This three week trip explore the length of Sri Lanka, starting with an overnight in the famous Galle Face Hotel before catching a train to Jaffna in the far north. From here you’ll explore some of the key highlights of the country working your way down to the south coast. You’ll get to experience and explore the historic city of Jaffna, the ancient cities in the Cultural Triangle, tea plantations in the foothills of the Knuckles Mountains, incredible scenery and nature in Gal Oya National Park, safaris in Yala National Park and then down to the south coast for some beach time before concluding in the historic old town of Galle Fort.
- Galle Face Hotel for 1 night – Bed & Breakfast basis – Superior Room
- Jetwing Jaffna for 3 nights – Half board – Deluxe Room
- Jetwing Vil Uyana for 3 nights – Half board – Garden Dwelling
- Ashburnham Estate for 3 nights – Half board – Standard Room
- Gal Oya Lodge for 3 nights – Full board – Bungalow
- Leopard Trails for 2 nights – All inclusive – Classic Tent
- Mosvold Villa for 4 nights – Bed & Breakfast basis – Superior Room
- Fortaleza for 2 nights – Bed & Breakfast Basis – Standard Room
Day 1: ARRIVAL INTO SRI LANKA
You’ll be met in the arrivals hall by your driver and transferred by car to your hotel in Colombo, about a 45 minute drive away. Your hotel is located in a prime spot, close to the city centre but also overlooking the Indian Ocean. The Galle Face Hotel has a rich history and the walls are lined with pictures of famous people who have stayed here since it’s early days. It’s a great place to get over a long journey and rejuvenate yourself before the real adventures begin.
Accommodation: Galle Face Hotel for 1 night
Days 2-4: COLOMBO – JAFFNA (approx. 6 hours)
You’ll be transferred to Colombo Train Station in time for your train from Colombo to Jaffna. It’s a beautiful 6 hr journey and gives you a fantastic chance to see rural Sri Lanka from your comfortable carriage (we will do our best to secure the best possible seats for you). On arrival into Jaffna you’ll be met by your drive and transferred to your hotel. The Jetwing Jaffna isn’t our typical style of hotel, but there are very limited options in Jaffna and this property has good service and comfortable accommodation. Spend your days explore this historical town and beautiful surrounding area and taking a boat trip over to Delft Island.
Accommodation: Jetwing Jaffna for 3 nights.
Days 5-7: JAFFNA – SIGIRIYA (approx. 3 hrs)
After breakfast you will drive inland to the Cultural Triangle, with a picnic lunch on route in Anuradhapura. From here it’s just another hour down to your hotel near Sigiriya. You’ll have the next 2 full days to explore this fascinating part of central Sri Lanka, visiting ancient cities, fortresses, temples and ruins at Dambulla, Sigiriya and Pidurangala or an afternoon safari in Minneriya Park. You’ll be staying at Vil Uyana, in one of their beautiful garden dwellings, surrounded by nature, gardens, water and paddy fields.
Accommodation: Vil Uyana for 3 nights.
Days 8-10: SIGIRIYA – ELKADUWA (approx. 3 hrs)
Today you’ll head south into the foothills of the Knuckles Mountains, where a combination of rich, fertile soil, tropical climate and altitude make it a fantastic tea growing area. Your hotel, Ashburnham Estate, is a charming boutique hotel set on its own 100 acre tea estate and a great base to explore the beautiful, rural landscape from. Take a tea plantation tour, swim in waterfalls, hike up into the Knuckles, have a picnic lunch at the cascade pool or just sit and enjoy the view from the veranda. It’s rather special.
Accommodation: Ashburnham Estate for 3 nights.
Days 11-13: ELKADUWA – GAL OYA NATIONAL PARK (approx. 4 hrs)
It’s a beautiful drive across the mountains and then dropping down to Gal Oya Lodge in time for lunch. Or alternatively stopping for a picnic on route. Gal Oya Lodge is a stylish 10 bedroom lodge, built into the edge of the jungle bordering the national park. You’ll have the next few days to explore the vast wilderness, incredibly scenery, diverse habitats and the wildlife that lives here. We’d highly recommend the jungle drive with picnic, boating safari, vedda and bird walks and the jungle cooking class. There is also a swimming pool which is great for between activities.
Accommodation: Gal Oya Lodge for 3 nights.
Days 14-15 GAL OYA – YALA (3 hrs)
Heading off after breakfast you’ll head south, through remote towns and villages before arriving into the famous religious town of Kataragama, on the border of Yala National Park. From there it’s just a short drive to Leopard Trails Yala, your beautiful luxury tented camp for the next 2 nights. The canvas tents are spacious and come with double bed, storage space, ensuite bathroom and outside veranda. Their guides are also very knowledgable and passionate and you’ll head off on safari with them on the first afternoon and a full day the following day. Yala is renowned for it’s leopard sightings and is also home to a wide variety of other animals including bear, deer, elephants, buffalo and wild boar. In the evenings enjoy catching up with stories of the day around a camp fire followed by a beautiful bush dinner and fine wines.
Accommodation: Leopard Trails Yala for 2 nights.
Days 16-19 YALA – AHANGAMA (4 hrs)
It’s time for some RnR! So today you’ll head south-west, working your way along the south coast until you hit Ahangama, a small town located between Mirissa and Galle. You’ll be staying at Mosvold Villa, a trendy 12 bedroom boutique beach hotel located on a beautiful, quiet bay with just a handful of other properties on. It’s a great property to unwind, with friendly, attentive service combined with a very relaxed atmosphere where you can find a quiet spot to read a book or grab a cocktail in the house, the well-kept garden or on a sun bed overlooking the beach or pool. If you can tear yourself away from the villa then Mirissa is just a short drive away and a great spot to head out on a whale watching trip.
Accommodation: Mosvold Villa for 4 nights.
Days 20-21 AHANGAMA – GALLE FORT (30 mins)
Today is a gentle drive across to Galle Fort, originally built in 1588 by the Portuguese and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a lovely place to explore for a couple of days in the shops, galleries, gem stores, museums, cafes and restaurants. Fortaleza has a number of old merchant houses which has been renovated into some really trendy accommodation, in the heart of the town, making it a great base to explore from.
Accommodation: Fortaleza for 2 nights.
Day 22 Transfer back to Colombo Airport (2.5 hrs)
Best time to visit
December to April – Whilst you could do this itinerary at any time throughout the year, the best time for weather for this itinerary is between December and April when the weather across central, western and southern Sri Lanka tends to be more consistently dry and hot. December can see more rain than the other months. The south-east monsoon means that the winds are hitting the east coast at this time of year and the west and south coasts tend to be calmer and less windy.
In June to October, you could easily add in some beach time on the east coast, rather than the south to avoid the south-west monsoon.
The cost, based on 2 people (2 adults sharing), is from:
$11,770 ($5,885 per person) – high season prices
- Colombo Culinary Evening
- Delft Island Boat Ride
- Sigiriya Rock entrance fee
- Pidurangala Temple entrance fee
- Game drive in Minneriya N.P.
- Dambulla Cave Temple entrance fee
- Tea plantation tour at Ashburnham Estate
- Jungle drive and picnic at Gal Oya Lodge
- Boating safari at Gal Oya Lodge
- Walk with the Vedda Tribe at Gal Oya Lodge
- Safari activities at Leopard Trails (1 half day and 1 full day)
- Welcome and assistance on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport
- Mineral water in the vehicle.
- Entrance fees to the sites mentioned.
- Air-Con Car with English Speaking Chauffeur Guide for the tour, except at the beach.
Price does not include:
- Airfare & Visa.
- Tea/Coffee, soft drinks, alcohol or any other beverages.
- Meals not specified.
- Expenses of a personal nature.
- Services other than those specified.
- Tips and gratuities.