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Sunrise over Jungle, Sri Lanka

A Family Holiday to Sri Lanka

  • TAILOR-MADE HOLIDAY IDEA

Duration

14 Days

Prices Start from

£5,150pp (ex. flights)

Suitable for

Adventure Traveller Families

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. Boutique hotels are well geared up to providing home from home experiences.

Key Highlights of this Itinerary

Elephant Herd, Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka 1

A Lot of Elephants

Marvel at the herds of wild elephants that gather at Minneriya National Park.

Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka 2

Cultural Sigiriya

Scale the heights of the Lion Fortress of Sigiriya. An exciting but safe climb.

Leopard, Yala, Sri Lanka 3

Yala National Park

Go on safari and watch your children’s faces light up as you track leopard and more.

Train from Kandy to the Tea Country, Kandy, Sri Lanka 4

The Tea Train

Experience the thrill of hanging out of doors and windows tasting the freedom – its fun to meet the local families at each station as you go.

Why we like it

Sri Lanka is a relatively small country, which means comparatively little driving. The island is a year-round destination. Children will love the opportunity to scramble around ancient ruins, swim in waterfalls, and get up close to elephants. Each day returning to a good beach or pool. We know the owners of the family-friendly lodges personally, so we can ensure your experience is personalised, every step of the way.

Explore our suggested itinerary

Sri Lanka on your wishlist? Talk to our experts about tailoring this trip for you.

  • Day 1

    Colombo - Negombo

  • Day 2

    Negombo

  • Day 3

    Negombo - Dambulla

  • Day 4 - 5

    Dambulla

  • Day 6

    Dambulla - Kandy

  • Day 7

    Kandy

  • Day 8

    Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

  • Day 9

    Nuwara Eliya

  • Day 10

    Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park

  • Day 11

    Yala National Park

  • Day 12

    Yala National Park - Galle

  • Day 13

    Galle

  • Day 14

    Galle - Colombo

Day 1

Colombo - Negombo

Sunset pool view, Suriyawatta villa, Weligama, Sri Lanka

Enjoy the privacy and freedom of renting your own fully staffed private beach villa. Children can run free whilst grown-ups kickback.

Day 2

Negombo

Pay a visit to the Thimble Foundation workshop, offering unique arts and crafts. Support the communities of fishermen’s wives and daughters.

Day 3

Negombo - Dambulla

Day 4 - 5

Dambulla

Golden Buddha Statues, Dambulla, Sri Lanka

Explore the caves at Dambulla with their life-size statues and bright colours.

Day 6

Dambulla - Kandy

Botanical Gardens, Kandy, Sri Lanka

Day 7

Kandy

Day 8

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Day 9

Nuwara Eliya

Tea Estates, Sri Lanka

Take a train ride through the tea hills and experience the scenery of the tea country.

Day 10

Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park

Day 11

Yala National Park

Portrait of an Sri Lankan Leopard, Yala, Sri Lanka

Watch your children’s faces light up as you track leopard and wild elephant in Yala National Park.

Day 12

Yala National Park - Galle

Day 13

Galle

Traditional stilt fishermen, Near Galle, Sri Lanka

The best place for stress-free shopping, Galle is home to boutique galleries and craftsmen at work. Buy gifts from here to take home. Then explore the Dutch Fort and play on the beach.

Day 14

Galle - Colombo

Now for the details

Base of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Indiana Jones in Sri Lanka - The Cultural Triangle

The ancient sites, many UNESCO listed, are superb. Enjoy exploring by bike or scrambling around the 2,000-year-old ruins. Visit Dambulla and Sigiriya – immense rocks that soar dramatically up from the flat central plains. The climb up can be a little steep but the views from the top in the early morning are incredible. Along the way, the children will enjoy watching the playful monkeys that live in the temples. We recommend getting the climb out of the way before the heat and the coach tours arrive!

Tea Pickers, Sri Lanka
Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

Tea Plucker for a Day

Learn to be a tea plucker. Take a guided tour from the grounds of the tea estate and see the brightly dressed ladies amongst the lush greenery. Have a go yourself.

Baby Elephant, Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka
Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka

Wildlife Safari

Minneriya National Park is a favourite place for leopards, deer and wild elephants. During the dry summer months of June to September, the wild elephants of this park come to graze in their hundreds. The Millenium Elephant Foundation near Kandy allows you to spend a few hours walking with and feeding the elephants. This proves to be highly educational and a huge amount of fun too.

Train from Kandy to the Tea Country, Kandy, Sri Lanka
Kandy, Sri Lanka

Train Travel

Take a train through the tea plantation. Hop on board for a few scenic hours. Taste the freedom and excitement of waving from the doors and windows. People selling food and drink jump on and off the trains. Unlike the UK there are seat reservations, lots of space and no compulsory standing!

Children viewing Elephants, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka

Family Friendly Sri Lanka

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!

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.  Early booking is highly recommended to take advantage of lower airfares and early-bird booking offers.

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Galle Fort, Galle, Sri Lanka
Galle, Sri Lanka

Walk Galle Fort

The best place for stress-free shopping, Galle is home to boutique galleries and craftsmen at work. Buy gifts from here to take home. Then explore the Dutch Fort and play on the beach.

Accommodation

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

Fort Bazaar £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Boutique

The Fort Bazaar is a stunning boutique spa hotel in the heart of colonial Galle, offering peace and quiet, high-end service and gourmet modern dining. There is an atmospheric central thoroughfare. This handsome merchant’s home-turned-boutique hotel with 18 stylish guestrooms and fresh, contemporary interiors is located on Church Street within Galle Fort.

View Property

Taylors Hill £££££

  • Sri Lanka

Taylors Hill combines the contemporary with the history and legacy of tea in Ceylon. A distinctive, 100-year-old planters house offering five bedrooms, close to the city of Kandy with sumptuous decor and up-country cosiness, Taylors Hill is one of the most stylish tea estate hotels in the Kandy area.

View Property

Ulagalla £££££

  • Sri Lanka
  • Wilderness

A beautifully restored Sri Lankan Manor house, Ulagalla lies in a small village near the world heritage site of Anuradhapura. Ulagalla is the perfect spot to base yourself whilst exploring the sights of the Cultural Triangle. Once the ancestral estate of local Anuradhapura nobility, this luxury hotel features a 150-year-old mansion at its centre, with 20 private ecologically-built chalets across 58 acres of land.

View Property

Let’s chat

Speak to our experts

Our team is waiting to help you tailor a trip that will leave you with stories for a lifetime. Call us on

01285 601 784

Send us an enquiry

Complete our enquiry form and start your next journey.

Enquire

Kate Hitchen's help in organising this trip was excellent. She was very knowledgable and tailor-made our trip to suit our three teenage children.

Sri Lanka

A note on price

Prices will vary depending on the time of year you are travelling. Prices do not include international flights. Please ask one of our Travel Experts for an accurate quote. Flights purchased through Steppes Travel departing from the UK are ATOL protected.

This Itinerary
Price
From £5,150 Per person

When to travel

Sri Lanka in January

Sri Lanka benefits from generally good weather all year round and experiences a tropical climate with the best and most popular to visit being during our winter months, from January to April.

Sri Lanka in February

Visit the Southern and Western coast of Sri Lanka to experience the hot and humid climate in coastal areas or visit the mountainous regions for cooler temperatures with less humidity.

Sri Lanka in March

In Northern and Central Sri Lanka, temperatures will start to rise, and these regions will become more humid with March being generally a dry month for Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka in April

Overall, April is a very good time to visit Sri Lanka, with most of the island experiencing high temperatures and lots of sunshine, all before the first monsoon rains of the year begin in the South.

Sri Lanka in May

From May to August, the country experiences the first of its two annual monsoon seasons in Southwest Sri Lanka. Therefore, during these months it is best to visit Northeast Sri Lanka including Batticaloa and Passekudah.

Sri Lanka in June

Rainfall with continue in the South during the monsoon season whereas in Northern Sri Lanka, June is one of the best times to visit this area with a warm climate and high temperatures throughout.

Sri Lanka in July

In Northern Sri Lanka, the months of June and July are particularly good times to travel to the area, with minimal rainfall, particularly high temperatures and long days of sunshine.

Sri Lanka in August

Throughout the country, you can expect excellent climate conditions. August is ideal month for those wanting to experience both the Northeast and Southwest regions of the island, typically quite unusual due to Sri Lanka’s monsoon seasons.

Sri Lanka in September

September will start to see the end of the monsoon season in the Southwest and whilst rainfall and thunderstorms are less frequent, are still likely across the region.

Sri Lanka in October

Prior to the monsoon season, rainfall is likely throughout the country and can sometimes be unpredictable, meaning disruptions in travel are likely.

Sri Lanka in November

From November to February, Northeast Sri Lanka will experience one of two annual monsoon seasons. Whilst most days will experience rainfall, it is a great time to travel to experience the lush, green countryside.

Sri Lanka in December

Due to the monsoon in the Northeast, it is best to visit the southwest coast of Sri Lanka prior to the second monsoon reaching this area in May. Experience high levels of sunshine, perfect for Sri Lanka’s beaches.