Charms of Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is an enchanting land of beauty, diversity and unique culture that has long enthralled travellers. Venture amongst its timeless ruins, delicious gastronomy and incredible natural beauty to capture its essence for yourself.

tour duration 11 Days from
tour price 3,590pp
tour type Group Tour

Places Visited

UK - Colombo (2N) - Negombo (1N) - Habarana (2N) - Kandy (2N) - Nuwara Eliya (2N) - UK

Tour Highlights

Discover the ruins of ancient civilisations inPolonnaruwa and Dambulla Cave
Sip ceylon tea at a plantation in the hills of Nuwara Eliya
Enjoy unique and traditional culinary experiences
Explore Colombo aboard a World War II jeep

Exclusive Experiences

Take a safari in Minneriya National Park
Learn about Sri Lanka’s plethora of herbs and spices at  a spice garden
Watch a cultural show in Kandy
Explore Colombo in World War II-era jeeps
Celebrate seafood at the fantastic Ministry of Crab
Ride a steam train to Nuwara Eliya and enjoy high tea on arrival

Days 1-2 Fly to Colombo
Fly overnight to Colombo. On arrival you will be met by your expert tour guide and transferred to your hotel in the coastal town of Negombo, a short drive from Colombo. The rest of the day is yours to explore. (D)
Days 1-2 Fly to Colombo
Day 3 Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Journey from Negombo to Habarana, a village that sits at the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle, the heartland of ancient Sinhalese civilisations and traditionally known as ‘The King’s Land’. Later, visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, or Lion Rock, the site chosen by King Kassappa for his 5th-century palace. Wander through the water gardens and climb to the summit, passing colourful frescoes and a pair of huge lion’s paws for breathtaking views over the central plains. This evening, enjoy a unique dining experience at the Paddy Museum – local cuisine is prepared in a traditional village kitchen and eaten in a rustic and simple ambience looking over paddy fields and fruit trees. (B,D)
Day 3 Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Day 4 Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park
A city that reached its age of magnificence in the 12th century, Polonnaruwa was soon after abandoned to the jungle. Explore these wonderfully well-preserved ruins and learn more about this old civilisation. Continue to Minneriya National Park, where you will head out on safari. Built around an ancient reservoir, wildlife in the area includes elephants, spotted and sambur deer and dozens of bird species. Dine tonight on gourmet delights in a truly unique setting – a cave. Eat by the light of flaming torches and lanterns watching your food arrive over a little bridge shadowed by an enormous banyan tree. (B,D)
Day 4 Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park
Day 5 Dambulla Cave Temple
Set out for cultural capital Kandy. En route stop at Dambulla Cave Temple, a Buddhist place of worship for an incredible 22 centuries. Within the five cave sanctuaries you’ll find Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddha images in the form of beautifully rendered murals and statues. Continue to Matale, where you will visit a spice garden to take a cup of herbal tea and learn about the therapeutic values of various herbs and spices. After a delicious lunch eaten among lush rice fronds in a paddy field, arrive in Kandy. (B,L)
Day 5 Dambulla Cave Temple
Day 6 Culinary Experience
Today, you will be welcomed into the colonial-style home of a Sri Lankan family to taste the fantastic flavours of real-home cooking. Starting with a fresh fruit juice or local beer, sit around the dining table and share a lunch of traditional foods such as green mango and red rice. Round off the meal with a local Ceylon tea or coffee brewed from beans grown of the family’s own plantation. Later in the afternoon enjoy a city tour of Kandy. Sri Lanka’s cultural heart and a sacred Buddhist city, visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses an object of much devotion – Buddha’s tooth. Also visit Kandy Temple and see a cultural show. (B,L,D)
Day 6 Culinary Experience
Day 7 Nuwara Eliya
Transfer to Peradeniya where you will board an old steam train to puff your way to Nanu Oya. Seated in a scenic carriage you will have unparalleled views over the passing hill country. Disembark the train and continue to Nuwara Eliya where you will take high tea at your hotel. (B)
Day 7 Nuwara Eliya
Day 8 Tea Plantations
Journey higher into the mist-laced hills, to an area blanketed in lush, green tea bushes. Visit a plantation where you will have access to the factory to watch the process that goes into making the perfect cup of Ceylon tea. End the day in style with an expertly blended cup. This evening, dine in the Railway Carriage Restaurant. Once a carriage of a former narrow-gauge engine that transported tea down from the highlands, you will be served with top quality food from around the world in surroundings finished in teak and brass. (B,D)
Day 8 Tea Plantations
Day 9 Colombo
Travel down through the highlands, lingering over those final glimpses of the lush, emerald-hued hills to Sri Lanka’s vibrant capital city Colombo. On arrival, there will be time at leisure before dinner at the Gallery Café, an internationallyacclaimed gallery and restaurant housed in the offices of the worldfamous local architect Geoffrey Bawa. (B,D)
Day 9 Colombo
Day 10 Colombo by Jeep
Climb aboard a World War II jeep for a unique and exciting tour of the city. Feel the sea breeze as you cruise around in an open-top vintage vehicle stopping to visit the Dutch Hospital, the old lighthouse, the Grand Oriental Hotel, Gangarama Seema Malakaya and much more. This evening, dinner will be served at the Ministry of Crab, a restaurant that is a celebration of Sri Lanka’s seafood. (B,D)
Day 10 Colombo by Jeep
Day 11 Depart Colombo
Today is a free day until you are transferred to Colombo airport to board your flight to the UK, arriving home the same or following day. (B)
Day 11 Depart Colombo

Also Available

Private Departures for this tour

If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Departure would be more ideal. Based on exactly the same itinerary as the group tour, our Private Departures give you the freedom to choose your own departure date and simply enjoy your holiday with your family, your partner, or your friends. On Private Departures your tour will be led by an English speaking local guides in each destination

Tailor Your Tour

If you like most of the itinerary which we have suggested but you'd like to change the route and the accommodation, speak to our specialist Tailormade team, who can build your perfect itinerary based around where you would like to go, what you would like to see and how much you'd like to spend. Just call us on 0800 9884 888 and we'll help plan your dream holiday.

26-Oct > 05-Nov - £3,590 BOOK NOW
09-Nov > 19-Nov - £3,690 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,990 (Colombo - Colombo)
Single room from £640
Tipping paid locally US$75

02-Aug > 12-Aug - £4,090 BOOK NOW
25-Oct > 04-Nov - £3,890 BOOK NOW
08-Nov > 18-Nov - £3,990 BOOK NOW

Additional Price Information:

Based on London Heathrow departures
Flight upgrades available on request
Land only from £2,990 (Colombo - Colombo)
Single room from £640
Tipping paid locally US$75

A visa is required by all nationalities. A single entry visa should be arranged in advance of travel.
Unlike many other tour operators, we include your entry visas in the price of our tour. We handle the entire visa process – all you need to do is fill out the form and send your passport to us. We are always on hand to help you with any questions or queries you might have when completing the form. 

Phone Calls
International and domestic calls can be made from your hotel room. To call the UK the international access code is 00, followed by the country code 44, then the local area code (omitting the first 0), then the number. To call Wendy Wu Tours it is 00 44 207 403 7860. Emergency 24 hour telephone (out of office hours) is 00 44 7984 041 625.
Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are growing in popularity and you will find good coverage. There are active roaming agreements with all phone carriers; however SMS and call rates can be expensive. We recommend that you contact your mobile supplier if you intend to use international roaming during your holiday and ensure you investigate all associated costs before you leave the UK.
Internet & Email
Internet cafes can be found in all major cities and even in some small towns. This is often the easiest and cheapest way to stay in touch. Most hotels have a business centre with internet access, but at a slightly higher rate. Some hotels may have Wi-Fi which usually comes at an additional cost and may only be available in hotel lobbies. 

Tipping is an expected element in the tourism industry today and Sri Lanka is no exception. Many passengers are often uncertain of how much to tip so we have established a tipping system whereby every passenger gives a set amount to the National Escort who will distribute the amount appropriately. On multi-country tips, this amount will be paid in stages on arrival in each country. If there is no National Escort, you will need to give your money to your Local Guides and tipping amounts for each city will be shown in your final itinerary. The amount for the kitty is calculated for each tour depending on the length, group size, and services used during the trip.
We will indicate the tipping amounts in your final documents for guidance.

Shopping can be fun and entertaining, especially in local markets all over Sri Lanka where souvenirs can be purchased for next to nothing. However all passengers must realise that the authenticity and value of goods is always questionable. If the price seems too good to be true, then it probably is! Some shopping is made up of copied brand items and reproduced antiques.
In keeping with most people’s interest whilst on holiday, your tour will include a reasonable number of opportunities in local shops and government factories. This may vary depending on local conditions, and should never interfere with your itinerary’s included sightseeing.
Each region has its own specialty; a traditional handicraft perfected by the locals over centuries, a climate that encourages rich spices to grow, or a type of wood, stone or precious jewel in abundance nearby. Textiles are a popular souvenir, including silk brocades, tie-dyed cottons, saris, hand woven Tibetan carpets or the woollen shawls.
If you prefer set prices, head to the government-run shops, usually called “cottage industries” or “emporium” which sells quality but reasonably priced goods. The more up market tourist shops will also have fixed prices. Markets, street stalls, and local shops can be noisy, crowded, and confronting, but this remains one of the most rewarding experiences of travelling in Sri Lanka. If your itinerary includes some free time and you would like to go shopping, ask either your National Escort/Guide or the hotel staff for advice on how to best get there. They should be able to tell you if you need a taxi or a rickshaw, how much you should pay for the journey and provide you verbal or written directions to give to the driver. Remember to take a hotel business card with you to find your way back!

The cost of all meals is included in your group tour cost. Breakfast is served in the hotel and includes a combination of western and local dishes. As traditional in this region, lunch and dinner are served in a banquet style, so you can try the variety of specialty dishes. The amount of food served is more than ample for the whole group.
We aim to cater to the tastes of the majority of people so dishes are not too spicy or unusual in their taste. One of the great myths about India and Sri Lanka is that the food is of poor quality and always hot and spicy. This is definitely not the case! In fact, North Indian dishes whilst often very rich and indeed spicy don’t contain as much chilli as South Indian dishes. Indian cuisine is predominately vegetarian; however more meat (chicken and lamb) dishes are available in the North. On our group tours, we use a variety of local and hotel restaurants, which provide variety in both the dishes and methods of cooking. If you like Indian food from home, you will have no problems with the real Indian food as it is similar, only more flavoursome. You’ll love it; though don’t expect to lose weight on your holiday, Indians love to eat and eat big. In tourist centres, some restaurants and hotels may also serve western dishes to provide variety. You may also prefer to bring comforts like cereal, biscuits, muesli bars, and tea/coffee from home.
Drinks will be at each tour member’s own expense. Beer is widely available and cheap. Wine lovers should remember that western style wine is very expensive to import into India, so is not stocked except by upmarket restaurants. Bottled drinking water, soft drinks, and fruit juices are also widely available – remember that you should only have ice, fruit juices, or lassies (yoghurt based sweet or salty drinks) from a trusted restaurant; where they will use boiled or bottled water to prepare ice and drinks.
Tea is very popular and Sri Lankans simply love visiting the many street stalls which brew chai (also known as masala), a sweet, spiced tea brewed with boiling milk. Hotels will usually serve tea and instant coffee at breakfast or other meals – you can usually request the chai or masala style tea as well.

What's Included

All meals
International flights and current taxes
Domestic transportation
Touring with guides and entrance fees
Visa fees for UK & EU passport holders

Why Book This Tour?

This tour is suitable for those who are looking to explore the country of Sri Lanka on an Exclusive Collection tour. You will stay in 5* hotels throughout your tour and you will enjoy some exclusive experiences.

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