Cultural Vignettes

Cultural Vignettes

Sri Lanka’s welcoming tropical warmth and natural beauty provide a superbly exotic and luxurious backdrop for its rich and unique traditions, history and culture.

On this holiday, you’ll sample the best of the island’s culture, from the bustling streets and markets of capital Colombo, the Cultural Triangle with some of Asia’s greatest archaeological treasures, the lush slopes of the Hill Country with its expansive vistas of rolling tea plantations and beautifully renovated British-era tea bungalows, down to the historic cities of Kandy and Galle.

Everywhere you go, you’ll be met with warm welcomes and smiles, as much a part of Sri Lankan experience as its ancient monuments, wildlife and fine teas.

13 DAYS
FROM £2335
Group Tour
Themes:
Activity Levels
Leisurely Active
WHAT'S INCLUDED
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • Entrance fees/tickets for the above
  • In-destination transfers & transport
  • Accommodation & Meals as specified
  • English speaking guides
  • 24/7 support while you travel

Explore this itinerary

Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel in Colombo.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Colombo

What better introduction to the island than taking in the colours and flavours of Colombo on a tuk tuk, market and culinary adventure?

Journey the narrow streets of Pettah by tuk tuk before wandering the Spice Street on foot. Here, master chefs and housewives alike shop through mounds of spices to create their signature curry blends.

Stop at a tea wholesaler and sip Ceylon bazaar style. Board a train at Fort Railway Station and enjoy coastal scenery on your short journey to Dehiwela where you will end your excursion with a traditional cooking lesson at Namma’s home.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Minneriya National Park

After the breakfast, leave for Habarana on a long drive (approx 4.5 hours).

Enjoy an afternoon safari at Minneriya National Park. Minneriya  is dominated by the Minneriya tank and surrounding flood plains, forest and wooded hills. A wetland of international importance, Minneriya is home to Asian Elephants and is exceptionally rich in bird and wildlife.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sigiriya & Polonnuruwa

This morning, begin with a visit and climb up the Sigiriya Rock Fortress which dominates the landscape and was both a military refuge as well as an aesthetic refuge for king who was a patron of the arts. Sigiriya became world famous for the frescos found on the western surface of the rock about 100 mts above the ground level. Ancient gardens from the 5th century survive at the foot of the rock.

Later, visit Polonnaruwa, the island’s second ancient capital city. The greatest king of Polonnaruwa was Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD). In his ‘golden reign’ the whole area flourished. Agriculture developed to its highest peak and Sri Lanka became the ‘Granary of the East’. With the new economic prosperity came several new building projects. The buildings were grand and impressive such as the Royal Palace and the Lankathilaka image house. The Gal Vihara with its great sculptures of the Buddha was created.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Dambulla

After enjoying your breakfast, leave for Kandy.

En-route visit Dambulla Cave Temples which is famous for  rock paintings and sculptures. Dambulla is considered as the oldest art gallery of the country. The paintings found on the rock ceiling shows the influence of Kandyan School of paintings became prominent in the 18th – 19th century in Sri Lanka.

Afterwards, arrive in Kandy and enjoy a cultural show.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Kandy

A morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth where the Sacred Tooth Relic is an object of veneration to Buddhists. The temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites.

Afterwards visit Peradeniya botanical garden. This is a much acclaimed botanical garden, which is also good for birds. It is bounded on three sides by the Mahaveli River, which snakes around the 60-hectare gardens. Before its use as a botanical gardens it had served as a royal pleasure garden. Peradeniya is the second largest botanical garden in Asia. Don’t miss the orchid house. In 1905, an avenue of palms were planted and now is one of the most photographed places in the
gardens.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

After enjoying your breakfast, leave for Nuwara Eliya.
En-route visit Ramboda waterfall.

After checking in to your hotel, you can explore Nuwara Eliya’s unique colonial charms on short walks from your hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Horton Plains & Tea Factory

This morning, visit Horton Plains National Park. Horton Plains National Park is the only National Park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to walk freely inside. It is situated 2200 m above sea in the central highlands of SriLanka, approximately 20 km south of Nuwara Eliya and covers 3162 hectares in extent. The climate here is a wet montane climate with a mean annual temperature of 15 centigrade. The vegetation in Horton Plains is defined as Montane Rainforests or Cloud Forests which shows gnarled and stunted growth not exceeding 15 meters in height. Horton Plains is famous for the World’s End, a stunning viewpoint, which is a sheer drop of 870 meters hidden in clouds, and Baker Falls.

An afternoon visit to a tea plantation and tea factory to experience the Ceylon tea-making process follows.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Train through Hill Country

After a relaxed breakfast, leave for Ella.

Experience one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Your guide will drop you at Nanu oya railway station and pick you from Ella railway station. Depending on the availability, we will provide you A/C first class/observation class train tickets.

Afterwards drive to your hotel in Ella.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Ella

Today, explore the beautiful surrounds of Ella. First a gentle climb to Little Adam’s Peak, which takes 1.5 hours. The eye catching views are not to be missed.
Afterwards, visit the famed Nine Arches bridge.

If feeling energetic, there are excellent short walks to explore and relax in lush green landscape. Your guide will be able to suggest some options based on your preferences.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Galle

After breakfast leave for Galle. This is a long drive of about 4.5 hours but there will be several stops en-route for takin in the scenery and stretching your legs.

Visit Galle’s World Heritage Dutch Fort in the afternoon. Walk around and visit the Bastions, and the spot where the first Breadfruit tree was planted by the Dutch, and the Old Gunpowder Magazine. Walk along the narrow streets, including the Lighthouse Street, Leyn-Baan (rope walk) Street , and Modarabaay (Mud bay) streets, see the Old Dutch Houses and the private museum of Dutch antiques. There are many streets and restored colonial mansions to explore and admire, boutique shops to browse and friendly local vendors to chat to.

Watch the sunset, or the locals enjoying the surf from the fort ramparts.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Galle

Today is reserved for relaxation and leisure.

You may enjoy the hotel facilities or visit nearby beaches. This beautiful location is the perfect spot to savour your last
glorious sunset of the holiday.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your last day of your holiday.

You’ll be driven to the airport (about 2.5 hours drive) in time to catch your return flight home.

Breakfast
Day 1: Arrival

On arrival at Bandaranaike International airport, you will be warmly greeted and transferred to your hotel in Colombo.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Dinner
Day 2: Colombo

What better introduction to the island than taking in the colours and flavours of Colombo on a tuk tuk, market and culinary adventure?

Journey the narrow streets of Pettah by tuk tuk before wandering the Spice Street on foot. Here, master chefs and housewives alike shop through mounds of spices to create their signature curry blends.

Stop at a tea wholesaler and sip Ceylon bazaar style. Board a train at Fort Railway Station and enjoy coastal scenery on your short journey to Dehiwela where you will end your excursion with a traditional cooking lesson at Namma’s home.

The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3: Minneriya National Park

After the breakfast, leave for Habarana on a long drive (approx 4.5 hours).

Enjoy an afternoon safari at Minneriya National Park. Minneriya  is dominated by the Minneriya tank and surrounding flood plains, forest and wooded hills. A wetland of international importance, Minneriya is home to Asian Elephants and is exceptionally rich in bird and wildlife.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4: Sigiriya & Polonnuruwa

This morning, begin with a visit and climb up the Sigiriya Rock Fortress which dominates the landscape and was both a military refuge as well as an aesthetic refuge for king who was a patron of the arts. Sigiriya became world famous for the frescos found on the western surface of the rock about 100 mts above the ground level. Ancient gardens from the 5th century survive at the foot of the rock.

Later, visit Polonnaruwa, the island’s second ancient capital city. The greatest king of Polonnaruwa was Parakramabahu I (1153 –1186 AD). In his ‘golden reign’ the whole area flourished. Agriculture developed to its highest peak and Sri Lanka became the ‘Granary of the East’. With the new economic prosperity came several new building projects. The buildings were grand and impressive such as the Royal Palace and the Lankathilaka image house. The Gal Vihara with its great sculptures of the Buddha was created.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5: Dambulla

After enjoying your breakfast, leave for Kandy.

En-route visit Dambulla Cave Temples which is famous for  rock paintings and sculptures. Dambulla is considered as the oldest art gallery of the country. The paintings found on the rock ceiling shows the influence of Kandyan School of paintings became prominent in the 18th – 19th century in Sri Lanka.

Afterwards, arrive in Kandy and enjoy a cultural show.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6: Kandy

A morning visit to the Temple of the Tooth where the Sacred Tooth Relic is an object of veneration to Buddhists. The temple is one of the most sacred Buddhist sites.

Afterwards visit Peradeniya botanical garden. This is a much acclaimed botanical garden, which is also good for birds. It is bounded on three sides by the Mahaveli River, which snakes around the 60-hectare gardens. Before its use as a botanical gardens it had served as a royal pleasure garden. Peradeniya is the second largest botanical garden in Asia. Don’t miss the orchid house. In 1905, an avenue of palms were planted and now is one of the most photographed places in the
gardens.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7: Nuwara Eliya

After enjoying your breakfast, leave for Nuwara Eliya.
En-route visit Ramboda waterfall.

After checking in to your hotel, you can explore Nuwara Eliya’s unique colonial charms on short walks from your hotel.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Horton Plains & Tea Factory

This morning, visit Horton Plains National Park. Horton Plains National Park is the only National Park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to walk freely inside. It is situated 2200 m above sea in the central highlands of SriLanka, approximately 20 km south of Nuwara Eliya and covers 3162 hectares in extent. The climate here is a wet montane climate with a mean annual temperature of 15 centigrade. The vegetation in Horton Plains is defined as Montane Rainforests or Cloud Forests which shows gnarled and stunted growth not exceeding 15 meters in height. Horton Plains is famous for the World’s End, a stunning viewpoint, which is a sheer drop of 870 meters hidden in clouds, and Baker Falls.

An afternoon visit to a tea plantation and tea factory to experience the Ceylon tea-making process follows.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Train through Hill Country

After a relaxed breakfast, leave for Ella.

Experience one of the most scenic train rides in the world. Your guide will drop you at Nanu oya railway station and pick you from Ella railway station. Depending on the availability, we will provide you A/C first class/observation class train tickets.

Afterwards drive to your hotel in Ella.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 10: Ella

Today, explore the beautiful surrounds of Ella. First a gentle climb to Little Adam’s Peak, which takes 1.5 hours. The eye catching views are not to be missed.
Afterwards, visit the famed Nine Arches bridge.

If feeling energetic, there are excellent short walks to explore and relax in lush green landscape. Your guide will be able to suggest some options based on your preferences.

The rest of the day is at leisure.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11: Galle

After breakfast leave for Galle. This is a long drive of about 4.5 hours but there will be several stops en-route for takin in the scenery and stretching your legs.

Visit Galle’s World Heritage Dutch Fort in the afternoon. Walk around and visit the Bastions, and the spot where the first Breadfruit tree was planted by the Dutch, and the Old Gunpowder Magazine. Walk along the narrow streets, including the Lighthouse Street, Leyn-Baan (rope walk) Street , and Modarabaay (Mud bay) streets, see the Old Dutch Houses and the private museum of Dutch antiques. There are many streets and restored colonial mansions to explore and admire, boutique shops to browse and friendly local vendors to chat to.

Watch the sunset, or the locals enjoying the surf from the fort ramparts.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12: Galle

Today is reserved for relaxation and leisure.

You may enjoy the hotel facilities or visit nearby beaches. This beautiful location is the perfect spot to savour your last
glorious sunset of the holiday.

Breakfast, Dinner
Day 13: Departure

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast on your last day of your holiday.

You’ll be driven to the airport (about 2.5 hours drive) in time to catch your return flight home.

Breakfast

Departure Dates & Prices

The prices below are based on two sharing and exclude international flights. A deposit is required to reserve a place.

For further information about this or any of our other tours, please contact us.

26-Mar-2024
£2335
Group Size: 8 Max
Available
16-Apr-2025
£2555
Group Size: 8 Max
Available

Dates don't work? Want to make changes? Don't fancy joining a group?
All our group tours can be tailored as private itineraries.

Our prices do not include international flights unless explicitly stated.

The price shown is per person, based on two people travelling and sharing a room, outside peak periods. Prices may vary depending on the time of travel, and single supplements may apply.