Sri Lanka Travel Tours

Classic Sri Lanka

Classic Sri Lanka - 13 Days Tour

This tour highlights this topical island: ancient cities, tea-growing hills, a wildlife park, and stunning beaches backed by a selection of mid-market and upmarket hotels that emphasize quality and value. You can explore the island at your own pace in a car or minivan with your personal driver.  

Day 1

At the airport, you will be greeted by your chauffeur from Sri Lanka Travel Tours, who will take you to the fishing village of Negombo. Drive past the mini-port of Negombo to get to the hotel. Once in the comforts of your hotel, relax and recover from any jet lag.

Enjoy your stay at the hotel overlooking the lagoon or sea view.

Day 2

Visit the fish markets of Negombo. Set off from coastal Negombo to experience another coastal town with a remarkable history. Explore the Galle Fort in the afternoon. Galle is a jewel. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic city is a delight to explore on foot. It is an endlessly exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions, and museums. Wandering its rambling lanes, you’ll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques, and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers, and designers.

Day 3

Enjoy the coastal drive to Yala. En route, spot the stilt fishermen if you are lucky. Furthermore, see a turtle hatchery and the Hummayana blowhole, which is a natural and rare phenomenon.

Set off for evening safaris in Yala National Park. Yala is Sri Lanka’s most famous national park. Forming a total area of scrub, light forest, grassy plains, and brackish lagoons, it’s very rich in wildlife, and you’re virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes, and monkeys. If you’re lucky, you might see the leopards and sloth bears as well.

Day 4

Today, make your drive towards beautiful Ella.

En route, make a visit to the Buduruwagala Temple.

The beautiful, 1000-year-old, rock-cut Buddha figures of Buduruwagala are the region’s biggest attraction. The gigantic standing Buddha here still bears traces of its original stone robe, and a long streak of orange suggests it was once brightly painted.

Then continue on this scenic drive until you meet Diyaluma Falls. The 171-meter-high Diyaluma Falls is Sri Lanka’s third-highest waterfall. Cascading down, the falls leap over a cliff face and plunge in one clear drop to a pool below.

Day 5

Welcome to everyone’s favorite hill-country village and the place to ease off the travel accelerator with a few leisurely days resting in your choice of some of the country’s best guesthouses. The views through Ella Gap are stunning.

Visit the beautiful Rawana waterfalls in the morning. Later, trek the Little Adams peak to see the 9-Arc bridge and the sunset from above.

Day 6

Enjoy the scenic train journey from Ella to Nuwara Eliya, admiring views of waterfalls, tea estates, villages, forests, and mountains.

Welcome to Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s tea-growing region! Visit a tea estate and factory to see how Ceylon tea is made.

Afterwards, drive around the town to see the same. Often referred to as “Little England, this genteel highland community does have a rose-tinted, vaguely British-country-village feel to it, with its colonial-era bungalows, Tudor-style hotels, well-tended hedgerows, and pretty gardens. Do also indulge in a guided stroll of the town; pass the 18-hole golf course, the colonial members-only Hill Club, and English-styled country homes.

Day 7

In the early morning, proceed to visit Horton Plains National Park. This is located on a high, windswept saddle at about 2134 meters above sea level in the Central Province of Nuwara Eliya district. The plains are an expanse of misty grassland with scraggy trees and ice-cold rivulets. Visit the World’s End, considered to be the finest view in all of Sri Lanka.

Here you can also see the beautiful Backer’s Falls. And the park shelters mammals such as sambhur, leopards, and endemic bear monkeys. The famous Horton Plains National Park was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2010.

From Nuwara Eliya, ascend to the tea plantation near Nuwara Eliya. During the drive, relish the endless views of tea-carpeted valleys and the bright flash of female tea pluckers in their pimento, fuchsia, and cerise saris. Break your journey at a local tea factory for a tour and a cup of freshly brewed Ceylon tea

Day 8

Begin the day with an authentic cooking class over earthenware pots and a wood stove, and have lunch that you prepared. Then head to town. Some days Kandy’s skies seem perpetually bruised, with stubborn mist clinging to the hills surrounding the city’s beautiful centerpiece lake. Delicate hill-country breezes impel the mist to gently part, revealing colorful houses amid Kandy’s improbable forested halo. The golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic, a tooth of the Buddha. With elaborate costumes, gyrating dance moves, and show-stopping fire-breathing stunts, a Kandyan cultural dance performance is one of the defining experiences of a stay in Kandy.

Day 9

Transfer to the beautiful, clear beaches of Passikuda via Batticoloa town.

En route, visit the fort in Batticoloa. This once-mighty fort is now home to administrative offices, and though large sections of the structure are crumbling, it’s still an evocative sight. At the end of a sandbar, surrounded by lagoons and mangroves, this 28-meter-tall lighthouse dates from 1913. The sheltered coastline around here is popular. Rest of the day at leisure by the peaceful ocean, swimming and sunbathing or playing a game of beach volleyball.

Day 10

Spend the day at leisure by the peaceful ocean today.

Kalkudah Beach is the kind of fantasy that makes you want to lounge forever under the palms.

Day 11

Transfer to Polonnaruwa after a leisurely breakfast. Today, learn about the better-kept ruins of ancient Ceylon—the UNESCO World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa, which was a medieval capital of Sri Lanka from the 11th to the 13th centuries A.D. Take a walking tour of one of the ruins of ancient Ceylon, which includes a visit to Lankathilaka, Thuparamaya, the Royal Palace, Rankoth Vehera, and Gal Viharaya. The Sri Lankan Ayurveda spa experience is very good.

Day 12

In the early Climb Sigiriya or Pidurangala. Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilization, thought to have once been the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa.

Pidurangala Rock is a massive rock formation almost directly opposite Sigiriya. Pidurangala has an equally majestic view as the former, with rolling lake and land vistas.

Then, after traveling to Colombo, your chauffeur will introduce you to some of Colombo’s curious sites, such as the vibrant markets of Pettah, the old city of Fort, the Hindu Temple at Sea Street, and the Dutch Church at Wolfendal, or alternatively, indulge in some shopping.

Day 13

As all good things must come to an end, we bid you farewell as our chauffeur transfers you to the airport to meet your departure flight home.