Example Itinerary

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

Duration
14 days / 13 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Heritage
Destinations
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. 

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 World Heritage Wonders: Sri Lanka has no shortage of UNESCO-accredited attractions, including the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa, the formidable rock fortress of Sigiriya, and the biodiversity of Sinharaja Forest Reserve, to name but a few.
  • Tea Terraces: A trip up to the lush highlands to discover where Ceylon tea made its mark will make travelers appreciate the time and effort that goes into producing the perfect brew.
  • Historic Galle: This colonial port town has Portuguese, Dutch, and British heritage dating back to the 16th century, making a visit here a informative lesson in Sri Lankan history.

Day-by-Day

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.

Hotel Options
About

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.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

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.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 2

Sigiriya

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, travel to Sigiriya for the evening. 

Hotel Options
About

Nestled amongst reed beds and paddy fields on top of a man-made lake lies Jetwing Vil Uyana, a premier luxury eco resort in Sigiriya, Sri Lanka. Hailed by Harper's Bazaar as the "best eco luxury hotel in Sri Lanka," this one-of-a-kind resort comprises 36 dwellings that merge sophisticated modern comforts with ecological rural simplicity.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Located just six kilometers away from the historic Sigiriya Rock, Water Garden Sigiriya resort provides visitors to Sri Lanka with world-class comfort and second to none service. With one and two bedroom options, the resort's 30 villas are chicly designed, spacious, and imbued with an air of mystique thanks to their secret gardens and private plunge pools.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Sigiriya
Sigiriya

Day 3

Sigiriya

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 your hotel to relax for the rest of the day. 

Day 4

Matale

After breakfast, head 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. Rest in Matale this evening, in advance of your hike tomorrow.  

Hotel Options
About

Nestled in the lush mountain terrain of verdant Riverston, less than 20 miles from Matale, Sir John’s Bungalow is the perfect peaceful retreat into nature. Once a holiday home for the prime minister, this colonial bungalow is now part of the Knuckles Conservation Project and boasts stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 5

Matale

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 your hotel, checking out the birdlife on the way.

Matale
Matale

Day 6

Kandy

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 into your hotel. 

Hotel Options
About

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.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

About

Tucked away in green in the heart of the city, Kings Pavilion offers an urban retreat in a prime Kandy location. Guest rooms are decorated in a cozy and modern style, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows flooding the space with natural light and balconies with mountain views.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 7

Nuwara Eliya

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.

Hotel Options
About

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.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 8

Bogawantalawa Valley

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.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: This hotel enjoys a stunning and unique location, nestled high in the hills of Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Tea region, bordering the World Heritage Central Highlands.

Service: Each room and suite comes with a personal butler, who serves guests Bed Tea in the morning and draws them a bath.

History: The world’s first-ever tea bungalow resort, this hotel celebrates the historic tea plants of Ceylon, first discovered over a century ago.

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Ceylon Tea Trails Preferred Hotel
Bogawantalawa Valley
Bogawantalawa Valley

Day 9

Bogawantalawa Valley

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

Day 10

Sinharaja Forest Reserve

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.

Hotel Options
About

Leading the way in sustainable tourism for Sri Lanka, the Rainforest Eco Lodge sits on the edge of the country’s only natural World Heritage Site, the Sinharaja Rainforest. Guests can immerse themselves in the nature and mystic history of this glorious ecosystem, named for the legendary Lion Kings from whom the Sinhalese are supposedly descended.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 11

Galle

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 your hotel. 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Heritage: The hotel is housed in a well-preserved 150-year old landmark hotel.

Rooms: Generous rooms with antique furniture, teak timber flooring, original art work and pleasant views.

Society and Environment: Amangalla uses recycling methods and tries to sources as much as possible locally, including food, furnishings and staff.

Read More
Amangalla Preferred Hotel
Galle
Galle

Day 12

Galle

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

Galle

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 Amangalla.

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.

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