Day 1: Airport - Negombo
Welcome to beautiful Sri Lanka! Arrive at your hotel in Negombo, and unwind after a long flight by the beach (tough decision, we know). Then, meet your fellow travelers and guide in the early evening, enjoying an aperitif together before heading out for a welcome dinner that’ll no doubt be imbued with an air of excitement.
Overnight stay in Negombo
Day 2: Negombo - Sigiriya Fortress
This morning, head into town for a true flavor of local life, putting your bartering skills to the test at Negombo’s Fish Market. Observe as the fishermen lay the freshly caught fish out along the beach, amid the gentle hubbub of market chit-chat and crashing waves. Then, make your way to one of Sri Lanka’s most famous attractions: the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress. With its mysterious water gardens, mirror wall and ancient inscriptions, you’ll find it was well worth the 1,200 steps to the top.
Overnight stay in Sigiriya
Day 3: Temple explorations in Polonnaruwa
Today’s activities will see you uncover the medieval city of Polonnaruwa by bicycle.Cycle through the relics of a lost civilization, past crumbling temples and ancient Buddhas, taking in the faded splendor of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then, stop by a local farmer’s house to refuel for lunch, before returning to the hotel in the afternoon. In the evening, head out for dinner with your group at a nearby village or a local restaurant.
Overnight stay in Polonnaruwa
Day 4: Sacred sights and street food in Kandy
Savor a quiet morning, enjoying a leisurely lie-in and relaxed breakfast. Then it’s time to roll your sleeves up at a spice garden, where you’ll uncover the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine and learn how to infuse your curries with spice. You’ll then continue the journey to Kandy. Boasting UNESCO World Heritage status, this city is one of the most sacred sites of the Buddhist world, as well as the last stronghold of the ancient Sinhala kings. Kandy is home to the Temple of Tooth Relic and the largest botanical gardens in Peradeniya. End the day by witnessing a spectacular cultural dance show. Don’t miss a taste of Kandy’s famous street food – we recommend kottu, a chilli-infused roti dish and one of the nation’s favourite snacks.
Overnight stay in Kandy
Day 5: Into the Hills - Nuwara Eliya - Haputale
Today you will make the journey into Sri Lanka’s beautiful tea country. Expect lush slopes threaded with tea plantations, and cascading waterfalls streaming through the greenery. Your first stop will be the town of Nuwara Eliya, the old stomping ground of English and Scottish tea traders – with colonial cottages and Tudor-style hotels adding to the effect. Explore the town by foot, before all boarding a spectacular train journey cutting through the misty highlands. Arrive at your new hotel in Haputale and unwind for the evening, surrounded by sweeping views of the tea hills.
Overnight stay in Haputale
Day 6: Ella
Take breakfast and tea at the hotel before heading out to explore the town of Ella with your fellow travelers or yourself alone. Head into the jungle to discover the Demodara Nine Arch Bridge arches, an atmospheric railway spot in the heart of the valley. You can even take a stroll along the train track itself – fear not, it’s actually safer than it sounds. Then, visit a tea plantation, where your group will witness the processes that bring our much-loved drink to life. Return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Overnight stay in Ella
Day 7: The road to a Sri Lankan safari - Yala National Park
Take advantage of a free morning, with a lazy alfresco breakfast overlooking the misty hills. You can spend the rest of the morning sunbathing, swimming or trekking to a nearby waterfall – we’ll let you call the shots. Come afternoon, you’ll begin the journey out of the tea hills and into Yala National Park. Your hotel for the evening is wonderfully located at the edge of the park, with the sounds of wildlife to lull you to sleep. There may be no lions in this mighty jungle, but the leopards are certainly afoot.
Overnight stay in Yala or Tissamaharama
Day 8: Yala National Park
This morning, you’re off on a game drive. The park is home to elephants, sloth bears, crocodiles and wild boars – as well as the highest density of leopards in the world. Have your binoculars handy for leopard spotting; these beautiful creatures are notoriously elusive, but you may just catch a glimpse of their magnificent spots. Later in the afternoon, it’s time to head to the coast, where our destination is the port city of Galle.
Overnight stay in Galle
Day 9: Beach life in Kosgoda
Today is all about sun, sea and sand. Relax on the white sands overlooking the Indian Ocean, embracing the lazy barefoot lifestyle. Whether it’s booking yourself in for an aromatherapy spa session or sinking into a novel over a beer, today is yours to recharge with your group after an action-packed week. A dusk stroll along the beach, with its wide skies and gently swaying palm trees, is not to be missed.
Overnight stay in Kosgoda
Day 10: Airport
After a final breakfast at the hotel, your Sri Lankan adventure has come to an end. It’s now over to you to make your own way to your next destination! See you until next time!
No accommodation included on this day.