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Classic Sri Lanka

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Classic Sri Lanka

20 Day Tour of Sri Lanka

Classic Sri Lanka is a trip for those who appreciate the true beauty of diverse landscapes and the rich and fascinating culture and history of Sri Lanka. Visit the cool, lush green hill country. Embark on fascinating wildlife safaris and walk with the Aborigines (The ancient ones). Have a truly Sri Lankan experience with a cup of Ceylon Tea or fresh King Coconuts on the calm southern coast. This is undoubtedly a tour of immense charm.

Highlights

  • World Class – UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Last Kingdom – Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic & Kandyan Culture.
  • Into the Wild – Safaris in Gal Oya National Park.
  • Little England – Cold, Scenic Peaks and Cozy Little Towns of Ella & Haputale.
  • On the Shores – Explore the Southern Coast of Sri Lanka.

Itinerary

Colombo - 1 Night

Day 01

Arrive at Colombo International Airport at TBA hrs. Here, you will be met by a designated chauffeur guide from Lakpura.

Later in the afternoon go on a City and Shopping tour in Commercial City of Sri Lanka.

Colombo

Experience the colorful lights and bright life of Colombo, the capital City of Sri Lanka. Visit historic monuments such as the Old Lighthouse, the Old Parliament, Galle Face Hotel, Galle Face Green, Gangarama Temple, the National Museum and more. Enjoy the malls of Independence Square or the Race Course. Visit boutique shops and designer stores.

Thereafter return back to the hotel and relax. Later that evening go on street food walk in Galle Face Green and enjoy the night life in Colombo.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Hotel Sapphire
Standard Option (4 Star) – Zmax Fairway
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Cinnamon Grand

Galle - 2 Nights

Day 02

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Galle, en route make a pause at Kosgoda and visit Turtle Hatchery. (Travel Time: 2 to 2 ½ hrs)

Turtle Hatchery

Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery on the Southwestern coast of Sri Lanka. Learn more about the five endangered sea turtle species that come to the shores of Sri Lanka to nest. Learn how the Kosgoda Turtle Care Program helps protect the nests until they hatch and increases the chances of survival for the babies. Get a chance to see, touch and feed baby turtles; or even injured adult turtles that the Turtle Hatchery cares for.

On completion of the visit head to the old Galle Dutch Fort along the scenic coast-line in time to explore the post-colonial port town at your leisure.

Galle Dutch Fort

Discover the city of Galle, where the Portuguese and Dutch made their headquarters, and its secrets. Visit the Galle Fort which is one of the best preserved fortifications in Asia. View the Maritime Museum, Galle National Museum and the lighthouse. Walk through the cobblestones streets with their Dutch names as you learn more about their histories.

Day 03

After breakfast at the hotel proceed to Ahangama and visit Handunugoda Tea Factory. (Travel Time: 50 to 60 mins)

Handunugoda Tea Factory

Visit Handunugoda Tea Factory which is also known as the Virgin White Tea Factory. Learn the history of the tea that this factory produces. Get to know how the famous Virgin White Tea is plucked and processed completely untouched by human hands. Engage in a tasting session with a delicious cup of tea and scrumptious chocolate cake. Get a chance to purchase some tea leaves as a souvenir.

Thereafter enjoy lunch at one of the local restaurants along the beautiful coast of Galle and then check out the famous Stilt Fishermen at work in Koggala. (Travel Time: 20 to 30 mins)

Stilt Fishermen

Watch the captivating sight of fishermen perched on stilts in the waters along the coast of Koggala. Hear the stories of how stilt fishing came to Sri Lanka, from the mouths of the fishermen who have practiced the craft for generations. Learn how the stilt fishing is done in detail and marvel at the level of skill that goes into it.

On completion of the day return back to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Amor Villa
Standard Option (4 Star) – Cantaloupe Levels
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Jetwing Lighthouse

Udawalawa - 1 Night

Day 04

Enjoy your morning with a refreshing breakfast. Later proceed to Udawalawe and check into the for relaxation. (Travel Time: 3 to 3 ½ hrs)

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Centauria Wild
Standard Option (4 Star) – Grand Udawalawe Safari
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Grand Udawalawe Safari

Haputale - 2 Nights

Day 05

Early in the morning prior to breakfast go on a lovely morning safari in Udawalawe National Park.

Udawalawe National Park

Enjoy a three-hour safari which would give you a chance to explore the amazing Udawalawe National Park. Travel through the marshes, forests and grasslands of the park that was created as a sanctuary for wildlife in the 1970s. See the water birds and Sri Lankan elephants for which the park is famed. Catch glimpses of the other mammals and birds, as well as the reptiles, amphibians and butterflies.

On completion of the safari return back to the hotel to have breakfast. After having breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Haputale and Explore the most famous landmarks of Haputale. (Travel Time: 3 to 3 ½ hrs)

Haputale

Visit Lipton’s Seat, one of the most famed observation points in Sri Lanka, which gives views of the Uva, Sabaragamuwa, Central and Eastern Provinces. Roam over the grounds of Adisham Bungalow, a beautiful Tudor mansion built in the early 1900s. View the neo-gothic architecture of St Andrews church, walk through its graveyard which is the resting place of many British tea planters, and much more. This is a great opportunity to relax and enjoy the calming beauty of Haputale and its sights.

On completion of the day check into the hotel and relax.

Day 06

On this day, while enjoying the glorious accommodation experience, go on a sightseeing tour in Ella and witness the marvelous of Ella. (Travel Time: 1 to 1 ½ hrs)

Ella

Explore the city of Ella and it’s most interesting places. Pass through bright green tea fields, and tough stretches of rock, and get to see the magical views of Little Adam’s Peak. Walk over the history seeped Nine Arches Bridge and listen to the story of its construction. End your hike at the Demodara Railway station with its unique loop-over track design. This tour gives you the chance to see the best sights of Sri Lanka.

On completion of the day return back to the hotel and relax

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Melheim Resort
Standard Option (4 Star) – Melheim Resort
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Melheim Resort

Gal Oya - 2 Nights

Day 07

After breakfast check out of the hotel and proceed to Gal Oya. (Travel Time: 3 ½ to 4 hrs)

Gal Oya

Discover an ancient land untouched by time; a haven of serenity in which to reconnect with the rhythms of the earth. Immerse yourself in nature. Soak yourself in local culture. Explore the rich wildlife of Gal Oya, one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas.

After check-in and lunch, visit the Veddah Village that evening.

Veddah Village

Gal Oya Lodge neighbours one of the last remaining communities of the Veddha – the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka. We can invite the village Chief to take you on a walk through the jungles of his ancestors. Discover and learn about local nature as he brings the forest alive, explaining his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings. It’s a fascinating insight into how the hunter-gatherers lived in the jungles of Gal Oya.

After visiting the Veddah Village, proceed back to Gal Oya, (Travel Time: 1 to 1 ½ hrs)

Day 08

Wake up before the crack of dawn, at around five am. Sip a quick tea / coffee and embark on an early morning safari in Gal Oya National Park.

Gal Oya National Park

The drive takes you past small village lands where locals are beginning to rise, and after a brief time you come to a very inconspicuous road that guides you down into the buffer zone of the park. You arrive at the Wildlife Department’s base and collect one of their officers to accompany the safari, and then enter Gal Oya National Park.

Relax that noon and later in the evening, go on a Boat Safari on Sri Lanka’s largest lake.

Boat Safari on Sri Lanka’s largest lake

Enjoy the only experience in Sri Lanka that allows you to spot wildlife from the water. It’s a unique way to immerse yourself in the animals’ habitats. With a little luck you could spot elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge. A 2-3 hour safari by boat, and a scenic 40 minute drive from the lodge to the lake is perfect to explore the national park and surrounding villages.

Return back to the lodge and relax.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Gal Oya Lodge
Standard Option (4 Star) – Gal Oya Lodge
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Gal Oya Lodge

Kandy - 3 Nights

Day 09

Early in the morning prior to breakfast go on a trek to the Monkey Mountain.

Monkey Mountain

For the intrepid ones, a 2-hour uphill trek first thing in the morning to the top of the cliffs facing the lodge is rewarded with stunning 180 degrees’ views over the large forested valley we are in. If you set off early enough you can watch the sun rise over the hills in the distance and observe the seemingly never-ending jungle canopy below. Return for a well-earned breakfast and enjoy the view looking back up what you just climbed.

On return, check out and proceed to Kandy and check in to the hotel and relax. (Travel Time: 3 ½ to 4 hrs)

Day 10

Enjoy your morning with a refreshing breakfast visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic a UNESCO World Heritage Site which was built in the 16th century as the place of veneration and protection for Lord Buddha’s sacred tooth. Walk through the beautifully embellished passageways and elaborately painted halls, done in red, cream and black. Lounge against delicately carved pillars and get amazed by the beautiful golden statues. Get an unforgettable experience of history and art.

Later proceed to Peradeniya and visit Royal Botanical Gardens. (Travel Time: 20 to 30 mins)

Royal Botanical Gardens

Visit the famous Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, which were formed in the early 19th century. Walk through the vast area containing over 4000 species of plants. Enjoy the learning more about the orchids, spices and medicinal plants. Wander down avenues shaded by large and rare trees, or bordered by flowering plants. Enjoy seeing the cannonball tree, walking over the wobbly suspension bridge and through the short hedge mazes or even climbing the twisty trees that make wonderful jungle gyms.

Thereafter go on city and a technical tour related to arts such as gem crafting, woodcarving and batiks in Kandy City and watch the Kandyan Cultural Show with its colorful traditional dances and delightful music.

The Kandy Cultural Show

The Kandy Cultural Show gives an opportunity to experience some of the traditions of Sri Lanka. Enjoy this hour long extravaganza as some of the most popular art forms of the island take to the stage. Get wowed by fire dancers and sword dancers. Watch the colorful Kandyan dancers take to the air to the thrumming primal beat of the drums.

On completion return back to your hotel and relax.

Day 11

After breakfast at the hotel go on a lovely city tour in Nuwara Eliya, a journey to the central highlands with its tea covered hills, gushing waterfalls, and scenic beauty. (Travel Time: 2 to 2 ½ hrs)

City Tour in Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya is set in the heart of tea-country is a beautiful town where the British succeeded in creating a replica of the English countryside, with homes in styles from Georgian to Queen Anne. Well-kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican church, a famous golf course and beautiful parks give the place an air of nostalgia. Situated 6,200 feet above sea level, the air is cool and fresh – a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city life.

On completion of the day return back to the hotel.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Oakray Regency
Standard Option (4 Star) – Cinnamon Citadel
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Earl’s Regency

Dambulla - 2 Nights

Day 12

After breakfast at the hotel check out and proceed to Matale, visit a Spice Garden and do a guided tour of a spice and herbal garden, where you learn about spices, such as coriander, chili, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg; and their uses. (Travel Time: 1 to 1 ½ hrs)

Spice Garden

Euphoria Spice and Herbal is located 12 km away from Matale (The spice capital of Sri Lanka). Enriched with herbs, spice groves and plants with fragrant greenery shading from the tropical trees that enlightens the unique aroma of each spice and herb. We give the opportunity for our visitors to explore and gain knowledge on Sri Lankan spices, herbs and the benefits of Ayurveda. The tropical climate in which our plants and herbs are grown helps them preserve its ancient originality. The educational tour around the garden, which we call “The Spice Tour”, let the visitors feel the sensation of the Sri Lankan spices and herbs which is demonstrated in different foreign languages to suit our customer need.

Thereafter proceed to Dambulla and visit the cave temple. (Travel Time: 20 to 30 mins)

Cave Temple

Dating back to the 1st century BC. View the ancient murals depicting the life story of Lord Gautama Buddha. Look at the hundreds of figurines of Buddha and other deities scattered throughout the five main caves. Visit the Cave of the Divine King, Cave of the Great King and the Great New Monastery. See the giant golden Buddha Statue just a little distance outside the cave complex.

Upon completion, return to the hotel and relax. (Travel time: 15 to 30 mins)

Day 13

After breakfast at your hotel, at approx. 8.00 AM, make your way to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, the Eighth Wonder of the World. (Travel time: 15 to 30 mins)

Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Climb the 5th century AD rock fortress, Sigiriya, where the King Kasyapa ruled. Walk through the entrance framed by the paws of a lion that is quite appropriate for its name, ‘The Lion Rock’. View the beautiful unfading murals that brought Sigiriya its fame. Climb the steep staircase to see the terraced gardens and still-working cisterns.  Walk through the tunnels leading to the palace as you get a feel for times long past.

After making your descent, proceed to a local village nearby and experience the world from the view of a villager.

Village Tour

Enjoy a relaxing catamaran safari across a calm lake. Walk through the golden fields ripe with their harvest of paddy. Delight your taste buds with a home cooked lunch; made over a wood-fire and served on fragrant lotus leaves placed over woven trays. (Travel Time: 10 to 15 mins)

On completion of the day return back to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Fresco Water Villa
Standard Option (4 Star) – Habarana Village
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Heritance Kandalama

Trincomalee - 5 Nights

Day 14

After breakfast at check out and proceed to Tricomalee and check into the hotel for relaxation. (Travel Time: 3 to 3 ½ hrs)

Later on that evening visit Koneswaram Temple and the Fort Fedric. (Travel Time: 20 to 30 mins)

Koneswaram Temple

Visit this ancient temple praised by famous Indian poet-saints and mentioned by several famous personas around the world. See the beautiful murals describing the history of the temple. Worship at the little cave shrine that is has its start in 1580 BC, as compared to the actual temple which was developed in 400 BC. Marvel at the giant statue of King Ravana who, according to legend, worshipped this shrine.

Fort Fedric

Visit the Fort of Trincomalee originally built by the Portuguese in 1624 CE. See the stones that once formed the Koneswaram temple before the Portuguese destroyed it. Listen to the history of Fort Frederick, which was dismantled and rebuilt by the Dutch.

Day 15

After relaxed breakfast at visit the Pigeon Island National Park.

Pigeon Island National Park

The Pigeon Island National Park consisting of the smaller pigeon island and larger pigeon island and the coral reef that encircles the larger island. See the rock pigeon that makes the island its breeding grounds. Explore the islands to see the many coral types and fauna that can be found here.

Later that evening Visit Nilaveli and Thiriyaya Watadage.

Nilaveli

Relax on Nilaveli Beach which is considered one of the most perfect beaches in Sri Lanka. Enjoy the golden sand swaying palms and clear blue sea. See the ancient 10th century Tamil inscription that mention that the beach was part of a land grant to the Koneswaram Temple.

Thiriyaya Watadage

Explore Thiriyai, or Thiriyaya as it is known now, is a village where Tamil Buddhism was practiced in ancient times. Visit the Girihadu Seya Stupa, which was built to mark the location where according to legend Buddha is gave hair relics to two traders who served him porridge as alms. See the old fortress of one of the last Vanniyar Chiefs who ruled the area.

On completion return back to the hotel.

Day 16

Spend the day leisurely enjoying the beach and the hotel facilities.

Possible Activities –  Whale Watching

Whale Watching

This tour gives you an opportunity to see the biggest mammals on earth, the whales, in their natural habitat. Get a chance to see blue whales, sperm whales and fin whales as they swim in the waters to the south of Sri Lanka. Gain more knowledge about the whales as a species from a qualified naturalist and learn to identify them. This tour gives you a responsible whale watching experience with a minimal imprint on nature.

Day 17 & 18

Spend the days leisurely enjoying the beach 

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Pigeon Island Resort
Standard Option (4 Star) – Trinco Blu By Cinnamon
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Jungle Beach Resort

Negombo - 1 Night

Day 19

After the breakfast check out from the hotel and proceed to Negombo and check into the hotel.

Negombo Beach

Enjoy the sun on the sandy beaches of Negombo on the Western Coast of Sri Lanka. Watch the flourishing fish industry, which is a centuries-old tradition. Ride an adrenaline high with some fun water sports. Enjoy the corals and underwater life while diving. See the 50-year-old ship-wreck just off the coast, where many varieties of fish make their home.

On completion return to the hotel and relax.

Overnight Stay

Economy Option (3 Star) – Hotel J
Standard Option (4 Star) – Jetwing Sea Negombo
Luxury Option (5 Star & Boutique) – Heritance Negombo

Departure

Day 20

After breakfast at the hotel on your final day, proceed to the Colombo International Airport (CMB) and get ready for your departure after spending a memorable time on the Pearl of the Indian Ocean.

Price Starting From:

USD 2475 Per Person

When to go on this trip?

The best time of the year you can enjoy this trip is from April to September. Calm south coast beaches, cool and sunny climate and green sceneries that blend perfectly with the locations you are traveling to.

When to book

We recommend that you book this tour at least 6 months ahead.

What add-ons are available for this trip?

We can arrange for just about any add-on’s on this trip. Have a chat with one of our Tour Consultants to help you decide.

Our Experts are ready to help

For more information or to book this wonderful tour please email our travel experts.

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Hotel Timing

Standard Check in time : 1400 hrs.
Standard Check out time : 1200 hrs.
The above may differ from hotel to hotel. Speak to your travel expert for more details.
We are able to arrange early check-in and late check-outs depending on the hotels you choose. However, you may be subject to additional charges.

Booking Process

After deciding on which trip you want to go, send us an inquiry with the requested details. If you want to further customize this trip, our travel experts would be glad to help perfect the tour itinerary for you. Once all planning is final, the next step is starting the booking process. We request for a 20% deposit to confirm the booking. On receipt of the deposit, our team will start booking your hotels and the vehicles that were agreed upon. The balance 80% payment can be made 30 to 45 days prior to the date of arrival. For cancellation and refund policies please take a look at the terms & conditions.

Price

The price quoted is valid till April 2018. Will be subject to seasonal supplements. Speak to your travel expert to learn more details.

Packing Essentials

When packing for Sri Lanka, you only need to remember that this is a tropical country. Sunny weather & warm water. Hence, packing thin cotton clothing is essential. However, if your stay includes places like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya & Ella, we recommend that you pack a few sweaters just in case. You must not forget the following:

  • Effective mosquito repellent.
  • A good sunscreen.
  • (Ladies) Tampons – Nearly impossible to find outside Colombo.
  • Universal power adapter.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you purchase travel insurance before you travel.

VISA

Visa can be obtained online via www.eta.gov.lk. You can obtain Visa on arrival as well, however, this option is not available for some countries. Do read more on this topic here.

Travel Information

Sri Lanka is a developing nation. Yet, there are many things you must look out for during your travel. For example; when visiting religious sites, it is important that you dress to cover. All key information you need to know before traveling is right here.