Tailor-Made Holiday

Cultural Triangle, Beach and Wildlife

UNESCO sites, Passekudah Beach, Yala National Park

14 days

from £4,520pp (excluding flights)

Stay near iconic temples and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, on peaceful beaches in barefoot luxury and be one of the first to experience the newly opened Chena Huts in Yala. Finish the trip with a complimentary night at their sister hotel - the UGA Residence in Colombo. A dazzling collection of properties offering savings and spa treatments – exclusive to Steppes Travel.

  • Relax under coconut shade while tasting a local village lunch
  • Have a blessing by the spiritual Bodhi Tree at Anuradhapura
  • Sit on your private terrace at Uga Bay watching the Bay of Bengal shimmer in the sun
  • Take advantage of staying at Chena Huts, Yala and their access to peaceful game drives
  • Shop the boutiques of Colombo before dinner at the Ministry of Crab

Northern Heritage and Beaches

Begin with a relaxed night at the Wallawwa before travelling north to Ulagalla, a gorgeous hotel perfectly located for the spectacular UNESCO Site of Anuradhapura and Mihintale. The origins of Buddhism can be traced back to the summit of Mihintale and as such, this auspicious mountain has become a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists all over the world. Venture from Ulagalla to its sister hotel, Uga Bay - a collection of stylish red roofed studios facing the beach or overlooking the starlit gardens. Spend the time relaxing with the sand in your toes plus a day searching for whales and dolphins.

Leopards and Boutiques

After a night in Kandy avoid the long drive by travelling by scenic seaplane to Yala and Chena Huts. Describing these luxurious detached pavilions as huts could only be referring to their thatched roofs. With plunge pools and cocktails behind the waterfall, Chena Huts have introduced a new concept of staying in Yala National Park. Safari drives on less used routes, sea-turtles coming ashore to lay eggs and the fleeting chance of an elephant coming down to play in the surf are some of the highlights. After three nights, travel to Colombo for a complimentary night at the UGA Residence, a smart Victorian townhouse, well located for exploring the buzzing and fast changing city of Colombo. Uncover historical sites and discover new restaurants during your day and night in this eclectic city. 

how can we make your holiday even more special

  • Spend a few nights at Ceylon Tea Trails, living the life of a former plantation manager
  • Travel by train to the Hill Country after a few nights at the historically stylish Kandy House
  • Shop, eat and explore Dutch Colonial past in the wonderful town of Galle

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 4520 -
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation and meals as stated in the itinerary
  • Voyage gratuities
  • All transfers

PLEASE NOTE THE COST SHOWN INCLUDES INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK, BASED ON AN APPROXIMATE AIR FARE. PLEASE ASK YOUR TRAVEL EXPERT FOR AN ACCURATE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT QUOTE. INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS DEPARTING FROM THE UK ARE ATOL PROTECTED.

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Colombo


Sri Lanka's sprawling capital buzzes with an effervescence and ebullience not seen anywhere else in the country. Drawing on its colonial past, it displays a dash of Western influence alongside a blend of cultures, colours and aromas particular to Sri Lanka, to create a cosmopolitan melting pot of diversity.

Day 2

Travel from Colombo airport to Kotugoda


A journey of approximately 30 minutes.


Kotugoda is a small town a stones throw from the airport and home to one of our favourite hotels, the Wallawwa. While often used at the start or end of a trip, it is a relaxing spot and with new roads, makes visiting Colombo easy.


You will be staying at The Wallawwa, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Kotugoda to Anuradhapura (Road Journey)


The drive from Kotugoda to Anuradhapura will take around 4 hours.


Anuradhapura is one of Sri Lanka's major cities and the capital of the north central province. One of the ancient capitals it is now famous for the site of the well-preserved ruins of the former capital and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


You will be staying at Ulagalla, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Excursion to Anuradhapura and Mihinthale
Explore the ancient city of Anuradhapura and Mihinthale.

The sacred city of Anuradhapura was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', Buddha's fig tree, which was brought here in the third century BC by Sanghamitta, the founder of an order of Buddhist nuns. Anuradhapura, a Ceylonese political and religious capital that flourished for 1,300 years, was abandoned after an invasion in 993. Hidden away in dense jungle for many years, the splendid site, with its palaces, monasteries and monuments, is now accessible once again. Spend time walking around the site, have a blessing at the temple and soak up the atmosphere of families picnicing and flying kites. Bikes can be hired for the day if preferred.

Mihinthale is a mountain peak near Anuradhapura. It is believed by Sri Lankans to be the site of a meeting between the Buddhist monk Mahinda and King Devanampiyatissa which inaugurated the presence of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. It is now a pilgrimage site and the site of several religious monuments and abandoned structures.


Local village and lunch Anuradapura
This popular experience includes a bullock cart ride to a local village with an authentic local lunch served in a village hut with native herbal brews served out of coconut shells.


You will be staying at Ulagalla, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Morning Climb up to Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Travel to the ruins of the ancient city of Sigiriya, dominated by a towering escarpment that erupts from the flat landscape. Climb up this rock column, which is surrounded by verdant royal gardens. Designated a World Heritage Site, the smooth summit was once home to King Kasyapa's fifth-century palace.

Colourful frescoes decorate the cliffs below and a set of enormous lion's paws remain as a reminder of the vast stone lion that once guarded the entrance to the palace. Later, a Buddhist monastery was built here and flat meditation stones can still be seen.


You will be staying at Ulagalla, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Drive from Anuradhapura to Passekudah (Road Journey)


The North East Coast covers Trincomalee and Pasekudah in Batticaloa. This region has a long season that extends from March to October when the seas are at their best. Bask in the sun on the secluded beaches of Trincomalee and Pasekudah Bay, go snorkelling and discover the magnificent marine life around the coral reefs, or take a whale-watching expedition. It is not all about the sun and surf on the North East Coast. Explore ancient Hindu temples dating back centuries, and the breathtaking views of the Trincomalee harbour - the world’s deepest and largest natural harbour.


You will be staying at Uga Bay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Free to relax at Uga Bay


You will be staying at Uga Bay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Free to relax at Uga Bay


You will be staying at Uga Bay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Whale Watching at Trinco
Explore the waters off Trincomalee, home to a historical harbour and where dolphin and whale watching trips can be organised.


You will be staying at Uga Bay, Bed & Breakfast

Day 10

Drive from Passekudah to Kandy (Road Journey)


Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka after Colombo and is home to some of the most famous sites in the country. The Botanical Gardens, which are the second largest in the world after Kew in England, house an amazing collection of flowers and trees aswell as a world famous orchid house. It is also possible to see the outside of Lord Mountbatten's colonial house within the gardens. Temple of the Tooth, which is also found in Kandy is believed to house a tooth of Lord Buddha himself. This precious relic attracts white-clad pilgrims, bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani, every day. When the capital was moved to Kandy, the tooth was taken to the new city and placed in a temple built to honour it. The temple was originally built under Kandyan kings between 1687 and 1707, but later severely damaged during the 18th-century colonial wars against the Portuguese and Dutch. After the wars, the original wooden structures were restored in stone.


You will be staying at Elephant Stables, Bed & Breakfast

Day 11

Travel from Kandy to Yala National Park (Air Transfer Journey)


Yala covers an area of approximately 500 square miles and is located in the south eastern corner of the island. Its northern boundaries border the Lahugala Elephant Sanctuary and it has the added bonus of being on the sea. The terrain ranges from open parklands to dense jungle. Watering holes, small lakes, lagoons and streams provide water for the animals and birds.

One of the biggest, most illustrious, and most frequently visited national park in Sri Lanka, Yala can have a reputation for being too crowded, too touristy and lacking in conservation regulations. However, with the right tour provider, you can avoid the crowds and still get a unique eco-friendly wildlife experience. Notable inhabitants are the leopards, sloth bears, diverse birdlife, sambar deer and mongoose.


You will be staying at Chena Huts Yala, Full board

Day 12

Chena Huts free day
Spend your free days searching for leopard in customized safari vehicles, which are included along with park fees, treating yourself to the included food and drinks, hoping to spot an elephant heading to the beach or just relax by your private plunge pool.


You will be staying at Chena Huts Yala, Full board

Day 13

Free day at Chena Huts


You will be staying at Chena Huts Yala, Full board

Day 14

Drive from Yala to Colombo via Galle


Leave Yala and drive to the ancient Dutch port of Galle, which is around four hours away.

Spend time exploring this historic city, said to be the King Solomon's fabled 'Tarshish'. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Galle is the site at which the Portuguese first landed in the 16th century. Captured by the Dutch and developed into a fortified citadel, this trading city retains a colonial air, as well as a vibrant, bustling atmosphere.

Galle's main highlight is undoubtedly its impressive 17th century fort, which offers stunning views of the glistening Indian Ocean. Showcasing a collection of historic structures, the city allows a brief glimpse into its rich colonial past.

Afterwards, continue on to Colombo, which is approximately three hours away.

Fly Colombo to London

Day 15

Day at leisure in Colombo


You will be staying at Uga Residence, Bed & Breakfast

Day 16

Day at leisure in Colombo

Accommodation

Below you can see some of the wonderful places we recommend you stay on your journey.

Ulagalla

Ulagalla

Deep in a small village close to the world heritage site of Anuradhapura is Ulagalla, a beautiful old Wallawa, a Sri Lankan Mannor house that has been lovingly restored to its former glory....

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The Wallawwa

The Wallawwa

The Wallawwa is a small hotel 30 minutes from Bandaranaike International Airport....

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Uga Bay

Uga Bay

Uga Bay is a luxurious hotel with beautiful views of the unspoiled beaches....

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Chena Huts Yala

Chena Huts Yala

Nestled among the dunes and trees at the edge of the Indian Ocean lies Chena Huts....

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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