Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This leisurely-paced small group tour introduces you to the key sights and experiences unique to the tropical island of Sri Lanka. You’ll seek out wildlife in Minneriya National Park, explore the cultural heart of Central Sri Lanka and experience those quintessential experiences such as tea plucking and afternoon tea before retreating to the island’s beautiful East Coast.

• Negombo: 1 night

• Nuwara Eliya: 2 nights

• Kandy: 2 nights

• Dambulla: 2 nights

• Passikudah: 3 nights

• Negombo: 1 night

12nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

Stay longer

Sri Lanka beach 3 nights

Kick back and relax after your tour with a short beach stay on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful golden beaches.

Maldives 3 nights

Relax in paradise on your chosen Maldivian Island. Snorkel, dive or just dig your toes into the powder soft sand.

Day 1: UK to Negombo via Colombo Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Sri Lanka.

Day 2: Negombo On arrival in Colombo, transfer to your hotel, the stylish Jetwing Sea, which offers a warm welcome, amazing food and an excellent beachfront location in Negombo. In the evening you’ll get to meet your local tour leader and the rest of your group at a welcome dinner at Lords Restaurant. Approx. journey time: 20 minutes, 9 miles. Stay: Jetwing Sea (or similar). D.

Day 3: Negombo to Nuwara Eliya Your day begins with a drive inland towards the beautiful hill country of Sri Lanka and the tea-growing region surrounding Nuwara Eliya, stopping en route for lunch at Plantation Hotel. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 108 miles. Stay: Jetwing St Andrew’s (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Nuwara Eliya A morning of sightseeing takes you to the historic and beautifully-tended Hakgala Botanic Gardens, and the nearby Seetha Amman Temple where legend has it, the Hindu Goddess Sita was held captive by Ravana, the King of the Demons. As well as tea, Nuwara Eliya is known for its many strawberry fields, one of which you can visit later this morning.

Alternatively, active guests can opt for the Horton Plains optional excursion. There will be an early start for this three-hour trek over relatively challenging terrain, which takes you to the renowned World’s End precipice. Here you can enjoy incredible views over the surrounding countryside. Later the whole group will take high tea at The Grand Hotel – a quintessential Sri Lankan experience. Stay: Jetwing St Andrew’s (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy The Nuwara Eliya region of Sri Lanka is the heart of Sri Lanka’s renowned and historic tea producing industry, a subject you will learn more of during the day’s experience. Head to a local plantation and factory where you can learn the skill of tea plucking, and the process the leaves go through between the plant and your cup. This will be followed by lunch at the Glenloch Tea Factory before you continue on to the city of Kandy. On arrival, visit the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. Here you’ll find a vast selection of Sri Lanka’s native flora as well as many exotic species and a renowned orchid collection. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 62 miles. Stay: Swiss Residence (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Kandy The most famous of Kandy’s attractions has to be the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which is said to house an ancient relic of Lord Buddha himself, and a visit here is the highlight of your time in the city. You’ll then head out of the city to visit two of the region’s most important Buddhist temples, Gadaladeniya and Lankathilaka. Lunch is included at the Kandyan Arts Residency. There will be some free time this afternoon, allowing for further exploration of the city. Stay: Swiss Residence (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Kandy to Dambulla Before departing Kandy, head out on a short city tour. Discover a bit more of the nation’s spiritual side with a visit to the 14th-Century Embekka Temple which lies in the countryside to the south west of the city. Marvel at the beautiful wood carvings, beams and pillars.

Sri Lanka is famed for its spice gardens, where many quality spices have been grown for centuries and exported far and wide throughout the world. Today, as you make your way north there will be the opportunity to visit one of these gardens and discover a little more about the varieties grown and the importance of the spice trade to the economy and culture of the island. Following lunch at one of the local spice gardens, continue on to the city of Dambulla where you’l stay 2 nights. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 71 miles. Stay: Jetwing Lake (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 8: Dambulla Following breakfast, head out to a local village for a short guided walk and discover a little about day-to-day life in rural Sri Lanka. This morning there’s an optional visit to Polonnaruwa, the striking UNESCO-listed ruins of the second Sri Lankan capital. It still retains many of its ancient buildings including of the royal palace which was built in 12th Century, the well-preserved Audience Hall with its beautifully-carved elephant reliefs and the Sacred Quadrangle which is centred on the circular Vatadage. This afternoon, head out on a game drive into Minneriya National Park, one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 80 miles. Stay: Jetwing Lake (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Dambulla to Passikudah Depart Dambulla and head to the iconic Sigiriya rock to climb to the summit of this granite peak. Approximately 1200 steps of varying steepness and difficulty levels take you to the top. This is undoubtedly a tough climb, however it is well worth the effort once you get to witness the views over the jungle and ruins of the ancient city below. This is a fantastic spot to conclude the cultural part of your trip before heading to Passikudhah which is situated on the island’s tranquil east coast.Lunch will be served at a local restaurant en route. Approx. journey time: 3 hours, 88 miles. Stay: Anantaya Passikudah (or similar). B, D.

Days 10-11: Passikudah Your time in Passikudah is free to relax following your cultural tour of Sri Lanka’s Hill Country and Cultural Triangle. Set right at the centre of the sweeping bay, there is little more to do at your resort but relax on the sands, by the pool or in the spa. There are also a host of watersports available as well as romantic sunset cruises and snorkelling tours. Stay: Anantaya Passikudah (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Passikudah to Negombo Transfer to Batticaloa airport for your Cinnamon Air flight to Colombo. Stay: Jetwing Sea (or similar). B.

Day 13: Negombo Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B.


Stay longer

Sri Lanka beach 3 nights

Kick back and relax after your tour with a short beach stay on one of Sri Lanka’s beautiful golden beaches.

Maldives 3 nights

Relax in paradise on your chosen Maldivian Island. Snorkel, dive or just dig your toes into the powder soft sand.

ABOUT THIS TOUR

Is this for you?

Ideal for those looking for a more remote summer holiday taking in Sri Lanka’s highlights at a laid-back pace and visiting the glorious east coast.

Good to know

• All departures are guaranteed
• For guests over 16 (unless travelling on a private journey)
• Average group size of 7 guests
• A maximum of 14 guests.

What to expect

• The Sigiriya optional experiences are for physically fit and energetic guests. We recommend taking plenty of water, a hat and sun cream if you opt to join this excursion

• This itinerary runs between April and October to take advantage of the drier weather on the east coast.

Accommodation on tour

Our featured accommodation has been chosen to be centrally located for exploring each region you visit. We have hand-picked quality hotels, the majority of which are run by the Jetwing hotel group such as the recently-opened Jetwing Lake in Dambulla and the Tudor-inspired Jetwing St Andrew’s in Nuwara Eliya. On the east coast, your hotel is located right at the centre of the sweeping Passikudah Bay.

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2018 Mar 29; May 03; Jul 26; Aug 09; Sep 20; Oct 25

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Flexible arrival times
• Small groups and a relaxed approach
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner), or the freedom to explore local restaurants independently
• All specified flights.

Upgrade your tour

Private tour Upgrade to a private tour with a local tour leader on the same itinerary, departing on the date of your choice from £460 per person, ref LK008

Excursions

Day 4: Horton Plains from £57 per person

Day 8: Polonnaruwa from £62 per person.

Why Kuoni?

Why Kuoni?

Throughout this itinerary you’ll not only experience the island’s key sights, but you will be able to delve into its culture too with experiences such as tea picking and a traditional afternoon tea included. Departing between the months of April and October, when the weather on the east coast is at its best, the tour is a great option for a summer holiday.