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Discover ancient and modern Sri Lanka on this 10 day trip across the island’s southern and central provinces. Take in the majestic panoramic views from the top of Lion Rock before embarking on a tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy. Venture into the heart of tea-country, admire Dutch colonial architecture at Galle Fort and embark on safari at Yala National Park, before discovering vibrant capital Colombo.
Our Highlight itineraries cover the key attractions at a relatively quick pace. Enjoy them as they are or extend them to create your perfect holiday. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
On arrival at Colombo International Airport, you will be met by a representative of GetAboutAsia and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.
Spend the day at leisure.
This morning you will be collected from your hotel by your driver to commence your exploration of Sri Lanka. Drive to Sigiriya.
This afternoon visit Minneriya National Park and experience a jeep safari. If you're up for a serious rumble in the jungle, then Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample birdlife, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. Park your jeep on the bank of the reservoir and switch off its engine. Watch carefully as herds of elephants roll on to the grass-covered banks to feed on tender shoots. In fact, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world - over 300 at a time - which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
Rising 200 metres above the scrub jungle, this world heritage listed architectural marvel is nicknamed the 'Lion Rock' and was once the innermost stronghold of a 70 hectare fortified town. Scale the 1,200 stone steps to the top of the mountain, or simply take your time exploring the beautiful water gardens that surround the base. Tucked within a sheltered pocket about half way up the rock you'll find the renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, painted onto the sheer rock face in natural earth pigments. Venture beyond this ancient gallery to uncover the Mirror Wall, where over a 1,000 years ago, people scrawled their thoughts on the Maidens into the rock.
Located just a short tuktuk or bike ride from Sigiriya, perched beneath another rocky outcrop, you'll find Pidurangala Royal Cave Temple. The natural rock caves here were transformed into a monastery in the 5th century AD after the arrival of King Kashyapa in Sigiriya. A set of steep steps lead up the hillside to the temple, where the main attraction is a huge, semi-restored Buddha reclining in a pocket of rock. From here it's just a short five minute climb to the summit of the rock, where you'll be rewarded with incredible views of Sigiriya's lesser seen but perhaps even more fascinating northern face.
On the journey to Kandy, visit a spice garden at Matale and discover how the island’s exotic spices are grown and harvested. Enjoy a live cooking demonstration using these fragrant spices.
After checking into your hotel at Kandy, embark on a tour of the city.
Perched between craggy hills in the heart of Sri Lanka’s central province, Kandy is the island’s second largest city and its renowned cultural capital. After a scenic drive around Kandy Lake, tour Kandy with your guide, starting with some laid back browsing at the Bazaar and gem museum before venturing to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to see the revered Buddha tooth in its ornate two storey shrine.
In the evening, unwind and enjoy a live Kandyan dance performance. Blending elaborate costumes with frenetic dance moves and pulsating, infectious tribal drum rhythms, this unforgettable explosion of colour and sound is Sri Lanka’s most iconic performing art. Legend has it that the dance was originally developed as part of an exorcism ritual performed by Indian shaman visiting the island. It quickly became popular under the rule of the kings of Kandy and was eventually incorporated into religious ceremonies and festivals across Sri Lanka, never losing its strong ties with the city.
After a relaxed morning spent ambling the paths of Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, set off for Nuwara Eliya with your guide, stopping en-route to visit a tea factory and plantation.
With its invigorating mountain air and stunningly green mountain scenery, Nuwara Eliya is Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. The town, nicknamed ‘Little England’ thanks to its quaint architecture, is also responsible for producing some of the country’s finest tea.
Wander the town’s narrow cobbled streets, soaking up the invigorating mountain air and quaint architectural blend of English country town and seaside kitsch. Victoria Park, with its neat rolling lawns and colourful flower beds, is modelled on an English municipal park and offers a relaxing place to rest awhile, picnic and watch rare native and migratory birds.
Those who’d like to venture slightly further afield can take a short bus ride southeast to the Hakgana Botanic Gardens. Surrounded by tea plantations, these gardens were once a plantation of cinchona; a medicinal shrub now used to produce the anti-malarial drug Quinine. Today, these 27 hectare picturesque terraces are abundant with roses, ferns and a variety of medicinal plants.
Embark on a safari adventure across Yala National Park.
See elephant herds, spotted deer and boars as you explore the rugged scrublands with your experienced guide. Venturing deeper into the park, keep your eyes open for monkeys in their hundreds in the forests, leopards slinking through the undergrowth and crocodiles sunning themselves by brackish lagoons. The bird-watching highlight to look out for is the extremely rare black necked stork, of which there are thought to be only ten left in Sri Lanka. Migratory birds such as pintails, curlews and white-winged black terns are easier to spot.
Set off along Sri Lanka’s southern coast to Galle to explore the city’s World Heritage listed Fort.
Nestled on the shores of the Indian Ocean, this 36 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia and one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world. The refreshingly quiet and traffic-free streets of the Dutch quarter are lined with elegant colonial-era villas and towering churches. Enjoy a leisurely wander, stopping to admire the stunning ocean views from the fort walls.
Venture into the heart of the town to experience Galle’s unique fusion of modern and ancient, where jewellery and book shops abound and alfresco cafes are half hidden behind magnificent towering columns.
Ask your guide for personal bar and restaurant recommendations.
Journey to Colombo, Sri Lanka’s hectic and cosmopolitan capital.
A dynamic and multicultural capital, Colombo is changing rapidly, yet there’s still plenty of evidence of old world charm to be found in its colourful and hectic streets. The chaotic energy of the Pettah Bazaar shopping district is unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka, while Slave Island, with its ornate temples and colonial-era railway station is a fascinating place to spend an afternoon wandering. The city’s dining scene is as diverse as its population and includes a full range of European and Asian dishes. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.
Enjoy free time exploring the city before leaving for the airport.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $1,614|
|Superior:||from AU $1,998|
|Deluxe:||from AU $2,502|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
Availability of accommodation and season.
|Start:||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
|End:||Colombo, Sri Lanka|
"Patrick and I had a wonderful time together in Sri Lanka, which was totally enhanced by your expertise in organising the tour. I would certainly recommend yourself and Get About Asia as very professional travel agents. Sri Lanka was so diverse..... Beaches, safari, mountains, temples.... The security (@ hotels, the airport, the temples and generally in the streets) was rather amazing, and reassuring. The guide we had, Sujith, was brilliant. He was courteous, knowledgeable, punctual, a safe driver and guide. He is to be highly commended. All in all it was a wonderful experience and I wish to thank you for everything Andrew. " — Susan, Sydney, August 2019
"Thanks for organising our trip, it was the first time back to Sri Lanka after 37 years and we enjoyed the 5 star hotels, driver/guide and all the wonderful sites. Loved the elephants and took so many photos and videos!" — Edward & Oscar, Melbourne, June 2019
"Thank you again for your efficient organisation. Sam our driver was a delightful person, who looked after our well being every second. The accommodation was absolutely fantastic at every place. We were delighted with the standard. We particularly appreciated the messages direct from the travel company representatives living in Sri Lanka to assist us to confidently make the decision to go ahead with our trip.We felt safe, cared for and very spoilt. We’re still dreaming about the hoppers as well as the curd smothered in treacle. Look forward to travelling with you again " — Janet & Don, Melbourne, June 2019
"The Sri Lankan people were, without exception, extremely friendly and welcoming. The lack of tourists was sad, and the locals kept thanking us for coming – which only made us feel sadder for them, but glad we went. Everywhere we went, we felt like we were being treated specially, which was very flattering and nice. A great trip – well planned, both full and yet relaxing - and went without a hitch!" — Mr Oppel, Cheltenham, June 2019
"It was very sad to hear the news from Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday as we had only just been there. The people we met over there were amazing, so friendly and proud of their country, I really hope it doesn’t have a major impact on the tourism sector. The highlights for us would be the Kandalama Hertitance hotel, afternoon spent in Minneriya national park looking at the elephants, the botanic gardens in Kandy, the trip to the spice gardens, learning about tea production and the people we meet on the way around. Overall we found this style of holiday where we were able to change and add to the suggested itinerary before leaving home plus having a driver suited us. A good compromise between being in a large organised group or trying to make our way independently around an Asian country. " — Mr and Mrs Moule, Melbourne, March 2019
"We couldn't have asked for a smoother trip. Everything went like clock-work. Our guide Jay was wonderful throughout the trip. He certainly had our best interests at heart. We were keen to go to some roadside cafes but he didn't really want to stop there for fear of us getting sick. We really liked Weligama Beach Resort and the food was great. The National Park safaris were the highlight of our trip. It was great to have the jeeps just to us and our guide. Our boat trip for whale watching was great with nice crew. Saw a blue whale a few times. All in all fantastic holiday. " — Mr and Mrs Savage, Mount Coolum, QLD, November 2018
"Sri Lanka was great. We enjoyed every minute. We loved that it was so clean, with absolutely no litter that we could see on roadsides or in towns, recycling is very strong and there is no smoking in any public places. Thank you for organising such a memorable holiday for us. It was my first experience of a private tour and I was pleasantly surprised with not having to be tolerant of the foibles of a larger group." — Sue & Gillian, Brisbane, July 2018