Travel north to the cultural city of Jaffna and the outlying islands in Palk Bay before returning via the beautiful East Coast beaches at Trincomalee, Passikuda and Arugam Bay.
Our Jaffna and East Coast Tour is designed to give adventurous tourists a taster of all that Sri Lanka has to offer, from offshore islands and beautiful beaches to ancient temples and cultural cities. Along the way you will encounter plenty of Sri Lankan wildlife from colourful birds and dolphins to working elephants that are still used in the jungle rainforest.
Escorted by a professional English-speaking chauffeur/guide you will soon adapt to travelling as a VIP, journeying from one comfortable hotel to the next in air-conditioned comfort with the ability to stop for refreshments and photo ops whenever you please.
This Eastern Delights Holiday is carefully planned to visit the northern islands and eastern beaches of Sri Lanka outside the northeast monsoon season which runs from November to late January. It is perfectly timed for visitors to escape the dreary European winter weather and enjoy 14 days of tropical sunshine, sand and sea air in air-conditioned comfort.
Travel through lush countryside and rolling hills to Jaffna at the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka. See 1000-year old temples and enjoy lunch with a local family on Delft Island before tracing a route down the East Coast taking in the highlights of Trincomalee, Passikuda and Arugam Bay. Your beachfront hotels are hand-picked with care and provide a range of optional activities from watersports, surfing, snorkelling and diving to whale watching or spending a day as a castaway on your own desert island!
All too soon you will be back in Colombo Airport with a host of experiences, photographs, souvenirs and memories to take home from your breathtaking Eastern Delights Experience in Sri Lanka.
Day 1Arrival in Colombo and journey by chauffeur-driven car to Anuradhapura.
Day 2Arrive in Jaffna and see its architecture and cultural attractions on an afternoon city tour.
Day 3Explore Point Pedro, Kayts Island and enjoy a swim at Casuarina Beach.
Day 4Keerimalai Temple and the natural seawater pool await you, followed by a trip to a local pottery village
Day 5A full day by car and boat to Nagadeepa and Delft Island. See wild ponies, temples and have lunch with a local family.
Day 6Browse the bustling market in Jaffna before driving to the Seven Hot Springs and your hotel in Trincomalee.
Day 7Tour of Trincomalee includes Fort Frederic and Lovers Leap.
Day 8A day on the beach with your choice of snorkelling, diving, whale watching, dolphin spotting or a trip to Pigeon Island.
Day 9Head south to Passikuda taking in some coastal villages and rural views.
Day 10A day on the beach at Passikuda with optional snorkelling, diving or whalewatching.
Day 11Head to beautiful Arugam Bay with a short city tour of Batticaloa.
Day 12Enjoy Arugam Bay from your beachfront guest house or take a surfing lesson.
Day 13Enjoy lush hillside scenery as you head west to Colombo.
Day 14Depart for the airport with a City Tour and last-minute shopping in Colombo, flight times permitting.
Day 1: Anuradhapura
Fly into Sri Lanka’s main international airport at Colombo where your smiling personal chauffeur/guide will be waiting to greet you. Once your bags are safely stowed you can settle back and enjoy the changing landscape on the 5.5 to 6 hour journey into the hills. Your overnight hotel will be in the ancient city of Anuradhapura.
Day 2: Jaffna
After an early breakfast your driver will collect you at around 7am for the next stage of your journey to Jaffna which is on the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka. An interesting stop on the approximately 5 hour journey is at the War Memorial at Elephant Pass, said to be the one place on the island where you can see the sun both rise and set. By lunchtime you will have checked into your chosen hotel where you will be based for 4 nights. After unpacking, take your camera with you on the late afternoon City Tour of Jaffna’s highlights. These include the 10th century golden Hindu Temple of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil, the Buddhist Naga Vihara and various other noteworthy buildings including the library, the newly built railway station and Jaffna Fort.
Day 3: Jaffna
An early breakfast is followed by an 8am departure for Point Pedro. Look into the “bottomless” well which legend says is connected to Jaffna Fort via an underground canal. The nearby Point Pedro Lighthouse is a good photo op before moving on to see the ruined remains of the Royal Kingdom of Jaffna. Drive across the causeway to tiny Kayts Island. Despite its troubled history, this lovely island has some beautiful temples and churches. You’ll be glad to reach Casuarina Beach for an evening dip in the beautiful deep blue waters. Return by car to your Jaffna hotel after around 5 hours on the road.
Day 4: Jaffna
After breakfast we make another early start (8am) to visit the Keerimalai Temple which is one of the oldest shrines in the region. Take a refreshing dip in the natural seawater pool at Keerimalai Springs which Hindus believe has healing properties. Return to Jaffna for lunchtime. The afternoon visit to a village allows you to see how locals make clay pots. Return to your hotel and enjoy the remaining free time to relax after around 3.5 hours total driving time today.
Day 5: Jaffna
An early start means taking a packed breakfast for a trip to the beautiful Nagadeepa and Delft Islands which lie just off the Jaffna peninsula. Hopefully we will have bicycles onboard for exploring these unspoilt islands on two wheels. The 15-minute trip to Nagadeepa Island is in a modified local fishing boat and provides a welcome breeze. The trip includes visiting the main temples on Nagadeepa before boarding a larger boat to Delft Island. The one hour boat ride offers gorgeous sea views and hopefully the sea will be relatively calm. This flat island is home to Tamil families and wild ponies. Highlights of your visit to the summer residence of the last King of Jaffna include seeing the 1000-year-old temple dating back to the Chola Dynasty, and the Dutch colonial fort. More unique sights include the only African Baobab tree in Sri Lanka, the 40-foot long giant’s footprint and walls made out of dead coral. We have arranged for you to be lunch guests at the home of a local family. The food will be simple but the visit will be very meaningful and appreciated by the family and the island community. Return by boat and car after an interesting and thought-provoking day. Total driving time will be 4 to 4.5 hours.
Day 6: Trincomalee
After breakfast we have another local experience in store for you – a trip to the fruit and vegetable market in Jaffna. You will see many strange and exotic fruits as you wander around the bustling market. Your driver will then head for Trincomalee, about 5.5 to 6 hours’ drive away. This is when you will truly appreciate the flexibility of having your own private car and driver. You can stop when you like for refreshments or perhaps to sample a fresh pineapple at the roadside (liberally sprinkled with salt the traditional way!). One scheduled stop is at the Seven Hot Springs at Kanniya. We will arrive at your hotel which is right on the beach at Trincomalee in the late afternoon or early evening. Located on the northeast coast of Sri Lanka, Trincomalee has been the centre of Tamil language and culture for over 2000 years. This beautiful natural harbour and seaport is one of the oldest cities in Asia.
Day 7: Trincomalee
Your driver will collect you after breakfast and drive you to Trincomalee town where you can visit the impressive remains of the Portuguese Fort Frederic. See the famous Koneswaram Hindu Temple with its ornate Temple Gate and Belltower and learn the true story of what gave Lovers Leap its name. A stop at the Commonwealth War Cemetery for World War 2 victims concludes the 3 to 3.5 hour driving tour before returning you to your hotel for a relaxing afternoon and evening.
Day 8: Trincomalee
After a busy week of sightseeing, you’ll welcome a lie-in and a full day to enjoy the beaches and watersports that Trincomalee is known for. You can be as busy or as lazy as your choose with the chance to participate in a range of optional trips. We can organise a snorkelling and diving trip or an exciting whale and dolphin watching trip. Beach lovers may prefer to be dropped off on a deserted island for a Robinson Crusoe experience, or visit Pigeon Island National Marine Park which is known for its beautiful white sandy beaches and colourful coral gardens.
Day 9: Passikuda
Your driver will be back bright and early to collect you after breakfast and transport you on the 3-hour journey to your next destination at Passikuda on the central eastern coast of Sri Lanka. On arrival you can take full advantage of what your luxury beach hotel has to offer, perhaps with a swim in the spectacular swimming pool or a dip in the Jacuzzi followed by drinks at the poolside bar.
Day 10: Passikuda
Relax on the beach with a good book and work on your tan or join in one of the optional trips that are available from your Passikuda beach hotel. The coast is perfect for snorkelling and diving excursions or you can join a whalewatching trip and see huge whales and families of spinner dolphins if you’re lucky.
Day 11: Arugam Bay
Pack up after breakfast and join your driver for the 3.5 to 4 hour trip in air-conditioned comfort to Arugam Bay about 95 miles south. You will see plenty of local countryside, village communities and beaches as you journey along. You will probably want to stop for some photo ops such as a local cricket match in progress or perhaps a working elephant or other wildlife sighting. You can stretch your legs with a short city tour of beautiful Batticaloa with its government buildings and views across the surrounding lagoons and islands. Check into the well-located Gecko Guest House which offers comfortable rooms with views of the tropical gardens and beach from the restaurant.
Day 12: Arugam Bay
The day is yours to enjoy the Arugam Bay and beach however you choose. The famous surfing area is within easy reach of the Gecko Guest House and equipment hire and surfing tuition can be arranged.
Day 13: Colombo
After an early breakfast your now-familiar driver and guide will collect you after breakfast to drive you back to your final hotel in Colombo. The 7 to 7.5 hour journey will pass by quickly as you drive in comfort through some of Sri Lanka’s most scenic hill country from east to west coast.
Day 14: Airport
After a last leisurely breakfast, it’s time to pack and say goodbye to Sri Lankan and in particular to your invaluable driver who will by now be a familiar friend. You need to arrive at the airport about 3 hours before your scheduled flight departure so there may be a little time to sneak some last-minute shopping or a whirlwind tour around Colombo’s colonial architecture. We know you will return home happy, relaxed and suntanned with a wealth of wonderful experiences, photographs and memories. We hope you will return soon and join us on another of our VIP tours and in the meantime, please mention your wonderful trip to all your family and friends!