steps (not recommended if you suffer from vertigo) and there are some great frescos to see on the way. As well as the fantastic views at the top you get to see close up the lion's feet.
Optional excursion in the afternoon for further wildlife spotting in nearby national parks.
Sirigiya - Dambulla - Kandy
On the way to Kandy stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple complex, one of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO world heritage sites.
Dambulla is a complex of five cave temples which are decorated with delicate murals and house 157 Buddha statues. It’s a bit of an uphill walk but it is definitely worth. From Dambulla continue by road to Kandy.
Explore Kandy by Tuk Tuk with your guide to take in the back roads and meet local people who keep the traditions of the Royal City of Kandy alive, from the caretaker of a Buddhist temple, to locals working in small cottage industries.
Visit also the important Temple of the Tooth which is part of a complex which includes the Royal Palace and the Temple Museum.
From cooking or dancing classes to taking in a show or visiting some spice gardens there is lots to see and do in Kandy so do let us know if there is anything in particular you would like us to arrange.
The Ceylon Tea Museum in Kandy is well worth a visit for anyone with a passing interest in the history of the tea industry in Sri Lanka and the production process. The museum contains information about the pioneers of the tea industry and the Planters Association as well as a fully working model of a tea factory.
Train to Nurawa Eliya
It is a fantastic journey through Sri Lanka’s hill countryside to travel from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Lush tea plantations, mountains covered in mist and smiling people are all part of the experience. On arrival at Nanu Oya you will be transferred to your hotel.
Nuwara Eliya is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding tea estates and/or to visit the Horton Plains.
Half day excursion to a tea factory
Observe the process of how Ceylon Tea is made and the different varieties of tea, from orange pekoe (OP) and broken orange pekoe (BOP) black teas to white tea (known as silver tip) that offers a more floral taste.
Please contact us to discuss additional excursions. Note that if you wish to visit Horton Plains it will involve a pre-dawn start before the area gets surrounded in mist. But there will still be time to do other things too.
Nuwara Eliya to Yala National Park
Yala National Park is Sri Lanka's most famous National Park and with good reason. Although many come in the hope of glimpsing a leopard, Yala offers herds of wild elephant and buffalo, boar, pythons, innumerable birds, bears, jackals, iridescent peacocks and more.
Afternoon jeep safari into Yala National Park. Keep your eyes peeled, binoculars handy and a camera at the ready.
Yala National Park
Morning Jeep safari in the Yala National Park; Free afternoon.
Yala - Bundala - Mirissa
Early morning departure (approx 5.30 am, with a packed breakfast) for a game drive in the Bundala National Park where the land, sea and wetlands all coincide. The park is well-known for sightings of migratory birds and is home to spotted deer, pangolin and grey langur monkeys.
Continue by road to your hotel in Mirissa.
The delightful sandy beach of Mirissa was once a well-kept secret, but has become more popular in recent years. Mirissa has a safe, palm-fringed beach.
Off the coast of Mirissa, Blue Whales, bottlenose Dolphins, Sperm Whales and Humpbacks can often be seen during the whale-watching season, best between December and March,
Suggested tour: optional whale-watching excursion in season.
Mirissa - Galle
Transfer to the walled city of Galle, the finest example of a fortress city built by Europeans in the whole of South-East Asia. With restored colonial mansions, attractive local shops and a vibrant culinary scene the city has been greatly revitalised in recent years.
Walking tour of Galle is included.
Departure transfer from Galle to the international airport
The above tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka can be varied in any way you choose to suit your exact requirements so give us a call now on 01932 424252 to discuss any modifications.
Sri Lanka has a wide range of types & styles of hotels, at a variety of price-points to suit all budgets. Please chat to one of our Travel Consultants to get informed advice as to which hotels they would suggest for your tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka.
The tours, excursions & activities mentioned in this Sri Lanka holiday are just a selection of what is available in each location. The itinerary can be adjusted to fit your particular requirements for this holiday; please liaise with your Travel Consultant to confirm what other activities are available and what you would like to include in your tailor-made holiday.
If you like the broad sweep of the above sample itinerary but have fewer days to spend on your trip to Sri Lanka, or wish to extend it in any way, please ask your Travel Consultant for ideas on how to shorten or lengthen the holiday, or how to reorganise the itinerary.
We would be delighted to email you a no-obligation, fully-detailed itinerary & quote, containing images of the hotels we suggest for your tailor-made Brazil holiday along with a link to the hotel’s website, plus details of any included tours & excursions. The quote will clearly state what is, and what is not included in the quoted price. If you thereafter wish to make any changes to the initial itinerary – be it an alternative hotel, different activities, a different duration in any location etc. – that’s not a problem and we will continue to work with you to adjust the programme until it exactly matches what you’re looking for from your tailor-made holiday to Sri Lanka.