Tailor-Made Holiday

A Family Holiday to Sri Lanka

Special OfferUp to Two Children Can Stay for Free

14 days

from £3,950pp (excluding flights)
Limited Offer
  • The hotels and private villas featured on this holiday suggestion are specifically family friendly properties. Where possible, children can share with parents in a Family Suite or Private Villa. When sharing a room the children benefit from a free stay including meals where indicated.
  • If you would prefer two rooms throughout your holiday there will be an approximate cost of £450 per child.

Families will be enchanted by Sri Lanka's warm welcome and the country is diverse and easy to travel around. This family itinerary to Sri Lanka includes many of the highlights of the country, along with some fun activities that should prove especially appealing to children.

  • Witness the incredible 'gathering' of the wild elephants at Minneriya National Park
  • Explore the wonders of the ancient site of Anuradhapura by bicycle
  • Spend time looking for leopard in Yala National Park with your private naturalist 
  • Experience a day in the life of a tea planter, pick your own tea and watch the processing
  • Ride the rickety train to Nanu Oya, through plantations and verdant jungle 

We've chosen our favourite tried and tested 'homes away from home', including tea planters’ residences, ancestral estates, comfortable boutique hotels and handpicked private villas, all of which we know and think would be perfect for a family. The private fully staffed villa accommodation brings with it great freedom for families, enabling them to manage specific requests, flexible meal times and more importantly, freedom to make a noise!

School Holidays

We also appreciate that families need to travel during school holidays, so this trip has a price that has been based on travel from February to October inclusive. However, we can tailor make this itinerary for you throughout the year. November, December and January are peak months and there will be a nominal surcharge for travel during these months. Early booking is highly recommended to take advantage of lower airfares and early bird booking offers. 


During August, Kandy hosts an annual festival over 10 days called the Perahera. Costumed elephants on parade, nightly torch processions and drumming shows make for an unforgettable experience. 

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 
£ 3950 £ 650
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Bottled drinking water in vehicles
  • Meals as indicated
  • Meet and Greet Services at the airport
  • All accommodation
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • International Flights
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas


Itinerary at a glance

Collapse all
Day 1

Fast Track at Colombo Airport
On arrival at Colombo airport you will be met by our representative holding a sign with your name on it. From there you will be fast-tracked through immigration and escorted to the Silk Route Lounge. Take time to relax with a cup of tea whilst your baggage is brought to the lounge.

Sri Lanka's sprawling capital buzzes with an effervescence and ebullience not seen anywhere else in the country. Drawing on its colonial past, it now combines ancient, colonial and modern influences in a swirl of cultures, colours and aromas particular to Sri Lanka.

Drive from Colombo to Negombo (Road Journey)

The drive to your hotel in Negombo will take around 15 minutes.

Negombo is a modest beach town located just 10km from the International Airport. With a stash of decent hotels and restaurants to suit all pockets, a friendly local community, an interesting old quarter and a reasonable beach, Negombo is a much easier place to find your Sri Lankan feet than Colombo.

Time at leisure to relax after your international flight.

You will be staying at Villa Hundira, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Fish Market
Early this morning, visit the buzzling Negombo fish market with your guide.

The cluster of huts in the traditional fishing village of Negombo, located along the borders of the lagoon waters with palm-thatched roofs is a sight hard to miss. It is not only renowned for its quaint beauty but also the flourishing fishing industry.

It is possible to observe traditional fishing equipment/methods used by local fishermen such as the outrigger canoes carved of tree trunks. If you are an early bird, you could even witness the fishermen returning home with their daily catch, others hauling the heavy nets in as well as the busy bargaining that follows between the fishermen and the merchants.

One of the most common sights sure to catch your eye while strolling through this village would be the many layers of fish laid out in the sun to dry, which is one of the commonly practiced local preservation methods.

Boating along the Negombo Lagoon
Afterwards, set out on a boat ride along the Negombo lagoon and as you go, keep a close eye on the birdlife since this is the best time for spotting them. You will also pass through the mangroves which are yet another ecosystem of shrubs and trees unique to coastal intertidal zones.

Relax back at Villa Hundira.

If interested pay a visit to the thimble Arts and Craft workshop situated on the property.

You will be staying at Villa Hundira, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Negombo to Dambulla (Road Journey)

The transfer from Negombo to Dambulla takes approximately four hours.

Dambulla is a busy town found in the Matale District of central Sri Lanka. Dambulla is commonly mentioned as it is from here the Damubulla Cave Temple is visited.

Your driver will make some interesting stops along the way to break the journey.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the hotel.

You will be staying at Wild Grass Nature Resort, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Half Day Visit to Ritigala
Dating back to the time of the ancient Sinhalese Kingdom of Anuradhapura, Ritigala was once a sprawling monastic complex, abandoned in the 10th and 11th centuries. Today, some ruins of the monastery still stand. Wander through the forest along old paths, painstakingly made using large stone slabs and lose yourself in the peaceful atmosphere of this beautiful environment as you explore the relics which remain.

Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing at the hotel.

You will be staying at Wild Grass Nature Resort, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Wake up early morning this morning for a special experience. We know waking up early on a holiday is not easy but this is something which totally deserves some effort. Together with a host from the hotel, start off with a short nature trek with a small climb up the rock where you can enjoy 360-degree views of the landscapes around which includes lakes and mountains. After gazing at the views for a while, you will get to see how your breakfast arrives all the way up through a rope connected to the restaurant, quite an interesting technique and not your normal breakfast routine!

Safari in Minneriya National Park
Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, the 8,890 hectares of Minneriya National Park is one of Sri Lanka's greatest eco systems. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favourite habitat for animals including leopards, deer and wild elephants. The park's main feature is the former reservoir built by King Mahasen in the third century AD. During the dry summer months of June to September the wild elephants of this park come to graze in their hundreds. You will also see huge flocks of birds, including cormorants and painted storks that come to fish in the shallow waters.

You will be staying at Wild Grass Nature Resort, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Drive from Dambulla to Kandy via Dambulla Caves

Journey time is approximately three hours, visiting the Dambulla Caves on route. Dambulla Rock is more than 1.5km around its base and the summit is at 550m. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1991. The caves comprise a mixture of religious and secular paintings and sculptures and there are several reclining Buddha's, including a 15m long sculpture of a dying Buddha. There are a fair few steps to reach the top, but it is worth it once at the top.

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 is believed to house a tooth of Lord Buddha himself. This precious relic attracts white-clad pilgrims, bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani, every day.

Half Day Trip to the Temple of the Tooth
Visit the revered Temple of the Tooth, which houses a tooth that is said to have come from Buddha himself. Attracting vast numbers of white-clad pilgrims, the temple is often swarming with people bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani.
According to legend, the tooth was removed as Buddha lay on his funeral pyre. It was smuggled to Sri Lanka in the fourth century, escaping the Hindu armies that were sweeping through India. Since then, this precious relic has been treated with great reverence and has survived several attempts to capture or destroy it. The tour will take approximately two hours.

You will be staying at Ellerton, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Pedalling through the Tea Estate
Visit Orange Field and meet Mr Sebastian who will indulge you with the details on how this tempting brew gets prepared. Thereafter, proceed on a cycling tour that will take you around pristine views of the village, tea plantations. Breakfast will be arranged at a scenic location. Head back to the property and spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the homely atmosphere together.

You will be staying at Ellerton, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Travel by train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

Travel to Nana Oya by train, a charming and historical route giving a chance to see the countryside and tea estates that scatter this region. Take some bottled water on the journey and perhaps a picnic from the hotel. There are also vendors on the platforms where you can buy some local snacks. The train journey usually takes around four hours. Meet your guide at Nana Oya station and drive to Nuwara Eliya town for a spot of lunch and to stretch your legs.

You will be staying at Dutch House, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Learn to be a Tea Plucker
After a relaxed breakfast, set out with the resident tea pluckers and learn the art of hand picking tea.

Morning Trek
Choose to take a leisurely hike up Little Adams Peak in Ella. This takes about one hour and the views are wonderful.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure.

You will be staying at Dutch House, bed and breakfast

Day 10

Drive from Bandarawela to Yala National Park (Road Journey)

The drive to Yala National Park will be three and a half hours.

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. Notable inhabitants are the leopards, sloth bears, diverse birdlife, sambar deer and mongoose.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the villa.

You will be staying at Taru Villa Yala, bed and breakfast

Day 11

Morning and Afternoon Game Drives
Today you will explore Yala National Park by 4WD. You will have morning and afternoon jeep game drives into one of Asia's finest wildlife reserves, accompanied by an experienced naturalist. The park's undulating terrain is home to a large number of elephants, but it is the thriving leopard population that garners most attention. After each day's morning drive, return to camp for a delicious lunch. Have time to relax, or to spend time spotting wildlife and birds from the camp itself. Then head out again in the afternoon for further exploration. Return in the early evening, as night falls, keeping an eye out for the nocturnal animals as they emerge.

You will be staying at Taru Villa Yala, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Transfer from Yala to Galle

Today you will be driven to Galle, approximately four and a half hours.

Galle is considered the most important town in the south and has managed to retain its colonial atmosphere. The Portuguese, Dutch and British have all made their mark on this interesting port and it is well worth spending time exploring the town within the fort walls, which was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Walking and Tasting Tour
There are plenty of options for where to eat in the Fort. With a local guide as your culinary compass, you will uncover some of the most off-the-beaten-track eating spots in the area. Enjoy a hot, freshly-made pol roti and experience the living history that makes this the most exciting fort in Asia.

You will be staying at 41 Lighthouse Street, bed and breakfast

Day 13

Traditional Mask Making Workshop
Masks have been used in Sri Lanka for generations, originating from rituals in the villages that followed ancient beliefs, and also used for curing illness.This hands-on mask-carving workshop is hosted by an artisan craftsman and takes you through the stages of the age-old tradition in mask carving from start to finish.

Tradtional Village Experience
You are met by your guide today. The journey begins with a boat ride that floats serenely down the Kapu Ela River. Pass along river banks, through canals, under bridges and by local village hamlets. The ride passes through rubber and cinnamon plantations and even a few low bushes of tea can be spotted. Disembark and mount bikes on which you cycle for nine kilometres. Whizz by paddy fields and through small villages, past humble markets where the villagers trade. Refreshments will be provided. Transfers are provided back to your hotel.

You will be staying at 41 Lighthouse Street, bed and breakfast

Day 14

Travel Between Galle and Colombo

Travel to Colombo, a journey of approximately three and a half hours.

Proceed to the airport for your onward flight home.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Sri Lanka

Joe Parkes, Travel Expert

"It was extremely helpful to work in conjunction with Joe and his much more up to date knowledge of India and arrive at an itinerary which we were happy with. We enjoyed the whole trip and probably what made it special for us was the fact that all the arrangements worked so well and we really didn’t have to worry about anything at all. Even when we decided to make a small change it was dealt with efficiently and promptly. We can't think of anything that would have made our trip more enjoyable."

"The service from start to finish has been excellent. Joe was very quick to respond to any queries and put together an excellent itinerary at short notice."

"A pleasure to deal with Joe. Efficient, helpful, knowledgeable and fun!"

Read More

Kate Hitchen, Travel Expert

"Kate was calm and bent over backwards to accommodate my jitters about going to Kashmir in the light of tighter FCO guidelines just a few days before our departure. She was absolutely correct in advising against what I thought we should do. Several times during the holiday we said that, 'Kate was dead right about that!'."

"We asked for a rather particular kind of Indian holiday. You delivered it in full. Highlights? Honestly, each day was a highlight in itself. "

Read More

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

Enquire about this holiday:
Speak to a Sri Lanka holiday expert:

Tailor-Made Holiday Ideas

Booking a Tailor-made holiday gives you the flexibility to customise your journey, travelling when and where suits you.

Holiday Ideas in Sri Lanka

You are unique, so we believe your holiday should be too.

We listen to what you want and create a personalised itinerary tailored around you.

Your holiday. Your experience. Your way.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

Call our Travel Experts on +01285 880 980
Start Your Journey


  • Established for over 25 years creating journeys across 100 destinations worldwide
  • Exclusive access to the best private guides


  • We negotiate the best rates with hotels and expert guides
  • Be protected from fluctuations in exchange rates


  • Each time you travel with us we donate £5 to a local charity in the UK and £10 to an international charity

Fully Protected

  • Your monies are financially protected
  • 24/7 Emergency UK contact whilst abroad

Featured in the Press

Financial Times
The Telegraph
Sunday Times logo

Our Partners

African Parks
Galapagos Conservation Trsut
Restless Development
Save The Rhino
Tusk Trust
World Land Trsut
Gorilla Doctors

© Steppes Travel, 51 Castle St, Cirencester, GL7 1QD, United Kingdom