Sri Lanka small group holiday

Description of Sri Lanka small group holiday

Explore Sri Lanka on a soft adventure holiday with historic forts, wildlife including elephants, leopards and dolphins, nature, tea, learning about culture and local people & more.

This trip is designed for people who want/need to travel with others, without being subjected to a mainstream 'cookie cutter tour' or 'roughing it', but are open minded to new experiences and other cultures.

There is no single supplement but unlike most small group adventure tours, this is not conditional on sharing a room with someone you don't know! It only has very occasional set departures so early booking is advised. Maximum group size is 11.

This same itinerary can be taken by a group of friends or family travelling together, contact us with numbers/breakdown for a custom quote.

Photos taken by travellers, G Baxter, M Socha, F Barrington.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1:Fly from London Heathrow on a direct flight with Sri Lankan airlines. If you are in Ireland, we can offer connecting flights from Dublin and Cork. It is also possible to book this trip excluding flights.
Day 2:Arrival in Colombo. You'll be met at the airport and driven south to near Galle. Time to settle in and have a swim in the pool before a welcome dinner. Dinner included.
Day 3:Sightseeing with a local guide around the historic Dutch fort of Galle including a walk along the ramparts, amazing architecture and the maritime museum. Informal cooking lesson to learn how to make Sri Lankan hoppers. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 4:Time to pack up at leisure and drive down along the coast in private minibus to an ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Tissamaharama and Yala National Park. Afternoon arrival at nature resort and relax, enjoy the pool. Dinner at the resort. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 5:Early start for a full day in Yala national park, one of the best places in the world to spot leopard. Evening dinner at local restaurant we like to support. Breakfast, (picnic) lunch and dinner included.
Day 6:Morning visit to Bundala wetlands national park. Afternoon at leisure. Evening visit to nearby town of Katagarama, a town which attracts people from all of Sri Lanka's faiths (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim). Breakfast included.
Day 7:Time for a leisurely pack up. Then head into hill country, Sri Lanka's misty mountains, stopping at Rawana waterfalls and ending in Bandarawela, a colourful market town. Lunch at a local home before going onto a hotel. Rest of day at leisure. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 8:Walk around the hidden part of Bandarawela, visit a tea estate meeting the workers and children, and then a train ride to pretty scenery to Ella and a walk up 'Little Adam's Peak'. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 9:Pack up and drive through the hill country to the ancient city of Kandy. Arrival at converted heritage home or hotel. Time to enjoy the pool before dinner. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 10:Sightseeing around Kandy, home to the 'Temple of the Tooth' (a sacred Buddhist relic) including the atmospheric puja, the ancient royal forbidden gardens & botanical gardens (home to orchids and bats). Breakfast included.
Day 11:Head off north to Sigiriya/Dambulla area. Afternoon to Dambulla cave complex. Breakfast included.
Day 12:Early morning excursion to the UNESCO heritage site, Sigiriya ('Lion Rock') including the ancient gardens. Then pack up and drive to the western coast. Onto off-the-beaten track Kalpitiya and arrival at beautiful boutique hotel. Idyllic with pristine nature, it really is away from it all. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 13:Boat trip for a chance to see dolphins and whales. The sight of hundreds of spinner dolphins is truly breathtaking. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 14:Day at leisure to enjoy the pool, or take a walk around the local area. Highlights include a small old church. Breakfast and dinner included.
Day 15:Transfer to Colombo airport in time for Sri Lankan airlines flight. Fly back to the UK or Ireland, arriving back same day. (Or if booked excluding flights, make your own onward arrangements, or ask us for assistance). Breakfast included.

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

Check dates, prices & availability

03 Mar 2018
£ 1725
excluding flights
Departure Guaranteed
Click here to enquire about or book the 03 Mar 2018 departure

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Sri Lanka small group holiday


We deliberately source and find accommodation which is low impact to the environment. We prefer converted old buildings (e.g. a historic family home converted to a boutique hotel) and where this is not possible, new buildings, built in an eco sensitive way and in a small way.
Though we use private transport rather than public transport, wherever possible we use LPG to power our vehicles. We include train rides and boat trips.

Whilst we have made sure there is air-conditioning and hot water so that you will be comfortable, we encourage thinking about energy and water use in the responsible travel tips we include, along with the cultural and travel guidelines, in our customer packs.


We work with local guides. When we say local, we mean local, actual local guides i.e. from the local area (not for example having one person from a big city escort and guide you throughout). We also work with local wildlife rangers as well as our wildlife guides. We always pay any guides and drivers fair market rates or higher.

You will also meet ordinary people on an 'equal' basis, you won't just be meeting those involved in the tourist industry to ‘serve' you.

We work with people on an individual basis, no one size fits all approach, unlike many other companies. This takes a lot of work, but we feel it is worth it.

We support local projects wherever possible. We have also been working with Project Colombo in the UK, an initiative to help Sri Lankan school children with access to ICT. You can find out more on our own website or ask us for details.

2 Reviews of Sri Lanka small group holiday

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2017 by

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

I really adored meeting and spending time with the kids at the plantation nursery school and with the older fishermen's children at Dutch Bay. Glorious, dignified children. And I think that may have been the first time that some of the little ones had held crayons. ...a great memory for me.

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

Ask your Doctor about compression stockings. All of us had swollen feet , ankles and legs on our trip. Failing that, make sure you have a shoe to wear for a
week or so that is one size larger. Also bring your own snacks for lunches or skipped dinners unless you want chips and high sugar treats only. I brought trail
mix but some 70 % dark chocolate would have been welcome. There is nothing like that in the stores. This is an activity packed trip and some of the days are
long.... wake-up at 5 , bed at 10. If you need to skip the long dinner and have an early night just let your guide know. Pace yourself and get your rest whenever you can. You don't want to miss out on anything.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes, I really did feel that we went out of our way to visit struggling artisans and buy from them and all of the guest houses use locals. We also took some
much needed supplies to the poorest schools and I feel they were well received. We organized the tips in a kitty and that worked well for most tipping to local people whose services we used.

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

It was a wonderful holiday with a group that worked very well together and were in fact quite resilient and funny. I really felt there was a good mix of Sri Lankan culture, crafts , food, people and nature on this trip.

Reviewed on 24 Mar 2014 by

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

Everything. The mixture of styles and settings was 100% amazing. Each one fulfilling a different part of the Sri Lanka experience. Each one had novelty; each one was for me just right.
I could not and did not expect anything better on this style and type of tour.

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

Don't worry. Just relax and go with the flow. Everyone without exception that we met and who assisted us was magnificent.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes. We also benefited from more local insight than I would expect on an organised tour, and more than I would have had I arranged my own trip.

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

100% I had a happy and beneficial 2 weeks. I would love to be back there now. I would take this trip again and I would travel with this tour operator again.

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