Complete Sri Lanka

Example Itinerary

Overview

Sinhalese history can be traced back over three and a half millennia, with the arrival of Buddhism around 250 BC having a major influence on its culture and architecture. An influence that can still be seen today amongst its stunning World Heritage Sites. The later arrival of the Tamils and the Europeans enhanced this cultural mix, to create a unique island that was once described as the finest in all the world. This fascinating journey takes in the cultural heartland of the island with visits to ...
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Speak to Shalmali to start planning your trip to Sri Lanka

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

How Tailor-Made Works

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Discuss your initial ideas with one of our experts, the types of things you want to see and do.

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Your expert will start designing your perfect trip. Within a day or two we'll send a suggested itinerary.

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At this stage you can still tweak anything from accommodation to experiences and dates, using our expert advice.

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Time to prepare for your trip, safe in the knowledge you'll be in the expert hands of local guides and drivers throughout.

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Example Itinerary

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

Day 1 Arrive Colombo - Anuradhapura

Fly into Colombo and transfer to Anuradhapura, the country's first capital and one of the greatest monastic centres of the ancient world. En route visit the fascinating Yapahuwa Rock Fortress where you will find remains of monasteries dating from the 3rd Century BC as well as ruins of palaces from medieval times when Yapahuwa was the capital and housed the relic of the tooth. On arrival in Anuradhapura the evening is free to relax.

Forest Rock Garden

Day 2 Anuradhapura: Stupas & Saplings

Spend the morning exploring this ancient city, dating from the 5th century BC, it is a sprawling array of monasteries, palaces, courtyards, temples and of course the large stupas which dominate the skyline. Discover the history behind the city’s 1000 year rule and see the Sri Maha Bodhi tree, said to be a sapling of the tree under which the Buddha gained enlightenment. In the late afternoon head to Mihintale, a sacred spot on which Buddhism is said to have been introduced to the island. Explore the monastic ruins and stupas before you climb the 300m high rock for the views out over the valley in the setting sun.

Forest Rock Garden Breakfast

Day 3 Anuradhapura - Mannar: Forts & Temples

After breakfast this morning you will leave for the town of Mannar, a busy sea port that was once renowned as a centre for pearl fishing. Reach the island on a 3km long causeway leading you to a land of white sand beaches, wild donkeys and baobab trees. Visit Mannar Town to see the famous pilgrimage Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, the holiest Catholic shrine in Sri Lanka. You'll also take in the Dutch Fort and the historic Thiruketheeswaram Temple, one of the main Eswara temples in the country and overlooking the ancient Tamil port towns of Manthai and Kudiramalai before ending at 'Doric Bungalow' to watch the pearl fishermen.

Palmyrah House Breakfast

Day 4 Mannar - Jaffna: To the Far North

Head for the historic city of Jaffna today, capital of Sri Lanka's northern provinces. Hemmed in to the south and the west by Jaffna Lagoon, the city served as the power-base of the Jaffna Kingdom of the 13th-17th centuries and in later years came under the influence of the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British. The journey there today takes us via the newly built Sanguppidy Bridge, which connects the Jaffna Peninsula with the mainland. You’ll visit the Dutch Fort at Pooneryn, before taking a tour of Jaffna’s Public Library and Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, as well as the fabulous Chunnkam market where you can browse beautiful handicrafts and fresh produce. Finally reward yourself with a visit to Ammachi Unavagam where you can sample some of the country’s most fabulous food. Roughly translating to ‘grandmother’s eatery’ in Tamil, these low-cost eateries offer local women the opportunity for financial and social independence.

Jetwing Mahesa Bhawan Breakfast

Day 5 Jaffna: Explore the Northern Islands

Nearby Nainathivu Island was home to the Naga people who according to folklore inhabited all of Sri Lanka. The island is mentioned in many ancient texts and a boat trip there provides an opportunity to visit the Naga Poosari Amman Hindu Temple and the ancient Nagadeepa Buddhist Temple, said to occupy a spot blessed by the Lord Buddha during his second visit to Sri Lanka. Other sightseeing today includes the Buddhist ruins at Kadurugoda, the therapeutic hot springs at Keeramalai and the temple at Dambakolapatuna, where the sacred Bodhi tree in Anuradhapura first reached Sri Lanka's shores. En route visit Karainagar village where you can see the women weaving Palmyrah leafs into baskets and handicrafts – a traditional craft that’s sadly disappearing.

Jetwing Mahesa Bhawan Breakfast

Day 6 Jaffna - Trincomalee: Around the Coast

Travel today to the east coast and the port city of Trincomalee. A traditional stronghold of Tamil culture, the city is one of the oldest in Asia and was a major maritime trading centre during the island's long history of trade with South East Asia. Check in to your beach side hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure, perhaps head out on to the water, visit the spa or sit back and watch the fishermen bring in their catch.

Cinnamon Trinco Blu Breakfast

Day 7 Trincomalee: Coastal City

Visit Trincomalee and explore the city’s colonial past at the 17th century Portuguese Fort Frederick before heading to the ancient Koneswaram Temple (The Temple of the Thousand Pillars), dedicated to Shiva and from where you can take in the views of the temple with Trincomalee Bay. You'll also visit the Vilgam Vehera, an archaeological complex and one of the oldest shrines in the Eastern Province, where one of the first saplings of the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi was planted.

Cinnamon Trinco Blu Breakfast

Day 8 Trincomalee - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya: Discover the Medievel Capital

Turning away from the coast, head next for the ancient city of Sigiriya, located in the central Matale District. En route visit the old medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, a city that reached the height of its glory during the 12th century. Another of Sri Lanka's wonderful World Heritage Sites, the city is filled with a rich collection of ancient buildings and monuments. You'll visit the magnificent ruins of its Royal Palace, with its Audience Hall, Bathing Pool and Quadrangle. You'll also take in the curious Circular Relic House and the colossal carved figures of the Galvihara, hewn out of solid granite. Continue on to Sigiriya where you can relax for the rest of the day.

Wild Grass Nature Resort Breakfast

Day 9 Sigiriya & Minneriya: From Lion Rock to Elephant Safari

The unique Rock Fortress, or 'castle in the sky' as it is sometimes known at Sigiriya, is a massive monolith of red stone that rises 600ft above ground. 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. The ruins of this 5th century fortress completely dominate the landscape and are one of Sri Lanka's major attractions. Spend some time with your guide exploring this splendid site, as you climb to the top where you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding countryside, as well as the remains of what is left of the palace of King Kasyapa. Halfway up, accessible by a spiral staircase and tucked beneath a sheltering overhang of rock, are the famous frescoes - the Sigiriya Damsels. After your fill of culture in the morning, you will head to Minneriya National Park in the late afternoon for a jeep safari. The scrub, forest and wetlands of the park are one of the best places in the country for seeing elephants as well as a number of birds, deer, buffalo and crocodiles.

Wild Grass Nature Resort Breakfast

Day 10 Sigiriya - Dambulla - Kandy: Frescoes & Statues

The journey to Kandy 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, with the largest of the caves containing some 48 statues of the Buddha. Continuing on to the Matale Spice Gardens and Batik Factory, you'll then get a chance to join a tour to learn more about the use of spices in day to day life, before completing the journey to Kandy.

Kandy House Breakfast

Day 11 Kandy: Bustling City & Exotic Gardens

The last capital of the ancient Sri Lankan kings, Kandy is one of the country's cultural jewels with a blend of ancient Sinhala and modern architecture. Home to the revered Temple of the Tooth, the city still retains a sense of its old-world charm and a guided tour of some of its highlights includes the beautiful Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, one of the finest of its kind in Asia with a vast collection of over 4000 orchids. Continue on 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. Later make your way to the Temple of the Tooth, one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Sri Lanka.

Kandy House Breakfast

Day 12 Kandy - Galle: From the Highlands to the Coast

Depart the highlands this morning and head to the south coast and the city of Galle. Check-in to your hotel in the heart of Galle Fort and enjoy the afternoon at leisure. You may like to take a cookery class with one of the local ladies or perhaps head to one of the beaches. Alternatively visit the spa in your hotel for an afternoon of complete relaxation.

Fort Bazaar Breakfast

Day 13 Galle: Cinnamon Plantation & Fort

This morning travel south along the coast to the village of Ahangama where you will visit a cinnamon plantation before exploring Galle Fort. The Fort is an important archaeological, architectural and historical monument and is one of the largest European fortress left in Asia. Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16th century, it is still infused today with a graceful charm that perfectly encapsulates its European history and a wander through its meandering streets reveals the ageing colonial era buildings. Explore on foot with your guide.

Fort Bazaar Breakfast

Day 14 Galle - Depart Colombo

Drive back along the coast today towards Colombo. For those interested in Geoffrey Bawa you can stop along the way to explore his iconic country home and gardens - Lunuganga Estate. Continue on to Colombo airport in time to catch your onward flight.

Breakfast

EXAMPLE 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.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

14 days from £3,470

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

Check out our group tours in Sri Lanka

As well as private tailor-made trips, we also offer small group tours (max size 12) to Sri Lanka. Led by an experienced tour leader, travel with a group of like-minded people on one of our award-winning group tours.

View Group Tours in Sri Lanka