Sri Lanka holiday, northern discovery

“Experience a different side to Sri Lanka on this small group tour to the little-visited north, where you’ll visit beaches and ancient sites and learn about the country’s devastating civil war.”


Negombo | Anamaduwa | Wilpattu National Park | Anuradhapura | Mannar Island | Jaffna | Delft Island | Mullataivu | Trincomalee | Pigeon Island | Polonnaruwa | Sigiriya | Minneriya National Park | Colombo

Description of Sri Lanka holiday, northern discovery

On this northern discovery Sri Lanka holiday you’ll explore the lesser-visited side of this beguiling island. Instead of heading for the beaches and towns of the south, you’ll make your way north to the Jaffna Peninsula, a region that still bears the scars of the country’s violent civil war.

After arriving in Negombo, you’ll travel north to Wilpattu National Park, where you can look out for leopards, sloth bears, elephants and numerous bird species, but without the crowds that are sometimes present in the country’s southern parks.

Moving on, you’ll explore the ancient city of Anuradhapura, as well as the beautiful Mannar and Delft islands; both the site of ruined colonial forts, and the latter home to wild ponies. You’ll also spend time in Jaffna, a lively and fascinating city with a mix of Tamil culture and colonial heritage, and visit the war museum at Mullataivu to learn more about the devastating civil conflict.

Next, you’ll spend time at the beach in Trincomalee, visit Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka’s former medieval capital, view the frescoes on Sigiriya Rock and take a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, before finishing your tour in Colombo.

Travel Team

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21 Aug 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 21 Aug 2021 departure
25 Sep 2021
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Sep 2021 departure
16 Apr 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 16 Apr 2022 departure
20 Aug 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 20 Aug 2022 departure
24 Sep 2022
excluding flights
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Sep 2022 departure

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This tour travels through some remote regions, away from the well beaten tourist trail. Our guides will brief travellers on appropriate behaviour, both cultural and environmental. We work with our local suppliers to highlight best practice in terms of environmental issues, and introduce them to ‘green thinking’, which often does not feature as an issue in the fledgling tourism industry in the North of Sri Lanka.

We visit nature reserves, such as Wilpattu National Park that are home to some unique wildlife, and the entrance fees that we pay here contribute to their ongoing conservation. We work with local guides in the parks who know the areas well – these are from the communities that surround the parks and this therefore ensures that these vital areas are seen not just as the preserve of wealthy western tourists but as a valuable source of employment and income for local people, thus further contributing to conservation and acting as a discouragement to unsustainable use of the parks’ resources. We issue guidelines to our travellers about the importance of leaving these parks as they were, and taking all litter out when we leave.

The Impacts of this Trip

Our philosophy is to only use small and locally owned suppliers, meaning that the income remains within the country and creates a real economic contribution.

All our guides are local, which not only ensures our guests see Sri Lanka through a community perspective but helps ensure that money generated from tourism goes into local pockets.

We also feel that the passion inherent within such suppliers means that your experience will be enhanced. We also try to engage with our suppliers on an equal basis – getting the lowest possible price usually isn’t the best outcome for local communities and is ultimately unsustainable. We aim to always treat our suppliers fairly and with respect; they are after all part of the key to our success and to us working together which is much more than just a business arrangement - it's an ongoing relationship that we aim to ensure truly benefits everyone involved.

We believe that tourism is a double edged sword that needs to be wielded very carefully. Our philosophy is to have a limited amount of departures – usually between two and five a year - for each of our itineraries. Finally to emphasise our commitment to Responsible Tourism all clients will receive a copy of our Travellers Code of Conduct with their travel documents.


1 Reviews of Sri Lanka holiday, northern discovery

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 31 Oct 2018 by

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

We enjoyed this trip with wonderful wildlife experiences in a number of reserves and parks, Delft island visit, whale watching, the beaches of the East coast and the contrast of Northern Sri Lanka with the South.

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

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

Small local businesses benefited from the various tours, lunches and cooking classes.

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

An interesting and varied holiday with great food. Lots of wildlife viewing and a real contrast from the more touristy southern Sri Lanka.

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