With an intoxicating mix of wildlife and culture, Sri Lanka is an ideal destination for a family holiday to remember for years to come. This stylish suggested itinerary stays in four star hotels with swimming pools throughout.
Explore the ancient city of Polonnaruwa
Jeep safari at Minneriya National Park
Climb to the top of Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Visit Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth
Trek at Horton Plains National Park
Search for leopards at Yala National Park
Begin your adventure in Colombo, where you can relax on the beach after a long flight, before heading off to explore Sri Lanka's cultural triangle.
From Kandy, you'll take a scenic train ride through the tea country and spend a full day at Horton Plains. Children will love watching out for macaque monkeys, elephants and leopards in Yala National Park.
Visit the charming colonial city of Galle en route to your family-friendly beachfront hotel in Bentota. You'll spend a day spotting the bird and marine life in the mangrove swamps of the Bentota River before ending your tour relaxing on the beach.
Day1: Depart UK
Depart London on an overnight flight to Colombo.
Day2: Arrive Negombo
On arrival in Colombo, a representative will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your beachfront hotel. The rest of the afternoon is free to relax.
Day3: Dambulla Caves
Visit the magnificent caves of Dambulla that sheltered King Walagamba during his 14 years of exile from Anuradhapura.
Day4: Visit Polonnaruwa; jeep safari at Minneriya
This morning, visit the ancient ruined city of Polonnaruwa, a showcase of great ancient Sri Lankan architecture dating back to the 12th Century AD.
This afternoon, enjoy a jeep safari at Minneriya National Park. The park is a dry season feeding ground for the elephant population dwelling in the forests of Matale, Polonnaruwa and Trincomalee districts. (Note: the visit may be diverted to Kaudulla National Park based on the movement of elephants in the area.)
Day5: Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Kandy
Early this morning, climb the famous 180-metre Sigiriya Rock. On its summit are the foundations of the Royal Palace.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and afterwards travel to Kandy, the cultural centre of Sri Lanka. En route visit a wood carving centre and spice garden where you can do some shopping.
Day6: Explore Kandy
Visit the golden roofed -Temple of the Tooth', where the sacred tooth of Lord Buddha is said to be enshrined.
This afternoon, visit Peradeniya Botanical Garden, best known for its Orchid House with over 300 varieties of orchids. A spice garden will give the family a first hand introduction to the trees and plants used in Ayurvedic medicine, and the Mahaweli River surrounding the garden adds to its beauty.
Day7: Scenic train ride; transfer to Nuwara Eliya
Take a scenic train ride through lush tea estates to Nanuoya, from where you continue by road to Nuwara Eliya. Many of the buildings here retain features from the colonial period such as the Queen’s cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel and Post Office.
Visit a working tea factory and see how a bud and two leaves from a tea plant end up in your cup.
Day8: Trek at Horton Plains; transfer to Tissamaharama
Today you take an early morning visit Horton Plains National Park, the highest plateau on the island and a paradise for nature lovers, hikers and birdwatchers.
This afternoon there is a long transfer to Tissamaharama in southern Sri Lanka.
Day9: Wildlife safari in Yala National Park
Today, you can take either an early morning or late afternoon jeep safari in Yala National Park, where you are likely to see wild boar, elephants, leopards, deer, peacocks and many more animals roaming freely. Elephants gather at waterholes for drinking and bathing, peacocks flaunt their colourful feathers and the flamingos are a breathtaking sight.
There is also an optional visit to Katharagama, a pilgrimage town which houses the ancient Kiri Veheral Buddhist stupa.
Day10: Visit Galle Fort; transfer to Bentota
Visit the historical and architectural heritage site of Galle Fort. It has a colourful history and has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Afterwards continue to your beach resort in Bentota.
Day11: Boat trip to mangrove swamps
An early start this morning is essential to catch the river wildlife in action. Cruise down the in a small open top boat passing islands, mangrove swamps and riverbanks covered with lush tropical foliage and flowers. Along the way, you will meet local fishermen offering their fresh catches.
Day12: Free day
Today is free to relax on the beach or enjoy optional activities in the area, including a visit to a turtle hatchery project.
Day13: Transfer to Colombo airport & fly back to the UK
Day14: Arrive UK
Prices from (exc. international flights):£2,199per adult,£2,099per child
Prices from (inc. flights from/to UK):£3,189per adult,£2,839per child
Child prices apply for ages 11 and under at the time of travel.
Ideal for ages:
Itinerary type:Trip idea
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