SRI LANKA
ITINERARIES

SRI LANKA
DESTINATIONS

 

NEWSLETTER
SIGN UP

TESTIMONIALS

We have used some of the top rated travel specialists all over the world and, without question, Catherine Heald and Remote Lands are at the very top of the list!
Members of the Aman Jet Expedition, October 2016

Historic Sites and Stunning Hikes: Exploring the Cultural Gems of Sri Lanka

Discover the beauty of Sri Lanka with this all-encompassing tour of its World Heritage wonders. From the colonial cities of Negombo and Galle with their European infused architecture to the ancient capital of Kandy, discover Sri Lanka’s fascinating history. Explore the country’s many sites of interest including the Lion fortress of Sigiriya and the highland village of Ella with its neverending views of the surrounding tea terraces. From trekking into the biosphere and encountering the wildlife of the jungle to hiking up the soaring Adam’s Peak, you’re sure to fall in love with this stunning little country. 

Highlights
  • Explore ancient sites of interest and discover Sri Lanka’s history
  • Visit historic Kandy and the famous temple of the tooth relic
  • Trek into the highlands and marvel at the stunning views
  • Experience the incredible European influence at the Dutch fort at Galle 
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1
Negombo

Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be greeted and escorted to your car for the transfer to the cultural city of Negombo. Centuries of colonial rule have had their effects here and you’ll see influences of the Dutch, Portuguese and British eras. Check in to your comfortable hotel and enjoy your first night in Sri Lanka.

Day 2

After breakfast at your hotel, it’s time to head to the World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa. Discover the statues and sacred sites of both Buddhism and Hinduism; explore a relic house and marvel at the intricate stone carvings. After a day of many wonders, enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at the Kandalama Hotel.

Day 3

This morning, you’ll head to Sigiriya, the rock fortress of 5th century King Kasyapa. This breathtaking World Heritage Site, surrounded by moats, soars up from rock foundations to formidable ramparts, and houses original frescoes and carvings as well as a fascinating museum. After a leisurely day of exploring the marvels on ‘Lion Rock’, you’ll head back to Polonnaruwa and your hotel for the night.

Day 4
Matale

Say your goodbyes to the Kandalama Hotel and check out after breakfast, bound for Dambulla. Here you’ll discover the vast, first century rock cave temple built by King Walagamba, its walls covered in intricate paintings and home to an enormous carved Buddha. In the afternoon, depart for Matale and explore its exotic spice garden, then check in to your cozy lodgings at Sir John’s Bungalow.

Day 5
Knuckles

Fuel up with a hearty breakfast before a day of adventure. From your altitude at 1200 feet, you’ll be climbing to 1850 feet on a beautiful 10 mile trek. Along the way, encounter indigenous wildlife like deer, monkeys and lizards. At the halfway point, cool off with a refreshing swim in a beautiful waterfall lagoon before heading back to Sir John’s Bungalows, checking out the birdlife on the way.

Day 6

Today you’re off to discover more of the wonders of ancient Sri Lanka as you head for Kandy. The country’s capital for many centuries, Kandy is set around a picturesque lake. Explore the town with its gem market, bazaar and famous temple housing the sacred tooth relic, before you settle in to Earl’s Regency hotel for the night.

Day 7

After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, you’ll set a course for the highlands where, at the beautiful city of Nuwara Eliya, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush green tea terraces. Take a tour of the city in the shadow of Mount Pidurutalagala, Sri Lanka’s highest peak, and spend the night at the Grand Hotel.

Day 8
Adam's Peak

After breakfast, head into the countryside towards the towering Adam’s Peak. At dusk you’ll begin your climb, enjoying the cool of the evening. At the halfway point, you’ll find yourself at the picturesque Tea Trails Bungalow where you’ll bed down for the night.

Day 9
Ella

After breakfast, continue your leisurely hike around Adam’s Peak to the beautiful village of Ella. After a morning spent enjoying nature, check into the 98 Acres Hotel and spend the rest of the day at your own pace, exploring or relaxing as you please.

Day 10
Sinharaja

This morning you’re in for a treat as you make your way to Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home to visit orphaned baby elephants in their cozy habitat. Here, they are fed and cared for until they are ready to be re-naturalized. Afterward, head into the Sinharaja Forest Reserve for a jungle trek in UNESCO World Heritage beauty. Spend the night amid nature in the Rainforest Eco Lodge Hotel.

Day 11

After breakfast in the jungle, leave the rainforest behind as you make your way down south to the historic city of Galle. Spend the afternoon exploring this port town, with its fascinating past as a crucial trading center, and check into the luxurious Amangalle for your overnight stay.

Day 12

Awake at your leisure and enjoy a sumptuous breakfast at your hotel. Today is yours to spend exploring the walled city of Galle, from its port to its bazaars, restaurants and bars. Soak up the Sri Lankan city life and relax in the comfort of your hotel.

Day 13

This morning, head once more into the beautiful scenery surrounding the city to start your day with a picnic breakfast and hike in the Hiyare Rainforest. In the afternoon, head back to the city to explore Galle’s old Dutch fort, and then enjoy your final night in the Amangalle.

Day 14
Departure

Say your goodbyes to beautiful Sri Lanka, as you’re met at your hotel to be whisked off to the airport for your outward bound flight.

 

Suggested Accommodations

Location
Accommodation
NEGOMBO
Horathapola Coconut Estate Hotel, Jetwing Beach Resort

Horathapola Coconut Estate Hotel


A beautifully-preserved, colonial-style, boutique hotel offers a relaxing stay and an incredible on-site tour of the massive working coconut estate, on which it sits. Gorgeous antique furniture and polished wooden floors welcome you in, where you’ll be greeted by the charming group of staff that serve up delicious authentic food, whilst providing incredible service and an all around relaxing stay. Rooms are spotless and spacious, while other facilities, such as the pool, offer a refreshing way to end your day. Each room has its own balcony and ample space for bigger families. Bicycles, laundry service, outdoor pool and daily excursions are offered. Tours of the village and paddy fields have always been popular among guests, both day and night.


 

Jetwing Beach Resort


In a haven of tranquility, hugging Sri Lanka’s immaculate western coast’s golden shoreline, lies Jetwing Beach, the winner of 2013 Certificate of Excellence and member to the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. This lavish beach resort is one of Negombo’s finest hotels, offering a relaxing holiday in sophisticated comfort. Designed by one of Sri Lanka’s top architects, Geoffrey Bawa, this exquisite resort enables you to wind in hours of recreational beach fun, revitalize in invigorating spa wellness treatments, indulge in mouthwatering Sri Lankan dishes and rich international cuisine in one of several dining venues, and take advantage of the gorgeous swimming pool. Your day will always end on a high note, as you watch the stunning sun drop off the edge of the horizon, illuminating the sky into warm shades of pink, yellow, orange and red.


 
 
POLONNARUWA
Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama

Designed by famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the unique Heritance Kandalama hotel is set into a cliff face among dense tropical forests, flanked by the Dambulla rock temple and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The hotel’s buildings were planned to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment and are covered with hanging vines and flowering plants. Each of the 152 rooms faces either Kandalama Lake or the forest – even the bathrooms were planned to showcase the view – and is decorated in an elegantly simple contemporary style. The Kandalama is the first Green Globe 21-certified hotel in Asia, and the first hotel in the world to be awarded the prestigious LEED Green Building certification. There are three restaurants to choose from, including the Kanchana Café, which has won multiple awards. Among The Kandalama’s amenities are a pool, business center and fitness center, while the world-renowned Six Senses Spa has a location here that offers Asian, Swedish, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massage.

 
 
SIGIRIYA
Heritance Kandalama

Heritance Kandalama

Designed by famed Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa, the unique Heritance Kandalama hotel is set into a cliff face among dense tropical forests, flanked by the Dambulla rock temple and Sigiriya Rock Fortress. The hotel’s buildings were planned to blend seamlessly with the surrounding environment and are covered with hanging vines and flowering plants. Each of the 152 rooms faces either Kandalama Lake or the forest – even the bathrooms were planned to showcase the view – and is decorated in an elegantly simple contemporary style. The Kandalama is the first Green Globe 21-certified hotel in Asia, and the first hotel in the world to be awarded the prestigious LEED Green Building certification. There are three restaurants to choose from, including the Kanchana Café, which has won multiple awards. Among The Kandalama’s amenities are a pool, business center and fitness center, while the world-renowned Six Senses Spa has a location here that offers Asian, Swedish, aromatherapy and Ayurvedic massage.

 
 
KANDY
Earl's Regency Hotel, Kandy House

Earl's Regency Hotel

Located in the centre of Kandy, just a short drive from the railway station and the famous Temple of the Tooth, Earl's Regency Hotel is a luxurious property with splendid views of the mountains around Kandy. All its rooms are air-conditioned and come with a minibar, tea- and coffee-making facilities and a TV with satellite channels. Free WiFi is available in the public areas. The hotel also has a 24-hour coffee shop, as well as the sumptuous Far Pavilions restaurant, which offers local and international cuisine. The spa has massage rooms, a sauna and steam room, and there are also tennis and badminton courts.
 

Kandy House

This historic dwelling was once the ancestral home of a Kandyan family and was restored to its former splendor in 2005 by Channa Daswatte, Geoffrey Bawa’s protege. The two-story main house is surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens, which have avocado, jackwood, papaya, Sri Lankan orange and Kithul trees - the perfect setting for afternoon tea complete with Kandy House’s desserts made with treacle from Kithul blossoms. Each of the nine guest rooms is furnished with stunning Dutch antique furniture, many with a four-poster bed. The modern en-suite bathrooms provide a washed concrete-style double vanity area and shower area, and a stately Victorian bath. The Verandah rooms - Peacock Royal and Red Spot Duke - are the hotel’s most spacious rooms which open onto a wide wrap-around verandah, dotted with cane chaises lounges, reading chairs and antiques. Although there is no Internet connection and cell phone service is patchy, guests will find plenty to do here with yoga classes, Ayurvedic treatments and hikes through Kandy’s flora and fauna. The restaurant serves Western and Sri Lankan fare, all prepared with seasonal produce fresh from the Kandy market, and homemade cakes and cookies are available at teatime.
 
 
NUWARA ELIYA
Grand Hotel

Grand Hotel

The former residence of Sir Edward Barnes, Governor of Sri Lanka from 1830 to 1850, the Grand Hotel is a Tudor-style mansion set amidst boxwood and fir trees overlooking the calm waters of Lake Gregory. Hunting and fishing trophies decorate the walls, infusing the property with the tranquility of times past. The hotel has 156 elegantly furnished rooms including three presidential suites and three deluxe suites that overlook the property's magnificent, award-winning gardens filled with beautifully laid out flower beds. Rooms in the new golf wing overlook the golf course and present a soothing view of the rolling greens, and junior suites are equipped with fireplaces and well-appointed bathrooms. The main restaurant, Barnes Hall, is located on the ground floor of the hotel and overlooks the gardens, and offers a wide choice in both Western and Eastern cuisines. There is also a coffee shop, an Indian restaurant, supper club and three bars on the grounds. Other amenities include three lounges, a small shopping arcade, fitness center and sauna, spa, wood-paneled bar and billiard room with three tables. There is no Internet access at the hotel.
 
 
GALLE
Amangalla

Amangalla

Located in the center of a preserved 17th-century Dutch Fort, the sumptuous Amangalla resort is also a beautifully restored UNESCO World Heritage site that perfectly captures the charm of the historic trading port of Galle. Amangalla has 17 rooms, eight suites and the Garden House, a two-story house with treetop views. Rooms are decorated in a style that blends luxurious contemporary amenities with a perfectly rendered colonial-era aesthetic. Sri Lankan curry and other traditional dishes are served in the dining room, and the Veranda is a cool spot to have a drink during the day; the fort's Zaal (Dutch for Great Hall) serves light meals and a classic afternoon tea. The pool is located in the resort's gardens and has five shaded pavilions where you can relax post-swim. A library with Internet access houses information on Sri Lanka and the history of the Fort. The Baths, Amangalla's spa, offers Ayurvedic massage, hydrotherapy pools, and a steam room and sauna, among other treatments. There is also a garden pavilion for yoga practice or meditation. There is no fitness center. The resort is roughly a four-hour drive from Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB).

 
 
Meet An Asia Expert
From Travelogues
Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald says that Sri Lanka is the perfect destination - scenery, art, architecture & cuisine, all on one small island.
Contact now See all
 
SUGGESTED ITINERARIES

PRIVATE JET

share