We think of our itineraries as melodies: they have a beginning and an end, a certain arc, dramatic highlights and a few surprises. We like to improvise, to adapt to the mood of our guests or to circumstances that arise — an invitation to a traditional wedding, say, or a local ethnic festival…
Crafting beautiful, harmonious trips with delightful twists is our trade mark and passion.
We have carefully crafted and polished a spectacular trip in what has become one of our favourite places on earth. The result is a fresh and vibrant itinerary sprinkled with astonishing highlights and little surprises with just the right balance of physical activity, culture and natural history. You will discover exquisite eateries and rest comfortably in some of the best boutique and heritage accommodations the island has to offer.
This year we have added an additional day just so that we can slow down a bit more and take in everything this wonderful tropical idyll has to offer. And we’ve also added a couple more bicycles excursions. We think you’d love this trip and we hope you’ll join us!
Day 1: Arrival in Colombo
Fly into Colombo Airport, and transfer to our hotel, a restored manor house set in tranquil gardens. Relax and enjoy our welcome dinner.
Day 2: Negombo to Anuradhapura
Head to ‘Kings’ Land’ now known as the Cultural Triangle, the crucible of Sinhalese civilization. En route we stop at a Buddhist temple to receive a blessing for our onward journey. Arrive at an astonishing (and hidden) accommodation where we have time to explore the surroundings, do some bird-watching or, with luck, spot elephants directly from our rooms!
Day 3: Anuradhapura - Cycling
Today we hop on bikes to explore the amazing ruins of Anuradhapura. Founded in the 4th Century BC, this was the epicenter of the country’s civilization for a thousand years, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 4: Anuradhapura to Sigiriya - Cycling
Two UNESO World Heritage Sites in one day! Wander between the beautifully preserved Buddhist cave temples in Dambulla, dating from the 1st century BC. Later in the day, burn a few calories cycling to the base of the 660 ft. high Lion Rock and then ascending its many steps to the astounding fortress on top. Dating from 400 AD, this is a perfect sundown spot, with 360 views.
Day 5: Polonaruwa - Cycling
Cycle through the ancient city of Polonaruwa with it’s enormous stone Buddha carvings. In the afternoon, drive though a national park keeping an eye out for elephants and, with great luck, sloth bears. As evening falls we walk through the forest to look for the very rare and elusive slow lori.
Day 6: Kandy
Drive south to Kandy, the last capital of the ancient kings of Sri Lanka, and one of our favorite towns. Visit the famous Temple of the Tooth, then attend a stunning dance performance.
Day 7: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
Pre breakfast, walk out of our hotel and around the lake to see giant monitor lizards lazing under the huge rain trees, and pilgrims buying offerings from aromatic flower stands.Visit the local market then take a train to the highlands of Nuwara Eliya, chugging past majestic peaks and rushing waterfalls.
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya – Ella
Have a dawn start for a rugged trek across the sweeping grasslands of Horton Plains National Park to World’s End, or sleep in and explore quirky Nuwara Eliya, known as ‘Little England’. Jump back on the train and get transported to the land of rolling tea plantations, and our lodge set amongst them.
Day 9: Ella – Udawalawe
Wander through the tea plantations, hike up to ‘Little Adam’s Peak’, or have a cup of tea in tiny Ella town. Then head down from the hills and south to Udawalawe. Take a game drive to see elephants, fabulous birds, and – fingers crossed – maybe a leopard.
Day 10: Udawalawe To Galle Fort
Watch the orphaned ellies coming from the forest to get their milk at the Elephant Transit Home, and have a special access visit with the veterinarian. Then it’s time for the coast! Stop for lunch on a beautiful beach, and carry on to historic Galle Fort. Settle into our iconic hotel, then take a walking tour and watch sundown from our favourite bar next to the ramparts.
Day 11: Galle Fort - Cycling
Check out more of the fort area, and the fish market right outside its ancient walls, on a relaxed walking tour. Cycle on back roads to a lowland tea plantation to sample exquisite ‘virgin tea’, see the antique (and still working) machinery used to process the tea and meet the eccentric and entertaining owner.
Day 12: Galle Fort
A free day to decide your own itinerary. Stay in the fort area to do some shopping, relax in a spa, head to the beach, go whale watching or take a cookery lesson – let us know your desires and we’ll help you arrange them! In the evening regroup to celebrate our Sri Lanka adventure with a special farewell dinner.
Day 13: Galle Fort – Colombo Airport
After sad goodbyes, transfer to Colombo Airport - approximately a two hour ride - for your homeward or onward journeys.
Please note: this itinerary serves as an example of trip highlights and is subject to change.