Classic Sri Lanka

Suggested Itinerary

Overview

With a heritage that can be traced back over three and a half millennia, Sri Lanka is a land filled with magic and mystery. Steeped in the myths and legends of the Ramayana, it has been home to the Sinhalese since the late 6th century BC. Colonised by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British, it was once described as the finest island in the world. This classic adventure takes in many of Sri Lanka’s cultural and natural highlights including the old capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa,...

Read More

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

Suggested Itinerary

This is a suggested itinerary. Our experts have all travelled widely in the region and will be happy to tailor any of our itineraries to suit your tastes, or build a trip from scratch.

EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

Day 1 Arrive Colombo

Day 1 Arrive Colombo

Your journey begins in Colombo, Sri Lanka's largest city and its de facto capital. Strategically located along the east-west trade routes, Colombo was a major trading port 2,000 years ago, attracting merchants from as far away as China, Persia and Rome. Today it is still home to one of the country's largest and busiest ports and is one of Sri Lanka's most culturally diverse cities. This afternoon head out on a guided walk which will show you some of the city’s architecture, there are many colonial buildings such as the clock tower and Dutch Hospital as well as mosques and temples. Take a stroll around the busy Pettah Market to see the various traders.

Cinnamon Grand

Day 2 Colombo - Yapahuwa - Anuradhapura: Ancient Ruins

Day 2 Colombo - Yapahuwa - Anuradhapura: Ancient Ruins

Head inland, stopping first at stop at the magnificent Yapahuwa Rock Fortress, a 100m high rocky outcrop home to the ruins of a 3rd century BCE monastery and stupa, climb to the top before exploring more recent religious buildings around the base. Continue on to Anuradhapura, site of the country's first capital and one of the greatest monastic centres of the ancient world. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site which lay at the heart of Theravada Buddhism for centuries, wander amongst the stupas, monasteries and water tanks and pay a visit to the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree. You'll also visit the Isurumiya Temple, dating form the 3rd century BC and home to a number of carvings.

The Lake Forest Hotel
Breakfast

Day 3 Anuradhapura - Mihintale - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya: Buddhist & Royal History

Day 3 Anuradhapura - Mihintale - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya: Buddhist & Royal History

This morning you'll visit the nearby mountain peak of Mihintale, said to be the site where Buddhism was first introduced to the island. The site is home to a number of monuments and abandoned temples and remains to this day one of the country's most important pilgrimage sites. Continuing on to Polonnaruwa from here, you'll then pay a visit to Sri Lanka's medieval capital, another of the country's World Heritage Sites, where you will visit its impressive reclining Buddha and the spectacular ruins of its Royal Palace, before continuing to your hotel in Sigiriya. Early this evening for sunset, you may like to climb Pidurangala Rock, this 200m high rocky outcrop gives views across to Sigiriya.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast

Day 4 Sigiriya & Minneriya National Park: Rock ruins & Jeep Safari

Day 4 Sigiriya & Minneriya National Park: Rock ruins & Jeep Safari

Head early to the unique Rock Fortress, or 'castle in the sky' as it is sometimes known at Sigiriya. This massive monolith of red stone rises 600ft above ground and is home to the remains of the 5th century fortress of King Kasyapa. Its common name - Lion Rock - is derived from the way the entrance to the path that ascends the mountain is reached between the paws of a lion. Halfway up, accessible by a spiral staircase and tucked beneath a sheltering overhang of rock, are the famous frescoes - the Sigiriya Damsels, continue the climb for the views of the surrounding countryside and to visit the archaeological site. From here head to one of the nearby villages and with a local guide, you will also enjoy lunch in one of the houses. This afternoon go on a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, renowned for its large herds of elephants, large reservoir and wetlands.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5 Sigiriya - Dambulla - Kandy: Cave Frescoes & Evening Temple Puja

Day 5 Sigiriya - Dambulla - Kandy: Cave Frescoes & Evening Temple Puja

The journey to Kandy today takes you by way of the UNESCO caves at Dambulla, where you'll find a remarkable collection of temples and statues that date back to the 1st century BC. Filled with images of the Buddha and sculptures of the Hindu gods, the caves have become an important pilgrimage site for countless thousands of worshippers. Continuing into the mountains that lie to the north-east of Colombo, stop off at a spice garden and batik factory in Matale to learn about the different spices that have been grown for centuries in Sri Lanka. Your day's journey then ends in Kandy, the last capital of the ancient Sri Lankan kings and one of the country’s cultural and spiritual gems. This afternoon enjoy a culinary walk, exploring local markets and visiting Hela Bojun Hala, a spacious open-air food court set up with the aim of not only providing delicious Sri Lankan food at subsidised prices, but also providing employment opportunities for local women. In the evening head to the revered Temple of the Tooth for the evening puja ceremony.

Cinnamon Citadel
Breakfast

Day 6 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya: Tea Country Train

Day 6 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya: Tea Country Train

There is the option for an early start to see the beautiful orchid collection at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya before heading for the train to Nanu Oya, one of the best train journeys in Sri Lanka, the track takes you through beautiful hills with tea plantations and forests. On arrival you will head to the colonial hill station of Nuwarya Eliya at the foot of Pidurutalala, Sri Lanka’s highest mountain. This afternoon is free to stroll around the quaint town, built with the British countryside in mind and home to neat lawns, Anglican churches and beautiful parks.

Amaya Langdale
Breakfast

Day 7 Horton Plains: World's End

Day 7 Horton Plains: World's End

Today head to the misty grasslands of the Horton Plains, Sri Lanka's highest and most isolated plateau. Located some 2,000 metres above sea level, it provides an ideal spot for some captivating nature walks, with a wealth of birds and animals calling this grassland home. There are various trails to take including the climb to the peak of Mt Kirigalpotta 2395m, or to World’s End where the plateau comes to a sudden end and drops 880m giving spectacular views out of the lowlands below. Return to Nuwara Eliya visiting a tea plantation en route.

Amaya Langdale
Breakfast

Day 8 Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park: Through the Hills to Yala

Day 8 Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park: Through the Hills to Yala

Leaving the hill country behind head east, towards the coast and Yala National Park, stopping off to enjoy the majestic sights of the Ravava Falls and the Ella Gap. Covering some 30,000 hectares of scrub, teak plantations and rainforest, the park is home to the largest concentrations of elephants in the country, as well as sloth bears, jackals, leopards and a vast array of birds. If time permits also visit Elephant Transit Home. Continuing on to Yala, you'll have time for a jeep safari in the late afternoon. Yala has one of the highest density of leopards in Asia but is also home to various ecosystems including forests, grasslands, beaches and wetlands as well as an abundance of birdlife, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and sloth bears.

Jetwing Yala
Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 Yala National Park: Jeep Safaris

Day 9 Yala National Park: Jeep Safaris

Another day in the park with morning and afternoon jeep safaris provide opportunities to look for more wildlife, perhaps you might spot wild buffalo, pangolins, jackals or sambar deer as well as keeping an eye out for the rich diversity of birdlife that includes lesser flamingos, paradise flycatchers and crested hawk eagles.

Jetwing Yala
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Yala National Park - Galle: Along the Coast

Day 10 Yala National Park - Galle: Along the Coast

The drive to Galle, on Sri Lanka's beautiful south-western coast, takes you first by way of the extraordinary Wewurukannala Vihara Buddhist Temple, home to the country's largest statue. Make another stop at the beach town of Weligama to see the famous stilt fisherman at work. Continuing on to Galle, home to a 17th century Dutch Fort, whose extensive fortifications present us with the largest European fortress left in Asia.

Jetwing Lighthouse
Breakfast

Day 11 Galle: Inside the Fort

Day 11 Galle: Inside the Fort

After a leisurely morning head to Galle in the afternoon to enjoy a tour of the fort, surrounded by ramparts it is a city within a city with a lighthouse, mosques, churches, restaurants, banks and hotels all set on cobblestone roads. Visit the various different buildings and streets before a sunset walk along the ramparts.

Jetwing Lighthouse
Breakfast

Day 12 Galle: At Leisure

Day 12 Galle: At Leisure

Spend the day at leisure at this luxurious boutique hotel. If you would like to explore more of Galle Fort we can provide an array of recommendations so please discuss with your guide.

Jetwing Lighthouse
Breakfast

Day 13 Galle - Depart Colombo

Day 13 Galle - Depart Colombo

Driving back along the coast to Colombo this morning, along the way stop off to visit Lunuganga, Geoffrey Bawa’s country estate. You will arrive back at the city's international airport in time to catch your return flight home.

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation listed here is intended as a guide only, to give you a taste of what we can do. Our experts can tailor any aspect of this itinerary and accommodation to suit your budget and tastes.

GUIDELINE PRICE & WHAT’S INCLUDED

13 days from £3,175

MEALS

As specified in the itinerary, sampling some of the country's finest cuisine.

TRANSPORT

Private air-conditioned vehicles with experienced, dedicated drivers.

ENTRANCE FEES

Tours and admission fees, including tickets specified in the itinerary.

EXPERT TEAM

Licensed English-speaking guides and a support team available 24/7.

ACCOMMODATION

As specified in the itinerary, using some of our favourite local properties.

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 10828 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is per person, based on two people travelling outside of peak periods. As this itinerary is only a suggestion and can be tailor-made to suit your interests and budget, your final price may differ.

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

WHEN TO GO

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

Our team of experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to help you plan your adventure of a lifetime.

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

Meet the expert, Shalmali

Shalmali is our Indian Subcontinent expert, who has travelled extensively in the region.

Speak to Shalmali by calling
+44 (0)20 3944 6258

Early morning hike to Sigiriya rock, train journey from Kandy to Ella, walk with the Vedda in Gal Oya, visit a working tea factory, food walk in Colombo, leopard tracking in Wilpattu, visit Anuradhapura at night, best beach stay in Tangalla

OTHER ITINERARIES IN SRI LANKA