Sri Lankan holiday highlights

“9 day overland tour of central Sri Lanka as part of a small guided group including hotel accommodation, relaxed excursions and a free day in Kandy.”


Wattala | Giritale | Kaudulla or Minneriya National Park or the Hurulu Eco Park | Dambalawewa Lake | Polonnaruwa | Kandy | optional excursion to Knuckles Mountain Range | Peradeniya Botanical Gardens |

Description of Sri Lankan holiday highlights

Sri Lanka is absolutely chock-a-block with highlights and presents a wonderfully diverse and exciting range of landscapes and cultural heritage sites from where to undertake a nine day small group holiday.

From Buddhism and colonial influences to ancient fortifications and crumbling temples, Sri Lanka really does live up to all exotic expectations with an array of spice plantations and lush green gardens adding to the attraction of a tropical climate and Indian Ocean idylls.

Although this nine day itinerary does pack in a fair few highlights, including Kandy, Polonnaruwa and the national parks of Giritale, you’ll still find plenty of time for rest and relaxation with leisurely cycling tours and cultural excursions adding to the laid back ambience of inspirational Sri Lanka.

Travel Team

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20 Nov 2021
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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.

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. We also try to select accommodation which has strong environmental policies. For example, Hotel Sigiriya uses scheduled light switching, recycling and waste regulations, water saving cisterns etc. Where meals are not provided, we suggest that clients spread their commerce to small local businesses and try some authentic food. There will be a chance to do this on our village lunch en route to Dambalawewa.

We are very conscious of the environment and try to limit our impact on our surroundings as much as possible. 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. Minneriya N.P., the Temple of the Tooth and Perudeniya Botanical Gardens.

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.

The Impacts of this Trip

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.

Local Craft and Culture:
There are plenty of opportunities to engages 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. There are many places to buy handcrafted souvenirs along the way (e.g. Polonnaruwa & Sigiriya) but one of the best places might be the Gem Museum at Kandy. Here clients can learn about the traditional methods of gem extraction and purchasing here is a great way to keep this information centre open.

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.


1 Reviews of Sri Lankan holiday highlights

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 01 Oct 2018 by

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

Early morning walk up to Lion's rock at Sigiriya - bike ride through villages and seeing village life and early start to Yala National park with a beautiful sunrise
and wildlife in a wonderful setting

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

Read the Itinerary well in advance to make sure the trip is for you, regarding activities etc. There is a lot of time spent on the bus but to cover the distance this is obviously necessary. Beautiful scenery and hectic life in towns make up for it all!! The coach was air-conditioned, water provided and excellent driver.
Be wary in Kandy as one of the tricks the local market guys do is to stop you in the street unawares and say they are from your hotel and recognise you and it's
their day off. If you fall for it like I did, you get taken to his brothers/friends stall and get ripped off!!

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

We did not get taken to any places where animals are kept for tourists - Elephant orphanages, rides etc. Told to avoid monkeys on leads and supposed snake
charmers. Our guide made sure all hotel staff were looked after regarding tips. We were taken to lunch at local farmers houses and Tsunami victims house.

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

An excellent trip with so much packed in but also time to spend chilling at the pool sides. The Hotels were mainly of high quality, much better than I'd
expected and lots of choice on the buffets for all tastes.

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