Explore cities, temples, lost kingdoms – and even National Parks by 4×4 – on an 11-night Handcrafted Sri Lanka tour that gets to the heart of this incredible country.


Subject to availability


Alternative departure airports available


Travel to Sri Lanka on an overnight flight.

A rep will be waiting for you when you land at Banaranaike International Airport. They’ll organise a transfer to your hotel on the outskirts of the capital city – Colombo. Free afternoon in Marawila.

Stay: Pegasus Reef Hotel (or similar) | Meals: Dinner

Fuel up at breakfast, because you’ll travel five hours north to Anuradhapura – a 1,400-year-old city that was once Sri Lanka’s capital.

  • Stop off for a break in Mihintale – a mountain eight miles from Anuradhapura. Every year pilgrims climb its 1,800 steps to honour Buddha.

Free time in the evening.

Stay: Palm Garden Village Hotel (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

You’ll get to know some of Anuradhapura’s most popular sights – including a sacred fig tree and a Buddhist temple – during today’s tour.

  • Take some pictures of the Sri Maha Bodhi – a sacred fig tree that Buddha is believed to have found enlightenment under over 2,000 years ago.
  • Explore the Isurumuniya Buddhist Temple. The archaeological ruins here date back to 307BC.
  • Stroll along the paths that line the Basawakkulama Tank – a 1,200-acre reservoir.

Stay: Palm Garden Village Hotel (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Lace up your walking boots for a hike up Lion Rock – a giant, 600-foot-tall rock column that’s been dubbed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Make your way up the 1,200 steps to get to the top. It usually takes about 20 minutes, and there are plenty of places to stop and catch your breath.
  • Saunter through the ruins of an ancient palace. It was built on top of the monument over 1,000 years ago, and comes with a collection of colourful wall frescoes.

Stay: Fresco Water Villa (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

The city of Polonnaruwa is on the agenda today. You’ll hop on a bicycle for a guided tour around its UNESCO-protected Medieval centre.

  • Snap some photos of the Buddha statues and temples around the Watadage – a 12th-century, circular stone structure.
  • Gaze at the 48 columns and lion-shaped throne during a walk around the Nissankamalla Council Chamber – where one of Sri Lanka’s kings used to work.
  • Stroll along the old city walls. Your guide will point out some of the old irrigation canals and carved Buddhist sculptures during your tour.

Stay: Fresco Water Villa (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

You’ll start the day with a visit to a cave temple in the town of Dambulla. Then, unwind in the afternoon during lunch in a spice garden in the city of Matale.

  • Take a look around the Dambulla Cave Temple. It’s the biggest underground network in Sri Lanka, and is home to 153 Buddha statues.
  • See some of Sri Lanka’s tea, rubber and spice plantations up close in Matale.
  • Pamper yourself with an outdoor head-and-shoulder massage in a spice garden. You’ll be treated to a lunch of rice and curry, as well as a cup of herbal tea.

Stay: Hotel Suisse | Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Day 8: The UNESCO-dubbed city of Kandy’s renowned for its colourful street markets and temples. Today, you’ll tick a few off, along with a botanical garden, before watching a culture-crammed show in the evening.

  • Browse a bustling, open-air bazaar for souvenirs. You’ll find everything from wooden Buddha statues to sapphire necklaces and fancy tea sets.
  • Kandy’s home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, which houses one of the Buddha’s teeth. You can see the casket it’s held in, plus gold-covered shines throughout the temples.

Day 9: Free day. You can choose to add optional experiences.

Stay: Hotel Suisse | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Head into Sri Lanka’s hills for a tour of its tea territory. You’ll get to pluck tea leaves straight from the stem, as well as sip on a cuppa in one of the factories.

  • Hop on a train for a trip to Nuwara Eliya – a city in the heart of the tea-plantation-filled countryside.
  • Follow your guide around a tea factory, where you’ll get to see how tea leaves are produced from start to finish.
  • Try your hand at picking tea leaves during a walk around the fields, then sample a freshly made cuppa.

Stay: Glenfall Reach Hotel (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

Today, you’ll travel to the Udawalawe Elephant Transfer Home, in a protected national park. Here, you’ll learn how the workers look after orphaned Asian elephants.

  • Meet baby elephants during a tour of the transfer home. When they’re strong enough, they’ll be released back into the wild.
  • Head out in a 4×4 to see the resident herd. Over 250 of these gentle giants call this place home.
  • Round the day off with a complimentary sundowner cocktail in the middle of the national park.

Stay: Grand Udawalawe Resort (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

There’s no better place to get a good look at Sri Lanka’s Dutch heritage than Galle. On today’s tour, you’ll cross a few of the city’s top attractions off the list.

  • The streets around Galle are lined with 17th-century European villas and saloons. You’ll hear about the area’s colonial history during a walk through the streets.
  • Snap some photos of the age-old fortress of Point Utrecht Bastion. In 1760, it was one of the most important defensive points on Sri Lanka’s southern coast.
  • Wander around the Dutch Hospital Shopping Complex. You can buy everything from fresh tea leaves to lavish diamond jewellery here.

Free time in the afternoon and evening.

Stay: Amari Galle (or similar) | Meals: Breakfast & Dinner

After breakfast, transfer to Banaranaike International Airport for your flight home. Or extend your stay with a Multi-Destination beach break.

Meals: Breakfast


  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Colombo
  • 30kg checked baggage
  • 11 nights accommodation in hotels of 3* standard
  • 11 breakfasts, 2 lunches & 11 dinners
  • Airport transfers in Sri Lanka, 4×4 and mini bus transport
  • English-speaking tour guide
  • 10 activities/excursions as mentioned in the itinerary


  • Flights to/from London Heathrow or your chosen UK airport
  • Airport transfers in United Kingdom
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Optional activities
  • Visa when required
  • Vaccines when required

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