Sri Lanka walking holiday

“Small-group guided trekking through the lush, historic heart of Sri Lanka, with private transport between routes and comfy accommodation. ”

Highlights

Colombo | Dambulla | Sigiriya rock fortress | Knuckles mountain range | Ranamuregama | Corbetts Gap | Orutota | Kandy | Temple of the Tooth | Nuwariya Eliya | Horton Plains | World’s End | Ella | Ravana Waterfalls | Tissamaharama | Yala National Park | Galle

Description of Sri Lanka walking holiday

Behind the dazzling beauty of Sri Lanka’s world famous beaches is an island of lush jungle, spice gardens, ancient Buddhist temples and abundant wildlife. Trekking here is a unique chance to explore this varied, beautiful landscape. Our adventure begins in Sigiriya with a visit to the stunning rock fortress. From here the trekking begins in earnest, through the unspoiled World Heritage conservation area of the Knuckles Mountain Range, past rice paddies, the emerald-green tea plantations of Dickoya and farms growing fragrant pepper and spices. After this we tackle the challenging Adam’s Peak (2,243m) and then enjoy the spectacular 1,000m cliff drop of World’s End.

In the final days of the trip we’ll take a game drive through Yala National Park, famous for elephants but also home to the highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre in the world. The two-week trip ends at the coast, with a free day to laze on the beach and a chance to explore the historic port of Galle.

You’ll stay in comfortable hotels and colonial tea planters’ bungalows, with one night fully serviced camping by the river. There are eight full and half days of walking with full porterage, on good paths at a moderate pace. A 15km trek is the most you’ll tackle in a day. In between walking, travel by bus, rickshaw and take a train from the highest station in the country, dropping down through the cloud forest into the tea plantations.

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

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22 Jul 2017
£ 2499
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19 Aug 2017
£ 2199
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07 Oct 2017
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04 Nov 2017
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23 Dec 2017
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30 Dec 2017
£ 2369
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13 Jan 2018
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10 Feb 2018
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24 Feb 2018
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31 Mar 2018
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21 Jul 2018
£ 2599
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18 Aug 2018
£ 2299
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06 Oct 2018
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03 Nov 2018
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15 Dec 2018
£ 2799
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22 Dec 2018
£ 2869
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Holiday type

Small group holiday

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka walking holiday

Environment

Activity:
This being a trekking trip, we have a very low impact on the environment. All of our vehicles used on this tour are subject to annual eco testing and we monitor this closely in order to reduce our carbon footprint. We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and use markets to purchase traditional crafts. We also leave a positive impression by visiting important National Parks, ruins and museums- our entrance fees to which contributes to their upkeep e.g. Yala N.P., Dambulla Caves, Lion Rock Fortress and Dickoya tea plantations.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Local Craft and Culture:
There are plenty of opportunities to engage with local culture on the several visits to towns, villages and historically important sites and events. During the summer months our visit to the Temple of the Tooth may coincide with the Buddhist Kandy festival, which is a long honoured celebration of a relic thought to be found on the island. We may be able to see a performance of traditional Kandian dancing and fire walking here too. In Ella, we also offer the authentic cultural experience of eating a home-cooked meal in a local house. Clients can learn to prepare the meal or lend a hand, purchase handicrafts and painted postcards here.

Accommodation and Meals:
All of the hotels we stay in are dedicated to hiring local staff and using freshly sourced produce wherever possible. This helps to benefit the surrounding community by providing employment opportunities and income alternatives where they may be otherwise hard to come by. Where meals are not provided, we suggest that clients spread their commerce to small local businesses and try some authentic food. The local cuisine is predominantly vegetarian, with lots of rice. You can enjoy everything from traditional spicy curries to stalls selling tasty sweets and deserts.

Charity:
We have financially co-sponsored a local Tsunami relief project, which has enabled 25 families to be rehoused and for two schools to be equipped with toilets, running water and outdoor swings. In collaboration with a German operator and the village temple, we have helped towards 10 large water tanks and an eye clinic in a remote village with a donation of 200 pairs of glasses. We also assisted a principal agent of Unicef in development of day care and education of school children of the estate sector labourers in the hill country.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

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