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Premium Sri Lanka

Sale!

Premium Sri Lanka

Was From $ 3,665 AUD
Now From $ 3,115 AUD
Sale!

Description

Encounter a country that radiates warmth – from its glorious sunshine to its spice-laden cuisine and incredibly kind people. This 9-day Premium adventure through Sri Lanka will introduce you to the country’s wealth of cultural riches. Explore the ancient ruins of past civilisations, spot rare and beautiful creatures in their natural habitats, relax among swathes of green tea fields at a hilltop retreat and receive a warm welcome from the locals. A shining gem in the Indian ocean, the teardrop isle will bring you nothing but smiles.

Trip Name
Premium Sri Lanka
Last Updated
2024-02-14
Days
9
Capacity
12
Highlights
  • Learn about the country’s past during your Feature Stay at the gorgeous Grand Hotel in Nuwara Eliya – established in 1891, this colonial-era hotel has a modern outlook on sustainable practices.
  • Discover the beauty and mastery of Sri Lanka’s craft traditions and try them for yourself – from brass making and pottery to woodwork and ancient palm leaf writing.
  • Get an exclusive and immersive look at rural life in Ambagasthenna, where you’ll walk through tea plantations and paddy fields and learn about sustainable farming with a local guide.
  • Spot elephants, monkeys and tropical birds on a safari through the wild grasslands of Minneriya National Park.
  • Uncover ancient treasures in Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle as you explore the temples, ruins and stupas of Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa and Kandy with the expert guidance of your local leader.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, Zero Plastic. Donations help them educate Sri Lankan communities about the impact of plastic on the environment and reduce plastic pollution in the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya.

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Negombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo, you will be met by an Intrepid representative and transferred to your hotel in nearby Negombo. Here you will meet your leader and fellow travellers at a 6 pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, perhaps take some time to relax on the town’s golden-sand beach under a canopy of blue sky. After your welcome meeting, you’ll get to know your group and leader a little better over a round of complementary cocktails and a welcome dinner of traditional Sri Lankan cuisine – prepare for rich scents, bold spicing and tongue-tingling flavours.
Day 2 - Negombo to Kurunegala to Habarana
This morning travel inland, driving northeast towards Habarana. On the way, stop at the Ridi Vihara shrine, a Buddhist cave temple dating back to the second century BC. There are thought to have been almost 500 monks living in these hillside caves at its peak. Watch locals demonstrate ancient traditions and craft techniques, such as palm leaf writing and wood and stone carving, and explore the caves filled with Buddha statues and floral offerings. Share lunch at a local restaurant before travelling to Habarana, your home for the next three nights. Once settled at your hotel, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy at your leisure.
Day 3 - Habarana
Early this morning, before the heat is too intense, head to Sigiriya (Lion Rock). One of Sri Lanka's premier sights, this dramatic rocky outcrop rising from the surrounding plains is topped by a ruined palace. Your leader will share stories of the ancient civilisation that once lived here as you climb; it's a steep hike but the far-reaching views from the top are worth it. Return to your hotel for a well-deserved breakfast and relaxing morning. After lunch at a local house, make your way to the village of Muriya Kadawala, where you’ll learn about traditional Sri Lankan pottery techniques and try your hand at the craft yourself. You’ll also sample a local herbal drink accompanied by a piece of halapa, a sweet treat wrapped in kenda leaves. Next, set off to reach the ruins of Ritigala Monastery in the foothills of Ritigala Mountain. Explore the shaded complex – which includes stone baths once filled with medicinal herbs and oils from the surrounding forest – before receiving a blessing from local Buddhist monks.
Day 4 - Habarana
After breakfast, make your way to Polonnaruwa to continue your explorations of the cultural triangle. Hop on a bicycle to discover well-preserved temples, tombs and stupas in Polonnaruwa’s ancient Quadrangle complex – it’s not hard to imagine what this place looked like in all its former glory. Visit the remains of a seven-story royal palace, the rock temple of Gal Vihara and the statue of 12th century king Parakrama I - at 100 metres tall this is a truly impressive sight. For lunch you’ll visit a local grandmother’s house, who will show you how to make dhal curry and pol sambol from scratch – you'll even shred coconut yourself using a traditional scraper tool. This afternoon, head to Minneriya National Park to see Sri Lankan elephants in the wild. You're likely to spot plenty of these gentle giants around the watering hole, plus macaques, spot-billed pelicans and more.
Day 5 - Kandy
Today you’ll travel to Kandy. Along the way, stop off in the city of Matale where you will visit a local spice garden and learn about the spices that have played such an important role in Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. Upon arrival in Kandy, take a guided tour of the city, stopping to admire highlights such as the Buddhist Sri Dalada Maligawa, otherwise known as the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (the important shrine houses a relic of Buddha’s tooth, taken from his funeral pyre). Despite being Sri Lanka’s second largest city, Kandy is remarkably laid back. Spend your free evening searching for a taste bud-tingling curry, wandering around the glittering lake or enjoying an optional cultural dance performance.
Day 6 - Kandy
After leisurely morning, drive to Pilimatalawa, where you will meet a local artisan and learn about how he makes spectacles from crystals which have been found naturally in the ground. The artisan learnt the skill from his great grandfather who served the king in past. Next head to Ambagasthenna village, where hotel and tea plantation owner Mr Thilina will guide you around his neighbourhood. For lunch, feast on a delicious home-cooked meal made by Mr Thilina’s mother. You’ll visit the tea plantation, learn about the cultivation process, and try a cup or two served the Sri Lankan way. He’ll share inside knowledge about local crops, sustainable farming, and ancient landscaping traditions. After such a culture-packed day, there’s only one way to end it: by cracking open a beer and watching the sunset from one of the best viewpoints in Sri Lanka.
Day 7 - Nuwara Eliya
Depart Kandy and board a morning train bound for Nuwara Eliya. Nestled deep in tea plantation country, Nuwara Eliya sits at an elevation of 1800 metres, giving it some of the coolest temperatures in Sri Lanka. Remnants of the region’s colonial past can be seen in the sculpted gardens and manor homes dotting the landscape today. Once you have arrived take an orientation walk of Nuwara Eliya, wandering the peaceful shores of Gregory Lake. Check in to the Grand Hotel, a gorgeous National Heritage Property and your Feature Stay for the night. Rooms feature classic décor and modern amenities, but the hotel’s real charm is its sustainable approach – the owners have eliminated single-use plastic and are striving for a zero-waste future. Here you will enjoy high tea featuring pots of Ceylon black, green or spiced tea, plus finger sandwiches and sweet treats.
Day 8 - Colombo
Say goodbye to the green hills of Nuwara Eliya and make the journey by private vehicle to Sri Lanka’s coastal capital, Colombo via Gampola. On the way, visit a tea factory and plantations near the town of Labukelle and stop for lunch at a local restaurant. After arriving in Colombo, take an orientation walk with your leader, who’ll show you Sri Lanka’s colonnaded old parliament building, the National Museum and the best spots for fairtrade souvenir shopping. Tonight, share a final farewell dinner with your group at Ceylon Curry Club, a modern restaurant focused on creating dishes that celebrate Sri Lankan spices, such as peanut-crusted tuna with gotu-kola (pennywort) sambol and fragrant vegetable curry.
Day 9 - Colombo
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you’d like to stay on in Colombo, let us know in advance and we can help to arrange additional accommodation (subject to availability).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
03-03-202411-03-2024AUD $ 4,025-
24-03-202401-04-2024AUD $ 3,955-
31-03-202408-04-2024AUD $ 3,115-
07-04-202415-04-2024AUD $ 3,990-
18-04-202426-04-2024AUD $ 3,815-
28-04-202406-05-2024AUD $ 3,600-
02-07-202410-07-2024AUD $ 3,565-
16-07-202424-07-2024AUD $ 3,530-
11-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 3,565-
25-08-202402-09-2024AUD $ 3,530-
19-09-202427-09-2024AUD $ 3,530-
22-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 3,530-
29-09-202407-10-2024AUD $ 3,955-
06-10-202414-10-2024AUD $ 3,665-
20-10-202428-10-2024AUD $ 3,735-
03-11-202411-11-2024AUD $ 3,665-
17-11-202425-11-2024AUD $ 3,665-
24-11-202402-12-2024AUD $ 3,805-
15-12-202423-12-2024AUD $ 3,805-
22-12-202430-12-2024AUD $ 3,805-
29-12-202406-01-2025AUD $ 3,840-
05-01-202513-01-2025AUD $ 4,005-
12-01-202520-01-2025AUD $ 4,005-
26-01-202503-02-2025AUD $ 4,005-
09-02-202517-02-2025AUD $ 4,005-
16-02-202524-02-2025AUD $ 4,005-
23-02-202503-03-2025AUD $ 3,855-
09-03-202517-03-2025AUD $ 3,855-
16-03-202524-03-2025AUD $ 3,855-
30-03-202507-04-2025AUD $ 3,855-
06-04-202514-04-2025AUD $ 3,855-
13-04-202521-04-2025AUD $ 3,855-
20-04-202528-04-2025AUD $ 3,855-
27-04-202505-05-2025AUD $ 3,710-
20-07-202528-07-2025AUD $ 3,710-
03-08-202511-08-2025AUD $ 3,710-
24-08-202501-09-2025AUD $ 3,710-
14-09-202522-09-2025AUD $ 3,710-
12-10-202520-10-2025AUD $ 3,710-
02-11-202510-11-2025AUD $ 3,710-
16-11-202524-11-2025AUD $ 3,710-
30-11-202508-12-2025AUD $ 3,855-
07-12-202515-12-2025AUD $ 4,005-
14-12-202522-12-2025AUD $ 4,005-
21-12-202529-12-2025AUD $ 4,005-
28-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 4,005-

Accommodation

Hotels (7 nights),Feature Stay (1 nights)

Transport

Private vehicle,scenic train

Map