Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Summer Tour

This example itinerary takes you to Sri Lanka’s most famous cultural sites and also includes a safari and plenty of activities. You will end up on the east coast beaches which are ideal for a visit during the European summer holidays when there should be plenty of sunshine. You explore the country with a driver/guide and a wide range of different accommodation types are available. We can adapt any aspect of this itinerary to ensure that it is suitable for the ages of your children and your travel dates.

Highlights

  Climb the lion fortress of Sigiriya
  Go on safari to spot leopard
  See elephant at Minneriya
  Visit ancient ruins at Polonnaruwa
  Relax on the beach in the northeast

15 days from £1,875 pp

Plus international flights from £450.

A two-week holiday in Sri Lanka for a family of four usually costs from £7,500 plus flights.

View pricing guide

Sri Lanka Summer Tour day-by-day itinerary

Day 1 Coconut plantation / Negombo
Arrive at the airport in Colombo where you are met by a Stubborn Mule Travel representative and transferred to your hotel. Depending on budget, we can either arrange for you to stay in a hotel in the beach resort of Negombo or you can upgrade to a hotel in a beautiful coconut plantation.


Day 2 Coconut plantation / Negombo
A full day to relax. If you are staying in Negombo, we can arrange a morning excursion to the Muthurajawela Nature Reserve where you can take a boat ride on the canals. Keep your eyes peeled for birdlife and, if you are lucky, the occasional crocodile. If you are staying on the coconut plantation, you may prefer to stay put and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. There is the chance to take a bullock cart ride around the coconut estate or you can join the chef in the kitchen to learn some of the secrets of Sri Lankan cuisine.


Day 3 Wilpattu National Park
This morning drive north to Wilpattu National Park where you will stay the night in an African style safari camp.

This afternoon take a safari in the park in search of wildlife. Wilpattu is the largest park in Sri Lanka and is spread across a huge area that is home to more than 50 natural lakes. These lakes are a magnet for wildlife and the park is home to a significant leopard population. Many of our travellers have been very lucky and have spotted leopard, sloth bear and more.

Later return to camp for dinner around the campfire.


Day 4 Wilpattu National Park – Dambulla
If you didn’t get to spot a leopard on your first safari, there is the opportunity to return to return to Wilpattu this morning.

Later, head through picturesque countryside of coconut plantations and lush green paddy fields, en route to the ‘cultural triangle’.

In the late afternoon your driver will take you to Pidurangala, a hill located opposite Sigiriya. You can climb to the top for sunset for sensational views over the Lion’s Rock. The top part of the climb involves a bit of scrambling up a couple of boulders but the views from the top are stunning.


Day 5 Dambulla Buddhist Caves
In the morning join local pilgrims for the climb up to a series of caves that are covered in brightly-coloured frescoes that date back more than 2,000 years. This is a UNESCO world heritage site and is very impressive. Along the way the children will enjoy watching the playful monkeys that live in and around the temple, although keep a close eye on your belongings, as they are quite keen on cameras or any snacks that you might have on you!

The afternoon is free to relax.

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Day 6 Sigiriya & Minneriya National Park
Rise early to climb Sigiriya, a huge rock fortress built in the 5th century on top of an enormous, sheer sided rock. It is quite a steep climb up to the top but the views are immense.

Younger children will enjoy walking between the giant lion’s paws on the way up the stairs, the last remnant of a giant lion’s head that visitors used to have to climb through to reach the fortress. There are also further ruins, gardens and caves around the base of the rock that the children can explore. Older children might then be side tracked by the souvenir market… the perfect place to hone their haggling skills!

In the afternoon you will take a safari in Minneriya National Park. The park is famous for its large herds of wild elephants as well as deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackals. This is one of the best places in Asia to see wild elephants and you can get remarkably close to large numbers of the animals; the herds are sometimes 150-200 strong.


Day 7 Polonnaruwa ancient city – Nilaveli
This morning you visit the fascinating site of Polonnaruwa where you can explore the magnificent remains of Sri Lanka’s medieval capital. The ruins are quite extensive and include a number of exquisite temples, giant Buddhist carvings and huge lakes which formed the basis of a remarkable irrigation system. If your children are old enough we can arrange for you to cycle around the site; younger children will love a game of hide and seek amongst the extensive ruins.

Later you will travel to Trincomalee on the North East Coast and will have time to clamber around the Portuguese Fort before continuing to the beach at Nilaveli.


Days 8-9 Nilaveli Beach
Two full free days to enjoy the beach. If you are interested you could take a boat ride in search of blue whale and dolphin, as this is one of the best places in the world for blue whale sightings. Alternatively you could head to Pigeon Island and go snorkelling. We can book these excursions in advance for you if you would like, or you can decide once you arrive what you would like to do.


Day 10 Stay on tea plantation
After breakfast drive to the heart of some of Sri Lanka’s most picturesque tea plantation scenery. You will stay for three nights in a 1930s tea planter’s bungalow with incredible views.

The estate covers an area of around 98 acres, most of it used to grow tea although there are also a number of cows and a small pepper plantation. The area around the estate is spectacular and if you are feeling active you can follow peaceful trails through the tea fields, down to a waterfall at the base of the valley where you can swim. Alternatively you can just relax by the swimming pool and enjoy the views over the Knuckles Ranges.


Days 11-12 Tea plantation
Two full days to enjoy the tea plantation. If you are interested, we can arrange a local guide to accompany you on a hike into the countryside. The duration can be tailored to your energy levels on the day but whichever direction you head in the views are gorgeous. If you prefer, you can keep the days free to laze by the pool, take part in a cookery demonstration or wander down to the local village, explore the temple and meet the locals.


Day 13 Kandy
After breakfast this morning you will depart for Kandy where you visit The Temple of the Tooth, which is believed to hold one of Buddha’s teeth and is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in the world. You will also have the chance to explore the Botanical Gardens which are beautifully laid out and provide the perfect place for younger children to let off steam. Late you will watch a cultural performance of traditional Kandyan dancing and devotional fire walking. It is fascinating to watch as hot coals are brought out and laid on the stage before the dancers walk briskly over them.


Day 14 Kandy – Negombo
This morning rise early for a hike in the Udawattakella Nature Reserve which encompasses the woods bordering the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy. This is an interesting sanctuary and the lush and relatively untouched rainforest provides a haven for birds and monkeys.

You will then head to the Millenium Elephant Foundation where your family will join together with a mahout (elephant carer) and spend time looking after your own animal. The children will particularly enjoy taking the elephant into the river and helping scrub the wrinkled skin….watch out as you may get squirted with a jet of water from the elephant’s trunk!

Continue to Negombo for your last night.


Day 15 Departure
After checking out of your hotel, transfer to the airport in time for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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