Classic Sri Lanka

This 2-week itinerary takes in the very best that the tiny, teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka has to offer. Journey from the bustling city of Colombo to the ancient ruins and temples that make up the Cultural Triangle. Next journey up into the mist and visit mystical Hill Country, full of tea plantations and colonial hill stations.

Then head down south to the coast, take part in whale-watching tours, try your hand at surfing, and eat some of the best food on the entire island. Lastly, cap off a wonderful holiday in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Galle Fort, browsing through galleries and handicraft shops, sipping on gin and tonics and watching the sun set from the fort ramparts.

Day 1: Arrival into Colombo

On arrival into Colombo Airport, you will be met by a representative and driven 20 minutes to your hotel, The Wallawwa, in Kotugoda. The Wallawwa is a converted antique, colonial manor house which is now a stunning boutique hotel. With 14 beautifully furnished hotel rooms all in chic Sri Lankan style and an amazing location close to the airport, this is the perfect place to spend your first night in Sri Lanka.

Stay: The Wallawwa

Day 2: Colombo to Anuradhapura

This morning, you will be met by your personal driver and start your journey to Anuradhapura, approximately 2,5 hours away. Upon arrival, check into Ulagalla Resort where you will spend the next couple of nights.

This is a perfectly positioned boutique eco-hotel, in prime location to explore the Cultural Triangle of Sri Lanka. Beautifully furnished to the highest standard with state-of-the-art amenities, each room features a four-poster bed, plunge pool and terrace, as well as two bicycles for guests to use. Electric cars are used to take guests around the property, and the food is excellent.

Stay: Ulagalla Resort

Day 3: Visit Sigiriya

After breakfast this morning, you will visit the magnificent Anuradhapura with your expert guide. Sights you will visit include Jethawanaramaya, Twin Ponds, Samadhi statute, Moonstone, Abayagiriya, Rathnaprasadaya, Thuparamaya and Ruwanweliseya. If time permits, visit Mihinthale and Isurumuniya with your driver.

In the afternoon, make your way to Damballa, which houses the famed Royal Rock Temple.

Stay: Ulagalla Resort

Day 4: Visit Dambulla en route

This morning, depart Ulagalla Resort for Kandy. En routé, you will visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This is an ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the heart of the Matale District. Surrounded by extensive networks of gardens, reservoirs and other structure, Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most dramatic, inspiring and beautiful historical locations in the world.

A mythical past of feuding dynasties suits Sigiriya’s striking setting – it was built in 5th century AD by king, Kasyapa, as a fortress-palace. It is also commonly known as Sri Lanka’s answer to the Taj Mahal given its outstandingly beautiful views, staggering engineering and peerless design. The tour will take approximately 3 hours.

En route, you will have lunch at Ena de Silva then continue your drive to Kandy.

Upon you arrival, you will explore the Temple of the Tooth and enjoy a cultural show before checking in to the Kandy House

Stay: The Kandy House

Day 5: Kandy

Today, your guide will take you on a tour to explore Kandy at your own leisure. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site. Your driver will take you to visit the following included in your trip:
• Visit the Temple of the Tooth which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha
• Witness a popular cultural show that with traditional Kandyan dance accompanied by live music
• Royal Botanic Gardens

If time permits, you may be able to enjoy a game of golf or other outdoor activities at Victoria’s scenic Golf & Country Club. Otherwise, your driver could take you to the Udawatta kele sanctuary for a visit. We would recommend strolling around Kandy to soak up the atmosphere of the bustling town.

Stay: The Kandy House

Day 6: Kandy to Tea Country

Early this morning, you will head by train to the Hill Country, in central Sri Lanka. The train ride from Kandy to the heart of Sri Lanka’s Tea Country is one of the most scenic train rides in Asia. As you meander out of Kandy, dense jungle opens into cloud forest, with undulating vistas of immaculate tea bush carpets in between.

On arrival at Tea Trails, you will be driven to the Tea Trails where you will check in and have the rest of the day free at leisure.

Stay: Tea Trails

Day 7 - 8: Tea Country

You have these few days to relax and explore the beauty of the Tea Country at your leisure. Optional activities and tours we can arrange for you here:
• A private guided tour of a tea factory, to learn about the process and sample some different teas
• Mountain biking along trails with a picnic lunch
• White water rafting at Kitigula
• Visit to Nuwara Eliya (Little Scotland) and opportunity to play golf on one of the most scenic courses in the world.
• Scale Adam’s Peak at sunrise

You will stay at Tea Trails on an all-inclusive basis for these couple of nights.

Stay: Tea Trails

Day 9 - 12: Tea Trails to Yala

Today rise early for a 6hour drive to Kulu Safaris mobile tented camp in Yala National Park. You will arrive at noon to be greeted by a gourmet lunch, which is followed by an evening game drive and dinner.

Kulu Safaris combines professional guides, luxury camping facilities with the ultimate safari experience deep in the National Parks of Yala, Uda Walawe and Wilpattu.

Stay: Leopard Safaris

Day 13: From Yala to Galle

Today, you will be driven to Galle, approximately 6 hours away. Upon your arrival, check in to your hotel, Kahanda Kandafollowed by lunch and a tour of a cinnamon plantation.

In the afternoon, you will visit Handunugoda Tea Estate, possibly the closest tea plantation in the world to the sea. Handunugoda Tea Estate is known as the Virgins White Tea Factory and produces a tea completely untouched by hand. Here, you will see where this famed tea is produced, and finish off with a tea tasting.

Stay: Kahanda Kanda

Day 14 - 16: Exploring Galle

You have these few days free at your leisure to relax and enjoy Kahanda Kanda and Galle. Kahanda Kanda is just 15 minutes away from the town and beaches of Galle. We suggest the following activities which can be pre-booked by us or your driver:
• Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort
• Visit Hospital Street, Church Street or Leyn Bann Street for an assortment of
• Galle Fort Walk Excursion with Juliet Coombe
• Unawatuna Beach
• Turtle Hatchery
• Rainforest excursion
• Boat ride in Koggala Lake
• Whale watching activity

Spend the night at Kahanda Kanda and get ready for your departure home tomorrow.

Stay: Kahanda Kanda

Day 16: Departure

Today around 0800hrs you will be picked up at your hotel and driven to Colombo airport (approx. 3 hour drive) in time to catch your flight home.

Itinerary

Duration Description Overnight
Day 1: Arrival into Colombo The Wallawwa
Day 2: Colombo to Anuradhapura Ulagalla Resort
Day 3: Visit Sigiriya Ulagalla Resort
Day 4: Visit Dambulla en route The Kandy House
Day 5: Kandy The Kandy House
Day 6: Kandy to Tea Country Tea Trails
Day 7 - 8: Tea Country Tea Trails
Day 9 - 12: Tea Trails to Yala Leopard Safaris
Day 13: From Yala to Galle Kahanda Kanda
Day 14 - 16: Exploring Galle Kahanda Kanda
Day 16: Departure

Map

The Wallawwa Ulagalla The Kandy House Ceylon Tea Trails Kahanda Kanda

From USD 7,240 per person based on two persons travelling excluding flights.

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant