Private Tour - Grand Tour of Sri Lanka


  • Sri Lanka

Tour : GSTL-P

Overview

Discover a portrait of beautiful Sri Lanka on this private tour taking in the cultural centres of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Kandy and lush Yala National Park.

Highlights

  • Colombo and Galle City sightseeing
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress Kandy Temple of the Tooth
  • Nuwara Eliya Travel by train, Tea factory visit
  • Horton Plains Yala National Park Jeep Safaris
Grand Tour of Sri Lanka - private tour map

Tour itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Total meals included:

  • 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners

Depart UK

Day
1

Arrive Colombo

Day
2

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of this bustling city. Historically, Colombo was known as a trading port due to its natural harbour and was a city of strategic importance to the Portuguese, Dutch and British before Ceylon gained independence in 1948. Many old colonial buildings can still be seen around the city alongside more traditional Sri Lankan architecture. See the Galle Face Green promenade, Dutch Hospital precinct, Fort Railway Station, a Hindu Kovil, the Beira Lake and Independence Square. NOTE: Depending on flight time arrivals, sometimes it may be necessary to do the Colombo sightseeing on day 11.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

Colombo - Anuradhapura - Sigiriya

Day
3

After breakfast, journey through the lush Sri Lankan countryside to Anuradhapura, the country's ancient capital. The city is considered sacred to the Buddhist world and is surrounded by monasteries. Your city tour takes in the well-preserved ruins of this area and the Sri Maha Bodhi (or Bo Tree), the oldest recorded tree in the world. This remarkable tree was a sapling taken from the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi tree in India, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. Later continue to Sigiriya for your overnight stay.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Sigiriya - Minneriya - Sigiriya

Day
4

This morning visit the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a giant magma plug which has served both as a long-standing Buddhist monastery and a fortress. Surrounded by a network of gardens and moats, it is an historical, geological and anthropological landmark. The ancient ruins of the upper palace built by King Kasyapa can also be found on the summit, which at 656 feet above sea level affords magnificent views across the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside. On the way to the top, see the famous 'Cloud Maidens' frescoes painted on the rock wall. Later, take an afternoon safari drive to either Minneriya, Kaudulla or Eco Park National Park where with luck, elephants, Sambar deer and leopards might be seen. NOTE: A number of steep steps must be climbed in order to reach the top level of Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy

Day
5

This morning visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa. After lunch visit the fascinating Dambulla Rock Cave Temple which comprises of five caverns, each amazingly preserved, containing frescoes and statues of the Buddha. En route to Kandy there is also a visit to a spice garden and a batik factory.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Kandy

Day
6

A jumble of culture, history and colonial buildings, Kandy is nestled in forested hills and is one of Sri Lanka's most interesting cities. This morning first visit the Temple of the Tooth then enjoy a comprehensive tour of this green city, taking in the colourful market place, the upper lake drive and the Gem Museum. There will also be a visit to the Arts & Crafts Centre and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are renowned for their collection of orchids, spices and medicinal plants. This evening visit a cultural show and be entertained by Kandyan dancers and drummers.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Day
7

Today, admire the views on a scenic rail journey from Kandy to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya by train. Experience one of the world's most stunning rail journeys on this quintessential Sri Lankan rail service. The train bumps and grinds through the forests and tea plantations and is a highlight of your tour. Otherwise known as 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya is set nearly 2,000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills and lush tea plantations. It is considered the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry, with its cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall providing the perfect climate for tea production. This evening, take a sightseeing tour around the town.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Nuwara Eliya - Ella - Tissamaharama

Day
8

This morning visit a Tea Factory and be enlightened on the tea manufacturing process; from the fermentation of the leaf to the rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and grading of tea. Continue to Ella and view the famous Demodara nine arch railway bridge located between Demodara and Ella railway stations. Later climb Little Adams peak, a short 20 minute climb will take you to the top of the 1140 meter peak, where breath-taking views of an endless valley, tea plantations and waterfalls make the easy climb a rewarding effort. Visit the famous Ravana Ella Falls before continuing to Tissamaharama.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Yala National Park

Day
9

This morning, take a jeep safari through Yala National Park. Home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, sights of these beautiful creatures are not uncommon. Yala is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with around 230 species recorded in the park. As well as leopards and birds, look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles - Yala really is Kipling's Jungle Book brought to life! Return to your hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure, or join an optional afternoon safari. Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September/October, during this period the Yala Safari drive will take place in the Bundala National Park.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Tissamaharama - Galle

Day
10

This morning travel to Galle. Galle stands on a peninsula and has a fine natural harbour with excellent defences, and gorgeous views of the ocean. The highlight of this area is the Galle Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an afternoon city tour before an evening at leisure.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Galle - Colombo.

Day
11

Transfer to Colombo for an overnight stay. If you are choosing a Sri Lanka beach extension, you will be transferred to your chosen beach hotel.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Colombo - UK

Day
12

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK or to the Maldives if you are extending your stay.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Things to note

The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September / October. During this period The Yala Safari Drive will take place in the Udawalawe National Park or Bundala National Park.

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.

Extend your tour and see even more

On selected tours you can extend your time at the beginning or end of your holiday. To book your holiday with an extension, call us on 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

Total meals included:

  • 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners

Depart UK

Day
1

Arrive Colombo

Day
2

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of this bustling city. Historically, Colombo was known as a trading port due to its natural harbour and was a city of strategic importance to the Portuguese, Dutch and British before Ceylon gained independence in 1948. Many old colonial buildings can still be seen around the city alongside more traditional Sri Lankan architecture. See the Galle Face Green promenade, Dutch Hospital precinct, Fort Railway Station, a Hindu Kovil, the Beira Lake and Independence Square. NOTE: Depending on flight time arrivals, sometimes it may be necessary to do the Colombo sightseeing on day 11.

Meals included:

  • Dinner

Colombo - Anuradhapura - Mihintale - Sigiriya

Day
3

After breakfast, journey through the lush Sri Lankan countryside to Anuradhapura, the country's ancient capital. The city is considered sacred to the Buddhist world and is surrounded by monasteries. Your city tour takes in the well-preserved ruins of this area and the Sri Maha Bodhi (or Bo Tree), the oldest recorded tree in the world. This remarkable tree was a sapling taken from the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi tree in India, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. Later visit the pilgrimage site of Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, before continuing to Sigiriya.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Sigiriya - Minneriya - Sigiriya

Day
4

This morning visit the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a giant magma plug which has served both as a long-standing Buddhist monastery and a fortress. Surrounded by a network of gardens and moats, it is an historical, geological and anthropological landmark. The ancient ruins of the upper palace built by King Kasyapa can also be found on the summit, which at 656 feet above sea level affords magnificent views across the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside. On the way to the top, see the famous 'Cloud Maidens' frescoes painted on the rock wall. Later, take an afternoon safari drive to either Minneriya, Kaudulla or Eco Park National Park where with luck, elephants, Sambar deer and leopards might be seen. NOTE: A number of steep steps must be climbed in order to reach the top level of Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy

Day
5

This morning visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa. After lunch visit the fascinating Dambulla Rock Cave Temple which comprises of five caverns, each amazingly preserved, containing frescoes and statues of the Buddha. En route to Kandy there is also a visit to a spice garden and a batik factory.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Kandy

Day
6

A jumble of culture, history and colonial buildings, Kandy is nestled in forested hills and is one of Sri Lanka's most interesting cities. This morning first visit the Temple of the Tooth then enjoy a comprehensive tour of this green city, taking in the colourful market place, the upper lake drive and the Gem Museum. There will also be a visit to the Arts & Crafts Centre and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are renowned for their collection of orchids, spices and medicinal plants. This evening visit a cultural show and be entertained by Kandyan dancers and drummers.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Kandy - Nuwara Eliya

Day
7

Today, admire the views on a scenic rail journey from Kandy to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya by train. Experience one of the world's most stunning rail journeys on this quintessential Sri Lankan rail service. The train bumps and grinds through the forests and tea plantations and is a highlight of your tour. Otherwise known as 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya is set nearly 2,000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills and lush tea plantations. It is considered the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry, with its cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall providing the perfect climate for tea production. This evening, take a sightseeing tour around the town.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya

Day
8

An early start this morning as you journey up steep mountains to the Horton Plains. Located on Sri Lanka's highest plateau, this mountainous region is blanketed in mist-wreathed forests and affords spectacular views of the valleys below, occasionally extending to the coastline. The evening is at leisure in Nuwara Eliya.

NOTE: The journey to Horton Plains is a 3-4 hour trek through mountains, which some people may find difficult.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Nuwara Eliya - Yala National Park

Day
9

After breakfast journey south towards Yala National Park. The rest of the day is free to relax in the lush jungle surroundings of your hotel.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Yala National Park

Day
10

This morning, take a jeep safari through Yala National Park. Home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, sights of these beautiful creatures are not uncommon. Yala is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with around 230 species recorded in the park. As well as leopards and birds, look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles - Yala really is Kipling's Jungle Book brought to life! Later, you will have another opportunity to spot animals on an afternoon safari.

Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September/October, during this period the Yala Safari drive will take place in the Bundala National Park.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Yala - Galle - Colombo.

Day
11

This morning travel to Galle for a city tour, before continuing back to Colombo for an overnight stay. If you are choosing a Sri Lanka beach extension, you will be transferred to your chosen beach hotel.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Colombo - UK

Day
12

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK or to the Maldives if you are extending your stay.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Things to note

The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September / October. During this period The Yala Safari Drive will take place in the Udawalawe National Park or Bundala National Park.

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.

Extend your tour and see even more

On selected tours you can extend your time at the beginning or end of your holiday. To book your holiday with an extension, call us on 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

To book your holiday with an extension, call 0330 0588 237 or speak to your travel agent.

What's included

Tour only

Prefer to book your own flights and transfers? You have the freedom to do that with our Tour Only holiday option.

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Services of a driver/guide
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals

Tour with flights

Let us take care of everything. Our package option includes return flights from your chosen airport, plus overseas transfers to your hotel.

  • VIP private home pick-up service
  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Services of a driver/guide
  • Accommodation
  • Selected meals
  • All airport taxes

Book with confidence

We are a member of ABTA, and all our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. So you can book, relax, and plan your sightseeing.

Why book with us?