Discover Sri Lanka
- Immerse yourself in the beauty & culture of Sri Lanka on this 13 or 14-night guided holiday.
- Tour the ancient city of Anuradhapura & its sacred ‘Bo Tree’, one of the oldest in the world.
- Discover Kandy City by Tuk Tuk visiting the markets, Lake, Aniwatta Residencial area and Kandy View Point
- Savour the flavours of the region on a day trip to an authentic tea plantation & factory.
- Take a safari drive through Yala National Park to see native water buffalo, leopards & crocodiles.
- Travel from Kandy to Nurwara Eliya by train & experience stunning scenery.
- Enjoy plenty of free time to take advantage of the Island’s stunning, sandy beaches.
- Includes 12 nights on a half board basis.
Book Your Trip From £4058pp
Book Your Trip From £3129pp
Your Guided Group Holiday To Sri Lanka
Join us on this holiday of a lifetime to discover the beautiful landscapes, ancient temples, amazing wildlife and relaxing beaches of Sri Lanka. We’ll immerse ourselves in this rich culture with wonders at every turn; from the walled city of Galle, to the spectacular Lion's Rock fortress in Sigiriya. An excursion to the ancient city of Anuradhapura will be a particular highlight, with its temples, landscaped gardens, ceremonial baths and the sacred ‘Bo Tree’, the oldest human-planted tree in the world. We’ll also get to experience local life as we visit traditional villages, take a ride in a tuk tuk, and enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan cultural performance. And to top it all off, we’ll have time to soak up the sun on this tropical island’s gorgeous white sand beaches.
- Visas are required for travel on this tour. Please visit our visa information page for more information.
- For departures from Dublin and Glasgow, outbound and return flights will be via Dubai or Doha.
- 2024 itinerary varies, 3 nights will be spent in Galle instead of Weligama.
Activity Level: Busy
Travel To Sri Lanka
Depart for Colombo
We begin our Sri Lanka holiday as we fly to Colombo.
Relax in Negombo
At Leisure in Negombo
Following our arrival in Sri Lanka, we will be transferred with guide assistance to our hotel in the coastal town of Negombo, just north of Colombo. After check in at our hotel, we can settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Join us for dinner! Meals are included each night of our stay in Sri Lanka.
Explore Negombo & Transfer to Habarana
Guided Tour of Negombo Village
This morning, accompanied by our expert guide, we discover Negombo, formerly a cinnamon trading centre and now a thriving fishing village. We explore this village very early in the morning before breakfast, as it is the best time to witness the locals selling their fresh catch. After breakfast at our hotel, we will discover more of Negombo on a guided tour, before departing for Habarana on a journey that will take approximately four hours (150km). Along the way, we take in views of the lush tropical countryside from our coach. Our Sri Lanka adventure has begun!
At Leisure in Habarana
We arrive at Habarana and check into our hotel, which will be our home for the next three nights. Let’s enjoy a leisurely evening to relax, unwind and discover our surroundings.
Discover Sigiriya "Lions Rock" & Polonnaruwa
Guided Excursion to Sigiriya ‘Lion’s Rock’
We begin to uncover more of Sri Lanka on a full-day guided excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The spectacular ‘Lion’s Rock’ fortress is a large ancient rock palace surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens. The climb up has over 1,200 steps, with a narrow staircase. There are several platforms where we can take a break along the way and admire the views. Marvel at the beautiful collection of Water Gardens, painted frescoes and ancient graffiti, all on show at what is one of Sri Lanka's crowning glories.
Guided Tour of Polonnaruwa
In the afternoon we discover more, on an excursion to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. This UNESCO World Heritage site includes the Royal Palace complex and Gal Vihara rock temple of the Buddha. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs and veritable inland seas, the most famous of which is the Prakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama.
Later we return to our hotel, where we can spend the evening relaxing after our day of exploration.
Uncover Anuradhapura on a Guided Tour
The Ancient City of Anuradhapura and the Sacred Bo Tree
After breakfast, we leave Habarana for the day and set off on an excursion to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, famous for its temples, landscaped gardens, and the sacred ‘Bo Tree’ which dates from around 245BC and is the world’s oldest known tree. Anuradhapura was the ancient capital of Sri Lanka for more than a thousand years from the 5th century BC and hosts many Buddhist monuments dating back over 2000 years.
Experience the Rural Life in Sri Lanka
Let’s see more of Sri Lankan traditions and discover another lifestyle, as we visit a local village. We’ll savour the tranquil rural setting as we embark on a bullock cart ride past lush paddy fields, shops and mud thatched houses. After our adventure, we make our way back to our hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Experience Dambulla Cave and transfer to Kandy
Guided Tour of Dambulla Cave Temple
This morning we say farewell to Habarana and transfer by coach to Kandy, an attractive bustling city that is encircled by hills and has a tranquil lake at its centre. En-route we experience more of Sri Lanka's treasures with a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple, which has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and contains a fascinating array of Buddhist mural paintings and statues of Buddha. The drive will take approximately three hours (96km).
The Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic
On arrival in Kandy, we uncover more history and culture with a visit to The Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic, a centre for the Buddhist faith. This 16th-century temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, which was brought to Sri Lanka from ancient India in the 4th century. After the visit we depart for our hotel, which will be our base for the next two nights.
See More of Peradeniya & Kandy
Tour of Peradeniya and Tuk Tuk ride in Kandy
On today’s tour, we revel in the beauty of The Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya, home to exotic plants such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and Cinchona. The gardens feature an arboretum, an Orchid House and a colony of flying foxes.
After we visit the gardens, we uncover more delights with a Tuk-Tuk ride around Kandy, one of the best ways to discover this city! During our adventure, we pass the British Garrison Cemetry, Aniwatta Residencial area, Kandy Market, Kandy Lake and finish with picturesque scenes from the Kandy viewpoint. The Tuk Tuk ride will take around two hours, after which we return to our hotel to relax and reflect on our day of sightseeing and discovery.
Scenic Train Journey from Kandy to Nurwara Eliya
Guided Tour of Nuwara Eliya
All aboard! This morning we depart our hotel for Kandy railway station. We embark on a scenic colonial era vintage train journey through sub-tropical forests, to lush green tea plantations, and mountainous backdrops, passing shops and local life along our journey to Nuwara Eliya. The train journey will take approximately 3.30 hours (subject to availability).
On arrival in Nuwara Eliya we set off in our coach to visit a tea plantation and tea factory, we’ll also have a guided tour of the town before checking in to our hotel. The town’s name translates as “City of Light”, but it is also known as “Little England” as it was a popular destination for 19th century British colonialists who indulged in pastimes such as fox, deer and elephant hunting, polo, golf, and cricket. The colonial history of the town can still be seen in buildings such as the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, and Town Post Office.
Let’s relax more, as we settle into our hotel and admire our magnificent surroundings. Nuwara Eliya lies in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country and is the home of the famous Ceylon Tea. Situated at an altitude of 1868m, the city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka, and enjoys a temperate highland climate. The rolling mountains are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, and beautiful waterfalls dot the landscape.
Experience Ella Waterfalls & Safari in Yala National Park
Visit Ella Waterfalls
This morning we transfer onwards to Yala and en route we stop at Ella Waterfalls for a refreshing break. Today's journey will take approximately five hours (185km).
Safari Game Drive in Yala National Park
Let's experience more, on a jeep safari drive in Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and home to elephants, leopards, bear, water buffalo, crocodiles, as well as countless other animals and birds. The park has also been featured on Discovery and National Geographic documentaries, which focused on leopard research and conservation. After our adventure, we continue to our hotel for an overnight stay and evening at leisure.
Discover Yala Park on a Game Drive, Transfer to Galle
Yala National Park safari, and Galle
After breakfast, we experience one more game drive in Yala National Park and a second chance to spot the elusive Leopard! Cameras ready for action!
After our exhilarating safari, we depart for Galle. The drive will take approximately four and a half hours (205km). En route, we will experience more with a guided tour of Galle, and explore the 17th century Portuguese and Dutch Fort in which the central city is contained. We stroll through the streets to admire the Dutch-influenced architecture, old British residences, and mosques with their Arabic flourishes before proceeding to our hotel in Galle.
We can take it easy for the rest of the day and evening, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the ocean air.
Relax More in Galle
Relax more! We have two full days at leisure in the delightful setting of Galle. Enjoy the fresh sea air, sit back and chill out as we near the end of our unforgettable visit to Sri Lanka.
Our expert guide will be happy to tell us about local attractions and activities. Depending on the time of year and weather permitting it may be possible to do whale watching, this can be organised locally.
Optional - Madu River Boat excursion - sold locally
For those wanting to explore more, there may be the possibility of an optional excursion to a turtle hatchery and then experience the mangrove forests of Madu River home to 300 species of fauna, birds and more, and end your day with a visit to a tea plantation.
Today set out on our excursion to discover more of Sri Lanka. Enjoy a gentle cruise down the river by boat, in search for crocodiles, water monitors and colourful birds. Enroute, visit a small island called Koth Duwa with its beautiful temple, and statue of the Buddha. After enjoy a stroll through a tea plantation, and end the day with a visit to an antique tea factory, before sampling a cup of Ceylon tea, a delightful way to end this excursion.
Return to our hotel after your 3 hour excursion.
Minimum numbers apply for this tour to run and is sold locally.
Transfer to Colombo
Depart for Colombo
After a leisurely breakfast, we transfer by coach to our hotel in Colombo where we’ll spend our last night in Sri Lanka. The drive will take approximately three hours (147km) travelling from Weligama 2023 or Galle 2024 . The rest of our day is at leisure.
Farewell Sri Lanka
Departing Colombo, we will reflect on a treasure trove of memorable moments from our Discover Sri Lanka tour.
We arrive home, following our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sri Lanka.
Know before you go
Will I be met at the airport?
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Do I need a Visa?
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
What if there is an emergency?
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.
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