For the perfect balance of activity and relaxation, our Sri Lanka & Maldives Highlights Tour is a great place to start planning your trip. It’s perfect for anyone wanting to combine the main cultural and scenic highlights of Sri Lanka with an indulgent stay on the most beautiful beaches in the world.
This itinerary is well paced and offers plenty of flexibility so we can tailor it to you if you have more or less time, or prefer to spend more time in one place. Just talk to us. You will stay in a mixture of four and five star boutique hotels and be accompanied by a private driver throughout your tour of Sri Lanka, before taking a short flight to the luxurious Maldives. Please note that cheaper hotel options and likewise upgrades are available. And if 3 days at the beach isn’t enough? We can change it!
Land at Colombo International Airport and meet your private English speaking driver. Your driver will drive 20 minutes to The Wallawwa where you can rest and acclimatise. The Wallawwa is a smart boutique hotel that has successfully combined traditional Sri Lankan architecture with stylish contemporary interiors.
Your driver will return first thing in the morning and transfer you to the Cultural Triangle. On route you can stop at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage and enjoy lunch while watching the elephant’s bath time (optional at client’s discretion). Your hotel for the night will be Vil Uyana, a collection of stilted villas surrounded by paddy fields, water and forest.
Wake early to climb the Sigriya Rock Fortress. The ruins of the capital built by the parricidal King Kassapa I (477–95) lie on top of a granite peak standing some 180m high, which dominates the jungle from all sides. In the afternoon enjoy some relaxation and pampering at your hotel.
Today your driver will take you to visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Here is a very good museum, but we also recommend hiring a specialist site guide to make the most of your visit. Bicycle hire can also be arranged should you wish to explore the complex on two wheels.
Start the day with a village tour. Explore the paddy fields on a bullock cart and canoe to a local community where you can enjoy a lunch prepared using traditional cooking techniques. After lunch, make your way down to Kandy where you will spend two nights at Villa Rosa.
Once in Kandy visit the Botanical Gardens, Temple of the Tooth and Commonwealth War Cemetery. In the evening we recommend a drink at the outrageous Helga’s Folly. Former guests of this eccentric abode include Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier and more recently the Stereophonics who wrote ‘Madam Helga’ following their stay.
From Kandy you can catch the scenic railway up into the hill country and tea plantations. Your driver will follow the train with your luggage and transfer you to The Ceylon Tea Bungalows after you disembark at Nanu Oya station. The scenery here is breathtaking with beautiful walks and waterfalls.
While in the tea country you can visit a local tea factory, enjoy a guided walk through the tea fields and visit the tea picker’s long houses. You could also tackle a more challenging bicycle ride or hike, visit the charming hill town of Ella or just relax in the hotel grounds with a good book.
From the hill country you can make your way to Yala National Park, where you can hope to see elephants, leopards, crocodiles, sloth bears, wild boar, pythons, birds of prey etc… You can spend the afternoon you arrive by the pool at Yala Jetwing and then do a half day safari the following morning.
After a morning in Yala National Park make your way to the south coast where you can spend your afternoon and last night in Sri Lanka exploring 16th Century UNESCO Galle Fort.
The time has come for your short flight to Malé, the capital of the Maldives. From there, it’s just a 25 minute exhilarating speedboat ride to your island home for the last 3 nights. Arrive in plenty of time for an afternoon in the sun and dinner by the ocean, and spend your days snorkelling, indulging in the over-water spa or simply relaxing by the infinity pool.
All prices correct at the time of writing and based on 2 people sharing. The price is valid until January 2020, but excludes the peak seasons (Chinese New Year, Easter, Christmas and New Year). Please call us or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss prices for your exact dates and occupancy requirements.
Please remember this is a sample itinerary and we are happy to modify it to suit your plans. We can add or remove days and look at different places to stay.
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