Example Itinerary

Classic Sri Lanka

Duration
10 days / 9 nights
Price Per Person
From $11,200
Destinations
Sri Lanka
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Experience the highlights of this emerald island nation on a luxury 10-day Classic Sri Lanka journey. Criss-cross the island from the historically-rich central province to the verdent mountains in the heart of the island and finally to the southernmost palm-fringed shores. Soak up the culture, history, and landscapes of Sri Lanka as you visit Colombo, Dambulla, Kandy, Bogawantalawa Valley, Tangalle, and Galle, all while staying at some of the most luxurious hotels the country has to offer.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • UNESCO Sites: Explore multiple famous UNESCO sites, such as the Dambulla cave, Polonnaruwa ancient kingdom, and Galle Fort.
  • Train to Tea Country: Considered one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world, this serene trip through Sri Lanka's lush green tea country is a must-do for anyone, especially for train enthusiasts.
  • Scenes from a Seaplane: Travel around the emerald teardrop-shaped island typically involves long car or train journeys. Save time while also seeing Sri Lanka in a new way by taking a seaplane. From the middle of the country amongst rolling mountains, touch down on the white sands of the southern coast in less than an hour.
  • Southern Coast Paradise: Along the island's southern coast is a plethora of tropical goodies including sandy beaches, warm waters, fresh fish markets, turtle sanctuaries, ancient forts and temples, yoga and surf retreats, whale and dolphin cruises, and more.

Day-by-Day

Day 1 Colombo

Begin your Sri Lankan adventure in the nation's capital, Colombo. Upon touchdown, you will be met at the airport and privately transferred to your hotel. Check in and freshen up. In the afternoon, step out to explore the lively city. Begin at Gangaramaya Temple, followed by Seema Malaka Temple - both of which are the most important temples in the city. Stop by a local market, a colorful and bustling scene awaits. Then, take a drive around the Fort Area downtown and see the Dutch and British architecture from colonial days as well as various ministry and governmental buildings. Alight at Galle Face Green for a stroll. This long stretch of green lawn next to the narrow beach and sea promenade in Colombo is a peaceful area where locals come in the early evening to leisure activities such as running, playing cricket or football, kite flying, and to enjoy the sunset.

Day 2 Sigiriya

Leave the city behind for Sigiriya, a four-hour drive away. The scenic route is shaded with tall trees and forest foliage. Take in the fresh island air and enjoy scenes of local markets, fruit stalls, humble colorfully painted homes pass you by. Before arriving at your destination, stop for a visit at Dambulla Cave Temple. The largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country, Dambulla Cave Temple is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex dates from the third and second centuries and still operates as a monastery in present day. Afterwards, continue onward to your hotel where you can unwind for the rest of the day.

Sigiriya

Day 3 Sigiriya

Take a half-day trip to Polonnaruwa, another UNESCO site around 80 minutes away from Dambulla, and a well-preserved ancient kingdom. Explore the time-honored ruins and learn about life in ancient times. Finish the day with a safari at the Minneriya National Park. The park is a wildlife refuge and if you’re lucky, you may even spot elephants feeding. Those especially keen to see elephants will want to visit during the dry months, from July to October, when hundreds of elephants make their way to the watering hole at Minneriya. This spectacular sight is called the annual elephant gathering.

Day 4 Kandy

Wake early this morning to visit Sigiriya. This ancient fortress built in the 5th century, yet another UNESCO site, is perched at the very top of a remarkable monolithic rock pillar that juts dramatically over the forests. After scaling the rock pillar - and admiring the 21 colorful frescoes along the way - make your final ascent to the top through a gate carved into the rock to look like lion paws. In fact, the entire palace was carved in the shape of a lion, earning this site the colloquial name, 'Lion Rock.' Afterwards, journey onward to Kandy, two hours away. Enroute, stop for a curry lunch at a local restaurant and a tour through a spice and herb garden to learn about their culinary and indigenous medicinal uses, also known as ayurveda. After arriving in Kandy, visit the Temple of Tooth, said to be home to the relic of the tooth of Buddha. A puja ritual is performed three times a day, involving drummers and dancers.

Kandy

Day 5 Bogawantalawa Valley

Embark on one of, if not the most beautiful railway journeys in the world as you depart from Kandy for Sri Lanka's tea country. Sit back and enjoy stunning scenes of tea plantations, waterfalls, rolling mountains, clouds and mist roll by your window. Snack hawkers are commonly seen on the trains offering hot snacks such as samosas and chai tea, a perfect accompaniment to your journey. Alternatively, if you prefer, take a private car directly to your hotel. After two hours, disembark at Hatton and transfer to your the all-inclusive Ceylon Tea Trails hotel nestled in the tea hills. Settle into your luxury bungalow, a restored historic tea planter residence. Stretch your legs post-journey by taking the Ceylon Tea Trail working plantation hike. Watch the tea pickers at work and observe life on a working tea estate before returning to your bungalow for a fresh cup of tea with hot scones and clotted cream.

Day 6 Bogawantalawa Valley

The day is yours to enjoy however you wish. The area is ideal for trekking and biking along the mountains, lakes, winding roads, and waterfalls. You can also unwind and enjoy a spa treatment, croquet on the lawn, or sunbathe alongside the pool. A butler and personal chef will ensure the utmost care and attention to your stay.

Bogawantalawa Valley

Day 7 Tangalle

Today, leave the cool climes of lush green tea hills behind for the warm beaches of the southern coast. Take a quick and scenic seaplane south to Hambantota, then a short drive along the coast to your hotel in Tangalle. This palm-fringed fishing port is all about the slow-life. You are free to enjoy the sandy white beaches and fresh seafood on your own for the rest of the day.

Day 8 Tangalle

This morning you will visit a turtle conservation. Five of seven types of sea turtle species can be found on Sri Lanka's shores and these local conservations play a role in protecting these animals and promoting education and preservation efforts. Then, head to the bustling local market to see fresh produce and seafood sold by local farmers and fishermen. If you wish, take a cooking lesson and learn how these ingredients are used in Sri Lanka's flavorful cuisine. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the beach or pool as you wish.

Tangalle

Day 9 Galle

A lovely two-hour drive along the coast takes you to UNESCO-protected Galle, your final stop. Go on a tour of the ancient fort and walk along the centuries-old Dutch ramparts with a local expert. Explore the narrow alleyways lined with chic boutiques, cafes, and hotels housed in restored whitewashed Dutch colonial buildings. Wrap up the day by paying the Yatagala and Rhumasala temples a visit. Your hotel tonight is Amangalla, a charming boutique sanctuary in the heart of the fort. This night, on your last evening, have dinner at one of the restaurants within the fort and enjoy your final taste of Sri Lanka.

Day 10 Departure

After breakfast, and perhaps one last walk along the ramparts, you will be privately transferred back to Colombo airport for your flight onward.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Price is based on double or twin hotel room occupancy and includes accommodation, transfers, car/driver, English-speaking guide, activities and entrance fees, breakfasts and some casual lunches while touring. Flights and optional special activities will be quoted separately. Shared seaplane flight Castlereagh-Hambantota is included. First-class train tickets Kandy-Hatton is included. Most personal expenses, including dinners, alcoholic beverages, spa treatments and gratuities can be paid on the spot while traveling. Prices may vary depending on season, choice of accommodation and other factors.

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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