The Beauty of Ceylon Experience

Visit Sri Lanka’s unique and colourful destinations

Few places in the world showcase the kind of geographical diversity that Sri Lanka can. With UNESCO World Heritage Sites at every turn, this itinerary features a whirlwind tour of the island’s best, most unique and colorful destinations.

What to Expect

9 Nights / 10 Days

This itinerary has been carefully designed to give you a taste of the exciting, endless possibilities and can be tailored to suit your exact preferences.

Day 1 : Route – Airport / Colombo

Drive Time – Airport to Colombo -approximately 50 minutes’ drive

Accommodation – Maniumpathy, Colombo

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Arrive in Sri Lanka in the style you deserve, greeted by your chauffeur guide and transferred directly to Colombo – the island’s urban center where your journey begins.

In the evening explore the wonders of Colombo and its unique historical sites. Visit Gangarama Temple, a classic and charming haven and get the blessings from Lord Buddha. The chief incumbent of the temple will offer you a pirith chanted thread to be wrapped on your wrist and it will keep you safe and sound throughout the tour.

No longer just the sprawling city you have to endure on your way to the beaches, it has become a worthy destination in its own right and makes an excellent start. With an afternoon walk on Galle face green beaches, you will get to taste an array of Sri Lankan street food. The prawn ‘wade’ is fully worth a try!

Day 2 : Route – Colombo / Sigiriya

Drive Time –Colombo to Sigiriya –approximately 4 hours drive

Accommodation – Aliya Resort & Spa, Sigiriya

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Today, you will be heading to the heart of the Island, the cultural Triangle where a lot of magic and authenticity waiting.

Stop at Kajugama to buy the crunchy cashews- Locals’ favorite snack!

Make a stop at Millennium Elephnat foundation and take up a walk with the Giants. You can walk leisurely along the village paths and bathe this friendly mammal as well.

Get yourself treated with authentic Sri Lankan meal afterwards.

In the later afternoon, enjoy the climb up to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress with the antics of the local monkeys to amuse you and the art and architecture on every level to reward your climb. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation, thought to be once the epicenter of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests and serene landscapes.

Once you come down enjoy a drink of a fresh King coconut and a slice of pineapple from a local vendor. Afternoon time in the pool overlooking Sigiriya will be a nice experience of course.

Day 3 : Route – Sigiriya / Anuradhapura

Drive Time –Sigiriya to Anuradhapura: approximately 1.5 hour drive-one way

Accommodation – Aliya Resort & Spa, Sigiriya

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Today, make a drive to Anuradhapura, the ancient spiritual city. Anuradhapura ruins are one of the country’s most reminiscent sights. The sprawling complex contains a rich collection of archaeological and architectural wonders: enormous dagobas (brick stupas), royal palace pools where the royalty bathed and crumbling temples where the villagers worshipped, built during Anuradhapura’s thousand years of rule over Sri Lanka.

Revel over the rock carvings and art of Isurumuniya and take a bicycle ride exploring the area. Spend some soothing time near the sacred Boo Tree- Sri Maha Bodhi where you can get the blessings to fulfill your dreams.  This place is believed to be the world‘s lowest in gravitation hence you will feel the eternal peace in mind. A walk around the Ruwanwaliseya giant stupa will bring you the charming vibes and you will want to spend few hours here.

Back at your resort; indulge in a complimentary massage at the spa, well deserved after the long day!

Day 4 : Route – Sigiriya / Kandy

Drive Time – Sigiriya to Kandy – approximately 2.5 hours drive

Accommodation – Galavilla & Spa

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Today, drive to the serene hills of Kandy! En route visit the Matale Heritage centre, Nalanda Gedige and Aluvihara temple.
Kandy is a countryside hamlet with cool breeze, leafy green landscapes, misty mountains gathered around the lake. In a quick visit to the market, you can find a lot of seasonal fruits, vegetables and spices. Make a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses what is believed to be an ancient relic of Lord Buddha.
Buy some beautiful fresh flowers before entering to the temple. Offer an oil lamp and flowers to the temple joining the local devotees!
In the late afternoon, witness this cultural dance show which will be a combo demonstration of dancing traditions in Sri Lanka and you will be amazed to see the dancers with fire in their mouth and fall in love with the stylish performers. In the evening go on a street food tasting walk around the city center and sample the local delicacies famous in the region!

 

Day 5 : Route – Kandy

Accommodation – Galavilla & Spa

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Another Day in this Beautiful Kandy city! You can explore more in Kandy by taking part in a cooking lesson and learning the authentic Sri Lankan meal preparation. Taste the rice and curry prepared by your own hands. You will get to know interesting facts about local spices as well.

In the afternoon you can take a leisurely walk in the streets and explore the lifestyle and engage with locals and they will always give you a blooming smile and welcoming look. Before drive back to hotel, try hopper with chicken curry made with spice-infused coconut milk from those small shops freshly made for you.

The hopper has a delicate, puffy, crêpe-like texture, much like a pancake. A runny egg yolk at the bottom of the hopper offers a true taste of culinary heaven.

You can also explore the lovely Peradeniya botanical garden or Gadaladeniya, Lankathilake and Embekke temples to fully absorb the culture, art and history.

Day 6 : Route – Kandy / Mandaram Nuwara

Drive & Train Time     Kandy – Mandaram Nuwara -approx 3.5 hours

Accommodation –Tea and Experience Factory

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Today morning hop in to Train and travel up those verdant green hills -Sri Lanka’s most beautiful and magic region. This classical journey is very interesting as it passes through the green tea plantations, silvery waterfalls and gorgeous mountains.
While on board you will encounter food vendors with their offerings of “short eats” and local musicians who will sing at the top of their lungs for a few rupees. Enjoy your journey – this is the complete experience.

Once you get down from the station, your chauffer guide will drive you this amazing hotel which is a working tea factory. The trail through steep winding mountain roads boasts of stunning misty backdrops, picturesque valleys and verdant tea plantations stretched out like velvet green carpets.

Go on an evening walk to Kabaragala waterfalls. Concealed in the shades of Piduruthalagala Mountain range, the prominently tall Kabaragala waterfall lies inside the Kabaragala Ella Estate off Elamulla. A jeep can be arranged for you for an unforgettable experience.

Enjoy your night in this characteristic hotel. Sheltered from the sun by mist-covered mountain peaks, the hotel is an old tea factory of the 1800s, now refurbished to offer guests with extravagant lodging and an immersive expedition through tea manufacture from ‘Leaf to Cup’.

Day 7 : Route – Mandaram Nuwara / Yala

Drive Time – Mandaram Nuwara to Yala -approximately 5 hours’ drive

Accommodation – Jetwing Yala

Meal Basis – Bed and Breakfast

Experience the leaf to cup tea manufacturing journey. Under the guidance of a tea expert, guests have the privilege of witnessing the process of tea making from the stage of plucking to packaging. The hotel employs an ex-planter, whose expertise in tea manufacturing helps ensure the authenticity of the experience, teaching the guests various techniques and tricks of the craft.

After good days in the tea country, you may be ready to explore the island’s wild. You will descend the hills and head south to the dry-zone and into Sri Lanka’s most gratifying wildlife reserve, Yala National Park.

Afternoon safari at Yala National park! Forming an area of scrub, light forest, grassy plains and brackish lagoons, Yala Park is rich in wildlife and you’re virtually certain to encounter elephants, crocodiles, buffaloes, deer, hares, peacocks and monkeys. There are many indigenous bird species to pique the interest of the bird watching enthusiasts. If lucky you might also see the elusive leopards and relaxed sloth bears!

Day 8 : Route – Yala / Galle /Bentota

Drive Time – Yala to Bentota – approx. 4 hours’ drive

Accommodation – Club Villa Bentota

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Today make your drive to the blue fringe of the Island. En route visit Dalawalla beach, Hiriketiya beach and Mirissa beach.

Also make a stop at Galle classical city. This picturesque Galle Fort is a perfect combination of blue ocean, history and culture. It is the slow beating heart of Galle. Inside the Fort, you can walk along the little streets and enjoy world old charm while visiting the line of boutique shops, cafes serving yummy food and cold beer. Don’t forget to browse through the local vegetable and fruit markets as well as the fish markets. Rest & relax well in this simple yet architecturally amazing Geoffroy Bawa designed masterpiece with a glorious beach.

 

Day 9 : Route – Bentota

Accommodation – Club Villa Bentota

Meal Basis – Breakfast Included

Perfect relaxation on beaches! Bentota is situated by the sluggish sweep of the Bentota River, rich in the protected mangroves, and the ribbon of golden sand that makes up Bentota Beach which is a glorious holiday sun-and-fun playground.

The small town of Bentota has a raucous fish market, local handcraft shops, beach side restaurants and the railway where the passing trains can sometimes interrupt the otherwise calm atmosphere of the charming beachside town.

During your stay, you can make a visit to Kosgoda Turtle hatchery where you can release the cute baby turtles to the sea or go on a Madu river boat ride among the mangroves.

If you are a fan of Bawa, you can make a visit to Lunuganga estate which was his country home.  Bawa architectural fans are welcome to have a guided tour around the estate appreciating his art work followed by an authentic Sri Lankan lunch.

Day 10 : Route – Bentota to Airport

Drive Time – Bentota to Airport: approx. 2 hours’ drive

Packed with delightful memories, drive to the airport in time for your departure flight!

Safe Flight!

Where to Stay

Learn more about the properties available for your trip.

Themed on the beloved Sri Lankan elephant, or ‘Aliya’ as it is known in the Sinhala language, this property has a distinct feel of living in a village, but with all the modern facilities required for a comfortable and idyllic stay.

Maniumpathy

Maniumpathy is a stately house, which has been home to five generations of a family originating in Jaffna. During its history spanning over a century, it has evolved at the hands of the different members of the family who have lived there.

Club villa is neither a resort, nor is it a hotel. Instead, you are encouraged to regard it as a home away from home. In a setting that includes a sense of hypnotic, dream like relaxation where every wish is anticipated and answered by discreet staff whose presence is felt rather than seen or heard.

Add-on Experiences

We have many activities to keep you busy during your stay. See our destination pages for more information.

Author, Historian, photographer Juliet Coombe takes you through the vast maze that is the Historic Galle Fort.

Experience the scenic landscape as you travel to Sri Lanka’s hill capital by train.

Walk through the tea plantations and get hands on experience in producing Ceylon Tea.

Sri Lanka Tailor-made