A VILLAGE IN THE FOREST

Secret Sri Lanka

Cultural Triangle & Eastern Sri Lanka, Southern & Southwest Coast, Sri Lanka's Hill Country

Duration: 12 nights

Price: From £2,600 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers, transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

No longer just visited by travellers in the know but also by those in search of stunning scenery, mystical culture and sublime beaches, Sri Lanka’s reputation has evolved from an undiscovered gem to one of the hottest holiday destinations on the planet. Well away from the main-stream of tourist resorts and busy attractions, this off-the-beaten-track adventure has you experiencing the real Sri Lanka away from the throng. Swathed by the mist-draped tea plantations, you’ll start this holiday in Kegalle soaking up the views from your veranda before trekking through a secret valley formed by the Knuckles mountain range. Next you’ll visit one of Sri Lanka’s least visited national parks, to spot elephants swimming in the lake and leopards slinking through the bush, and finally round off the trip with a few nights of coastal bliss in Balapitiya.
Perfect forThe claustrophobic traveller who wants to stay in boutique hotels and avoid the crowds.
In the knowAdd a few nights to travel to Galle and go on a fascinating Secrets of the Fort tour with a renowned author.

Best for

  • Cultural Immersion
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Off the Beaten Track
  • Repeat

All Exsus holidays are tailor-made

This itinerary is just a starting point. Tell us your budget/wishlist/preferred length of stay and we'll help you select the best hotels and experiences, so your holiday is totally personalised.

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Itinerary details

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2 nightsKEGALLE

Cradled between the central highlands and the western coast, you’ll start this Sri Lankan holiday with two nights at the tea plantation, Rosyth Estate, located on the outskirts of Kegalle. Raised high above the rolling hills and lush countryside, the 1920s boutique estate offers some truly incredible views. With mist rises from the valley, mornings, sipping on freshly ground coffee on the expansive veranda, don’t get much better than this. Take your time to explore the rubber plantation and rows of tea – you can go on a guided tour to meet local tea pickers or borrow a bike and cycle through the paddy fields for a faster-paced adventure. The River Kelani offers grade 3 and 4 rapids, which’ll have you pulsing with adrenalin, while the yoga classes and spa treatments at the hotel offer the perfect balance to bring your heartrate right back down.
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4 nightsKNUCKLES

Next, you’ll head into Sri Lanka’s hilly heartland and spend four nights sleeping high in the Knuckles mountain range. A collection of luxury tents perched on the side of a mountain, the Madulkelle Tea & Eco Lodge will be your catalyst for total relaxation and serenity. Designed to allow you to completely switch off, you can spend your days catching up on your reading, admiring the superb views or enjoying a dip in the pool in between cooling cocktails. The surrounding area is dominated by tea plantations, which you can walk around in order to meet the local tea pickers and pass through lovely little villages, or you can make the journey to Kandy and see the highlights, such as the famed Temple of the Tooth. On your last night, you will go on an overnight trek through a secret valley, formed by the Knuckles mountains.
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3 nightsGAL OYA

Moving further along Sri Lanka’s central belt, you will be taken to Gal Oya National Park, one of the least visited parks in the country, for three nights of incredible wildlife. Here you’ll venture into the park via jeep, to watch the wild elephants swim in Sri Lanka’s largest lake. You’ll be staying in the high-end safari lodge, Gal Oya Lodge, which sits on the western fringes of the park and offers jungle views out of the floor to ceiling glass doors and private verandas. As well as elephants, the park is home to leopards, star tortoise, mugger crocodiles and monkeys. After your safari, you can stretch your legs with a walk through the surrounding countryside. The aboriginal Vedda people of Sri Lanka live in this area and you’ll be taken on a private walk with the Veddas to learn about their fascinating culture.
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3 nightsBALAPITIYA

The last part of this holiday sees you travelling to the western coast and staying in the very remote River House. Located in Balapitiya, a small picturesque village along the coast, you can use your jungle bolthole to trail through the waterways along the Madhu Gange river. Kayak to see the resident birdlife and reptiles in the riverbeds, visit the nearby town of Ambalangoda to buy an elaborate mask souvenir or spend the day on the lovely beaches at Bentota. During your stay here, you’ll be taken on a boat ride along the Madhu Ganga to visiting a working Buddhist temple and small cinnamon garden and on the way back make sure to keep an eye out for beautiful kingfishers, eagles, monkeys and water monitors.
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Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
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  • Apr
  • May
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  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
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