Day 1: Negombo
Our driver will pick you up at the airport and bring you to our hotel. It is only 15 minutes from the airport and on the beach. It’s an ideal place to land and settle. If arriving late at night it may be best to book and extra night.
Day 2: Negombo to Puttalam
We head up the coast to Puttalam, which is about a three-hour drive. We stay at a beautiful restored Villa on the coast.
Day 3: Puttalam to Dambulla
Head inland and pass through Anuradhapura – the top corner of the cultural triangle. It is home to the largest Buddhist stupa in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. We have two nights at the Dambulla Lake.
Day 4: Dambulla & Sigiriya
We start the day at the Dambulla Cave temples. These temples date back to the 1st century BCE and are World Heritage site. The afternoon we visit a world-renowned Ayurvedic clinic for treatments. We also visit a village home and meet some locals. We visit a spice garden on the way to Kandy.
Day 5: Dambulla to Kandy
It’s an early start to climb Lion Rock –Sri Lanka’s premium activity and a must-see. We then check out of the hotel and take the three-hour drive to Kandy. That night we attend the temple of the tooth ceremony before dinner at Kandy House.
Day 6: Kandy to the Tea Country
The Kandy Botanical Gardens are world-renowned and a very enjoyable excursion. In the afternoon it is all aboard one of the most scenic train journeys in the world to arrive at our destination – Nuwara Eliya – the capital of the tea country. We book in at St Andrews Hotel – another colonial era marvel.
Day 7: Tea Country
The tea country is in the Sri Lankan highlands and it is known as ‘Little England’. We learn about one of the country’s main exports – tea and visit a working tea plantation. Walk around Lake Gregory, 9 holes of golf or a game of croquet before high tea at the Grand Hotel.
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya to Udawalawa
It’s a short drive to Udawalawa and the National Park. This is one of Sri Lanka’s best wildlife sanctuaries and the list of animals we see is extensive. Herds of wild elephants, crocodiles, birdlife and lots more. If that is not enough, we will go to the baby elephant orphanage and help feed them.
Day 9: Udawalawa to Tangalle
Back down the hill country to the coast. Here we have some down time to lie around the pool or at the beach.
Day 10: Tangalle to Galle
The drive from Tangalle to Galle is particularly scenic. We stop off for a swim at Herikitiya – a particularly beautiful lagoon beach. Lunch will be at the remarkable Claughton House, one of architect Geoffrey Bawa’s most successful creations. Arrive at Galle Lighthouse in time for dinner.
Day 11: Galle
Galle is too good and we need the whole day to explore, do the rampant walk, shopping and take it all in. Galle is an ancient trading port with European influence dating back to the late 1500s.
Day 12: Galle to Colombo
Leaving Galle, we stop on the way at Lunagunga. This is famous Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa’s weekend retreat and the gardens and setting are particularly beautiful. Arrive at Galle Face –one of Asia’s best colonial era hotels.
Day 13: Colombo
So much to do in Colombo –too much to list here. You will be provided with a cheat sheet to go off and explore on your own. But don’t be late for our final dinner at the highly memorable “Ministry of Crab”.
Day 14: Checkout
Shuttle to the airport. If your flight is late at night, we can request a late checkout so you can have another relaxing day at the beach or around the pool.