Sri Lanka Ceylon Tour
One of our most popular tours, on this classic journey through Sri Lanka you’ll discover many of the island’s most fascinating archaeological, historical and scenic sights.
Some early starts ensure you’ll experience the best of this captivating country, and magical sightseeing and breathtaking scenery make the long days more than worthwhile. We highly recommend upgrading to the private car and driver-guide featured below.
- Climb to the top of the rock fortress at Sigiriya
- See the magnificent Dambulla rock caves
- Discover Kandy’s famous Temple of the Tooth
- Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
- See fragrant tea plantations in Nuwara Eliya
- Enjoy lunch in Kithulgala, where the Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed
This is popular for many reasons. Not only is it a superb glimpse of the amazingly diverse country, but it is also excellent value for money. If you do have the time we would recommend a stop in Yala/Udawalawe. Makes a brilliant twin-centre with the Maldives.
Itinerary in Brief
- Mount Lavinia or Negombo: 1 night
- Habarana: 2 nights
- Kandy: 2 nights
- Nuwara Eliya: 1 night
- Bentota or your chosen beach resort: 4 nights
DAY 1: MOUNT LAVINIA OR NEGOMBO
On arrival transfer to your chosen beach hotel for an afternoon at leisure, (approx. 5½ miles, 20 minutes). B.
DAY 2: MOUNTA LAVINIA OR NEGOMBO to HABARANA
A morning start for spice plantations of Matale. Here you’ll get a guided tour of the plantation where you can touch and smell some of Sri Lanka’s most valuable spices. Then, enjoy a curry cookery demonstration which you can then choose to have for lunch! You can also pop into the spice shop should you wish. After lunch continue on to Habarana where you will stay for two nights (approx. 130 miles, 5½ hours). B,D.
DAY 3: HABARANA
In the morning, optional sightseeing is available at extra cost to Polonnaruwa, the 12th Century Sinhalese capital. Later, visit the rock fortress of Sigiriya. A climb to the top (only for the energetic!) will reveal a spectacular view. The gallery of frescoes half way up is a definite highlight (approx. 135 miles, 1¾ hours’ drive without comfort or site stops). B.
DAY 4: HABARANA to KANDY
Drive to Kandy for a two night stay and en route, visit the Dambulla rock caves and batik workshop. This afternoon visit the famous Temple of the Tooth and later enjoy a Kandyan dancing and culture show (approx. 80 miles, 2½ hours). B, D.
DAY 5: KANDY
A full day of enchanting sightseeing in Kandy. Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. This afternoon enjoy a tour of the city including the market square, a gem showroom and Upper Lake Drive (approx. 20 miles, 1 hour). B.
DAY 6: KANDY to NUWARA ELIYA
Drive toward the hill country, with a stop en route to visit a tea plantation and non-working factory. Travel on to Nuwara Eliya, set in a stunning mountain valley some 6,000 feet above sea level. Afternoon sightseeing, with spectacular views of the beautiful green hillsides, rushing waterfalls and tea plantations (approx. 65 miles, 2½ hours). B.
DAY 7-10: NUWARA ELIYA to Your Chosen Beach Hotel
Leave for your chosen beach hotel and en route a typical Sri Lankan lunch is served at a charming local restaurant in Kithulgala where the Bridge on the River Kwai was filmed (approx. 300 miles, 6 hours’ drive). Spend the next four nights relaxing in your beach hotel. Alternatively, extend the tour for an extra night for the chance to see elephants at Udawalawe National Park or Yala National Park before then heading to Mount Lavinia. B.
Head home to the UK or perhaps your next destination such as Dubai, the Maldives or the Seychelles
Meals on tour
B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner and meals only included where indicated.
Ceylon Tour is a small group tour escorted by a local guide from Day 2 to Day 7. Extensions are not escorted (excluding Udawalawe or Yala) but local assistance is provided.
Transport Air-conditioned transport throughout.
Upgrade your tour
Enjoy your own car and driver-guide from Days 3-9. This costs a supplement of £150 per person (based on 2 people per car).
Good to know
For departures on other days, an extra night at Mount Lavinia or Negombo may be required
Minimum age 6 years.
If taking a beach stay before your tour please bear in mind that the first day of the tour is set as per the itinerary.