Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays

“A tailor made trip to both Sri Lanka and Maldives. Nine days of chauffeur driven luxury in Sri Lanka. Five days of speed boat driven luxury in the Maldives. Paradise.”

Highlights

Polonnaruwa | Sigiriya | Kandy | Bogawantalawa valley | Tea plantations | Jeep safari Minneriya National Park | Stay at iconic Geoffrey Bawa eco hotel , Sri Lanka | Five nights at Angsana Ihuru, Maldives

Description of Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays

As Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays go, this tailor made two week trip promises a magical mix between culture, heritage and natural wonders in both of these stunning countries. As local experts, we have been creating holidays here for people for many years, finding you hotels or villas with some of the best locations. Such as in Sri Lanka, where your trip begins at the iconic and eco chic Heritance Kandalama hotel, located around a mountain with Sigiriya rock fortress on the horizon. This is just one of three points on Sri Lankaís Cultural Triangle, the artery of ancient Sinhalese civilisation, the other two being the vast palaces of Anuradhapura and the ruins of Polonnaruwa. From cultural to natural wonders, we also recommend a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, where elephants are one of the islandís most spectacular sites.

To explore further south around Sri Lankaís ancient capital of Kandy, you will stay at The Kandy House, an elegant colonial manor dating back to 1804 and perfectly located for exploring the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Moving on into Sri Lankaís Hill Country and resplendent tea plantations, you will stay at Ceylon Tea Trails, where plantation bungalows have been restored into luxury lodges, making this the worldís first tea resort. With the most perfect blend.

After flying to Maldives, where snorkelling and diving are always on the itinerary, we have chosen one of the most stupendous hotels for your dream holiday, at 5-star Angsana Ihuru resort. On its own palm-filled island, it has its own reef and a plethora of fine dive sites nearby, including the famous Rannamaari wreck. We believe that this hotel and island capture the essence of Maldives, famous for its archipelago of over a thousand islands and 26 atolls, with coral reefs encircling them. Sublime seascapes that are now world famous for being pure paradise holiday escapes.

The best time to go on Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays:

The best times to go to Sri Lanka are in between the monsoon seasons, although they hit the island in different regions. The southwest monsoon finishes in late October and so visitors favour the months between November and April. The east and north have different rainfall patterns, however, with rain falling between November and February but dry from March all the way through until September, making it perfect for European summer holiday makers. No matter when you travel to Sri Lanka, however, the temperatures are always beautifully warm.

In Maldives, rainfall seems to change every month. From New Year until April is low on rainfall, February is fabulous, and more rain kicks in between the months of May and October with the arrival of the monsoon.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements although we do not offer trips for under 10 days
Our top tip:
Pack for all weathers. And eat in real places not just hotels. Street food curries are the best.
Trip type:
Tailor made.
Solos:
Not advised for solo travellers as cost prohibitive.
Accomm:
Small, family run guesthouses.
Included:
Flights, speedboat transfers in Maldives, transport, entrance fees, activities, paradise.
Meals:
Breakfasts included, although half/full board is possible. The food is delicious wherever you go.
Vouchers
Accepted

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.

Environment
We actively encourage responsible and sustainable travel to Sri Lanka and Maldives. By working closely with our associate company in Sri Lanka and other partner organisations, we are endeavouring to promote cultural exchange, social awareness, self-employment and self-development.

Guides
We only employ English-speaking Sri Lankan chauffeur guides who are all licensed by the Sri Lanka Tourist Board. Experienced guides for trekking, safaris and other specialist activities are hired locally and have extensive knowledge of their chosen area of expertise.

Restaurants & accommodation
We encourage travellers to eat at traditional restaurants, roadside eateries, street vendors and market stalls in order for them to enjoy and experience authentic Sri Lankan food. We actively promote small family-run guesthouses that employ local workers, or in the case of larger hotels, locally owned establishments.

Environmental projects
Behind the success of Angsana Ihuru lies the untold story of a steely faith in the power of environmental conservation. Environmental considerations were taken into account long before the resort was actually built. It was imperative that the villas on this fascinating island surrounded by shallow crystalline waters were built without damaging the beautiful coral reefs surrounding it. The solution was to transfer thatched roofs and other pre-fabricated building materials brought in from Indonesia to small boats and barges that could navigate the shallow waters without threatening its delicate marine life.

Such dedication to eco-conservation has since extended to the many marine conservation projects initiated by Angsana Ihuru, which pioneered marine biology research initiatives including turtle and coral projects particularly well received among resort guests. The resort was honoured with the first Maldivian Environment Preservation Award in 1996 and the President of the Maldives Green Resort Award in 2002. Indeed, in every aspect of the resortís operations, the effects on the environment are given due consideration. For instance, to prevent oil spillage into the sea, fuel to power the resortís generator is pumped directly into the storage tank via a 300-m long oil pipe installed along the jetty so that oil tankers would not have to come too close to shore.

To preserve the ecological balance on the island, scarce water is not extracted from the underground water table but obtained by the ecologically friendly alternative of desalination. And instead of using environmentally harmful pesticides in the resortís thriving herb and vegetable garden, chickens are reared to control the islandís insect population. It is precisely such a holistic approach to conservation that makes Angsana Ihuru truly eco-friendly.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Community-led projects
The Asian Tsunami highlighted the plight of coastal communities in Sri Lanka and our initial projects were targeted at Sri Lankan individuals and communities devastated by the tsunami (please ask us for details). However, many other communities away from the coast also lack essential materials and services and our objective is to offer long-term support to such Sri Lankan individuals and communities. By channelling all donations received by Forgotten Village Sri Lanka (an independent charitable organisation) into community-based projects on the island, we hope to provide sustained assistance to these communities in their endeavour to improve their lives. We make a contribution to Forgotten Village Sri Lanka for every holiday booked.

Climate

7 Reviews of Sri Lanka and Maldives holidays

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 23 Feb 2020 by

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


The whole exposure to the adventure, culture, history and way of life in
Sri Lanka coupled with the total relaxation of the Maldives. Elephant
safari, tea plantation, curry cooking, sea plane transfer and reef
snorkelling were all highlights.

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


Choose as high end hotel as you can afford.
Make sure that you have a driver / guide in Sri Lanka - ours was brilliant.
Be aware that it will effectively takes a day to transfer from Sri Lanka to a
resort in the Maldives. Be aware that Maldives use a reef time, which is one hour ahead of Male. Look carefully at the direction that the selected villa faces in terms of sun exposure time of day and likely cooling breeze direction.
Be aware that All Inclusive on the Sun Aqua Villu Reef is not really 'all'
inclusive and that you may have to pay a very high price for selected
dining and drinks. Be sure to look at the view of any adjacent islands to your selected resort. This one overlooks an island on the reef side which has a communication antenna structure and storage buildings that are less idilic than you may expect.

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


In Sri Lanka, yes. The April '19 bombings had clearly hurt the tourist
trade and they are struggling to recover. It is perfectly safe now, at least as
safe as any of us are in Europe, so we would encourage people to visit to
experience this wonderful country. In the Maldives, there is clearly a plastic pollution issue and I suspect that our trip did not help the situation.

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


Fantastic, and unforgettable experience. It leaves us wanting to return as
soon as possible!

Reviewed on 02 Feb 2019 by

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


Meeting the Sri Lankan people, seeing a leopard in Yala national park, staying in very interesting unusual accommodation.

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


Use a small tour operator like this one who can tailor your holiday to your requirements. Go early to busy tourist sites.

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


Yes, to an extent. The hotels were all very "green", reducing plastic waste, using local foodstuffs, employing local people etc. Our local guide was very good. Our only gripe really was with the bad management of the national parks, particularly Yala, which felt like an overcrowded theme park, with the wildlife being exploited for commercial profit.

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


Excellent.

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2017 by

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


Staying in Ella and walking in the hill country and snorkelling in the Maldives.

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


Be very specific in your requirements as we felt there was a limited amount of time we had to ourselves in certain locations e.g. Kandy. We asked if we could
be met later and that did not happen. The planning and timing was too rigid.

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


Yes i believe so, although several large hotels were used, where a more local hotel or accommodation would have been more appropriate.

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


Very good, loved the Maldives.

Reviewed on 19 May 2012 by

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


The most memorable part of our holiday was snorkelling in the Maldives. It was amazing to see sharks, fish and sea turtles on the reef. It was a surreal experience.

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


I would suggest to try the local curries and road side stalls in Sri Lanka. The food was amazing. Also take a rain coat!

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


The holiday benefited local people. Our guide, Kapila, was great. Very experienced and knowledgeable. He looked after us very well.

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


Overall, I would rate our holiday 10/10. We had a great time in all the countries we visited, the locals were very friendly and hospitable.

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2011 by

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


Flying in a seaplane over the Maldives and landing in the lagoon by Filitheyo Island where we spent an amazing week!

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


Make sure you book some days (ideally a week) at the end of the Sri Lanka tour to relax. The tour was amazing, but there was quite a lot of travelling by car which does wear you out. We had a week in the Maldives at the end which was amazing, but a few days on a beach in the South of Sri Lanka would also be a good option.

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


Well, our guide was local which was good. The hotels were generally part of large chains, but of course all employees were local and most food etc seemed to be locally sourced. Not so sure about minimising environmental impact, flying thousands of miles and staying on a desert island where everything has to be shipped in will never be the most environmentally friendly holiday!

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


Amazing, wonderful - wish we could do it all again next year!

Reviewed on 06 Sep 2011 by

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


Maldives beach/food/diving - Ceylon tee trails - lavender house - Kalundewa retreat.

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


Do not underestimate the time needed to travel from 1 point to another in Sri Lanka. Do not book Serene Pavilions.

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


I suppose it allows them to make a better living through work and tipping.

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


Very happy with our holiday, certainly related to the quality of the different guest houses.

Reviewed on 16 Jan 2011 by

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


Sri-Lanka - Being with our tour guide Niroshan who totally made our holiday because of his thoughtfulness and consideration to our needs.

Maldives
The beauty and serenity of the whole island.

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


Sri-Lanka.
Ask for Niroshan as your guide.

Maldives.
Don't bother taking any shoes.

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


Yes.

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


5 star.

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