Grand tour of Sri Lanka, tailor made

“A two week tailor made holiday around the ancient sites and national park beauties of Sri Lanka, with a chauffeur guide.”


Dambulla Cave Temple | Anuradhapura | Polonnaruwa | Kandy | Train journey to Nuwara Eliya | Uda Walawe National Park | Tissamaharamaya | Yala National Park | Galle | Colombo

Description of Grand tour of Sri Lanka, tailor made

Sri Lanka is a teardrop-shaped island paradise just south of India. Popularly known as "The Pearl of the Indian Ocean", Sri Lanka is indeed a gem. Its golden sandy beaches, majestic rainforest-covered mountains, cascading waterfalls, UNESCO heritage sites, sacred rock temples, tea plantations and ancient royal cities offer something for everyone. Our bespoke tour gives you the chance to encounter herds of wild elephants, elusive leopards, endangered sloth bears, baby turtles and hundreds of bird species in the company of a local guide or ranger. Cultural, natural and historic attractions are unsurpassed in this authentic Grand Tour of Sri Lanka which includes UNESCO World Heritage Sites, national parks, beautiful beaches and some of the key cities that make up Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle.

Transported in the comfort of your own chauffeur-driven vehicle, you can sit back and enjoy a bespoke itinerary that is as unique and individual as you are. The beauty of booking a tailor-made itinerary with your own driver/guide means you can stop where you please for refreshments, photograph wildlife or stop for unscheduled opportunities as part of your customised holiday in Sri Lanka.

Anyone can visit Sri Lanka, but not everyone gets to the chance to chat over a welcome dinner with a local host, take a safari at dawn with a knowledgeable ranger and get the best seats on one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. You need a local specialist to provide you with insider information, make arrangements using local contacts and advise on the best times of year to visit different areas. Our family-operated company has been doing just that since 2004 and 50% of our business comes from personal referrals and repeat business. We strongly believe in responsible and sustainable tourism and are proud of the fact that 95% of your tour fee stays in Sri Lanka.

Why not contact us today and allow us to design a unique, tailor-made Sri Lanka holiday to suit your specific interests and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made between 01 May - 30 Oct and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Not Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Grand tour of Sri Lanka, tailor made


Entrance Fees:
The round ticket purchased to visit the most popular sites is a levy collected by the central cultural fund. This levy is used by the fund to maintain and preserve the existing archaeological ruins, rehabilitate existing ruins and fund archaeological expeditions around the existing cities. Some of the individual fees collected by the smaller temples and sites are channelled through their caretakers to the upkeep of the facilities.

Entrance fees to wildlife parks are used for the maintenance of the parks including border and anti-poaching control and for the funding of various conservation projects like the “Elephant Transit Camp”

The “Uda Walawe Transit Camp” is a true elephant conservation project organized by the Department of Wildlife with the sole intention of caring for orphaned elephants with minimal human contact and releasing them back into the wild when they are weaned. We encourage our guests to make a contribution to this project. We also make contributions to this project from time to time based on revenues.

Respecting of Local Cultures and the Environment:
Sri Lanka is a culturally diverse nation and as such there are cultural sensitivities which are best respected. For this we meet with all our clients on the first day during which we brief them on the common ‘do’s’ and ‘don'ts’. Even while on tour our guide will brief the clients when visiting sites about general etiquette and norms if required.

Some of the parks that are visited on our itineraries are extremely sensitive ecosystems and as such our guides always forewarn clients about littering, smoking etc. We do not allow smoking in the vehicle at any time.

Game Meat:
Poaching is illegal in Sri Lanka however there are many eateries which sell this type of meat. Commonly poached meat includes wild boar and venison. We do not patronize any restaurants that we know sell game meat of any sort.

Environmental Responsibility at the office:
We realize that saving the environment can make financial sense as well. We have streamlined our operations in our office to an almost paperless office where everything from bookings to faxes are received in soft copy and stored. We only print what is absolutely necessary.


Our itinerary is designed to help the local community wherever possible.

Sri Lanka Holidays Accommodation:
All of the hotels we use for the itinerary are owned by establishments or individual where the owners or shareholders are Sri Lankan or control a large majority.

Sri Lanka Holidays Guides:
Our chauffeur guides are an important part of our team and we consider them our most valuable asset. We pay all our guides a fair price for their work above industry standards. We believe that this would translate to a better service to our clients on the long run. We ensure that all our guides are properly licensed.

Sri Lanka Holidays Restaurants:
We actively promote eating at local restaurants and establishments. We also make it one of our priorities to support the roadside vendors. Wherever possible we aim to stop for sampling of fruits or for a refreshing drink of King Coconut with the intention of supporting the vendors.

Sri Lanka Holidays Activities:
This tour involves visits to a village and a dinner with a Sri Lankan family. Both these activities are designed to encourage interaction between the guests and the locals. This gives our guests an understanding of local life, the history and also what typical days are in a Sri Lankan household.

These types of activities further go towards are commitment to the support of local entrepreneurs and their ventures.

Reviews of Grand tour of Sri Lanka, tailor made

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2006 by

Please note: These itineraries vary depending on the time of year to avoid the monsoon season.

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The highlights for me were the amazing elephant ride, climbing Sigiriya Rock where the challenge is to overcome your vertigo, and the safaris in Yala National Park. The holiday was packed with different experiences; we're just so glad we took the plunge and embarked on this adventure.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

My main tip for other travellers is - bring an alarm clock as your tour guide will have you up early, ready for another day packed brimful of amazing things to see and do!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I do feel the holiday benefited local people. The hotels provide a lot of employment, and when you buy local handicrafts that's an obvious benefit. And everywhere you go there is the opportunity to tip someone - from the guy who explains the Buddhist temple, to the taxi driver. Clearly without tourism, the economy would be vastly different. I do however have reservations about the impact on the environment. Flying out there is a major source of pollution as we all know. I was also concerned about the endless plastic bottles of water that everyone gets through (whereas I drink tap water at home).

Also being in a hot country, we were usually running the hotel air conditioning every night. How can that use of power be good for the environment?

4. Any other comments?

I would certainly say this holiday was five star - simply the best holiday I have ever been on.

Read the operator's response here:

We are always thrilled to hear from someone who has been on one of our trips and had a good time. Every single client matters to us and we strive to impart a little something special on all our holidays. With the difficult times Sri Lanka is facing with recent uncertainty and violence in the country, we sincerely thank Sheila and her group for coming over to Sri Lanka.

In terms of environmental impact air travel is the only way to get to Sri Lanka at present. However booking tickets with a company that subscribes to climate care would certainly be beneficial and help to reverse some of the damaging effects of carbon emissions.

Plastic bottles are unfortunately the only way safe drinking water can be obtained in Sri Lanka. Although we as Sri Lankan’s drink tap water in Colombo the quality of the water greatly varies from location to location and tap water is not recommended for the foreign traveller. However Sri Lanka does have a reasonably efficient recycling system where plastic bottles are recycled and plans are already underway for the construction of a 32 MW power station which uses Garbage as fuel.

As a company we try our best to minimize paper usage by working electronically wherever possible and we have in fact managed to cut the usage of paper overall by 40%.

Reviewed on 24 Nov 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Visits to Polonnaruwa and Sigirya.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

The holiday is quite rapid in the first week and then slows down - both are enjoyable, but its worth knowing that it doesn't stay as busy throughout.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes, to an extent.

Reviewed on 05 Nov 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Riding an elephant, on safari after a heavy rain shower, Sigiria rock, the smiles on the faces of the school children, the beautiful hotels, the kindness of the people of Sri Lanka and lots more!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Read up about the country before your visit and try to understand something about their religion. We were amazed by the temples but felt very ignorant and therefore discourteous because we knew so little about what they believed.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

This holiday definitely benefited the local people. We had a local guide. The company is run by Sri-Lankan people and we stayed in hotels staffed by local people. We also visited several native enterprises such as a woodworking company, a Batik factory and local gemstone traders. The places we visited and the information that our driver Sareth shared with us gave us a much better understanding of the situation in Sri Lanka.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We would give this holiday 4stars. It was a fantastic holiday and we would certainly recommend it to all our friends.

Reviewed on 18 Jun 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Elephant ride and turtle hatchery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

If travelling with children consider giving yourself a day at the first or second hotel to get over the flight and to get used to the new surroundings and heat.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Yes. We met many local people who showed us traditional crafts. We often bought local produce while 'on the road'.

4. Any other comments?

4 stars - I have already started recommending the holiday/Sri Lanka to friends.

Reviewed on 25 Feb 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Anaradhapura and the cultural triangle. the sheer size and sophistication of cultures long gone makes one reflect about our very own abilities. Our tour was organized by this operator, a Colombo based operator. From start to finish the service was at the highest level, no request or mail was unanswered. We had a tailormade tour that took in a good portion of what Sri Lanka has to offer followed by a beach extension in two different hotels. Our Guide, Sarath was terrific and he helped a lot in overcoming the stress of incredibly slow travel. I can highly recommend both operator and guide. With all the trips we had over the years, we found that operators within the countries you visit, are far more open and willing to listen and adjust than any British counterpart.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Be prepared to be going at snail pace. Don't be put off by touts and beach boys who, in general are utterly harmless and no nuisance when compared to other countries. The country is very clean and local food is delicious and had zero negative effect on our stomachs. Do bring a lot of small change for all the little helping hands, although there never is any aggression if you don't tip. We stayed in a lot of different hotels and The Kandalama and Club Villa clearly stand out. The Eden is not of the standard it is rated for, neither is Boulder Garden very exciting. The guides do follow a well trodden path, do encourage them to go to lesser known places. The train journey to Nuwara Elya is wonderful, so is the white water rafting. Do not expect any nightlife, but do go out and mingle with the locals. If you go for the first time, do not try to cover too much, rather concentrate on one area. Some things are rather tourist jokes such as the elephant ride.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Hard to say. We certainly did our best by eating in small local restaurants and by getting some garments made by local tailors and buying handicrafts from small stalls etc. As for the hotels you don't really know where the money is going. Booking trough and with local operators and agencies will ensure that at least some part stays.

Reviewed on 31 Dec 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Every day was an adventure, with new experiences, sights, sounds and tastes!!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We would wholeheartedly recommend that anyone wishing to go to Sri Lanka book with this operator, they made the holiday an unforgettable experience which ran with such ease and enjoyment.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

We felt very comfortable with the benefits to the local population...we visited local projects, run by local families all around on our route and were pleased by the efforts to minimise impacts on the environment, particularly at Yala Village.

4. Any other comments?

We are still feeling the benefits from our terrific holiday in Sri Lanka. We were so fortunate to have such a great team, Ruban Jayathas put together a really wonderful tour from start to finish and our driver/guide Sarath took so much trouble to make sure that we saw everything that there was to see (and taste!), also, his knowledge and love of his country meant that we learned more in 2 weeks than we could possible have ever hoped. Thanks Ruban and Sarath! We all give this holiday a resounding ******!! Everybody should go to Sri Lanka with this operator, we will certainly return and book with them.

Reviewed on 11 Jan 2005 by

After very careful consideration we travelled to Sri Lanka the day after the Tsunami, not without some trepidation. We are so glad we did, the country is beautiful, the people are friendly and they were so pleased we had come, they depend so much on tourism and were grateful we had gone (quite a humbling experience). The tour itself is a great, mixture of wildlife, culture, history and beautiful scenery. None of the hotels we stayed at were affected by the disaster. We will definitely be returning to Sri Lanka. Finally a big thank you to Ruban, his organisational skills are fantastic, we did not have one hic-cup with any part of the itinerary.

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2005 by

The tour was superbly organised from the moment of our arrival at the airport until our departure. It was nice to have a tour personally arranged for us instead of the usual big tour groups and enabled us to really experience this lovely country. We had a brilliant driver /guide and would thoroughly recommend this company to anyone considering Sri Lanka as a destination. We'd be happy to be used as a contact for anyone who wanted further feedback about this tour.

Contact us to get in touch with Will and Sadie

Reviewed on 10 Sep 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

A number of memorable items, finding open fires in the lounge and bar in Nuwera Eliya and hot water bottles in bed especially as the weather was not good - the birdlife in the National Parks and the variety of scenery.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Tips for others on this holiday would be to encourage people to use this company but not the guide we were unfortunate enough to have.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Certainly felt the holiday benefitted local people.

Read the operator's response here:

The guide we used for this tour was the same guide highly recommended by Graham and Gaynor Ford who travelled with us in December and whose review has been published on the website. Nevertheless the behaviour of this guide on this tour was totally unacceptable and we have since terminated working with him.

When I picked up the Tillotson’s from their beach stay at the Riverina they informed me of this and also the fact that the chauffeur had missed his airport pick up. The Tillotson’s had felt sorry for the chauffeur and wishing to give him another chance, didn’t inform me of this important fact when I met them on the first night for dinner. If I had been told of this on day 01 this would not have happened as we would have switched the chauffeur immediately. Even while on tour we feel that we should have been notified of this problem so that we could have acted upon it.

My sincere apologies to the Tillotson’s who are a wonderful couple and whom we enjoyed very much having on tour but we were informed of the chauffeur’s issues far too late for it to be rectified.

Reviewed on 14 Aug 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Watching, and listening to, the elephants eating grass in Uda Walawe national Park, closely followed by climbing Sigiriya.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Get a lot of 100 rupee notes for tips and you do not need the long sleeves for the hills in August.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

After the tsunami, tourist numbers are down so the people need your tips and for you to trade. Labour is plentiful but there are still not enough jobs for everyone. It is also good to be able to let people practise their English with you. Apart from the perpetual hooting of the car driver the impact on the environment was minimal.

Popular similar holidays

Sri Lanka holidays, tailor made

Sri Lanka holidays, tailor made

Independent tailor made holidays to Sri Lanka

From £1945 15 days including UK flights

Sri Lanka family holiday

Sri Lanka family holiday

A fabulous family holiday including the best of Sri Lanka

From £1255 - £1825 15 days excluding flights

Sri Lanka tour & beach holiday

Sri Lanka tour & beach holiday

Tropical island paradise with cultural tour

From £2125 15 days including UK flights

Small group holiday to Sri Lanka

Small group holiday to Sri Lanka

Explore Sri Lanka's natural paradise

From £1999 - £2899 16 days including UK flights

Convert currencies