Tailor-Made Holiday

Sri Lanka Highlights with UNESCO Sites and beach

14 days

from £4,385pp (excluding flights)

For centuries Sri Lanka has been an important player in the spice and gem trades and the riches this has brought it are evident at some of the beautiful monuments that are still visible on the island today. Explore Sri Lanka's varied sites and get to know its welcoming people.

  • Mingle with elephants at Pinnawela orphanage and the Millennium Elephant Foundation
  • Explore and fly kites at the World Heritage sites of Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura & Sigiriya
  • Visit the charming Temple of the Tooth in Kandy
  • Spend time relaxing in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Galle

Sri Lanka has also had a troubled past, but the resilience and optimism of its people form the backbone of the wonderful warm welcome that they give to their overseas visitors. Here you will find something for everyone, from its palm fringed beaches to the temples and fortresses of the cultural triangle, wonderful wildlife and stunning scenery, Sri Lanka is the perfect holiday destination.

A fascinating way to explore the country is by bicycle. Sections of the journey can be made by bike or we can arrange for a cycling tour of some of the UNESCO Heritage sites and interior villages. 

After years of civil war the North East coast of Sri Lanka is now open for business. With small, newly opened boutique hotels, beaches and marine life to rival the Maldives plus historical sites such as Trincomalee, Fort Fredrick and the Hindu temple at Konesvaram Kovil, this area offers a new and fascinating side to this beautiful country. 

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 
£ 4385 £ 550
  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 to Sigiriya


This morning you will be met and driven to Sigiriya, a drive of approximately four hours.


Sigiriya is a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs, and other structures. Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees of the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles as Mahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (AD 477 - 495), and after the king's death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century


Spend the rest of the day at leisure


You will be staying at Vil Uyana, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Morning Visit to Anuradhapura
"Dating back to the fourth century BC, Anuradhapura was the spiritual and secular capital of the island for well over a millennium. At its height, the city was dotted with monasteries and home to over 10,000 monks; many of these monasteries and colossal dagobas can still be seen today.
Anuradhapura consists of more than a dozen archaeological sites, and you will move around from site to site either by bicycle or vehicle."


Visit to Sigiriya Rock
Explore 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.

Sigiriya consists of 1,200 steps. The first part of the visit is a leisurely walk through the pleasure gardens, before the climb up the rock. The tour takes approximately two and a half hours.


You will be staying at Vil Uyana, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Full Day Tour of Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa was the second capital of Sri Lanka, after Anuradhapura and is home to one of the countires most important cultural sites.

Further afield within Polonnaruwa many other interesting sites can be found.


You will be staying at Vil Uyana, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Drive from Sigiriya to Kandy (Road Journey)


This morning travel to Kandy, a journey of approximately four and a half hours, visiting the Dambulla Caves en route.


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.


Botanical Gardens and surroundings
Visit the Botanical Gardens which are the second largest in the world after Kew in England. The most amazing collection of flowers, trees and world famous orchid house are beautifully kept by up to 50 gardeners. It is also possible to see the outside of Lord Mountbatten’s colonial house within the gardens.


You will be staying at Bougainvillea Retreat, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Train from Kandy to Haputale
Travel by train from Kandy to Haputale, a journey of five hours via Adams Peak and Nuwara Eliya.

Drive from Haputale to Koslanda (Road Journey)


Leave the lodge after breakfast and transfer to either Moyogalpa or San Jose del Sur for the ferry back to San Jorge port on the mainland. It's then a one-hour drive across to Nicaragua's Pacific coast and the brown volcanic sand beach at San Juan del Sur. Once a quiet fishing village, San Juan is now a popular hang-out for surfers, overlooked by a statue of Christ that is perched on an adjacent hilltop. This is the Pacific gateway for some spectacular beaches that stretch both north and south of the town.


You will be staying at Living Heritage Koslanda, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Free Day at Living Heritage Koslanda
Today is left free to allow time to relax and enjoy the stunning surroundings of Living Heritage Koslanda. There is a menu of activities one can take advantage of such as walking to the local Diyaluma waterfall, join a cooking class or visit a nearby tea plantation. Some additional excursions are available at a cost or do note your driver/guide will be staying nearby so visits further afield can be planned.


You will be staying at Living Heritage Koslanda, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Day At Leisure


You will be staying at Living Heritage Koslanda, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Drive from Koslanda to Yala National Park (Road Journey)


A journey of approximately two 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.

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.


Morning and Afternoon Game Drives
Today you will explore Yala National Park by 4x4. 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 now 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.
Publicised by National Geographic, Yala's leopard research and conservation projects are now world-renowned. It is said that the park has the world's highest concentration of leopards, and these beautiful creatures will undoubtedly be the highlight of the days' safaris.
Primarily consisting of shrub jungle and containing several salt and fresh water lagoons, the park's dense vegetation is home to a wide variety of species. These include elephants, civets, bears, crocodiles and a colourful array of birds.


You will be staying at Leopard Trails Camp, full board and house beverages

Day 10

Full Day in Yala National Park
Today will be spent exploring Yala National Park. The terrain is a varied landscape of flat plains with rocky outcrops and the vegetation ranges from open parklands to dense jungle. Watering holes, small lakes, lagoons and streams provide water for the animals and birds. The main draw to Yala is the wildlife and in particular the chance of spotting leopard. The roads are bumpy as you would imagine and the drives can be farily tiring but the day can be split between the morning and afternoon to take advantage of the cooler weather.


You will be staying at Leopard Trails Camp, full board and house beverages

Day 11

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.


Full Day Exploring Galle
Galle is considered the most important town in the south and has managed to retain its colonial atmosphere. Watching the sunset from the Fort Walls will give a genuine local feel and exploring the shops, galleries and restaurants that scatter this charming town is a wonderful way to spend a few hours. Visit the Dutch Church, the spice warehouses and the lighthouse on the sea wall, all of which are best done on foot.


You will be staying at Galle Fort Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 12

Day at Leisure


You will be staying at Galle Fort Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 13

Day at Leisure


You will be staying at Galle Fort Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 14

Travel Between Galle and Colombo


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

Fly Colombo to London

Accommodation

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

Galle Fort Hotel

Galle Fort Hotel

One of the largest private house inside the Dutch ramparts of the UNESCO site of Galle Fort has been wonderfully renovated and converted into a luxurious 12 (7 suites) room hotel....

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Vil Uyana

Vil Uyana

Surrounded by paddy fields and forest, Vil Uyana has 25 individual villas on stilts....

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Leopard Trails Camp

Leopard Trails Camp

Leopard Trails offer bespoke tented safaris in Wilpattu and Yala National Parks....

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Bougainvillea Retreat

Bougainvillea Retreat

This stunning boutique hotel, immersed within an acre of gloriously landscaped bird-filled gardens, is home to five comfortable rooms, a breathtaking infinity swimming pool and an open-plan living space that spills onto a social veranda....

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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. "

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.

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