Tailor-Made Holiday

North Sri Lanka Discovery

12 days

from £3,295pp (excluding flights)

For those wanting to explore more of this fascinating island and travel off the beaten track then visiting the northern region makes for an eclectic and varied trip.

  • Explore the lake side sites of Anuradhapura by bicycle, linked by red dirt tracks
  • Attend a puja (religious service) at the Nallur Kandasamy Kovil
  • Watch graceful wild horses on Delft island, a ferry ride away for the adventurous
  • Gain the best vantage point on top of the ramparts of Jaffna Fort
  • Clamber up the giant rock fortress of Sigirya and visit the elephant gathering
  • Join a fisherman on his catamaran and wade through Pasekudah Bay
  •  Whale watching expeditions in the deep seas off Trinco, home to the world’s largest natural harbour

 The Cultural Triangle is a must see on any visit to Sri Lanka and by staying initially near Anuradhapura, this is a great base for the first 3 nights of the holiday. Anuradhapura, the ancient capital ruled over Sri Lanka for a thousand years. The best way to see the sites, which are remote, is by bicycle, peacefully located alongside lakes. From here explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress, take an evening safari at Minneriya National Park, said to be the best place on earth for wild elephants.

Travel north to Jaffna, by road this is approximately 5 hours.  Situated at the northern tip of the island the Jaffna peninsula is steeped in history.  It is scattered with ancient Hindu kovils with colourful statues; colonial period churches that date back to the 17C; and ruins of ancient Buddhist temples. Explore Jaffna town and its surrounding areas within the mainland, or hop on board a ferry and cross over to the remote Delft Island. The landscape is dotted with Palmyra Palms and picturesque lagoons where flamingos flock after the rains.

Pasekudah is a pristine beach location on the East coastline. Whilst staying in Pasekudah visit the nearby uninhabited coral island and spend a few hours snorkelling. Whale watching expeditions are organised from Trincomalee, a day trip away. The waters around Trinco are inhabited by gigantic Blue Whales, Bryde's Whale and the Sperm Whale as well as spinner and bottle nosed dolphins have been spotted here.

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 
£ 3295 -
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • All accommodation
  • Internal flights
  • International flights as detailed
  • Sightseeing with private guide as per the itinerary
  • Transfers as detailed

what is excluded

  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visas

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

Day 2

Travel Between Colombo and Anuradhapura


You will be driven from Colombo to Anuradhapura, approximately four and a half hours by car.


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.


Time at leisure this afternoon


You will be staying at Ulagalla, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Full Day to Anuradhapura
The sacred city of Anuradhapura was established around a cutting from the 'tree of enlightenment', Buddha's fig tree, which brought there in the 3rd century B.C. 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. Time can be spend 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. The tour will last approximately three hours.


You will be staying at Ulagalla, bed and breakfast

Day 4

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.


Evening Safari in Minneriya National Park
In the late afternoon, travel to nearby Minneriya National Park. Located between Habarana and Polonnaruwa, this protected area contains one of Sri Lanka's most interesting ecosystems. Set out on an evening safari through the parklands.

Centred on the ancient Minneriya Reservoir, which was built in the third century, the park is rich with wildlife. During the drier summer months, wild elephants come to graze here, whilst cormorants and painted storks flock to feed upon the fish that live in the reservoir's shallow waters.


You will be staying at Ulagalla, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Travel between Anuradhapura to Jaffna


The drive to Jaffna today will take approximately 4.5 hours.


Having lived through an insurgent uprising, military occupation and extensive damage, Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka's Northern Province, is returning to normalcy since the end of a thirty year long civil war.

Regularly invaded by South Indian Rulers, followed by Portuguese, Dutch and British rulers, Jaffna experienced a short lull of peace with the independence from Britain before being occupied by the LTTE in 1986, then Indian Peace Keepers and the Sri Lankan Army. The fascinating town is an absorbing mix of colonial charm and vibrant Tamil culture, while the Jaffna Peninsula and surrounding islands offer a string of remote temples, Hindu and Buddhist alike, and more off-beat beaches.


Afternoon Sightseeing in Jaffna
Afternoon visit to the Jaffna Archeological Museum and the Dutch Fort, along with the colourful Jaffna markets.


You will be staying at Jaffna Heritage, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Morning Sightseeing around Jaffna
Morning visit to Nalur Kovil for the morning Pooja, with a visit to Casuarina Beach in Karainagar. Take a lunch at Fort Hammenhiel whilst at the beach.


You will be staying at Jaffna Heritage, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Transfer between Jaffna to Passikuda


The drive to Passikuda today will take approximately 5 hours.


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.


Time At Leisure


You will be staying at Uga Bay, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Snorkelling at Passikuda Bay
During your stay at Uga Bay, a snorkelling tour will be organised.


You will be staying at Uga Bay, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Bicycle to Local Villages
Borrow a bicycle to venture out and discover nearby fishing villages, local markets and traditional Hindu temples.


You will be staying at Uga Bay, bed and breakfast

Day 10

You will be staying at Uga Bay, bed and breakfast

Day 11

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

Fly Passekudah to Colombo


You will be staying at The Wallawwa, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Fly Kotugoda to London

Accommodation

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

Ulagalla

Ulagalla

A beautifully restored Sri Lankan Manor house, Ulagalla lies in a small village near the world heritage site of Anuradhapura....

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

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!"

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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. "

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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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