Our 14-Day Holiday in Jaffna and Trincomalee combines elephants and whalewatching, temples and forts, islands and national parks, spice gardens and World Heritage Sites. Where else but Sri Lanka?
Join us on our 14-Day Holiday of Jaffna and Trincomalee which is planned to make the most of the sunny dry season in northeast Sri Lanka, from February through October. This is no ordinary holiday, starting with your own personal driver/guide welcoming you at the airport and giving you door-to-door service in air-conditioned comfort as you journey from one luxury hotel to the next.
Our carefully planned itinerary takes in the best cultural, wildlife, island, beach and city highlights of northeast Sri Lanka. From the colonial capital, Colombo, we head inland to the lakeside city of Kandy with its famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic before driving north to Jaffna. Our exclusive tour includes boat trips (with bicycles!) to the outlying Nagadeepa and Delft Islands and a rare chance to be an honoured guest in the home of a local family.
After taking in UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the sacred cities of Kandy and Polonnaruwa, and the Rock Fortress in Sigiriya, we transport you down the east coast to the beautiful beach at Trincomalee. There you can relax and take in some dolphin and whalewatching or go snorkelling and diving in the protected waters of Pigeon Island Marine Park. Your trip will include elephant encounters, a lively cultural show, temples, forts, Buddhas, spice gardens, hot springs, fruit markets and even a safari in Minneriya National Park.
Can any other country offer such a diversity of attractions and experiences? We don’t think so. Join us on this incredible trip of a lifetime to Sri Lanka. Experience smiling faces and a warm welcome at each new destination and sleep well in our hand-picked hotels that combine comfort and luxury at surprisingly affordable price.
Day 1Meet your smiling driver at the airport and be transported to Kandy VIP style with a stop at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Day 2City Tour of Kandy's highlights and a lively cultural show in the evening
Day 3Visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic, a Spice Garden and the Sigiriya Rock Fortress en route to Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya
Day 4An elephant ride, a guided tour of Polonnaruwa and a wildlife safari in Minneriya National Park
Day 5Drive north to Jaffna via Elephant Pass and enjoy a late afternoon City Tour
Day 6Point Pedro, Jaffna Fort and a trip to Kayts Island with a swim from Casuarina Beach
Day 7Swim in the pool near Keerimalai Temple and visit a local pottery
Day 8Experience the sights of Nagadeepa and Delft Islands by bicycle and boat
Day 9Head south to the beach at Trincomalee with a stop at the Seven Hot Springs
Day 10Tour Trincomalee town, Fort Fredric and Lovers Leap
Day 11A day on the beach, snorkelling, diving, dolphins and whalewatching
Day 12Another chance to visit Pigeon Island or relax on the beach
Day 13Drive from east to west via Dambulla Cave Temple. Final sightseeing and shopping in Colombo
Day 14Head for home with a promise to return again soon
Day 1: Kandy
Your fabulous Sri Lanka adventure starts when your smiling driver/guide greets you at the airport and escorts you and your luggage to the waiting vehicle. Settle back and enjoy the passing sights as he transports you into the mountains at Kandy. Stretch your legs with a stop at the Pinnawala Elephant Sanctuary where you can see the elephants bathing in the river and get up-close to one of the cute hairy babies. After a 3.5 to 4 hour drive you will arrive at your chosen Kandy hotel and enjoy a relaxing evening and overnight stay.
Day 2: Kandy
There’s the chance to catch up on your sleep with a lie-in and a leisurely breakfast this morning. In the afternoon your driver will collect you and show you the sights of Kandy on an interesting City Tour. See the beautiful white Temple of the Tooth Relic, the mountain lake and perhaps stretch your legs at the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. There’s the optional opportunity to attend a lively Cultural Show in the evening that includes colourful costumes, traditional music, dancing and entertainment such as fire-walking. Spend a second night at your Kandy hotel.
Day 3: Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya
After breakfast, prepare to depart for Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya. There’s time to schedule a tour of the Temple of the Tooth Relic or perhaps visit a Spice Garden to see where cocoa, coffee, nutmegs and other spices are grown and used for culinary and medicinal purposes. In the afternoon we stop at the World Heritage Rock Fortress in Sigiriya known as Lion Rock. You can climb the ancient steps to enter this ancient fortress city and see the poems and frescoes on the rock walls. Check into your pre-selected hotel in either Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya after the 3.5 to 4 hour drive and enjoy the hotel’s amenities.
Day 4: Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya
After breakfast your friendly driver/guide will arrive to take you to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, a short distance away. There’s the chance to experience a thrilling elephant ride in Habarana if you wish to add on this optional cultural treat. We have arranged for you to have a guided tour of Polonnaruwa to admire its Brahmanic monuments and ruins that date back over 1000 years. See the Royal Palace, Siva Devale and several carved temples at this unique site. The afternoon is reserved for a wildlife safari in Minneriya National Park. Total driving time will be around 3 to 3.5 hours before returning to your hotel in Habarana, Dambulla or Sigiriya for the night.
Day 5: Jaffna
It’s up with the larks for an early breakfast before being picked up at 7am for the journey north to Jaffna. This 4.5 to 5 hour journey allows you to see plenty of Sri Lanka’s shifting scenery. With your own private driver/guide to point out the sights, you can stop when you like for photographs and refreshments. There’s a scheduled stop to see the War Memorial at Elephant Pass before arriving at your chosen hotel in Jaffna around midday. After unpacking and relaxing there’s a late afternoon tour of the many sights of Jaffna. Highlights of this northernmost city include the golden Hindu Temple of Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil which dates back to the 10th century. The city has many other ancient and noteworthy buildings such as the Buddhist Naga Vihara, Jaffna Fort, the library and the newly built railway station.
Day 6: Jaffna
Enjoy breakfast before setting off for Point Pedro at 8am. There’s time for a photo at the “bottomless” well that is believed to be connected by tunnels to Jaffna Fort. You will see the landmark lighthouse and visit some of the ruins of the former Royal Kingdom of Jaffna. Your drive includes a visit to tiny Kayts Island along the causeway and the chance for a refreshing swim in the warm blue waters at Casuarina Beach. This packed day includes around 5 hours driving, delivering you back to your hotel late in the afternoon.
Day 7: Jaffna
More cultural delights await as you are collected by car at 8am for a visit to the Keerimalai Temple. This ancient shrine includes a natural seawater swimming pool where you can relax and take a dip. Return to Jaffna for lunch before heading out to a local village to see pottery being made. Plan a relaxing evening enjoying the amenities on offer at your chosen boutique hotel.
Day 8: Jaffna
Make an early start with a packed breakfast. Drive to the harbour where a small passenger boat will carry you on a 15-minute trip to the Nagadeepa and Delft Islands. Hopefully we will be bringing bicycles to explore the islands at a leisurely pace on two wheels. Two of the highlights to look out for on Nagadeepa Island are the Buddhist Temple and the Hindu Temple. Return to the jetty and board a larger ferry to transport you across sometimes choppy waters to the Delft Islands (Neduntivu), about an hour away. This remote island has some unique and interesting sights including wild ponies, the Old Dutch Fort and see where the last King of Jaffna enjoyed his Summer Kingdom. You will also see the hollow trunk of the only Giant African Baobab Tree in Sri Lanka and the 40-foot footprint of a giant engraved in a stone. Part of your unique visit includes lunch with a local family. It will be a simple affair but will have a hugely positive effect on the family and the island community as a whole. Leave the island on the last ferry at 3pm and return to your Jaffna hotel after about 4 hours’ total driving time, plus the boat rides.
Day 9: Trincomalee
Enjoy a last look around Jaffna with a visit to the bustling fruit and vegetable market which will be laden with strange and exotic local produce. You may want to purchase a sweet pineapple and eat it with salt as the locals do! As we approach Trincomalee we will make a stop at the famous Seven Hot Springs. The total journey time to your beach hotel will take up to 6 hours, depending upon the road conditions.
Day 10: Trincomalee
Discover what Trincomalee has to offer with a tour of the town taking in historic Fort Frederic and the World War 2 Commonwealth War Cemetery. More history can be found at Lovers Leap and in the ancient Hindu Temple. After a 3+ hour drive in the morning, the afternoon allows you some free time to relax at your chosen luxury hotel and perhaps enjoy the beautiful sandy beach that Trincomalee is famous for.
Day 11: Trincomalee
Wake bright and fresh to enjoy a full day of activities on the beach. You can choose to be as active or as lazy as you please! Optional trips can be arranged for those wanting to go snorkelling, diving or dolphin and whalewatching. If you prefer a quieter day, opt for a visit to Pigeon Island National Park or spend the day on a private island or secluded beach.
Day 12: Trincomalee
If you didn’t manage to do everything you wanted to yesterday, this is another chance to spend time on the beach or join an optional tour. Activities include snorkelling, diving, dolphin and whalewatching. You can visit Pigeon Island National Marine Park or spend the day on your own castaway island or private beach.
Day 13: Colombo
After breakfast your driver/guide will once again collect you for the drive from the east to the west coast through some stunning mountain scenery. The journey takes around 6 to 6.5 hours but there’s plenty to see and experience along the journey. You may even see a working elephant or other wildlife on the journey. There’s an optional stop at Dambulla Cave Temple to see the many Buddha statues and paintings in this chain of caves. On arrival in Colombo there’s time to do some final shopping for jewellery or souvenirs or take a whirlwind tour of the sights of this colonial city. Check into your hotel in Colombo for one final night.
Day 14: Airport
After breakfast your driver will once again pick you up and escort you to the airport which is about 1 to 1.5 hours away. It is advisable to be at the airport around 3 hours before your flight departs. Say a fond farewell to your driver who will by now be considered a friend of the family. We know you will be leaving with many wonderful photographs and memories of the amazing sights and cultural experiences you will have enjoyed. We look forward to welcoming you back on one of our other tours to show you more highlights of Sri Lanka. See you soon!