Lightfoot Travel specialise in tailor-made itineraries for family holidays, honeymoons and corporate travel around the world. Below is a sample itinerary for a family holiday to Sri Lanka, and can be adjusted based on your time, budget and interests.
Day 1: Colombo Arrival
Upon arrival at Bandaranaike Airport Colombo, you will be met by your Lightfoot Travel guide and transferred to your hotel, approximately 30 minutes by car.
The Wallawwa offers colonial charm and exceptional service set on five acres of beautifully manicured gardens. Built over 200 years ago in the traditional Dutch warehouse-style, the 14-bedroom boutique hotel combines old and new concepts in chic Sri Lankan style. A dedicated team of butlers will attend to your every wish as you explore the tropical grounds, onsite spa, and à la carte restaurant.
Stay: The Wallawwa
Day 2: Colombo to Anuradhapura
Today after checking out of your hotel, a driver will be waiting for you for your private transfer to Anuradhapura, approximately 4.5 hours away.
At Ulagalla you’ll be pleasantly impressed by the luxurious eco-friendly accommodations. The resort encompasses 58 acres of working paddy fields, organic vegetable plots, and ornamental gardens that play host to 25 chalets, a lovingly-restored wallauwa (manor house), a 30m swimming pool, a gym, and a relaxing sunken spa. The resort’s ample space and natural surroundings give it a village atmosphere that makes you feel at home from the moment you arrive. Kids will love exploring the grounds, swimming in the pool, and setting out for adventures on the pedal bicycles, two of which are provided for guests in each chalet.
Stay: Ulagalla Resort
Day 3: Anuradhapura Ancient City
Anuradhapura marks the start of Sri Lanka’s famed cultural triangle, and today it’s where you’ll begin your adventure exploring this exotic corner of the globe. The city is famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and one of medieval Asia’s greatest metropolises. From its significant history as the island’s capital from third century BC to 993 AD, Anuradhapura was blessed with vast monasteries, elaborate palaces, enormous tanks, and a trio of monumental dagobas, surpassed in scale in the ancient world only by the Egyptian pyramids. Learn all about the ancient city, considered sacred in the Buddhist world, and marvel at the jawdropping ruins, imagining life as it was centuries ago.
Stay: Ulagalla Resort
Day 4: Fortresses and Temple Caves
Today’s itinerary reads like a script from Indiana Jones. After transferring to Sigiriya by private car (approximately a 1-hour drive) you’ll arrive at the ancient fortress and castle of King Kasiappan. Wander through the palace, the moats, the Lion Gate, and the gardens, feeling like royalty, escorted by your private guide. Next, head to the Dambulla Cave Temple, a colossoal rock mass, rising 500 feet, and spanning a mile around its massive base. The caves of Dambulla sheltered King Walagamba during a 14-year exile and when he regained the throne, he built the Rock Temple as a monument of thanks. Here you’ll discover incredible frescoes depicting great events in the life of Buddha, as well as a 47 foot long reclining likeness, carved out of the rock.
Exhausted from your adventure, you can now sleep on a 3.5-hour drive to Kandy, where you’ll arrive at the Elephant Stables, a beautiful colonial bungalow overlooking the valley. The Elephant Stables was once home to a Ceylonese nobleman, and the first person from Kandy to be knighted by the British Empire. Get a good night’s rest in this stately home, for tomorrow, new adventures await.
Stay: Elephant Stables
Day 5: Adventures on the Sri Lanka Rail
One of the best ways to explore tea country is to jump aboard a train where the dramatic landscapes of the highlands will stir your senses. Wend your way through lush tea plantations, across majestic peaks, and past rushing waterfall on Sri Lanka Railways, a network of routes over 150 years old. Upon arrival at Nanuoya Station, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel. En route, make a stay in Nuwara Eliya, a town known as ‘Little England’, where three-wheelers whiz past bright red telephone booths, water buffalo wander outside a pink brick Victorian post office, and colonial bungalows with pretty rose gardens line the dusty streets.
Youll end your day at Stafford Bungalow, a 130-year old restored estate nestled in the Stafford tea plantation, the perfect spot to relax.
Stay: Stafford Bungalow
Day 6: Whatever Your Cup of Tea
After several days of adventure and travel, today it’s time for a well-deserved break. The day is yours to use as you wish. Explore the walking trails, tennis courts, and mountain bike routes of the estate. Wander through the tea plantation and discover the inner workings of the trade. Head into the tea gardens to hand pick the best shoots. Visit the local tea factory and watch as they create the perfect cup of tea. If you wish, the Tea Superintendent (yes, that is a real job) can enhance your tea tasting skills, with a unique tea-tasting lesson on request. Slurp, roll, twist, and spit! Tea has never been so much fun.
Stay: Stafford Bungalow
Day 7: Flamingos, Elephants, and Sea Turtles
Early this morning after checking out of your hotel, your driver will be waiting to escort you via private transfer to your next hotel, approximately 6 hours away. The drive might be long but it’s well worth it, for when you arrive at Chena Huts, your home for the night, you’ll be greeted by a property that sits nestled among dunes and trees at the ocean’s edge. Sea turtles come to the beach to lay eggs by moonlight and elephants wander down from the nearby jungle to play in the surf. The resort is fringed on one side by tropical jungle and on the other by a saltwater lake where flamingos can be seen wading close to shore. This is a luxurious paradise for the adults, and a wonderland for the kids.
In the afternoon the real fun begins with a late afternoon game drive through Yala National Park. Experience the park in the evening twilight, spotting wildlife as they gather around the watering holes, settling in for the night.
Stay: Chena Huts
Day 8: A Game Drive in Yala National Park
You’ve seen the park by night, now experience it with the morning sun, catching the animals at their most active. Work up an appetite watching the wildlife, then return to the hotel for a delicious breakfast, after which you’ll set out on a journey to Talpe, a 4.5-hour drive away.
Your home in Talpe is Frangipani Tree, a stylish boutique hotel set at the edge of a secluded beach in a fishing village near Galle. Designed by local architect, Channa Daswatte, Frangipani Tree is a luxurious oasis boasting big windows and verandahs that open directly onto the Indian Ocean. The courtyards are perfumed with frangipani trees, their sweet odour drifting throughout the property. Spend the afternoon relaxing by the pool or in the turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean, letting your worries drift away on the waves.
Stay: Frangipani Tree
Day 9: A Day at Leisure
Today you are free to relax and enjoy all that the South Coast has to offer. The following activities can all be arranged à la carte:
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Galle Fort
- Tour the Cricket Stadium in Galle
- Stroll Hospital Street, Church Street or Leyn Bann Street for an assortment of accessories and silks, saris, and local spiced goodies
- Relax at Unawatuna Beach
- Visit the Turtle Hatchery
- Go whale watching on the Indian Ocean
- Enjoy a rainforest excursion
- Take a boat ride in Koggala Lake (with the chance to visit a temple, a spice garden, a cinnamon island and a bird sanctuary )
- Go for a bike ride
- Scuba dive
- Visit ancient temples
- Splash about with a variety of available water sports
Stay: Frangipani Tree
Day 10: Stroll through Galle Fort
This morning lose yourself in a maze of hidden backstreets in Galle Fort on a tailor-made walking tour that will reveal secrets and hidden gems. Meet locals who have lived in the fort for generations, wandering through extravagant 18th century merchant houses, and learning all about life in the narrow streets. The guides and locals love sharing their knowledge and are happy to answer your questions, so ask away.
Later, it’s time to head back to Colombo for the final leg of the trip. Before you depart, explore the city’s bustling commercial centres and tree-lined residential streets. Visit Cinnamon Gardens, the Fort (the former British administrative centre and military garrison), Sea Street (the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah), the Bazaar area complete with a Hindu Temple, and of course the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749. Take a visit to Paradise Road for a final scavenge for souvenirs before heading to dinner.
After dinner a driver will take you by private transfer to Colombo International Airport in time to check-in for your return flight.
|Day 1:||Colombo Arrival||The Wallawwa|
|Day 2:||Colombo to Anuradhapura||Ulagalla Resort|
|Day 3:||Anuradhapura Ancient City||Ulagalla Resort|
|Day 4:||Fortresses and Temple Caves||Elephant Stables|
|Day 5:||Adventures on the Sri Lanka Rail||Stafford Bungalow|
|Day 6:||Whatever Your Cup of Tea||Stafford Bungalow|
|Day 7:||Flamingos, Elephants, and Sea Turtles||Chena Huts|
|Day 8:||A Game Drive in Yala National Park||Frangipani Tree|
|Day 9:||A Day at Leisure||Frangipani Tree|
|Day 10:||Stroll through Galle Fort|
- Accommodation with daily breakfast
- All excursions included in the itinerary
- 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 14,673 for 2 adults and 2 children under 12
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