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Classic Sri Lanka

  • Negombo
  • Cultural Triangle
  • Kandy
  • Tea Country
  • Yala National Park
  • Balapitiya
Classic Sri Lanka Classic Sri Lanka
£ 4575

This classic itinerary is a delightful combination of awe-inspiring scenery, luxurious accommodation, glorious beaches and a seemingly endless procession of temples. All on one utterly captivating island.

Visit the bustling Negombo fish market and journey into the Cultural Triangle to discover the astounding rock fortress of Sigiriya.

You’ll also see Anuradhapura’s fine collection of temples and monuments dating back to the 4th century BC; Dambulla’s atmospheric cave temples and the legendary Temple of the Tooth. You’ll search for wild leopards in Yala National Park, and finally bathe in the Indian Ocean from stunning Kumu Beach.

15 days from
per person

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    Detailed Itinerary
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    Day 1 London - Colombo

    Depart London on your overnight flight to Colombo.

    Day 2 Colombo

    You’ll be met on arrival and transferred to The Wallawwa, a luxurious Dutch warehouse-style hotel just a few miles from the airport. You’ll also be given a welcome pack that includes a mobile phone so you can contact your driver whenever you need.

    Stay: One night in a garden suite at The Wallawwa – bed & breakfast 

    Day 3-5 Cultural Triangle
    Cultural Triangle

    This morning you’ll explore the Negombo fish market alongside a retired, characterful fisherman before making the four-and-a-half-hour journey into the Cultural Triangle. Here you’ll be staying in a boutique hotel that pays tribute to the ancient water gardens that once surrounded the Sigiriya rock fortress.

    The following day sees you climbing to the top of this astonishing royal citadel. Sigiriya is a rock fortress of unusual beauty, rising 200 metres above the jungle on the monumental Lion Rock. On the way up you’ll pass the frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’, and at the top you’ll find the remains of the palace as well as sensational panoramic views. You’ll then have the afternoon at your leisure to either relax or explore your surroundings further.

    The following morning you’ll visit Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s ancient capital first founded in the 4th century BC. Over 1,000 years the Sinhalese royal family built a fantastic array of temples, stupas, palaces, ponds and gardens – two of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites – as well as one of the earliest and most advanced irrigation systems in the world. You’ll be able to visit the Sacred Bo-Tree; a sapling from the tree under which Buddha reputedly gained enlightenment and, at over 2,200 years old, one of the oldest documented trees in the world.

    Stay: Three nights in a deluxe villa at the Water Garden – half board

    Day 6-7 Kandy

    On day six you’ll visit what is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples at Dambulla – a designated World Heritage Site. Expect five caves containing over 2,000 square metres of painted walls and more than 150 images of Buddha – the largest being a colossal, rock-carved statue spanning 14 metres.

    You’ll then continue your drive to Kandy to visit the Temple of the Tooth which houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. According to legend, the tooth was taken from the funeral pyre of Buddha and smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313 AD. Later you’ll visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, originally built by a Sinhala king, where you’ll find 147 acres of vivid flowers, plants and trees. Before returning to your hotel there’s also time to attend a cultural show and explore the bustling Kandy market.

    Stay: Two nights in a deluxe room at Kandy House – bed & breakfast 


    Day 8-9 Tea Country
    Tea Country

    From the lowland heat and bustle of Kandy you’ll board a scenic train that winds its way high into the hills where the climate is cooler – perfect for growing tea. You’ll stay here at a modern-day tea planter’s bungalow with sweeping views across carpeted hillsides to the shimmering expanse of Castlereagh Reservoir and the perfect base for exploring the traditional tea factories, colonial-era churches and colourful Hindo shrines of this idyllic region.

    Stay: Two nights in a lakeview room at Camellia Hills – full board

    Day 10-11 Yala National Park
    Yala National Park

    After the cool of the uplands, and the quiet gentility of the tea plantations, it’s time for something completely different. Your driver will take you on a six-hour journey to Yala National Park. This is the natural habitat of one of the world’s largest populations of wild leopards – so you’ll have an excellent chance of seeing these magnificent cats in their proper environment. Upon arrival, you’ll head out on an afternoon safari which will take you into the heart of Yala on the track of leopards and a whole selection of indigenous wildlife.

    Stay: Two nights in a jungle chalet at Cinnamon Wild – half board

    Day 12-14 Balapitiya

    This morning, before sunrise, you’ll enjoy a final game drive in Yala National Park. The animals are more active in the cool of the early morning, so it’s your best chance of taking some classic wildlife photos.

    You’ll then make the four-and-a-half-hour drive to Balapitiya. After a feast of wildlife watching and historic sightseeing, the chance to stretch out on a spectacular beach beside the welcoming Indian Ocean is irresistible. As well as fine white sand, blue waters and shady palm trees you can indulge in all the luxuries Kumu Beach has to offer; infinity edge pool, ocean view rooms and open-air dining.

    Stay: Three nights in a ocean view room at Kumu Beach – bed & breakfast  

    Day 15 Colombo - London

     You will be driven back to Colombo Airport for your flight home.

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