Sri Lanka Grand Tour Winter

Tripcode: SLGTW Countries Visited: Sri Lanka
14 days from $ 2290 per person
14 days / 13 nights $2290More info
Average Review Rating:
5.0 4 reviews from 4 reviews

Discover Sri Lanka’s jungle covered hills, beautiful beaches, ancient cities and cultural sights as you journey by first class railway and chauffeur-driven car from one stunning experience to the next.

November to April is the dry season in Sri Lanka, offering the perfect escape from the cold winter weather in Europe and the USA. Allow us to transport you on an unforgettable tour of ancient cities, temples and palaces, tea plantations, gardens, elephants and national parks ending with a relaxing few days on the beautiful beaches in the Southern Province.

Our Winter Grand Tour is aptly named as it combines the very best of Sri Lanka’s history, wildlife, culture and beaches in one perfectly orchestrated Grand Tour. This unforgettable VIP trip transports you in air-conditioned comfort with your own chauffeur-driven vehicle and English-speaking guide. We take care of all the hotel arrangements and attractions so all you have to do is sit back, camera at the ready, and enjoy the magnificent sights.

This 14-night Grand Tour of Sri Lanka takes place between November and April, the dry season in Sri Lanka. It offers adventurous-spirited travellers  the perfect escape from the cold winter weather in Europe and the USA. Allow us to transport you on an unforgettable tour of ancient cities, temples and palaces, tea plantations, botanical gardens, elephant orphanages and national parks, ending with a relaxing stay on the beautiful beaches in the Southern Province.

Ideal for all ages, our tour includes some Sri Lankan experiences that are simply not possible for independent travellers. Your Grand Tour begins with a Welcome Dinner hosted by our local agent at a top-notch restaurant in Colombo. This allows you to see Sri Lanka through local eyes, especially when he introduces you to the city’s nightlife! We take you to genuine elephant and turtle conservation projects that are off the usual tourist trap, and how about a first class rail trip with lunch as you ride through the mountains to the tea estates at Nuwara Eliya?  This is one of the most beautiful railway journeys in the world and of course your driver will transport your luggage and be waiting to pick you up from the station.

If you want to see Sri Lanka’s  best attractions, cultural sights and stunning beauty spots in safety and comfort then your journey starts right now as you book your unforgettable Grand Winter Tour with us! Here’s just a glimpse of what to look forward to –

 

ITINERARY

Day 1Your personal driver/guide will meet you at the airport and transport you in comfort to your hotel in Colombo. Join our agent for a memorable Welcome Dinner.

Day 2Journey through the wooded hills to your accommodation in Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya, stopping at the Dambulla Cave Temple along the way.

Day 3Spend the day in the ancient city of Anuradhapura with a guided tour of the sacred sights.

Day 4Visit Polonnaruwa, reputedly one of Sri Lanka's most beautiful cities. There's time for an elephant ride before climbing Lion Rock.

Day 5Drive to the lake city of Kandy, famous for its Royal Botanical Gardens and Temple of the Tooth.

Day 6Time to explore more of Kandy's attractions at your own pace, including shopping and sightseeing

Day 7A first-class rail trip through stunning mountain scenery to Nuwara Eliya.

Day 8Tour a tea estate before heading to Uda Walawe National Park to see herds of wild elephants, birds and wildlife.

Day 9A scenic drive to Tissamaharamaya takes in an Elephant Rehabilitation Centre and more wildlife encounters in Yala National Park.

Day 10Head south to the ancient fort city of Galle passing stilt fishermen and visiting a Turtle Hatchery.

Day 11Spend three days as you choose at a luxury hotel on the beach near Beruwela. Relax by the pool or explore local villages on foot, bicycle or boat.

Day 12Spend three days as you choose at a luxury hotel on the beach near Beruwela. Relax by the pool or explore local villages on foot, bicycle or boat.

Day 13Spend three days as you choose at a luxury hotel on the beach near Beruwela. Relax by the pool or explore local villages on foot, bicycle or boat.

Day 14Transfer to the airport with a stop for last minute shopping in Colombo, if there's time.

Day 1: Colombo

Your Sri Lanka adventure begins when you touch down at Bandaranaike International Airport where your personal chauffeur and guide will be waiting for you. You will be transported to your hotel in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, taking in views of the countryside and city during the 60-90 minute journey, depending on the traffic. There’s time to unpack and rest after your journey or perhaps enjoy some welcome refreshments at your chosen hotel.

Depending upon your arrival time, we will arrange a morning or afternoon city tour of Colombo to introduce to some of the highlights of this vibrant colonial city. In the evening our agent in Colombo will entertain you to a complimentary Welcome Dinner at 7pm. This is a good opportunity for you to ask questions about Sri Lanka and discuss your forthcoming trip in detail with your personal local host. Please let us know your dining preference from the following 5 options:

1. Experience authentic Sri Lankan Jaffna cuisine at a high-end restaurant in Colombo

-OR-

2. Enjoy non-traditional food in a private club frequented by members of the elite social classes of Colombo

-OR-

3. Visit a high quality restaurant that specializes in the very best fish and seafood from our shores

-OR-

4. Experience typical Sri Lankan street food at a more typical restaurant frequented by Sri Lankan locals

-OR-

5. Your choice of restaurant in Colombo. If you have a particular favourite in mind just let us know and our agent will make reservations for your memorable welcome dinner.

After a fabulous meal your agent will be happy to show you some of Colombo’s vibrant night life before you retire and enjoy a good night’s sleep in your hotel.

Day 2: Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast as you prepare for a wonderful trip into the mountains of Sri Lanka’s North Central Province. Enjoy being chauffeur-driven through this mainly wooded area of hills with small villages lining the roadside. One of the pleasures of having your own personal driver/guide is the possibility to stop and sample a local pineapple (sprinkled with salt the traditional Sri Lankan way!), take photographs of local craftsmen, or perhaps detouring off to see a logging elephant at work. There is a scheduled visit to the Dambulla Cave Temple along the way. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place of pilgrimage for Buddhists, with many paintings and Buddha statues in the series of caves. Today’s drive takes about 5 to 5.5 hours, depending on local traffic conditions. On arrival at your hotel in either Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya you can relax and enjoy the hotel facilities during your remaining free time.

Day 3: Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya

The highlight of Day 3 is a trip to the sacred city of Anuradhapura, about 50 miles (80km) away. This is one of Sri Lanka’s ancient capital cities with well-preserved remains from the pre-13th century kingdom of Rajarata. This remarkable World Heritage Site is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world with many stupas, dome-shaped dagobas, pillars, moonstone entrances and pokuna bathing tanks. A guided tour will reveal more of this enchanting city where many monastic buildings have been lying semi-hidden for centuries in the dense jungle. In contrast, absorb the sights and sounds of the bustling city with its souvenir shops, spice markets, colourful temples and street vendors. Return to your hotel for a second night after around 4 hours total drive time today.

Day 4: Habarana. Dambulla or Sigiriya

Another wonderful journey through this lush hilly region awaits you, this time to Polonnaruwa which is said to be one of the most beautiful cities in Sri Lanka. Expect to spend around 2.5 to 3 hours in the car as you are transported in air-conditioned comfort to see some amazing sights. One of the optional experiences is an Elephant Ride in Habarana for a small additional cost of around $25-30 per person. This is a truly amazing way for animal-lovers to get up-close to these gentle giants and enjoy an exhilarating ride through the jungle. Next you will discover the ancient World Heritage City of Polonnaruwa in the capable hands of a local English-speaking guide. Highlights include the Lankatilaka Temple, remains of the Royal Palace and the Siva Devale on this extensively preserved archaeological site. During the return drive, a stop is planned at the Sigirita Rock which means “Lion Rock”. Visitors can climb the huge brown rock to see the 5th century citadel and palace with its surviving moats, walls, frescoes and carvings. Return to your hotel for your final overnight stay in this area.

Day 5: Kandy

A short drive is planned to take you to the lake city of Kandy, high in the mountains. Explore the town at leisure before meeting your driver/guide at a pre-fixed time for the onward journey. Garden lovers will enjoy an optional visit to the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens for a small additional entrance fee (1100-1300 rupees). The gardens are known for their established exotic trees and beautiful orchid collection as well as having colourful borders and flower beds. Spend the afternoon and evening relaxing at your hotel in Kandy.

Day 6: Kandy

Kandy has a great deal to offer so a second day is scheduled in this beautiful city. Explore the town of Kandy at your own pace and perhaps take in one of the cultural attractions such as the impressive temples, lake and the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Dalada Maligawa. There is ample opportunity to indulge in some shopping or visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens if you did not get a chance to do so previously. Meet your driver at a prearranged time for your transfer back to your Kandy hotel. Maximum driving time today will be one hour, depending upon the traffic conditions.

Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

Relax over breakfast before departing from the hotel at 11.30 am for the Peradeniya Railway Station. Your seats will be reserved in the first class luxury railway carriage aboard the 12.30pm train to Nanu Oya. The four-hour journey is one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world as it travels through stunning hill country towards the more temperate region of Nuwara Eliya. Your trip includes lunch, unlimited tea and coffee and free wifi. Your driver/guide will once again be waiting for you at Nanu Oya station at 4pm and will transport you to your next comfortable hotel in Nuwara Eliya, about one hour’s drive away. The drive will pass through some of the tea plantations that cover the lush green hillside.

Day 8: Embilipitiya or Uda Walawe

After an early breakfast your driver will drive you south to Uda Walawe. A visit to a working tea factory is scheduled where you will see how tea is picked, dried, graded and packed to provide the world with its early morning cuppa! The area of Nuwara Eliya is nicknamed “Little England” for its English-style gardens and colonial architecture which can be enjoyed as you journey by car to the Uda Walawe National Park. Enjoy an afternoon safari spotting herds of wild elephants, deer and water buffalo. There are many exotic birds around this area of marshes, forest and grassland. Estimated total drive time is 4 to 4.5 hours, ending with a final drive to your hotel in Embilipitiya or Uda Walawe.

Day 9: Tissamaharamaya or Yala

After breakfast, prepare for the scenic drive to Tissamaharamaya or Yala. The highlight of the day will be visiting a transit camp which feeds and rehabilitates orphaned elephants before releasing them back into the wild. This project is unlike the better-known Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is run as a tourist attraction rather than as a conservation project. Your support of this project enables the rehabilitation program to continue its vital work with orphaned baby elephants. More wildlife is scheduled with an afternoon safari in the beautiful Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka. It provides a conservation area for herds of elephants and waterbirds as well as being home to the highest concentration of endangered leopards in the world. Overnight accommodation is at Tissamaharamaya or Yala after 2.5 to 3 hours total driving during the day.

Day 10: Hikkaduwa, Beruwala, Ahungalla or Koggala

Earlybirds can join an optional safari in the Yala National Park at 5am for an additional charge. Dawn is a magical time of day to spot and photograph wildlife without other tourists around. After breakfast you will head for the beautiful beaches which the Southern Province of Sri Lanka is famous for. Along the way your driver/guide will take you to see the stilt fishermen at Weligama – another great photo opportunity – before heading to Galle. Explore the ancient Galle Fort complex and walk the ramparts before continuing on to see the Mask Makers of Ambalangoda. This is an optional tourist activity which is free to visit. Next stop is the Turtle Hatchery where volunteers collect the eggs of endangered turtles and protect them from predators until they hatch. After a few days of nurturing, baby turtles can be carried down to the sea by visitors and launched. This is a very special eco-experience which gives the turtles a much higher chance of survival. After a day on the road of around 4 to 4.5 hours you can relax at your hotel in Hikkaduwa, Beruwala, Ahungalla or Koggala for the remainder of the day and overnight.

Day 11: Hikkaduwa, Beruwala, Ahungalla or Koggala

This beautiful coastal area with its golden sandy beaches, lagoons, rivers and lush vegetation will be your relaxing home base for the next three days. Luxury hotels provide plenty of amenities including swimming pools and quiet places to relax and read with a good book from the library. Enjoy this free time without your driver/guide and explore the local villages on foot or bicycle, or perhaps join a fishing or sightseeing trip by boat.

Day 12: Hikkaduwa, Beruwala, Ahungalla or Koggala

This beautiful coastal area with its golden sandy beaches, lagoons, rivers and lush vegetation will be your relaxing home base for the next three days. Luxury hotels provide plenty of amenities including swimming pools and quiet places to relax and read with a good book from the library. Enjoy this free time without your driver/guide and explore the local villages on foot or bicycle, or perhaps join a fishing or sightseeing trip by boat.

Day 13: Hikkaduwa, Beruwala, Ahungalla or Koggala

This beautiful coastal area with its golden sandy beaches, lagoons, rivers and lush vegetation will be your relaxing home base for the next three days. Luxury hotels provide plenty of amenities including swimming pools and quiet places to relax and read with a good book from the library. Enjoy this free time without your driver/guide and explore the local villages on foot or bicycle, or perhaps join a fishing or sightseeing trip by boat.

Day 14: Airport

Enjoy your final breakfast in Sri Lanka and say farewell to the beach before your driver arrives to collect you. Your final day in Sri Lanka includes a 3.5 to 4 hour drive to the airport. If flight times permit, a stop in Colombo for some last minute shopping can be arranged. International flights require you to check-in at the Bandaranaike Airport 3 hours prior to departure.

We wish you a comfortable and safe flight home and look forward to your speedy return for another wonderful Sri Lanka experience with us.

  • We were very happy to come to discover Sri Lanka.

    • Aragno, Switzerland
    We were very happy to come to discover Sri Lanka. ANext time we would like to visit the North. Beautiful landscapes, beautiful historic places and visits to different sites.
  • A fantastic Sri Lanka Holiday

    • Ron and Manou
    Rajiv and his team helped us organise a perfect stay in Sri Lanka. Our guide for our 14 day trip was an excellent driver and good company knowing exactly what our needs were. He adjusted himself to our program. We followed his suggestions and never regretted this. Sightseeing, Culinary you name it ! We can very highly recommend Adventure Lanka Tours who were introduced to us by my sister who travelled with 4 teenage boys last year [2013]
  • A great holiday in Sri Lanka

    • Nigel and Linda, UK
    We were extremely satisfied with all aspects of this holiday. Adventure Lanka Tours went out of their way to ensure this was a memorable and pleasurable experience. During the planning stage, Rajiv responded to our many emails quickly and with patience. He also provided a basic itinerary which, before the actual trip, we adapted to our personal requirements. After receiving several versions, we finally decided on the itinerary that suited us. When the holiday started, we were delighted that Rajiv took time to come and meet us at Colombo Airport personally. Furthermore, he drove us to our first hotel on the south coast at Unawatuna. From there, we were provided with a personal driver and guide (Upul). Upul was extremely courteous and kept us on track for the remainder of the holiday. He was also very knowledgeable about the places we visited and we learned much about the religions, history, people and culture of Sri Lanka. Overall, we had a terrific experience and we would like to wish Adventure Lanka Tours every success for the future.