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Classic Sri Lanka

Tailor Made Itinerary

13 Days From $3,227

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,...
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TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover an abundance of UNESCO Sites, from medieval capitals to rock fortresses and ancient caves
  • Go in search of Sri Lanka’s stunning wildlife with game drives in Minneriya, Uda Walawe and Yala National Parks
  • Explore the lush hills of Nuwara Eliya and the Horton Plains and visit a local tea plantation
  • Savour Sri Lanka’s culinary delights as you explore Kandy’s backstreets and learn about local initiatives
  • Experience the charm and beauty of Galle with its stunning architecture, boutique shopping and vast tropical beaches
  • Experience the evening puja ceremony at the most sacred temple in the country

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 you will have some free time to relax after the flight and enjoy the city at your own pace. Why not visit the colourful Pettah Market, or enjoy a walking tour of the stunning historic district, or perhaps just enjoy sundowners at the famous Galle Face Hotel, offering stunning sunset views of Colombo.

Ramada

DAY 2: COLOMBO - YAPAHUWA ROCK FORTRESS - ANURADHAPURA

DAY 2: COLOMBO - YAPAHUWA ROCK FORTRESS - ANURADHAPURA

Leaving Colombo behind this morning we head north, driving towards Anuradhapura, site of the country's first capital and one of the greatest monastic centres of the ancient world. Along the way stop at the magnificent Yapahuwa Rock Fortress. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura lay at the heart of Theravada Buddhism for centuries and today you'll pay a visit to the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, believed to have been grown from a cutting from the original Bodhi tree under which the Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment. You'll also visit the Isurumiya Temple, the first to be built on the island. 

The Lake Forest Hotel
Breakfast

DAY 3: ANURADHAPURA - MIHINTALE - POLONNARUWA - SIGIRIYA

DAY 3: ANURADHAPURA - MIHINTALE - POLONNARUWA - SIGIRIYA

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 our hotel in Sigiriya.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast

DAY 4: SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS & MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 4: SIGIRIYA ROCK FORTRESS & MINNERIYA NATIONAL PARK

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. This afternoon go on a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, renowned for its large herds of elephants.

Sigiriya Village
Breakfast

DAY 5: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - KANDY

DAY 5: SIGIRIYA - DAMBULLA - KANDY

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, our 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. On arrival 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.

Cinnamon Citadel
Breakfast

DAY 6: KANDY - NUWARA ELIYA

DAY 6: KANDY - NUWARA ELIYA

Home to the revered Temple of the Tooth, Kandy still retains a sense of its old-world charm and you'll enjoy a guided tour of some of its highlights this morning, including the beautiful orchid collection at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya. Later we then drive on to Nuwara Eliya, set high up in the lush hills of Sri Lanka's Central Province. After paying a visit to some of the tea plantations that blanket this lovely setting, you'll spend this evening in the hill country.

Amaya Langdale
Breakfast

DAY 7: NUWARA ELIYA & HORTON PLAINS

DAY 7: NUWARA ELIYA & HORTON PLAINS

A cool sanctuary for the civil servants and planters of the British Empire, Nuwara Eliya was founded in the middle years of the 19th century as a hill country retreat. A tour of the town this morning is followed by a visit 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.

Amaya Langdale
Breakfast

DAY 8: NUWARA ELIYA - UDA WALAWE NATIONAL PARK - YALA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 8: NUWARA ELIYA - UDA WALAWE NATIONAL PARK - YALA NATIONAL PARK

Leaving the hill country behind we head east, towards the wild landscapes of Ella and the Uda Walawe National Park. Stopping off to enjoy the majestic sights of the Ravava Falls and the Ella Gap, you'll then take a jeep safari through the rich vistas of the Uda Walawe National Park. 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 spend this evening in the heart of the Sri Lankan interior.

Jetwing Yala
Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9: YALA NATIONAL PARK

DAY 9: YALA NATIONAL PARK

This morning we head for Yala National Park, one of Sri Lanka's premier wildlife destinations. Encompassing a vast area of scrub jungle, brackish lagoons and spectacular rock monoliths, the park can boast one of the largest populations of leopards in the world. Morning and afternoon jeep safaris provide opportunities to look for elephant, wild buffalo, pangolins and crocs, as well as a 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

DAY 10: YALA NATIONAL PARK - GALLE

The drive to Galle, on Sri Lanka's beautiful southwestern coast, takes us first by way of the extraordinary Wewurukannala Vihara Buddhist Temple, home to the country's largest statue. Continuing on to Galle, you then pay a visit to the 17th century Dutch Fort, whose extensive fortifications present us with the largest European fortress left in Asia. Also enjoy a wander through its meandering streets home to ageing colonial buildings.

Jetwing Lighthouse
Breakfast

DAY 11: GALLE

DAY 11: GALLE

You will be staying at the charming boutique Lighthouse Hotel during your time in Galle. Located just outside the city on the beach front, it provides the perfect base from which to enjoy a range of activities, from relaxing by the beach or the pool, to discovering the culinary delights of some of Galle's excellent restaurants, not to mention some last-minute shopping in their beautiful designer boutiques.

Jetwing Lighthouse
Breakfast

DAY 12: GALLE

DAY 12: GALLE

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, you will arrive back at the city's international airport in time to catch your return flight home.  

Breakfast

SUGGESTED ACCOMMODATION

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Luxury

Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience

Luxury

Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

Superior

Premium

Excellent standards without the big price tag

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

CLASSIC SRI LANKA (13 DAYS) $3,227

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.

ACCOMMODATION

Ultra - The best of the best, the ultimate indulgence
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

CARBON CONTRIBUTIONS

If you book international flights through Wild Frontiers.

This itinerary is aimed to give you an idea of what we can offer. The price shown above is 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.

START PLANNING YOUR TRIP

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

WHEN TO GO

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