TEMPLES, TRADERS & TEA COUNTRY

Sri Lanka in Classic Style

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

Duration: 11 nights

Price: From £3,450 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

A bejewelled patchwork of different landscapes, cultures, beaches, and history, Sri Lanka has so many captivating aspects that it’s hard to settle for just one or two. That’s why you’ll love this classic Sri Lanka holiday, which takes you on a diverse and colourful adventure, from the Indiana Jones-style temples of the Cultural Triangle to the vibrant city of Kandy and along the lush tea trails and famous Yala National Park, to finally end up on the exotic south coast in Galle.
Perfect forSri Lanka first-timers who want to experience this beautiful country’s best bits - or people who are already in love with Sri Lanka but want to discover its gorgeous boutique hotels. 
In the knowAfter spending time in the Cultural Triangle, head to the ‘undiscovered north’ where the unspoilt beaches of Trincomalee offer a luxury castaway experience.

Best for

  • First-timers
  • History & Heritage
  • Beach
  • Couples

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.

Call 020 7337 9010 or Make an enquiry

Itinerary details

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1 nightNEGOMBO

You’ll start this classic holiday by flying into Colombo and stay one night in Negombo, located just north of the capital. An excellent choice after a long flight to Sri Lanka, we recommend shaking off the jetlag and diving into the many relaxing facilities at the lovely Horathapola Estate. Walk around its working coconut estate, bask in the sun on the large lawn full of flowering trees or dip into the rimless swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

If you feel up for more than just unwinding at the hotel, the estate is also perfectly located for exploring the beach and the must-see city of Colombo. Whatever you decide to do on your first day in Sri Lanka, make sure to be back in time for sunset - best enjoyed from one of the verandas with a drink in hand.
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2 nightsSigirya  

From Negombo, you’ll be taken to Sigirya, to stay at the Water Garden Sigirya, a quaint hotel surrounded by forests and lakes. You’ll be ideally placed to explore the region, so grab a bike from the hotel and cycle along the rows of rice paddies to have picnics while birdwatching for lily trotters, white-breasted water hens, egrets and kingfishers.

During your stay, you’ll be taken on a tour of Sigiriya, a dramatic rocky outcrop and UNESCO World Heritage Site. You'll find the remains of the ancient kingdom of Kassapa at the summit, along with panoramic vistas of the surrounding forests. Once the royal citadel in the 5th century and used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century, it remains one of the most well-preserved examples of ancient urban planning. Sigiriya stands nearly 200m high, and with your expert guide, you’ll climb up the steps, passing ancient walls decorated with frescoes, to the summit, where you'll find the remains of the ancient kingdom of Kassapa at the summit, along with panoramic vistas of the surrounding forests.

Combine Sigiriya with Minneriya National Park, which is the best place in the country to see wild elephants in large numbers, sometimes reaching numbers of 200 or more at one time.
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2 nightsKANDY

You’ll now migrate south to the vibrant city and ‘Lost Hill Kingdom’ of Kandy, which is famed for its ornamented elephants and the colourful Buddhist festival of Esala Perahera. You’ll be taken on a tour of the golden-roofed Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a Buddhist temple that houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha.

From here, you can explore the streets of Kandy itself, walking around the vibrant markets and orchid houses, or take a tuk tuk up into the hills to your hotel, the colonial-style Elephant Stables. Rather than being right in the city, you’ll be staying in the hills above Kandy, where you’ll have stupendous views of the mist-shrouded Knuckles Mountains and the city below. The Aspara Spa offers deep-tissue massages, which will remedy any aches and pains from the climb to Sigiriya, and the bartenders can whip up any sort of concoction you like to while away a few hours by the pool - we recommend the Elephant Unstable cocktail, a heady combination of Rockland Gin, vodka, creme de menthe, tequila, Cointreau, pineapple juice and coconut.
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2 nightsKOSLANDA

Diving into Sri Lanka’s tea country, you’ll board a train to Ella and then be taken to the Living Heritage Koslanda, which is nestled in 80 acres of wildlife-filled forest that is in turn surrounded by an expanse of tea plantations. Take a cooking class with the hotel chef, touring the spice garden or even assisting in the hotel’s conservation efforts by planting a tree.

Further afield, there are waterfalls to discover, national parks to explore and ancient Buddhist temples to visit - all of which are well worth the journey. We’ll take you on a local tea plantation tour, where you’ll learn about the tea production, see people picking the green leaves and sample a perfectly-brewed cup.        
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2 nightsYALA NATIONAL PARK

This part of the holiday is where Sri Lanka’s incredible wildlife takes centre stage. You’ll head south to the coast and stay two nights right on the border of the country’s second largest national park, Yala. Prepare for a really thrilling safari as you head out in a jeep to spot the exotic creatures including sloth bears, buffaloes, macaques, and the largest density of leopards in the world.

With morning and evening private game drives, most of your time at the Wild Coast Tented Lodge  will be on safari, but in between, you can catch your breath at the spa with an invigorating treatment which uses natural local ingredients.
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2 nightsGALLE

For the last two nights, you’ll stay in the centre of Galle Fort, amongst the Dutch colonial architecture of Galle’s old town. Your base is the restored merchant’s house, Fort Bazaar, which is small but perfectly formed, with Moorish influences, custom-made tiles from Vietnam and sun-drenched terraces that are just heaven for a leisurely morning break.

With a location second to none, you can walk around the quaint avenues and streets to seek out the historic sights, catch a cricket match at the iconic test ground just 200 metres away, or board a boat and go on a coastal cruise to spot dolphins and whales skirting the coast.
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Best time to go

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Good time to travel (but some limitations)

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

Travel is not recommended

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