This is the ultimate Sri Lanka tour; the one that takes you from south to north and from east to west, with everything in between. Combining culture, history, nature and beach, it is the tour for those who want to see everything, even if it means relinquishing some of their creature comforts for a visit to an untouched, authentic part of Sri Lanka.

• Colombo: 1 night
• Yala: 2 nights

• Nuwara Eliya: 2 nights

• Kandy: 2 nights

• Sigiriya: 3 nights

• Jaffna: 2 nights
• Passikudah: 1 night
• Negombo: 1 night

15nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE

This is the ultimate Sri Lanka tour; the one that takes you from south to north and from east to west, with everything in between. Combining culture, history, nature and beach, it is the tour for those who want to see everything, even if it means relinquishing some of their creature comforts for a visit to an untouched, authentic part of Sri Lanka.

• Colombo: 1 night

• Galle: 1 night
• Yala: 2 nights

• Nuwara Eliya: 2 nights

• Kandy: 2 nights

• Sigiriya: 2 nights

• Jaffna: 2 nights
• Passikudah: 1 night
• Negombo: 1 night

15nights Escorted Small Group Tour
NATURE
CULTURE
ACTIVE
 
 
ITINERARY

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

Day 2: Colombo On arrival in Colombo transfer to your hotel where you’ll stay one night. This evening there will be a welcome dinner in the hotel’s main restaurant. Approx. journey time: 1¾ hours; 62 miles. Stay: Mount Lavinia (or similar). D.

Day 3: Colombo to Yala Travel south to the beautiful walled city of Galle. On arrival, proceed to the Lady Hill Hotel for lunch before joining an introductory tour of Galle. Continue along the south coast towards Yala National Park. Today is a relatively long day of travelling as you journey from the west coast to the south eastern corner of the island. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 174 miles. Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Yala
A leisurely morning is spent at your hotel. The rest of the day’s sightseeing – a visit to the world-famous Yala National Park – is a real highlight of the tour. It is known locally as leopard country as it plays host to one of the world’s highest density of leopards. This afternoon’s safari into the park provides you with one of the best chances to see one of these elusive creatures. Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Yala to Nuwara Eliya Head away from the coast and into the beautiful Hill Country towards Nuwara Eliya. Stop for lunch at the 98 Acres Resort & Spa, a scenic tea estate, and then head to the Hakgala Botanic Gardens. Visit a strawberry farms, one of which you can visit en route to your hotel. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 105 miles. Stay: The Langdale by Amaya (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 6: Nuwara Eliya Today begins with a few hours to relax. You’ll then head into the town to take in the sights and perhaps get some lunch at one of the local restaurants (payable locally). Later, take high tea at The Grand Hotel – a quintessential Sri Lankan experience. Stay: The Langdale by Amaya (or similar). B, D.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy This 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 discover the process the leaves go through between the plant and your cup. The tea picking will be followed by lunch at the Glenloch Tea Factory before you continue on to the city of Kandy. Later in the afternoon, head to the most famous of Kandy’s attractions, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the local city market to witness the day-to-day life of the people of Kandy. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 78 miles. Stay: The Bungalow by Amaya (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 8: Kandy The day begins at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. You’ll find a vast selection of Sri Lanka’s native flora as well as many exotic species and a renowned orchid collection. This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to spend an hour or two exploring the city at your own pace. Stay: The Bungalow by Amaya (or similar). B, D.

Day 9: Kandy to Sigiriya The journey continues this morning as you head north towards the Cultural Triangle. Stop for a typical Sri Lankan lunch at Ranweli Spice Garden en route to the incredible Dambulla cave temple complex. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 68 miles. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 10: Sigiriya This morning, you can choose to join an excursion to the iconic Sigiriya Rock, which we recommended for guests who are active and willing to climb to the summit of this granite peak. This afternoon, a game drive into Minneriya National Park – one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants – is included. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Sigiriya The day begins with an insight into rural life on a nature ‘trek’ in the village of Hiriwadunna. At the start of this four-hour immersive experience you will be transported via a paddy farmer’s tractor and trailer through a shaded forest to the edge of a man-made reservoir that is covered with pretty lily pads. Cross the water on a traditional boat before continuing your village exploration on foot and discovering the everyday lives of Sri Lanka’s rural population. Early this afternoon there’ll be an opportunity to get involved in creating your lunch during a curry cooking demonstration. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Sigiriya to Jaffna Following an early breakfast, depart your hotel and travel north to Anuradhapura train station for your journey to Jaffna. As you travel north you’ll witness some incredible off-the-beaten-track landscapes. Approx. journey time: 2 hour drive, 46 miles; 2¾ hour train journey. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). B, D.

Day 13: Jaffna Today, explore Jaffna, visiting Jaffna Fort, the Nallur Kovil Temple, Jaffna Library and Jaffna Museum. This afternoon, enjoy a unique opportunity to try some local ice cream before continuing on to the Springs of Keerimalai and Dambakola Patuna Port. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). B, D.

Day 14: Jaffna to Passikudah Travel south towards the island’s beautiful east coast. It’s a relatively long journey, however you pass through a part of Sri Lanka that has been off limits to international travellers for many years – an experience not to be missed. Stop in the city of Trincomalee and join a city tour before continuing on to the coastal resort of Passikudhah, where you will stay for one night. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 211 miles. Stay: Uga Bay (or similar). B, D.

Day 15: Passikudah to Negombo Transfer to Batticaloa airport for your Cinnamon Air flight to Colombo. Stay: Jetwing Sea (or similar). B.

Day 16: Negombo to UK 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.

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

Day 2: Colombo
On arrival in Colombo, transfer to your hotel where you’ll stay one night. This evening there will be a welcome dinner in Mount Lavinia’s main restaurant. Approx. journey time: 1¾ hours; 31 miles. Stay: Mount Lavinia (or similar). D.

Day 3: Colombo to Galle Travel south to Galle and on arrival head to a local restaurant for lunch. Later, join an introductory tour of this beautiful walled city overlooking the Indian Ocean. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 96 miles. Stay: Lady Hill Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 4: Galle to Yala
Travel across the south of Sri Lanka towards Yala National Park. Late this afternoon, head out on a game drive and experience one of the best chances you’ll have to see one of these elusive creatures in the wild. Other animals you may spot include elephants, sloth bears and saltwater crocodiles, as well as a wide variety of bird species. Approx. journey time: 3½ hours, 108 miles. Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). B, D.

Day 5: Yala
The whole day is free for you to relax at your hotel or head back into the park for a further game drive (bookable and payable locally). Stay: Cinnamon Wild (or similar). B, D.

Day 6: Yala to Nuwara Eliya
Head away from the coast and into the beautiful Hill Country and the town of Nuwara Eliya. Stop for lunch at Ella Ceylon Tea Factory Restaurant, a scenic tea estate and hotel that’s hidden in the hills, and then head to the Hakgala Botanic Gardens. These stunning gardens feature a collection of orchids, a typically English rose garden and a herbarium. Nuwara Eliya is known for its many strawberry fields and you will continue on to one of the area’s farms. Approx. journey time: 5 hours, 105 miles. Stay: The Araliya Green City (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya
Today begins with a few hours to relax at your hotel. You’ll then travel into town to take in the sights and get some lunch at one of the local restaurants (payable locally). Later, take high tea at The Grand Hotel. Stay: The Araliya Green City (or similar). B, D.

Day 8: Nuwara Eliya to Kandy
The Hill Country of Sri Lanka is the heart of Sri Lanka’s historic tea producing industry, a subject you will learn more of during the day’s quintessential Sri Lankan experience. Visit the Glenloch Tea Factory where you can learn the skill of tea plucking and discover the process the leaves go through between the plant and your cup. This will be followed by lunch and the rest of your journey to Kandy, the island’s second largest city. Late this afternoon, head to the most famous of Kandy’s attractions, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Approx. journey time: 2½ hours, 78 miles. Stay: The Golden Crown Hotel (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 9: Kandy
The day begins at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya. These beautiful gardens, which were established in the mid-19th Century, partly with flowers brought over from Kew in London, are home to a vast selection of Sri Lanka’s native flora as well as many exotic species and a famous orchid collection. This afternoon you’ll have the opportunity to spend an hour or two exploring the city on your own. Stay: The Golden Crown Hotel (or similar). B, D.

Day 10: Kandy to Sigiriya The journey continues this morning as you head north towards the Cultural Triangle. Stop for a typical Sri Lankan lunch at Euphoria Spice Restaurant on the way to the incredible Dambulla cave temple complex. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most incredible sights in Sri Lanka featuring over 150 statues of Buddha and intricately-painted murals that cover the walls and roofs in five of the rock’s 80 caves. Approx. journey time: 2 hours, 68 miles. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). B, L, D.

Day 11: Sigiriya
This morning, visit the iconic Sigiriya Rock, (we recommended only guests who are active and willing to climb to the summit of this granite peak). Later, a game drive into Minneriya National Park – one of the best places in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants – is included. Stay: Amaara Forest (or similar). B, D.

Day 12: Sigiriya to Jaffna Following breakfast, travel north to Anuradhapura train station for your journey to Jaffna, passing some incredible off-the-beaten-track landscapes on the way. Your main luggage will be transported by road so we recommend packing a bag with everything you need for a day of travelling. Approx. journey time: 2 hour drive, 46 miles; 2¾ hour train journey. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). B, D.

Day 13: Jaffna
Today, explore Jaffna, a city with a thought-provoking modern history and that only opened its doors to foreign visitors in 2009. On an introductory tour, visit the city’s fort, the Nallur Kovil Temple, Jaffna Library and Jaffna Museum. This afternoon you’ll get to try some of the famous local ice cream before heading to the Springs of Keerimalai and Dambakola Patuna Port. Stay: Jetwing Jaffna (or similar). B, D.

Day 14: Jaffna to Passikudah
Travel on to the island’s beautiful east coast. It’s a relatively long journey, however you will pass through a part of Sri Lanka that has been off limits to international travellers for many years – an experience not to be missed. Stop in the harbour city of Trincomalee and join a city tour before continuing on to the coastal resort of Passikudah. Approx. journey time: 6 hours, 211 miles. Stay: Uga Bay (or similar). B, D.

Day 15: Passikudah to Negombo
Transfer to Batticaloa airport for your Cinnamon Air flight to Colombo. Stay: Jetwing Sea (or similar). B.

Day 16: Negombo to UK
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?

For the traveller who wants to travel from the south of the island to the untouched north, as well as taking in the Hill Country and Cultural Triangle in between.

Good to know

• For guests over 16
• Average group size of 6 guests
• A maximum of 14 guests.

What to expect

• Basic but adequate accommodation in Jaffna
• Intercity rail travel between Anuradhapura and Jaffna
• The Sigiriya excursion is recommended for energetic and physically fit guests as there is lots of climbing involved.

Accommodation on tour

We have chosen some charming, secluded or beautifully-situated boutique style properties. In Jaffna we have opted for the most centrally located and best quality hotel available. Particular favourites are the The Langdale by Amaya in Nuwara Eliya, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World Group and The Bungalow by Amaya which is located in a secluded position on the outskirts of Kandy.

Single travellers

Single room supplement from £1305

Is this for you?

For the traveller who wants to travel from the south of the island to the untouched north, as well as taking in the Hill Country and Cultural Triangle in between.

What to expect

• Basic but adequate accommodation in Jaffna
• Intercity rail travel between Anuradhapura and Jaffna
• The Sigiriya excursion is recommended for energetic and physically fit guests as there is lots of climbing involved

• Yala National Park can be very busy at peak times and wildlife spottings are not guaranteed
• On Day 12 your main luggage will be transferred by road as you travel by train. We recommend packing everything you will need for the day in a small bag.

Accommodation on tour

The hotels we've hand-picked on this tour are perfectly placed for sightseeing and exploration. In Jaffna, the hotel is simple in style but is located in the heart of the city, while Uga Bay in Passikuda is one of our favourite beach retreats in Sri Lanka because of its tranquil surroundings and direct access to a fantastic stretch of beach. The name of the Amaara Forest, your hotel in Sigiriya is apt as it has beautifully verdant grounds dotted with exotic trees and plants.

Single travellers

Sole use room from £4974

DATES AND INCLUSIONS

Tour dates

2019 Jan 23; Feb 13, 27; Mar 13; Apr 10; Jun 12; Jul 31; Aug 14; Oct 16; Nov 13; Dec 04

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• 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 for a supplement from £1986 per person.

Tour dates

2020 Feb 26; Mar 11; Apr 08; Jun 10; Nov 11; Dec 02

Included in price

• Quality accommodation
• Insightful local tour leaders
• Hand-picked itineraries
• Small groups
• Porterage and guide tips
• Meals where most convenient (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
• 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 £5308 per person.

Kuoni highlights

This tour offers the unique opportunity to witness the contrast between each of the different regions of Sri Lanka, visiting the city of Jaffna, which has not long been opened up to visitors after a troubled recent history. As well as temples and colonial architecture, you’ll also see the thought-provoking remnants of the civil war, giving you a completely different view of the island.

Kuoni highlights