Sri Lanka: A Family Adventure

Culture and history, beaches and mountains, jungle and wildlife, Sri Lanka is a holiday destination for the whole family.

Journey Overview

Culture and history, beaches and mountains, jungle and wildlife, Sri Lanka is a holiday destination for the whole family. Move at a leisurely pace and take the time to absorb everything this enchanting country has to offer. Climb past frescoes and through ruined palaces for panoramic vistas at Sigiriya. Delve into the cultural traditions of Kandy, and step back in time among the ancient city and temples of Polonnaruwa. Head out on safari in search of the elusive leopard and see great herds of elephants. Take a Ceylon tea journey from plantation to pour and balance this cultural immersion with hikes to waterfalls, zip-lining, abseiling and quad bike adventures. Conclude your journey in Galle and unwind on the tropical beaches of the south coast.

Journey Highlights

  • Climb through the lion’s paws to the summit of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Explore the ruined temples and giant buddhas of Polonnaruwa
  • Witness an auspicious offering to the Sacred Tooth Relic
  • Go in search of leopard on game drives through Yala National Park
  • Escape to your own exclusive tea plantation bungalow and coastal villa
Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Colombo – Negombo

Ayubowan and welcome to Sri Lanka where a VIP arrival service awaits. Transfer to your luxury manor house hotel at Negombo, 

Taru Villas Riva, a restored 180-year-old manor house set on a five-acre coconut plantation. Enjoy time at leisure to settle in and relax.
Taru Villas Riva | Meals: D

Day 2: Negombo – Dambulla

This morning you are driven north into the heart of the Cultural Triangle. First stop Dambulla where you’ll find Sri Lanka’s greatest cave-temple complex, which dates back to the first century BC and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the walls and ceiling of this important Buddhist site, resplendent with frescoes and seek out some of the hundreds of statues of Buddha, Hindu kings and deities housed within the caves.

A short drive onwards brings you to the Kalundewa Retreat, an idyll for nature lovers and conservation enthusiasts, nestled in a lush 100-acre haven.  Originally started as an agricultural project it is now an authentic and charming retreat offering seclusion and a slower pace of life. Swim in natural spring waters and dine amid the paddy fields on produce from the organic garden.
Kalundewa Retreat | Meals: BLD

Day 3: Polonnaruwa and Minneriya

After breakfast, head out to discover the well-preserved ruins of Sri Lanka’s medieval capital and UNESCO World Heritage site, Polonnaruwa. The past is brought vividly to life as you explore the tombs, temples, stupas and immense reclining Buddha carved into the rock. Polonnaruwa also boasts ruins of ancient palaces, intricately carved moon stones and royal baths. Exploring the site by bike is a rewarding adventure.

Later swap ancient history for wildlife as you head to the forests and grasslands of Minneriya National Park where you get up close to Indian elephants. The park is well known for these majestic animals but it is particularly impressive when the herds congregate near the ancient reservoir during the migration known as ‘the Gathering’ (June – September). Keep your camera handy as you spot chattering macaque monkeys, deer, water buffalo and abundant birdlife.
Kalundewa Retreat | Meals: BLD

Day 4: Sigiriya

Rise early for your visit to the magnificent rock fortress of Sigiriya, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander through picturesque water gardens, past boulders, pools and fountains and climb past the ancient and colossal Lion’s Paws to a steep winding 200-metre-high staircase. Pause during your ascent to admire the mirror wall and the famous Sigiriya frescoes. From the summit, take in the breathtaking 360-degree views of the surrounding jungle and hills.
Kalundewa Retreat | Meals: BLD

Day 5: Dambulla – Kandy

Drive into the highlands to Kandy, last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and the southern point of the cultural triangle. Having resisted colonial forces for longer than other parts of the country, Kandy retains its unique customs and artistic traditions and is considered the country’s most significant cultural and religious centre. Arrive in Kandy and check into your boutique accommodation. Later, visit the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth, said to house one of Buddha’s teeth. Stay to witness an auspicious offering to the Sacred Tooth Relic – an unforgettable ritual of drums, incense and chanting – or be entertained by unique music and traditional dance at a Kandyan Cultural Show and meet the dancers for a photo.
Kings Pavilion | Meals: BD

Day 6: Kandy – Ella

Take to the rails today on a train trip to the hill station of Ella. This journey is considered one of the most scenic rail journeys in the world. Roll past the emerald green tea estates that blanket the mountains and breathe in the unmistakable aroma of pure Ceylon tea. The train’s sedate pace allows you to really appreciate the passing scenery with each twist and turn revealing yet another panoramic vista. On arrival into Ella you’ll be met at the station by your chauffeur and driven to Nine Skies, a refurbished tea bungalow hotel, where you will have exclusive use of the property.
Nine Skies | Meals: BLD

Day 7: Ella

After breakfast at the bungalow, lace up your hiking boots and hit the trail on an ascent of Little Adam’s Peak. Reaching the top gives you incredible panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Afterwards visit the Nine Arches Bridge. This impressive viaduct which extends 24 metres from the valley floor is also known as the Bridge in the Sky and is one of the best examples of colonial-era railway construction in Sri Lanka. This afternoon, learn the secrets of the famed Ceylon tea, following the process from plant to cup on a tour of a local tea factory.
Nine Skies | Meals: BLD

Day 8: Ella

Today is a full day at leisure enjoying the property. Or you may choose to explore the surrounding countryside on a variety of optional activities. In addition to the numerous hiking trails which lead to impressive waterfalls and scenic viewpoints there are zip-lining opportunities, abseiling down cliffs with sweeping views of Ella Rock and the Ravana waterfall and quad biking through jungle and tea plantations.
Nine Skies | Meals: BLD

Day 9: Ella – Yala National Park

Today you travel southeast to your exclusive wilderness eco-camp located on the border of Yala National Park. Fronting Sri Lanka’s southeastern coastline, Yala spans some 1,300 square kilometres of beach, forest, bushland, savannah and lagoon, affording a wealth of ecosystems which shelter the park’s diverse wildlife.

After lunch, head out on a late afternoon game drive and discover why this national park is a haven for nature lovers. Led by your expert tracker, keep your eyes open to see magnificent animals, including leopard, sloth and elephant, in their natural habitat. Return to camp, relax and enjoy dinner.
Kulu Safari Yala | Meals: BLD

Day 10: Yala National Park

Rise early for a morning game drive, and see the park come to life. As well as the thriving leopard, elephant and sloth population, some 200 bird species make this park their home. Return to camp for breakfast and a day at leisure, or perhaps take the kayaks out onto the lake. As the day moves towards dusk head back out for another thrilling safari drive.
K
ulu Safari Yala | Meals: BLD

Day 11: Yala National Park – Galle

Leaving the park behind, transfer west along the southern coast to Galle. On the way you’ll stop at a village house to meet a local who will share with you the secret to making the area’s traditional, creamy dessert – curd and treacle. On arrival in Galle settle into your seaside villa, featuring spacious rooms, water views and expansive gardens.
Sielen Diva | Meals: BLD

Day 12: Galle

Take the short drive to nearby Galle and discover a unique blend of the exotic and colonial in this UNESCO World Heritage listed locale. Uncover the fascinating architectural legacies of the Portuguese and Dutch settlers alongside traditional Sri Lankan structures. Stroll through the Galle Fort and learn about the Dutch East India Company that operated from within. Visit the Maritime Museum, the Old Dutch Reformed Church, Sun and Moon bastions, and more.
Sielen Diva | Meals: BLD

Day 13: Southern Coast

Today is at leisure.  Relax by the pool, on the beach or with a yoga class. Alternatively, you could choose to explore the south coast, head out to catch sight of whales and dolphins, discover how cinnamon is farmed or explore some of the coastal temples.
Sielen Diva | Meals: BLD

Day 14: Depart Colombo

Take a private transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
Meals: B

Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

Kulu Safari Yala

Sri Lanka: A Family Adventure

Kulu Safari seamlessly blends the adventure of a Sri Lankan safari with exceptionally comfortable accommodation to offer the definitive w ... Read more

Kings Pavilion Kandy

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A&K Favourite

Set within a tropical haven, Kings Pavilion Kandy offers ultimate relaxation. Explore great stretches of scenery on gentle afternoon hike ... Read more

Journey Dates & Prices

As this suggested itinerary can be personalised to your specific requirements, it is not available for online booking.

Depending on your preferred dates and arrangements, final pricing will vary from low season to peak season travel.

Please call A&K on 1300 851 800 or send us a booking enquiry to book this journey.

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