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Visit beaches, temples and tea plantations, and spot leopards at Yala National Park

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel

Every detail taken care of

What's Included

  • Privately guided tours
  • Safaris in Yala National Park
  • Luxury accommodation throughout
  • Private transfers
  • Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

At a glance

Discover the highlights of Sri Lanka on this 15-day luxury loop around the island, taking in beautiful temples, vibrant national parks, warm beaches and fascinating historic towns.

After a night outside of Colombo, head into the Cultural Triangle, traditionally referred to as Rajarata, or ‘The King’s Land’, the region where great Sinhalese civilizations once flourished leaving grand cities such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Explore immense remains, vast stupas and ascend the stairs at Sigiriya, the iconic Lion Rock.

Then it’s to the city of Kandy which marks the Triangle’s southern corner, the spiritual capital for Sri Lanka’s Buddhist where you will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.

You’ll then spend two nights among the combed green plantations of aptly named Tea Country, learning about this most important of crops, before venturing to the south-eastern corner of the country for some safari inside Yala National Park in search of leopard and herds of elephant.

Continue along the coast for three nights relaxing nights by the sandy beaches of Tangalle and a final two nights in Galle Fort, a colonial gem of a town that encapsulates over 400 years of history within its UNESCO protected walls.

Example Trip Itinerary

Days 1-2

Colombo

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

VIP meet and greet at Colombo airport

Transfer

Private transfer to your hotel in Colombo

Accommodation in Colombo

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the Cultural Triangle

Days 2-4

The Cultural Triangle

Accommodation in The Cultural Triangle

dambulla-temples-sri-lanka
Two nights in the Cultural Triangle Two nights in the Cultural Triangle

Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa were the three great Sinhalese capitals, and together they form an area known as the Cultural Triangle. The heart of Sri Lanka’s ancient civilisation, this historic region is crammed full of temples and monuments and its ruined cities are fascinating places to explore.

Anuradhapura by bicycle Anuradhapura by bicycle

Ancient cities don’t get much bigger than Anuradhapura, and few capitals around the world have ever been as long lasting. Dating back to the fourth century BC, Anuradhapura was the spiritual and secular capital of the island for well over a millennium. At its height, the city was dotted with monasteries and home to over 10,000 monks, many of these monasteries and colossal dagobas can still be seen today.

This privately guided cycling tour takes you through a dozen sites, such as the three largest man made stupas in Sri Lanka, the Sri Maha Bodhi, a sacred fig said to be the southern branch from the tree under which Buddha was enlightened. You will bike along flat terrain and can make stops along the way for pictures and to enjoy the scenery.

Sigiriya Sigiriya

The iconic Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, was the site of a city and forest, built around and on top of a huge column of rock in the 5th century by King Kasyapa. Abandoned soon after his death, it was then used as a Buddhist monastery. You'll explore the gardens and archaeological remains below before scaling the 1200 to the top for an amazing view.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Kandy

Days 4-6

Kandy

Accommodation in Kandy

kandy-aerial-landscape
Two nights in Kandy Two nights in Kandy

A world of ancient kings, ornate temples, lush gardens and vibrant traditions, Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and its cultural capital. Nestled in the midst of hills and surrounded by tropical paddy fields and tea plantations, the town is the home of the Temple of the Tooth Relic (Sri Dalada Maligawa), the country’s most important religious shrine. Browse the bustling market places with bright, fresh produce, local delicacies and fragrant spices, or spend the day exploring the opulent temples and learning about the city’s rich history. The dense downtown area is surrounded by tropical rainforest, so look out for exotic monkeys swinging overhead.

Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden tour with botanist Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden tour with botanist

The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of the botanical gardens of Sri Lanka and one of the finest in Asia. In the Mediterranean climate of Kandy, the gateway to the central highlands, the Gardens lies at an elevation of 460 meters above sea-level, tightly bounded on three sides by the loop of the River Mahaweli. Your expert botanist guide will take you on a leisurely walk around, sharing interesting and insightful stories about this place and Sri Lanka.

Temple of the Tooth tour Temple of the Tooth tour

Sri Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth, is a temple in the city of Kandy which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site partly due to the temple. Monks of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily, at dawn, at noon and in the evenings.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to the Tea Country

Days 6-8

Tea Country

Accommodation in Tea Country

tea-picker-sri-lanka
Two nights in Tea Country Two nights in Tea Country

Undulating hills blanketed in green plantations, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is the world’s fourth largest producer of tea. You'll see the hills dotted with women quickly but meticulously harvesting leaves by hand, baskets slung across their backs. Skilful workers deftly pluck the most flavoursome and aromatic parts of the bushes – the topmost leaves and buds – which are then sent to nearby factories to be dried and processed.

The first tea plantations were established in Kandy in the 1860s and now most of the scenic central region’s elevated slopes are covered in contoured rows of painstakingly maintained plants.

Tea plantation tour Tea plantation tour

Visit a typical plantation, and observe how the plant is grown and harvested. From here you will travel to a factory, and learn about the whole processing procedure and how different types of teas are created.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Yala National Park

Days 8-10

Yala National Park

Accommodation in Yala National Park

leopard-sri-lanka
Two nights in Yala National Park Two nights in Yala National Park

Occupying the south-eastern corner of the island, the vast Yala National Park is Sri Lanka’s second largest national park and also its most popular. The park itself is divided into five blocks, two of which, Ruhuna and Kumana, can be explored on guided game drives, and stretches from the sea inland, encompassing some 979 square kilometres (378 square miles) of forest, wetlands and savannah. This varied landscapes provides a vital home for hundreds of Sri Lankan elephant, sloth bear, crocodile and rare wild water buffalo, as well over 200 bird species.

But it is the leopard, found here in perhaps the highest concentration in the world, that are iconic of the park. Their secretive nature means spotting Sri Lanka’s top predator is still a challenge, but accompanied by a skilled guide and a little luck, there a few better places in the world to find these enigmatic cats.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Tangalle

Days 10-13

Tangalle

Accommodation in Tangalle

Three nights in Tangalle Three nights in Tangalle

Enjoy your days relaxing on the laid back sands of Tangalle and exploring the verdant landscape of the interior. A meandering stretch of rugged cliffs and beautiful sandy bays on Sri Lanka’s southern coast, all protected by a vast enclosing reef, you’ll find a collection of the island’s best beaches and a small collection of blissful resorts.

The waters are a wonderful place for surfing, diving, whale watching or simply lounging alongside and you may find yourself sharing the low key sands with Green, Loggerhead, Leatherback, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, the area being a vitally important nesting site.

Flights & Transfers

Transfer

Private transfer to Galle

Days 13-15

Galle Fort

Accommodation in Galle Fort

Two nights in Galle Fort Two nights in Galle Fort

Spend your days soaking up the unique atmosphere of Galle, a stunning town at the southern edge of Sri Lanka with fascinating colonial history evident at every turn through its eclectic assemblage of architecture. It's walls and everything inside them are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with beautiful Dutch fusion architecture, a commanding Victorian lighthouse, grand churches and mosques, all in a sultry tropical setting.

'Paddy Trail' village cycling tour 'Paddy Trail' village cycling tour

Cycle a gentle 12km (7.5 miles) loop starting and finishing near Wijaya Beach and passing through verdant paddy valleys with a half way coconut stop in a shaded ambalama set in a beautiful garden. No rush, take it at your own pace.

Walking tour of Galle Fort with a local resident Walking tour of Galle Fort with a local resident

Take a walk with a local resident from the spot where the first Portuguese boats landed to where the English left off, learning about tales of legendary past battles for the Fort, alliances that were forged and destroyed and insider knowledge of the Fort’s unique urban ensemble, a melting pot of culture, styles and traditions spanning over three centuries. Stroll through fortifications, public administration buildings, warehouses, underground cells and business houses of the past and present interspersed with churches, temples and mosques.

Your host’s Moorish ancestors first arrived on the shores of Galle in the mid-17th century in one of the earliest waves of spice traders and gem merchants. Having being based in different parts of the island in the past, he now resides in Galle, exploring news ways to help people connect with Sri Lanka.

Private transfer to Colombo airport Private transfer to Colombo airport
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