In this 13 day itinerary you will discover the northern and eastern parts of Sri Lanka and explore the cultures, landscapes and astonishing archeological sites that have shaped Sri Lanka’s hisory. Immerse yourself in the spiriitual heart of Sri Lanka with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage sites.
Day 1: Arrive in Sri Lanka
Stay: The Wallawwa
Day 2: From Colombo to Tea Country
Winding your way inland, enjoy the views of the coconut and rubber plantations and admire the Kelani River, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places in Sri Lanka, before arriving in the Tea Country.
You will spend the night in one of the classic colonial bungalows Tea Trails, originally built for the British tea estate managers in the days of the Raj. A butler will attend to your needs whilst you enjoy the view of the mountains from the verandah.
Stay: Tea Trails
Day 3: Tea plantations and Adam's Peak
Directly and indirectly, over one million Sri Lankans are employed in the tea industry. In your visit to the tea plantation you will gain an interesting insight into the growth and manufacture of tea, Sri Lanka’s most famous crop.
Later in the afternoon you can take in the spectacular view of the surrounding landscape and admire Adam’s peak from a ridge between the valley.
Stay: Tea Trails
Days 4 - 5: Kandy
Your next stop is Kandy. You will hop on a train from the Tea Trails which gives you one of the most scenic views of Sri Lanka. Expect soaring peaks and dramatic ravines with thundering waterfalls and glassy lakes to reflect the astonishing scenary.
After lunch you have the chance to walk around the immculate Royal Botanical gardens under the guidance of a professor of Botany, Mr Palipana.
You will start the second day in Kandy with a guided walk around the city, looking in on the lively central market stocked with exotic spices and textiles before heading to the most sacred site in Sri Lanka; the Temple of Tooth. For 300 years the Kandyan Kings defended their capital from Portuguese and Dutch invasion and it did eventually fall under British control. However, it has maintained its position as an epicentre of Sinhalese culture and the Temple of Tooth is symbolic of this.
After lunch we recommend a visit to the the British Garrison Cemetery which is across the road. Don’t be put off by the prospect of visiting a cemetery, this is no ordinary one, and well worth a visit.
Later that day you can admire the moonrise over the Hunas Mountain at a local artist’s house set up in the hills before heading back to Kandy House for dinner.
Stay: The Kandy House
Days 6 - 7: Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle
The Cultural Triangle is home to 4 of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You will spend two days visiting the main sites which include the Dambulla Cave Temples, Sigiriya and Pollonaruwa. In between these guided tours you will also visit a working Spice Garden and enjoy lunch at Ena de Silva’s estate. In 1962 Ena moved to the house and started to experiment with batik making. She then established a fabric business producing many decorative pieces, one of which was hung on the front of the islands’ parliament. You will witness some of this incredible needlework at your visit to the house.
In between your visit to these stunning archeological sites you will spend two nights relaxing at the Ulagalla Resort nearby.
If time permits, you can also visit the Minneriya National Park and witness the world’s largest elephant gathering. The elepants herd around the resevoir to graze and bathe whilst huge flocks of birds, including cormorants and painted storks come to fish in the shallow water.
Stay: Ulagalla Resort
Days 8 - 9: The Beaches of Trincomalee
The journey continues towards the north east, to Trincomalee, which boasts of some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful beaches. The waters around Trincomalee are inhabited by dolphins and whales including the gigantic Blue Whales, Bryde’s Whale and the Sperm Whale as well as spinner and bottle nosed dolphins. Whale and dolphin spotting excursions are offered during the season from May to October when the waters are sufficiently calm to go into the deep seas.
You will be ideally placed between the ocean and the lagoon at the luxury retreat- Jungle Beach. Relax on the white beaches or spend your time discovering the magnificent marine life by snorkelling around the coral reef.
Stay: Jungle Beach Resort
Days 10 - 11: Jaffna
Spend the morning relaxing on the beach before flying to Jaffna- the capital city of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka.
Jaffna is one of the northern most towns in Sri Lanka and varies dramatically to the rest of the country. 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.
The day starts with a visit to the Nallur Kovil at puja time. Nallur Kandasamy Kovil is one of Jaffna’s main kovils and is dedicated to the Hindu God Murugan. This is an extensive kovil with a series of halls covered with murals depicting Lord Murugan, sacred shrines, and a central courtyard with a water tank for cleansing prior to worship. The drumming and nadaswaram playing make it incredibly atmospheric.
You will then head back to the centre of Jaffna town to explore and have lunch at a local restaurant. The cuisine in Jaffna is also a highlight; expect crab and prawn curries and delicious indian food.
After lunch you can visit the Jaffna Library and take a walk around the fort on the edge of the Indian Ocean before heading back to Villa Margosa.
Stay: Expo Margosa
Day 12: Colombo
After a short flight to Colombo Ratmalana Airport there is time a for long lunch before meeting Mark Forbes, a local photographer for a guided tour of the city. Mark will take you back in time and explain the history and culture of this vibrant city.
There is no better way to round off the trip than with a visit to the Ministry of Crab for one of their world renowed dishes. This restaurant is owned by two of Sri Lanka’s best known faces – cricketers Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene.
Afterwards you can head back to The Wallawwa for your final nights sleep!
Stay: The Wallawwa
Day 13: Departure from Colombo
At a pre-arranged time your chaffeur will take you to the airport for your departure.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Sri Lanka||The Wallawwa|
|Day 2:||From Colombo to Tea Country||Tea Trails|
|Day 3:||Tea plantations and Adam's Peak||Tea Trails|
|Days 4 - 5:||Kandy||The Kandy House|
|Days 6 - 7:||Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle||Ulagalla Resort|
|Days 8 - 9:||The Beaches of Trincomalee||Jungle Beach Resort|
|Days 10 - 11:||Jaffna||Expo Margosa|
|Day 12:||Colombo||The Wallawwa|
|Day 13:||Departure from Colombo|
- Accommodation with daily breakfast
- 24 hour emergency contact
- International airfare
- Early check-in / late check-out
- Personal expenses
- Tips & gratuities
- Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays)
From USD 3,125 per person based on two guests travelling
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
- Take one of the most scenic train rides in Asia.
- Explore the Royal Botanical Gardens with a Professor of Botany
- Soak up the moonrise over Hunas Mountain and indulge in a culinary feast at the private home of Sri Lanka’s only internationally recognized batik artist
- Marvel at the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Cultural Triangle
- Witness the world’s largest elephant gathering at Mineriya National Park
- Head to the coast to relax on some of the islands’ most beautiful beaches
- Finish the trip with a guided walk through the city of Colombo with a local resident photographer
From USD 3,125 per person