About the journey

‘The island of Ceylon is a small universe; it contains as many variations of culture, scenery, and climate as some countries a dozen times its size”. These were the very words of the world famous scientist and science-fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who like many a traveler to Sri Lanka visited and then fell in love the with the island and settled in it for the rest of his life. At Adventure Lanka Tours it is our hope that you too will encounter and fall in love with our ‘Romantic Escapeswhich is designed to help you enjoy an intimate retreat in our beautiful land.

The romantic escapes holiday of Sri Lanka encapsulates a fortnight of spectacular sights and remarkable encounters with what is quintessentially Sri Lanka. Begin on the West Coast and journey through the mountains and ancient kingdoms before ending up on the East coast. Along the way you can check out the elephant orphanages of Pinnawala, the Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy and the scale the 5th Century Rock fortress at Sigiriya. Catch your first sightings of blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins in Trincomalee before you head down to Colombo for some shopping and sight-seeing in the capital. Our Summer Tour is full of pleasant and accidental happenings and we hope you will join us in our tour through the heart of Serendipity.

Map of the journey

Itinerary

Day01

Touchdown in Sri Lanka and we will meet you at the airport and take you to your first destination which is Negombo.

Day02

Leave Negombo for the colder climate of Nuwara Eliya. The Pinnawela Elephant orphanage is worth a visit along the way.

Day03

Begin your day in Nuwara Eliya, a hill station town known as ‘Little England. A half-day hike to the Horton Plains National Park is also an option as well as a visit to a tea factory.

Day04

A train ride from Nuwara Eliya to Gampola or Kandy will grant you the opportunity of some awe-inspiring views of the hills.

Day05

Take a tour of Kandy town with the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens and a cultural show at night also part of the day’s possible outings

Day06

Leave Kandy for Dambulla or Sigiriya where you can climb up a hill to the famous Dambulla Rock Temple as well as enjoy a tour of a spice garden.

Day07

Enjoy a free elephant ride in Habarana and then head off to Anuradhapura/Polonnaruwa for a tour of an ancient kingdom. Scale the rock fortress at Sigiriya or revel in a safari at the Minneriya National Park.

Day08

From the cultural triangle our next stop is Trincomalee on the east coast. The beach side harbour town has more than its fair share of delights.

Day09

Go on an adventure around Trincomalee town with sightings of Lover’s Leap and Fort Frederick.

Day10

Soak up more sun on the beach and even in the sea as you hit the high seas for glimpses of whales and dolphins.

Day11

Spend your last day in Trincomalee on the beach or on your own private island.

Day12

Leave Trincomalee and journey west to Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka.

Day13

One last day on this dream island is spent in Colombo where you can shop and sight-see at the same time.

Day14

Depart for the Airport but make sure to return to Sri Lanka soon on another adventure.

Photos from the journey

Day01

Negombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka – welcome to Serendipity: the island of happy and chance happenings. You will be met at the airport by your own personal chauffer cum guide and transferred to the coastal town of Negombo which is just 20 minutes away from the Bandaranaike International Airport. Negombo is an idyllic introduction to the many charms of Sri Lanka. Once a small fishing village on the West Coast, Negombo has now evolved into a hip town close to the capital Colombo. It can be relied on for diverse cuisine, resorts and more than your average stretch of beach. Definitely the place to begin your Sri Lankan escapades.

Day02

Nuwara Eliya

Leave the sun and sands of Negombo for the chillier climate of ‘Nuwara Eliya’ – the City of Lights. This 6 hour drive will take you through some breathtaking views. The colour palette changes accordingly with blue skies and bright green paddy fields giving way to dark green tea plantations, forests, mist and the occasional waterfall. The Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage is an optional stop along the way, and while it is not part of our official tour, it is the one place in Sri Lanka where you can see over 60 elephants (adults and babies) at such close quarters.

Day03

Nuwara Eliya

Wake up in Nuwara Eliya and while you enjoy that fine cup of Ceylon Tea ponder on the intricacies of the British Raj and the remnants of colonialism that permeate this former colonial outpost. However if you would much rather see than imagine we encourage you to take us up on our offer of some optional activities – for no extra charge at all. You can visit a functioning tea factory and discover the secrets behind the legendary tea of Sri Lanka. You can also explore the town of Nuwara Eliya which has the reputation of being a replica of a little English town. There is also a half-day hike to the Horton Plains National Park with your very own naturalist and guide for an optional fee. At Horton Plains’ you can experience the dizzying views from World’s End – a sheer drop not for the faint hearted!

Day04

Gampola or Kandy

Your last day in Nuwara Eliya will be spent with a relaxing morning in the hotel and a hearty breakfast to top it off. In the afternoon you head down to the Nanu Oya railway station to board the 13.50 train to either Gampola or Peradeniya Station – the destination depends on your hotel choice. Gampola and Kandy are both towns located in the hill country and also former Kingdoms of Medieval and Colonial Sri Lanka. The train ride is definitely the best way to experience the mountains and the mist as it takes you in a luxurious carriage through the verdant hill country and provides you with lunch, tea/coffee and unlimited wifi access.

Day05

Gampola or Kandy

Begin your day in the restful atmosphere of your hotel and then head off for a tour of the city of Kandy. Described as the ‘cockpit of Sri Lanka in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, Kandy was the last kingdom to hold out against three colonial powers until it finally fell to the British in 1815. The town is built around ‘the Lake’ and the island in the midst of the lake was used by the kings of Kandy as a pleasure retreat. However Kandy is most famous for being home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha (Dalada Maligawa). There is also the choice of taking in the botanical gardens at Peradeniya and an evening visit to a cultural show which will include some famed Kandyan dancing as well.

Day06

Dambulla or Sigiriya

From Kandy you will next venture out into the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. Dambulla and Sigirya are rich in culture, heritage and art and vital places in the history of Sri Lanka. The Dambulla Cave Temple is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Once you conquer the huge sloping rock you can enter a series of caves complete with carved statues and colourful murals dating back to the 12th century. We also offer you the choice of a complimentary visit to a spice garden for a closer look at the reason we pepper our dishes with so many spices.

Day07

Dambulla or Sigiriya

Take a much needed break at your hotel but if inactivity is not your thing we have plenty of alternatives up our sleeve. Enjoy a free elephant ride in Habarana and then take a tour back in time to the ancient kingdoms of Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa. However if you want to throw in a bit of adventure along with some local history climb the 5th century rock fortress at Sigiriya and gape at the frescoes of heavenly maidens or ditch the past totally and revel in safari at the Minneriya National Park, with leopards, elephants and sambar deer.

Day08

Trincomalee

After breakfast you will hit the road once again for a three and a half hour drive to the East Coast town of Trincomalee. Trinco is what the locals call it and in 1775 Sir Horatio Nelson noted that it had the ‘finest harbour in the world’. At present Trinco’s popularity is not limited to just its harbour but extends to its famous beaches as well.

Day09

Trincomalee

Soak up the sun and the waves in Trinco for the next three days as you revel in some truly sunny island moments. For those with a thirst for more knowledge about Trinco and its surroundings we can provide you with a tour of the town and the Commonwealth War Cemetery. Trincomalee is an interesting mix of old and new and this is most obvious as a Hindu Kovil (Tirukoneswaran Kovil) is in close proximity to Lovers Leap. Legend has it that a Dutch maiden jumped off the cliff when her faithless lover sailed away without her. Walk around Fort Frederick, fortifications used by the Portuguese, Dutch and British conquerors, and encounter vaults and gun emplacements before you head back to your hotel.

Day10

Trincomalee

Blue whales, sperm whales and dolphins have put Sri Lanka on the map as a place for some incredible water adventures and Trincomalee is a hot spot for just that. If you would like nothing better than to leave land for some fun on the high seas you should try out whale and dolphin watching. There is also the option of an underwater adventure as snorkeling and diving is also on the cards.

Day11

Trincomalee

A last lazy day in Trincomalee is probably what you want the most and we certainly wouldn’t take it away from you. However Adventure Lanka Tours likes being prepared for all eventualities which is why – if you desire so – we can whisk you a way to a private beach or island or take you to Pigeon Island, a breeding ground for the blue rock pigeon.

Day12

Colombo

You start your day on the East Coast and end it on the West Coast as the drive from Trincomalee to Colombo will take about six and a half hours depending on traffic. Once you check into your hotel in the capital you can sit back, relax and rejuvenate in preparation for a day spent in the hustle and bustle of Colombo City.

Day13

Colombo

Spend your last day in Colombo, the commercial capital of Sri Lanka. We will escort you on a shopping and city tour of the capital where you can shop till you drop. In the midst of the noise and crowds of this modern metropolis with its harbour and business district there is still a touch of old world charm to be found in Colombo.

Day14

Airport

Having had – in the words of Tolkien – ‘so much to enjoy, to be and to do’ it is rather sad when one has to say good-bye. However we have a feeling you might be back for more of Sri Lanka, its people and its places. After breakfast we check you out of the hotel and drive you to the airport. Once we’re sure all your documents are in order it is adios – until we meet again of course.

Reviews (2)

Hilary M & Tom R
United Kingdom

As we hoped it has been a very good introduction to Sri Lanka with support from Adventure Lanka. It’s been a full week with a wide variety of activities, covering history, culture, nature and village life – Just as we requested. We now feel more confident to explore independently. The mix of style of accommodation has worked well. We particularly with to highly praise the wonderful welcome from Ajith’s family in Attanakadawala (AK village) and Chandra’s in Riverstone. The cooking was amazing – as good or better than in the resort hotels!!! We loved being with the family in AK. Bird watching, picnic at the river, funny transport and dancing with grandma.

Laura O
USA

This has truly been the trip of a lifetime. I knew we were in good hands starting during the planning process secondary to Rajiv’s professionality. He was flexible in meeting the needs of our time/date requirements. And was amenable to assembling an itinerary that met our needs as tourists. Communication via email was easy as my questions/concerns were always addressed almost immediately. In fact, I wonder if Rajiv ever sleeps as it happens, he answers emails at all times of day/night. About the tour, it was a beautiful, journey. We were impressed with the kindness and generosity of the local people, awed by a culture very different form our own and felt we caught a glimpse into the daily life of a Sri Lankan citizen. Lalith was our guide and for that we were most fortunate. He provided epic professionalism, insight into his culture, impressive driving skills, A few good laughs, and an incredible wealth of knowledge. Thank you so much, as this adventure has provided memories that will last us a lifetime.

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Just 10km down the road is the UNESCO World Heritage Fort at Galle. Explore the temples and museum, walk the old defensive walls and shop for gems and souvenirs. Just along the coast at Habaraduwa, the Turtle Hatchery is within easy walking distance from Cantaloupe Aqua. This conservation project protects turtle eggs until they are hatched. Visitors get the chance to take one down to the sea and give it a great start in life.
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