Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Trip Planning


  • Tailor made trips that fit your interests and budget
  • Choice of Small Group Tours
  • Deal with one person from initial enquiry to returning home
  • Unlimited itinerary changes
  • Visa, passport, and health advice
  • 24 hour emergency support on holiday
  • 100% Financial protection

Contact Us

Call       01462 677 111

email   holidays@onyourtravels.co.uk

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* Updated for 2021

"For many years, our best selling private tour of Sri Lanka has been a week or so touring plus a few days on the beach. You can see dramatic scenery, amazing wildlife, enjoy local culture, and relax at the beach. And the best way to do the tour is with your own car and driver as you are then completely free to spend as long or as short in each place, and to tweak your day to day activities as you wish.

We are however seeing changes in what travellers want post-covid. Smaller hotels, less crowded tourist attractions, and a slower pace are some of the ways in which 2021 and 2022 itineraries may differ from before. There are some amazing properties you can visit albeit at a higher cost - Jetwing Vil Uyana in the Sigiriya area and Chena Huts in Yala National Park are a couple of examples where you'll want to stay for longer - they become a unique destination in their own right, not just a place to sleep."


Quick Sri Lanka Attractions Guide


Best for Elephants - The most well known national park is down in the South at Yala, but it can get very busy with many jeeps surrounding the wildlife. For elephant viewing, a better experience is Udawalawe which is much less crowded, and is probably the best place in any case to see elephants in the wild. However, if you're travelling around August then you may see huge herds of elephants up in Minneriya, or the adjoining parks. They gather here due to the low water levels in the dry season - it will be more crowded than Udawalawe, but the herds are bigger. You could of course visit both parks! Another option is at Gal Oya in the East - this is far less well known, but the star attraction here is the chance to see swimming elephants. Overall, it may be more hit and miss than at Udawalawe but is the least touristy of them all.
Stay: Yala, Udawalawe, Habarana Area, Gal Oya

Best for Leopards - The one place where you have a decent chance of seeing leopards is at Yala - the downside is that the park itself can get very overcrowded with jeeps. It is closed from September to October, dates vary each year.
Stay: Yala

Best for Temples - Probably the finest Buddhist temple to visit is the Dambulla Cave Temple, which is made up of 5 caves and over 150 Buddhist statues and paintings. Best time to visit is either first thing in the morning or late afternoon, when you might have the added bonus of a great sunset! Next on the list would be the Temple of the Tooth down in Kandy - early morning and late afternoon gets very busy but atmospheric - the pooja ceremony takes place, which involves offerings, prayers and music.
Stay: Habarana Area, Kandy

Best for Iconic Sights - You can climb Sigiriya Rock, but best done early morning or late afternoon when it's cooler. The best view of it is from Pidurangala a couple of miles away, and it's especially photogenic first thing in the morning.
Stay: Habarana Area

Best for Walking & Scenic Views - A relatively easy hike with exceptional scenic views is up Little Adam's Peak in Ella. There's also a great viewpoint nearby at Nine Arch Bridge. At World's End in Horton Plains the hike takes about as long (a few hours return trip) but the views are often obscured by mist. Nearby Adam's Peak is much more challenging and for serious hikers. Lipton's Seat also has frequent mist which is why very early morning is best - it's about an hour on the train from Ella.
Stay: Ella, Nuwara Eliya

Best for Tea Plantations - Ella and Nuwara Eliya both have excellent hotels with a tea experience on site.
Stay: Ella, Nuwara Eliya

Best for Beaches - The West Coast has the biggest choice of hotels but swimming is difficult. December to April is best. The East coast has fewer hotels and resorts but with better beaches and better snorkelling opportunities. January to September is best. The downside is the long journey back to Colombo.
Stay: South West Coast including Galle, Trincomalee

Best for Whale Watching - In the south at Mirissa, December, January & April are usually best months. In Trincomalee in the East, March, April & August, September are the peak months.
Stay: South / South West Coast including Galle

Best for Gardens By far the best are the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kandy. You'll see orchids, a giant fig tree, the avenue of palm trees, spices, and flowers.
Stay: Kandy

Best for Trains - The famous train from Kandy to Ella is about a 7 hour journey with a confusing choice of class.
Stay: Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella

Unique Hotels in Amazing Locations
- Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sigiriya - www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingviluyana/
- 98 Acres, Ella - www.resort98acres.com/
- Chena Huts, Yala - www.ugaescapes.com/chenahuts/
- Uga Jungle Beach, Trincomalee - www.ugaescapes.com/junglebeach/
- The Fortress, Galle - www.fortressresortandspa.com/


Uga Jungle Beach, Trincomalee - this makes a perfect end to your Sri Lanka trip - it's set between the jungle and the beach, and there is a feeling of privacy and tranquillity. The rooms are beautifully designed to fit in with their surroundings, and you can choose to dine in your room if you wish, or in the gardens or the beach, as well as either of the two restaurants. There are various tours and cruises available, plus snorkelling and diving which is particularly good in this part of Sri Lanka.

The Classic Sri Lanka Multi Centre Private Tour

First, we see the classic tour, and afterwards how you can alter it depending on your interests. There's a good balance between having the best experiences, but without rushing too much or trying to cram too much in.

This itinerary is very flexible - you can change the number of days in each place, and the hotel. We'd be delighted to discuss further with you so that you get the holiday you want.

Summary

  • 1 night in Negombo at Jetwing Beach
        - usually necessary due to travelling times
  • 3 nights in Habarana at Cinnamon Lodge
        - Sigiriya, Dambulla Caves, Polonnaruwa, elephants (esp. August)
  • 2 nights in Kandy at Cinnamon Citadel
        - Temple of the Tooth, Royal Botanic Gardens
  • 1 night in Nuwara Eliya at Heritance Tea Factory
        - Walking, Scenic Views
  • OPTIONAL 2 nights in Udawalawe at Kalu's Hideaway
        -Elephants
  • 6 nights in Bentota at Taj Bentota
        Consider East Coast if travelling April to September
        - Beach
  • OR, 6 nights in the Maldives at Kuramathi Island (extra night in Negombo usually required)

The price of a typical Sri Lanka holiday is usually somewhere between around £2500 and £4000 per person. In practice, there will be many things that dictate the final cost such as the time of year you travel and whether you upgrade your hotels.


Fly UK to Colombo (overnight)

Direct flights are out of Heathrow with Sri Lankan Airlines, but you can fly other airlines such as Emirates via Dubai if you prefer.

Quick Tip: - one of the best things you can do to make the airport experience less stressful is to get access to the fast track lane through security, saving all that queueing time. We can book this for you - at Heathrow it is £12.50 per person.

 

Negombo (1 night)

The direct flights to Colombo arrive early to mid afternoon, and so I always prefer to have a short transfer time to a nice hotel for the night. In fact, because of fairly long transfer times to other parts of Sri Lanka, you often have little choice.

Instead of staying in Colombo, I suggest the resort of Negombo, a fishing village only 20 minutes from the airport, with a golden beach and several restaurants within walking distance of the hotels.

Your transfer to Jetwing Beach is included - the next morning you will start your tour proper.

Travelling Time: 20 minutes

Alternatively: If you're short of time and want to cut this night out of your itinerary, then aim to arrive in Colombo before mid morning so that you have enough time to do the transfer - both Qatar Airways via Doha, or Emirates via Dubai will work.

 

What to do?

  • Freshen up, and chill out for the afternoon then have a good meal in the evening!

 

Your Hotel Jetwing Beach

A perfect hotel for the first night - short transfer from the airport, very comfortable, and a lovely pool to freshen up in! In the evening there are 3 good restaurants in the hotel but you also have the choice of just walking out into Negombo where there is a much greater choice of dining.

Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast (can be upgraded)


 

Habarana (3 nights)

Most tours include 1 or 2 nights here, but as some of the very best parts of Sri Lanka are in this area, you really need more time. Not only are the 'iconic sights' of Sri Lanka such as Sigiriya Rock Fortress close by, but there are some fabulous things to do around the hotel.

How the Car & Driver service works
Having a car an driver is a safe and affordable way of enjoying a trip where you see the things that are of most interest to you. You can spend as much or as little time when sightseeing, and keep things flexible. If you'd like a lie in, that's fine, and if you'd like an early start to get lots of sightseeing in, that's fine too.
The driver will act as a guide, and you just arrange the night before what time you'd like to be picked up in the morning. All the travel is included in the holiday cost, so you just pay the cost of any entrance fees.
The drivers have their own accommodation in each location so you don't have to worry about that. Tipping is welcome at the end of the tour, and please note that 8 hours is the maximum driving in any one day.

* 2021 Update
A 3 night duration gives you two full days. So you could spend one full day at Dambulla (morning) and Sigiriya (afternoon), and the second full day at Polonnaruwa (morning) and Minneriya National Park for a safari (afternoon). You will also have the afternoon of the day of arrival and the morning of the day of departure when you could do some of the excursions around the hotel.

If you prefer a slower pace, then a 4 or even 5 night stay would be more enjoyable. You can have half the day doing sightseeing, and the other half relaxing back at your hotel.

Travelling Time: 4 hours

 

What to do?

  • Visit and/or climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress - it is a bit of a climb but the views from the top are amazing, and you will see the remains of the Royal Palace at the top. About half way up is a sheltered gallery containing a series of paintings. Back at the bottom are the landscaped Royal Gardens. The best times to visit are early morning and late afternoon when it is a bit cooler and the light is fantastic.
    Tip: There is a fantastic view of Sigiriya from Pidurangala, around 3km away, and best at sunrise / early morning.
  • Dambulla Cave Temple - a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has 5 caves housing Buddhist statues and paintings, and dates to 100 years BC - this is a MUST SEE, and just 20 minutes from the hotel. In the largest cave is a gigantic 150 ft long reclining Buddha. There is a smell of incense in the air as people place offerings to the Buddhas.
  • Minneriya National Park - enjoy a Jeep Safari and see a wide variety of wildlife especially elephants - it is also a fantastic location for bird watching. If you are travelling to Sri Lanka between July and September then I would definitely recommend you include a half day at Minneriya National Park because during this time herds of up to 150 elephants are more easily spotted. The park is also home to sambar deer, macaques and leopards although to be honest these are hard to spot.
  • Kaudulla National Park - if you are travelling to Sri Lanka later in the year, especially around October, then there is a gathering of up to 250 elephants in the park as well as sambar deer, leopards (hard to spot), fishing cats and sloth bears.
  • Lake activities - include bird watching, horse rides, sunset boat rides - there is a 'Bird Island' in the centre of the lake where you can watch the birds settle down on tree tops for the night
  • Jungle treks and Mountain bike hire - there is a 9 mile cycle route from the hotel, or a longer 18 mile route.
  • Puranagama Ancient Village - a rare opportunity to see traditional Sri Lankan village life, Puranagama is located at 25 minutes walk from the hotel.
  • Visit the sacred city of Polonnaruwa with spectacular shrines, Buddhist statues, and the ruins of the Royal Palace. It is actually 1000 years old and probably better than Anuradhapura from a tourist point of view because the monuments are in an excellent state and it's easy to get around and see them. One way of doing so is by bicycle which are easy to rent.

 

Your Hotel   Cinnamon Lodge

One of my favourite hotels in the whole of Sri Lanka is the Cinnamon Lodge in Habarana set in a lush forest in a stunning position by a lake. It is located very conveniently for trips to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla Caves and the Minneriya National park, but there is also plenty to do around the hotel such as a swimming pool, a spa, jogging track, tennis and cycle trails. From the lodge you can go on elephant safaris, bird-watching, boating, and hot air ballooning (November to April).

Meal Plan: Half Board

Premium Hotel
For a truly unique, luxurious experience, choose a stay at Jetwing Vil Uyana, which has just 36 pavillion style dwellings among paddy fields, by the lake, or in the forest. There is nature all around with wildlife tours and bird watching on offer here. Because of the sense of space and tranquillity, we expect this to prove a very popular choice, so early booking is essential. As the hotel becomes much more of a destination in itself rather than just a bed for the night, then despite the higher cost it is definitely worth having an extended stay so you can really enjoy your time here.

 


 

Kandy (2 nights)

Kandy is a lovely lakeside town, and it is here that you can do one of the many cultural evenings. It is also a very pleasant town to have a wander around exploring the lake and temples. The Royal Botanic Gardens are the best in Sri Lanka.

A 2 night stay will give you one full day, so you could visit the Royal Botanic Gardens in the morning, then later in the afternoon go to the Temple of the Tooth for the evening pooja - although it gets crowded, it is the most atmospheric time of the day.

If you're short of time then it's possible just to have one night in Kandy - maybe see the Temple of the Tooth in the evening you arrive, and then the lake or gardens the next morning before you depart.

Travelling Time: 2.5 hours

 

What to do?

  • Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which include a spice garden and hundreds of exotic tropical plants
  • See the Temple of the Tooth on Kandy Lake - this is one of the most sacred temples in Sri Lanka and all Buddhists in Sri Lanka aim to make a pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.
  • Enjoy an evening Cultural Show with food and dancing

 

Your Hotel   Cinnamon Citadel

This is a firm favourite because of the excellent location next to the Mahaweli River where you can dine al fresco on the restaurant's terrace with wonderful river views. There is a pool to come back to after a day of sightseeing and a lounge bar for wines and cocktails where you can relax listing to the piano music.

Meal Plan: Half Board


 

Nuwara Eliya (1 night)

Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful hilltop town in Sri Lanka where you'll find the tea plantations. At 6,000 feet above sea level, it is cooler than other parts such as Kandy and the coast, but the scenery is spectacular. It is also home to a famous hotel called the Tea Factory which sits at the top of a hill with stunning views across eastern Sri Lanka.

There is a much more colonial atmosphere in Nuwara Eliya than in most other parts of Sri Lanka. English country clubs, rose gardens and even the place names will make you feel quite at home. But it is cooler here than the rest of Sri Lanka because of the elevation - at over 6,000 ft above sea level, you'll need warm clothes especially during the winter.

Travelling Time: 2 hours

Alternative
A different option is to travel further on to Ella, which is still set in wonderful scenery. There is a fabulous hotel here, 98 Acres (see below), and if you stay here then you'll definitely want to have longer than one night. Walks are plentiful, including the trail that leads to Little Adam’s Peak. You could also take the one hour train ride to Haputale, get off and do the Lipton's Seat walk.

 

What to do?

  • Watch the tea making process - you can do this at the hotel itself
  • Waterfalls - the best is St. Clair's
  • The Hakgala Botanical Gardens
  • Bike rides - hire mountain bikes from the hotel and ride on beautiful traffic free routes

 

Your Hotel   The Tea Factory

The famous Tea Factory is a unique hotel which has been restored from an old tea plantation factory with stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Inside the lobby you'll see the original working machinery of the old Tea Factory. Special features include a spa specialising in tea treatments and a miniature tea factory. You can even have a go a plucking tea yourself dressed in a traditional costume.

Meal Plan: Half Board

Premium Hotel
The best hotel in Ella is 98 Acres, with just 28 rooms, each in thatched two storey buildings with fantastic views. Go bird watching, or enjoy local walks or bike rides, and of course the hotel's tea making tour. Similar to the comments about Jetwing Vil Uyana above, it would be lovely to extend your stay here if budget allows.

 



 

Optional - Udawalawe (or Yala) - 2 nights

The next bit of your trip is all about wildlife, and we offer these two very different wildlife reserves.

Yala is the best known and most visited, and famous for the chance of seeing a leopard, in fact it's one of the best places in the world to try and spot them. But the park can get very crowded with jeeps. In addition, you might see spotted elephants, deer, monkeys, buffalo, jackal, and sloth bears.

Udawalawe is all about elephants, and is probably the best place in Sri Lanka to see them. It's much less crowded than Yala and Minneriya, and you'll also see birds and crocodiles, but less of the other wildlife you can see at Yala.

The Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe is an area set aside to help prepare orphaned elephants for release back into the wild, and you can watch but not interact with them as they need to remain independent.

So which to do? If elephants are the main attraction then definitely Udawalawe, which is also far less busy, but if you really want to see a leopard and a greater variety of wildlife then Yala.

There is limited accommodation at Udawalawe, and most is mid range. I'd suggest a 2 night stay, with a safari on the afternoon you arrive and a second the following afternoon.

Yala has a greater choice of accommodation, and more luxurious options such as Chena Huts - initially it looks expensive but your safaris and meals are all included, plus they have their own driver guides who may sometimes take you to the less crowded areas. Please note that Yala is closed around September and October each year.

 

Your Hotel   Kalu's Hideaway, Udawalawe

A small and friendly hotel about 10 minutes drive from the park entrance. There is a swimming pool to cool off in and gardens to wander around.

Meal Plan: Half Board

Premium Hotel
There are just 19 cabins at Chena Huts, all luxuriously nestled in the sand dunes for privacy, and with a deep soaking tub where you can relax, listening to the sounds of nature. Meals are served in the open air restaurant, and there is a small spa if you want to enjoy a massage after your safari.

 



 

Beach (6 nights) - flexible duration

There's a good choice of hotels for the relaxing part of your stay from standard 3* up to 5* deluxe, and I'd be happy to discuss alternatives in detail if this doesn't suit. However the one we feature here is the best of all worlds - quite luxurious, in a decent location close to shops and restaurants if you want them, and excellent value for money. And of course you can change the number of nights to as many or as few as you wish.

Your Hotel   Taj Bentota

Meal Plan: Bed & Breakfast (Half Board and All Inclusive also available at a supplement)

Premium Hotel
One of the best hotels I stayed at in Sri Lanka is The Fortress. The 53 rooms are stylish and modern, and its location just outside Galle means you can easily enjoy a sightseeing day out, or go for dinner in one of its many restaurants. Back at the hotel, head up to T-Lounge to watch a tea making ceremony and choose from the selection of premium teas on offer.

 

East or West Coast?
There's now a good selection of hotels on Sri Lanka's east coast, but should you consider these given that you may need an internal flight back to Colombo due to the distance involved?
For a start, beaches are excellent and the seas are calmer, but the real answer very much depends on the season - between May and September you'll get better weather on the east coast, so in these months the extra hassle of getting back to Colombo might be worth it. For an example of a beautifully designed hotel, look at Jungle Beach by Uga Escapes, an eco friendly hideaway between the jungle and the sea.

 


How you can change this trip to suit

  • See the Dutch Fort at Galle and watch fishermen working on stilts at Koggala. If you would like to visit Galle, then this is usually best done either en-route to your beach hotel, or as a day trip from your beach hotel. One of the best ways to see Galle is to head to old Galle where the fort is located, and just wander around the old streets taking in the interesting architecture and the great views. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Change to an escorted group tour - we book all the main escorted tour operators, and in many cases can tailor the trip so that you have extra time at the end of your trip to do something on your own.
  • Only a couple of hours from Nuwara Eliya is Horton Plains National Park, for spectacular walks and bird watching. The highlight is 'Worlds End' where the plateau drops over 2000 ft to the plain below.
  • Unique hotels - why not make your Sri Lanka tailor made holiday extra special by staying in one of Sri Lanka's most unique hotels? If you want something truly special, then I can recommend a couple of outstanding hotels. There is Jetwing Vil Uyana (www.jetwinghotels.com) and in Nuwara Eliya, Tea Trails is a unique and very personalised cluster of bungalows (www.teatrails.com). Please ask me if you would like to substitute any of the hotels in the itinerary for these.
  • The North East of Sri Lanka has now opened up to tourists, with hotels centred around the resort of Trincomalee. It is further from the airport than the resorts on the South West coast, meaning that you really need to fly back to Colombo, but the main draw are the beaches and coral reefs. Quite simply, you get the white sandy beaches and good quality snorkelling and diving that you simply don't get on the South West coast. Whale watching is also popular, as is a boat ride to Pigeon Island, the best place for snorkelling in Sri Lanka.
  • The best place for whale and dolphin watching in Sri Lanka is from Mirissa on the South coast near Galle. It is possible to view them between December and April. If you would like to go whale or dolphin watching, then I would recommend staying near Galle, somewhere like the Fortress Hotel.

  • And further round the coast (eastwards) is Rekawa where hawksbill and leatherback turtles lay their eggs on the beach between April and September. You can go and watch, but again I would recommend staying near Galle, for example the Fortress Hotel.

Optional Maldives Extension

After your stay in Sri Lanka, it's just a short flight to the paradise islands of the Maldives. You will find tiny islands of pure white sandy beaches, amazing snorkelling and clear turquoise water.

You can visit local deserted islands, or just spend your days sunbathing - it is a constant 30C all year round. Most islands have a spa and diving school.

 

There is though a huge choice of islands, and it can be difficult to know where to start. I have featured the all inclusive Kuramathi island because it is my best selling island, but others I can recommend are Meeru (slightly cheaper but fewer dining options), Baros (small, luxurious and very peaceful), Athuruga (exceptional snorkelling), Bandos (very good for families), Biyadhoo (cheap and cheerful), and more. Please feel free to contact me about the different Maldives islands.

Travelling Time: 20 minutes sea plane or 90 minutes boat transfer (if staying at Kuramathi Island)

Your Hotel   Kuramathi Island, Maldives

My recommended island in the Maldives is Kuramathi due to the choice of accommodation, value for money and excellent facilities. On one side of the island is a long stretch of white sandy beach, while on the other is a series of little coves with excellent snorkelling off the beach. There are trips to a deserted island, as well as diving and snorkelling excursions.

In the evening there is a choice of bars; some are very quiet and chilled while others are livelier, and a choice of restaurants. The best meal plan is A-La-Carte All Inclusive - this allows you to dine in any restaurant on the island for both lunch and dinner, as well as including a fine selection of wines, a sunset cruise and a local island visit.

The choice of room types can be daunting, but I have found that by far the most popular are 1) Jacuzzi Water Villas (top price but amazing!), 2) Beach Villas (cheaper but still very nice villas by the beach), and 3) Deluxe Beach Villas (a bit more expensive but in a lovely quiet part of the island).

Meal Plan: All Inclusive or A-La-Carte All Inclusive if staying at Kuramathi Island

Guide Prices

Please note that these should be seen as a guideline only - please call us for up to date availability and an exact costing. Prices are 'per person' based on 2 adults sharing one room.

Prices start from around £2500 per person in the low season of May and June, up to around £3500 in the high season of school holidays and the early part of the year (January to April), and will be higher (around £4000 per person with upgraded hotels.

The Maldives is a more expensive destination, so if you took this extension instead of the Sri Lanka beach extension, prices would vary somewhere between around £3500 and £4500 per person.

Please note that all these figures are very rough averages - please contact us and we'll work out an exact quotation for the time of year you'd like to travel.

To keep costs down to a minimum, May and June are a good time to go!

What's Included?

  • All flights
  • All transfers
  • Private car and driver / guide for the touring part of your holiday in Sri Lanka
  • Meals as specified


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is the holiday ATOL protected?
A. Yes. You are 100% financially protected, and will receive your yellow ATOL certificate by email shortly after the booking has been confirmed.

Q. Am I buying a package?
A. Yes - this means that you have 100% financial protection.

Q. What type of transport will it be in Sri Lanka on a tailor made holiday?
A. For a couple or small family, you will travel around in a standard car. However if there are more of you, lets say 5, then a bigger vehicle is used. Cars are always big enough to accommodate all your luggage.

Q. Are entrance fees included on tailor made holidays in Sri Lanka?
A. No - entrance fees to the sites are not included, although the transport to get there is. This is because you may not decide where to go until the day itself.

Q. Are entrance fees included on escorted tours in Sri Lanka?
A. Yes - this is because escorted tours follow a fixed itinerary.

Q. How long is the flight?
A. The direct Heathrow to Colombo service takes 10.5 hours.

Q. What airports can I travel from in the UK?
A. Sri Lankan Airlines fly direct to Colombo from Heathrow, and Emirates fly from several UK airports via Dubai.

Q. What other countries can I combine it with?
A. The most popular is the Maldives extension, but if you travel with Emirates then you can also include a stop in Dubai to make a triple centre holiday - Dubai, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Q. When do I have to pay the balance?
A. 10 weeks before departure.

Q. What is the currency used?
A. In Sri Lanka it is the Sri Lankan Rupee. Credit cards are widely accepted, especially to pay any hotel extras.

Q. Do I need a visa for Sri lanka?
A. You do now for Sri Lanka. It is US30 - you just enter your passport details in to www.eta.gov.lk

Q. Is alcohol freely available?
A. Yes except on one day every month in Sri Lanka called a Poya day. You can only get alcohol on that day via room service or the mini bar.

Q. I am confused about travelling distances in Sri Lanka. Some websites say that it takes 4.5 hours to get back from the airport from Galle, while you say just over 2 hours.
A. It used to be 4.5 hours but a new road has now been opened (at last!) which means MUCH quicker journeys down to the beach resorts of the South West.


Escorted Tours

Escorted Tours

Most escorted Sri Lanka tours include a good mix of culture, scenery and wildlife, and follow a typical route of Colombo - Habarana - Kandy - Nuwara Eliya - Yala - Galle - Colombo, taking in most of the main sites along the way. There are some early starts (especially on safari) and a fair amount of walking involved, but you do get a great variety of experiences.

Tea Plantations

Typical is Riviera's 'Sri Lanka' tour which also includes a stop at the Elephant Transit Home at Udawalawe National Park, where you'll be able to watch young elephant orphans being given one of their daily feeds. Titan's 'The Best of Sri Lanka' also visits the Elephant Transit Home and include VIP home pickup. The lovely train journey between Kandy and Nuwara Eliya is featured in Newmarket's 'Sri Lanka' tour.

For a more adventure style trip, Explore have a small group tour (normally 12-18 people) 'Buddha's island' staying in 3 star hotels, while their 'Secrets of Sri Lanka' tour has slightly smaller groups (10-16 normally) but uses higher standard hotels and even premium camping at Mahoora Tented Camp for game drives in search of leopards. With all their Sri Lanka tours, you can add an unforgettable 7 night Maldives cruise on a traditional dhoni boat visiting uninhabited islands and pristine beaches so you can enjoy warm, clear water and spot manta rays, turtles and clown fish on spectacular reefs.


You can book all these tour operators through us... and more


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Some of the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This website will provide you with information on the protection that applies in the case of each holiday and travel service offered before you make your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information, or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.caa.co.uk

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