We would not hesitate to use Audley again !
Highlights of Sri Lanka
20 days from $8,250pp
Learn all about Sri Lanka's fascinating buddhist history.
Enjoy a scenic train journey through tea plantations.
Search for leopards in Yala National Park.
Absorb the atmosphere of quaint colonial Galle.
Relax on a Maldivian island.
- Nuwara Eliya
- Yala National Park
- Maldive Island
Itinerary idea in detailOpen all Close all
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Day 1 Makandura
Colombo , Makandura
On arrival in Colombo you're met by your private chauffeur-guide and driven to your hotel just outside of Colombo. Your chauffeur guide will stay with you for the rest of your trip, acting as your private driver and guide. Depending on your flight time you may have some time to relax this afternoon - your hotel has a wonderful pool area, as well as a fascinating local temple a short walk away.
Day 2 Sigiriya
This morning drive into the cultural centre of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya, where thriving ancient cities once existed and Sinhalese Kings used to rule the lands. Relax and enjoy the beautiful views on your drive up with your chauffeur-guide which will take about four hours. There are plenty of small villages to see along the way - you might like to stop to try a street-side snack.
Day 3 Sigiriya
We recommend visiting Sigiriya Rock with your chauffeur-guide early in order to avoid the crowds and the heat. Upon reaching the top of Sigirya, spend time taking in the exhilarating vistas which go on for miles and ponder the ancient ruins where an ancient civilisation once lived. *Make sure you bring water with you as it’s difficult to find a vendor who sells it once you have begun your walk up. This afternoon continue to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa - a fascinating scattering of temples and palaces where a thriving community once lived over 800 years ago. With much of the site in ruins, your guide can explain the importance of certain temples and buildings, helping to give an idea of the collective history and importance of the site.
Day 4 Sigiriya
This morning is free to relax. Your hotel has a wonderful pool area with views of the scrubland beyond. In the afternoon enjoy a private evening safari to see herds of wild elephants and hopefully, weather permitting, you will see a beautiful sunset. This is sure to be a highlight of your trip. *Please be aware that in Sri Lanka there are no restrictions on the number of jeeps that enter the National Park so sometimes this can feel quite busy.
Day 5 Kandy
Drive about three hours to the city of Kandy today. On your way to Kandy stop by the imposing Dambulla Caves containing hundreds of relics of Buddha statues. This is accessed by climbing a long staircase cut into the rock - if you think the climb might be unsuitable, we can suggest an alternative cave temple with fewer steps.
Day 6 Kandy
This morning meet with your Chauffer-guide to drive to the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Take your time to walk around and soak up the huge variety of plant life. Afterwards visit the Temple of the Tooth. This remarkable Buddhist Temple is where the relic of Buddha's Tooth is kept. *Please note it can be quite busy during the evening ceremony so let your driver know if you would prefer to see it at a quieter time.
Day 7 Nuwara Eliya
This morning drive to the station to catch your train to Nuwara Eliya, an incredibly scenic journey through the central hills which takes around four and a half hours. Your chauffeur-guide is there to meet you at your final stop to take you to your hotel. This afternoon visit a local tea factory to learn all about the process of making tea. Depending on the time of year and the location of your hotel, this may be a small group tour - your specialist will be able to advise you.
Day 8 Nuwara Eliya
Enjoy an 8 km (5 miles) walk in Horton Plains National Park with your chauffeur-guide today. You might catch a glimpse of Adam's Peak if the weather allows. We would suggest starting off early for the walk to avoid the heat of the midday sun. This afternoon is free to relax.
Day 9 Yala National Park
Head east today to visit the Yala National Park. This is a long but incredibly scenic journey - your chauffeur-guide can suggest places to stop along the way including some wonderful tea houses and dramatic waterfalls. With stops, the drive will take most of your day, arriving into Yala in time for dinner at your hotel.
Day 10 Yala National Park
Today enjoy a private morning and afternoon jeep safari. Hopefully you can see a range of wildlife, including the elusive leopard. With a number of water holes, there is a variety of bird life to spot too. In between your safaris, you might like to test out the hotel's pool or take in the view from the hotel's viewing tower.
Day 11 Galle
Drive around the south coast towards Galle today. Depending on the traffic on the scenic coastal road, this drive will take three to four hours. You may see the iconic stilt fishermen plying their trade in the surf.
Day 12 Galle
Your local guide will show you around the colonial heart of Galle today and you'll have time to wander the rampart walls and enjoy the views. There are a few small museums you might like to visit as well as a number of imposing Dutch churches.
Day 13 Galle
Day 14 Galle
Another day free to relax and explore the area. You might like to take a local tuk-tuk into Galle Fort this evening to try one of the local restaurants for dinner. The fort is lit up at night and many of the small boutiques stay open into the evening.
Day 15 Maldive Island
Colombo , Male , Maldive Island
This morning you're picked up and taken to the airport for your flight to the Maldives. The drive takes two to three hours depending on traffic - your private driver will be able to make sure you arrive at the airport in plenty of time. On arrival in the Maldives you're greeted at the airport by an Audley representative before catching a short 25 minute speedboat to your island.
Day 16 Maldive Island
Today you have the day free to relax, or explore the island. With beautifully clear water you might like to book a guided snorkeling trip or take a diving lesson at the marine centre.
Day 17 Maldive Island
Another day free to enjoy the island. Your might like to visit the GLIDE Water Sports Centre which offers a variety of equipment to hire including catamarans, kayaks and wind surfing.
Day 18 Maldive Island
Day 19 Maldive Island
Your last free day before heading home. To make your stay special, it's worth considering booking a private dinner on the beach, or cocktails on a private sunset cruise
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Contact a specialist
The specialist who designs your trip to Sri Lanka will have explored the country many times and, in some cases, lived there. Their first-hand knowledge gives us the belief that no other travel company can match our expertise in helping you plan your trip. Your dedicated specialist will take the time to understand your preferences and build them into an itinerary to match, working to your budget. He or she will keep perfecting it until you’re completely happy and ready to book.Find out what sets us apart ›
When to go
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