8-Day Sri Lanka Tour Including Safari & Return International Flights
Experience the unspoilt beauty of Sri Lanka and mingle with the friendly locals as you get a real taste for this amazing country from the lively capital of Colombo to the local villages and lush green mountains. Go on a jeep safari in Yala National park to see elephants, leopards and crocodiles, see the iconic stilt fishermen, prepare a Sri Lankan lunch with a local family, cycle through villages in Girtale, pluck Ceylon tea at a plantation, travel one of the world’s most famous train routes to Ella, visit UNESCO-listed sites and more all with return international flights, two scenic train journeys, private transportation, English-speaking guides and daily breakfast included.
- 8 Days from
- Valued up to
Journey across Sri Lanka on an unforgettable eight-day tour that will immerse you in local life while taking you to the country’s most spectacular locations. Your senses will come to life as you discover rice paddies, pineapple plantations, spice gardens, tea fields, Buddhist temples and local markets all while saying hello to local vendors, school children and welcoming families who will open their home to you.
Click here to check out the Luxury Escapes guide to Sri Lanka.
What You’ll Love…
The Tour – Meet the locals, dine on Sri Lankan cuisine, visit UNESCO-sites and go on safari
Watch local fishermen spread their nets over the water in tropical Wella before enjoying a fresh seafood BBQ with the catch of the day. Sample juicy pineapple from a pineapple plantation and spot exotic birds, lizards and monkeys amongst the rice paddy fields and coconut groves of Sigiriya.
Cycle past waving school children in the village of Giritale stopping at a local market to purchase vegetables for lunch. Learn Sri Lanka cooking secrets as you prepare a typical curry and rice lunch with a local family.
Explore the dimly lit Dabulla Cave Temples with their intricate religious carvings, 153 Buddhist statues and murals that date back to the 2nd century BC. Climb to the summit for amazing views of 80 caves which were once meditiating grounds for Buddhist monks.
Breathe in the scent from the spice gardens of Matale and observe how world-class spices are grown and processed.
Prepare a Sri Lankan breakfast with your hotel’s chef and learn how to create dishes including curry, coconut pittu, milk rice and pol roti bread before wandering through the floral-scented Peradeniya Botanical Garden where you’ll find rare orchids, spices and herbs, some of which can only be found at this site.
Leave Peradeniya and drive along winding roads to the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country watching out for the common occurrence of a waterfall crashing down next to the road and local children selling wildflowers. In the misty Ceylon Tea fields, you can explore a traditional tea factory and take part in a tea plucking session with the tea bucket hanging on your neck (just as the local do it).
Wake up early for a jeep safari around the famous Yala National Park which is home to elephants, peacock, crocodiles, leopards, wild boar, deer, monkey and exotic birds. Then back to the hotel to kick back on the tropical beach where – if the season is right – you might spot whales and dolphins in the distance.
Visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Galle Fort with its gigantic gateways and Portuguese and Dutch influences.
The Accommodation – Colonial charm, beachfront oasis and a safari camp
Enjoy deluxe accommodation throughout your tour including at Jetwing St. Andrews, a colonial-style retreat that offers views of the tea plantations through misty clouds. Old-world charm abounds at this elegant property where you’ll find roaring fireplaces, a vintage bar and plenty of places to unwind with a cup of Ceylon tea.
On the edge of Yala National Park you’ll stay at Big Game Camp which offers safari tents on a campsite that has a watering hole often frequented elephants, leopards, monkeys and deer.
A beachfront oasis awaits at Pandanus Beach Resort & Spa where you can stroll along the palm-tree fringed sand, take a cooling dip in the pool and watch the sun set on the horizon.
Your Package Includes
- Seven nights of deluxe accommodation in hotels including Sungreen Habarana, Earl’s Regent in Kandy, Jetwing St. Andrews, Big Game Camp in Yala and Pandanus Resort in Induruwa
- Return economy international flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth to Colombo (Brisbane and Adelaide departures available for a surcharge. See 'Fine Print' for more information)
- Daily breakfasts across the duration of the tour and one lunch with a local family
- Two scenic train rides including one of the world’s most famous train routes to Ella, known for its breathtaking views of lush green mountains, rice paddies and palm trees
- Sightseeing as per itinerary on an air-conditioned coach
- The services of an English-speaking tour manager and local guides in major cities
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- Hotel taxes, fees, service charges and porterage, tipping and gratuities
The ’7 day change of mind guarantee’ does not apply for Tour bookings. Due to the high demand and limited departures any cancellation / refund requests must be made within 48 hours of purchase. Otherwise, the standard Refund Policy applies.
Valid for the following departure dates:
3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 August 2018
7 September 2018
12, 19 & 26 October 2018
2, 9, 16, 23 & 30 November 2018
1, 8, 15 & 22 February 2019
1, 8, 15 & 22 March 2019
3, 10, 17, 24 & 31 May 2019
Return international flights in economy class are included in your package. Departures are available from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth (see below for Adelaide and Brisbane departure surcharges). Flights are provided by Singapore, Qantas, Emirates, Thai Airways, Cathay Pacific and Malaysian Airlines. Airlines used are at providers discretion, requests for specific airlines cannot be guaranteed. Flight time will be approximataly 16 hours.
Departures from Brisbane and Adelaide are available with a surcharge of: AU$200 per person. If you would like to arrive at the destination earlier than the scheduled tour start date, or leave later than the scheduled tour end date, a fee of AU$150 per person applies in each instance, payable directly to the tour company.
Airfares are non refundable and can not transferable into another persons name.
Changes to tour dates due to unforeseen circumstances will result in a AU$150 per person change fee, plus a airline change fee and a reassessment of the new airfare on the date that the change is made.
Booking conditions and cancellation fees do apply. Please take out travel insurance at this time.
The package is valid for ONE PERSON aged 12 years or older (based on twin share). If you are travelling with another person you must purchase TWO PACKAGES, otherwise, an additional single traveller surcharge will apply. Single travellers will get their own room throughout the tour.
*Single Traveller Surcharge: *If travelling alone, you must pay a single traveller surcharge of AU$700 per person, payable directly to the tour operator:
Please note this tour is not suitable for children under 12 years of age.
The maximum capacity on this tour is 40 people.
*Maximum Room Capacity: *The maximum room capacity is two adults and one child (subject to availability). See the ‘Child Policy' for more details.
*Child Policy: *One child aged from 12 - 16 years may stay in the same room as two adults (subject to the availability of a rollaway bed or fold-out couch). Please note a full price twin-share package must be purchased.
Dining inclusions do not include beverages (unless otherwise stated). Menus are subject to change without notice.
Please note that full terms and conditions apply. Refer to website's terms and conditions.
Day 1: NEGOMBO-KURUNEGALA - HABARANA
Pick up from the Negombo hotel and transfer to Wella. Visit Wella in Negombo. Wake up to the tropical sunrise and head out to Wella to observe the fishermen’s way of life. Watch how they spread out their nets with care hoping for that ‘big catch’. Then simply take a few steps towards the busy fishermen pulling fishing nets ashore. After all, a little help wouldn’t mind, would it? Preserve the fresh catch in cold boxes to take them across for your evening BBQ at the resort you stay over.
Then proceed to Sigiriya while experiencing how busy roads change gradually to a flat terrain spreading miles ahead as the climate gets warmer. Surely, it will be fascinating to observe how the road starts to get carpeted between lush green paddy fields. As the journey begins, you will witness coconut cultivations and while you drive towards Sigiriya, you will see vast areas of paddy fields. It is really an amazing thing to see how the environment changes from the coastal line to paddy fields. As your journey deepens into the northern part of the island you will be able to witness exotic birds, Monitor Lizards, grey Buffalos and overly friendly Monkeys. On your way you will also witness beautiful pineapple plantations. Stop near a pineapple plantation and enjoy the fresh and tasty pineapple. It will open your taste buds and you will feel refreshed after a long drive. Once you have reached Sigiriya, you will feel the warm tropical weather, but the constant breeze will make you feel tireless.
*Hotel: *Sungreen Habarana
Day 2: HABARANA – GIRITALE – POLONNARUWA – HABARANA
Sunrise in the morning will stay as an unforgettable picture. As you get up you will hear birds singing and it will be a different waking up experience. After breakfast sit in the comfort of your vehicle as your chauffeur takes you to the Giritale tank, one of the finest landmarks in the Kingdom of Lakes! The tank is an initiative taken few centuries ago with the primary objective of cooling the environment while providing much needed water for agricultural lands which today administers itself as one of the finest spoken attractions in Polonnaruwa. This is where you get to hop on a bicycle and take a slow ride through scattered local villages. School children who run through the paddy fields will make this beautiful morning more colourful. Being captivated by the subtle beauty of the feathered – Egrets, Brahminy Kites and Bulbuls – while observing a Kingfisher making a nose-dive into sparkling water can never be a bad idea after all! Proceed to Polonnaruwa. Stop at a village market place and you can buy vegetables for your today’s lunch. You can bargain with the local vendors with the help of your tour guide and purchase vegetables on your own. Then transfer to a close by village house. You will have the opportunity to blend with the local family and prepare food jointly with the group. It will be an interactive cooking experience for the guests. Whilst sharing the Sri Lankan cookery secrets, the tour guide will introduce the village family to the group. After the joint preparation of the foodclients can enjoy the typical Sri Lankan rice and curry lunch with the local family. For surethis will be another unforgettable experience for all of the guests.
Visit Polonnaruwa ancient city. Do not let the heat absorb your interest as you have just stepped into a mine of cultural and religious extravaganza. Stamping a remarkable era from the 11th century until 1310 CE. Polonnaruwa, represents one of the most important milestones in the history of Sri Lanka. Take a walk across this UNESCO World Heritage Site – a kingdom of the greatest kings that ruled the island – and witness how stone-carved Buddha statues as well as architectural and historic Monuments add value to Polonnaruwa. Observe the glamour of Gal Viharaya, Lankatilaka, Rankot Vehera, Thivanka Image House as well as Thuparama before heading out from a remarkable royal capital of Sri Lanka!
*Hotel: *Sungreen Habarana
Day 3: HABARANA – DAMBULLA – MATALE – KANDY
Visit Dambulla Cave Temple Leave your hotel and make a quick stop in Dambulla in the morning to witness the religious and cultural landmark embedded in Dambulla Cave Temples. Tracing its footsteps back to the 2nd century BC, the cave temple in Dambulla form an important pick in anyone’s bucket-list merely due to its magnificently carved 153 Buddha statues nestled in five caves. Step through the gateways trodden by millions of devotees and take a slow climb right to its summit to observe Over 80 caves which were prime meditating grounds for Buddhist monks throughout phases of history. Then leave the premises with nothing less than ripe memories.
*Proceed to Kandy via Matale. *Stop in Matale – the cradle of spices in Sri Lanka – on your way to the Hill Capital to observe how Sri Lanka’s world-class spices are grown and processed. Start your spice garden tour under the watchful eyes of an in-house specialist who will take you through a journey entwining with spices and their herbal values. Finally, enjoy a cup of herbal tea – something unique for a Sri Lankan at heart – before heading out to the all-important last royal capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy. Feel the coolness of the surrounding climate as you drive into the limits of a city which is 500 meters above the sea level and that last-witnessed Royalty. Welcome to the Colosseum of Heritage! Take a walk through streets of Kandy and observe how life unfolds under the shades of Heritage. Pass the clock tower that stands tall for decades under the sun and rain before walking around the shady banks of the Kandy Lake. Check in to your hotel. In the evening, take part in a city tour in Kandy before witnessing a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dances. A drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798 will give you a nice feeling about the culture in Kandy. Then proceed to explore the town, Bazaar area and the market place where locals come and buy their day to day goods.
Hotel: Earl's Regeny Hotel
Day 4: KANDY – NUWARA ELIYA
If passionate towards local cuisine? Then learn it from those who know it by heart! Watch how locals garnish their culinary experience – the traditional way at the resort you stayed over. You may even lend a hand to prepare your signature Sri Lankan breakfast, an experience that will last a lifetime! You will experience this lovely breakfast in the morning room open to the garden with the pool view. Your chef will Demonstrate, how to prepare typical Sri Lankan food such as Pol roti, Milk Rice, Pittu or a curry. You also get an opportunity to get yourself involved in making this lovely dish.
*Visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden *Head towards Peradeniya and walk through the gateways of the Royal Botanical Garden which enshrines an abundance of flora. Walk through the giant palms and be enchanted by rare orchids, spices and herbs which are sometimes found nowhere else across the island. In fact, this is not only a habitat for beautiful flowers, but also a library for an enthusiast of historic plants which date back across few decades.
Visit Tea Factory Walk into a traditional factory processing fine Ceylon Tea, a world class brand which boasts of millions of servings each day across the globe. Be mesmerized by the process extending from plucking to processing and be guided by a team of experts who know it by heart! You can enjoy tea plucking session at the tea factory with the tea bucket hanging on your neck. After the tea plucking session enjoy the finest Ceylon tea at the tea lounge.
*Hotel: *St. Andrew's Hotel
Day 5: NUWARA ELIYA – ELLA - YALA
Leave your hotel in the morning and head out to Nanu-Oya Railway Station. Catch a local train that will rattle its way to Ella and be mesmerized by the breathtaking views that will swish pass your window. This train will be stopped at the Pattipola railway station during your fascinating train journey, it is the highest station in Sri Lanka with an elevation of 1,897.5 m above the sea level.
Once you reach Ella climb up to the top of the mountain to view the unforgettable Ella-Gap. Then climb down and proceed to Yala. Observe how the steep roads flatten into a speed-friendly terrain that stretches past acres across Wellawaya into the heart of wilderness, Yala National Park.
Hotel: Big Game Camp
*Day 6: YALA – INDURUWA *
*Leave to Yala National Park for Morning Safari by private Jeep. *Enter the park and head inside through its bumpy roads and wide open plains to witness an abundance of peacock, crocodiles, wild boar and spotted deer grazing across the scrub forest. But, keep your eyes wide open as a roaring leopard, a fuzzy sloth bear or a colossal tusker may be just few feet away. Spanning across 978km2 Yala is home to a large number of mammals and birds.
Hotel: Pandanus Beach Resort & Spa
*Day 7: INDURUWA – GALLE - INDURUWA *
Catch a public bus from Induruwa to Galle to get the hang of the local lifestyle. Walk through the Galle city, living museum of the Dutch architecture, which still boasts of its colonial heritage and historic fort. Walk into the gigantic gateways of the fort – first built by Portuguese and refined later by the Dutch and then later by the British– and observe how life goes by living inside a Dutch monument. You will be surprised to see how well the roads within the fort are aligned parallel to the fort’s ramparts.
After exploring the Galle City take a walk up to the train station and catch a public train to Induruwa. Hence it’s a nice feeling to witness typical southern Sri Lanka villages occasionally experiencing the train to the southern coastal line.
*Hotel: *Pandanus Beach Resort & Spa
*Day 8: INDURUWA - AIRPORT *
Enjoy your mind, body and soul with a Yoga session early in the morning which is guaranteed to seal your holiday with a stamp of perfection! The tour ends after breakfast.
Getting to Sri Lanka has never been easier, with return international flights from Melbourne, Sydney and Perth included in your package (Brisbane and Adelaide departures available for a surcharge). See the 'Fine Print' for more details.