Classical Sri Lanka

India, Nepal & Sri Lanka

Regional Journey

Classical Sri Lanka (Summer 2020)

Duration: 10 days Visiting: Sri Lanka

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

Menu
  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Dates & prices

Welcome to Sri Lanka. A verdant utopia for travellers looking for golden beaches, history, culture and delicious regional bites, you’ll be met with an array of exciting Insight Experiences. From taking a walking tour through the backstreets of Colombo with a Local Expert, to visiting Rahju’s Contemporary Art Gallery and a tea plantation, enjoy travelling with a group of like-minded individuals and a knowledgeable Travel Director, who will be on hand to guide you throughout your trip.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Sri Lanka.

    Welcome to Sri Lanka. A land of historic ruins, sweeping beaches and mouth-watering food, you’ve made it to paradise. On arrival, you’ll be picked up and transferred to your hotel, the Taj Samudra, Colombo. A contemporary, luxury build situated on the seafront, it provides an idyllic ambience at sunset. Unwind and rejuvenate before meeting your fellow travellers and Travel Director at 19:00 for a Welcome Dinner with drinks.

  2. Day 2

    Explore Colombo.

    There’s no better way to get to know a city than to walk through its back streets and experience it like a local. In the morning, head on a leisurely walking tour of Colombo with Mark Forbes, a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, and discover the hidden treasures this city has to offer. Journey through a myriad of buildings that date back from 17th century and were erected mainly during the Dutch & British rule. Visit Pettah Market, where locals head to pick up fresh fruit and vegetables, garments and jewellery. This market place is older than the buildings around it and an area best explored with a local. Later, board your customised Tuk-Tuk and head out to explore the hustle and bustle of an afternoon in old Colombo town as it rolls into sunset. Cruise the city streets while watching the sun lower over the Indian ocean and enjoy the chaos as the workday winds down and the city lights come alive for an evening of buzzing activity.

  3. Day 3 - Relaxed Start

    Welcome to the Jungle.

    After breakfast, begin your journey to Wilpattu National Park. A unique complex of over fifty wetlands and gravel roads that trace watering holes, the perfect place to observe wildlife. On arrival, check into your luxury safari camp located on the boarder of the park, a quintessential glamping experience and satisfying blend of comfort and nature. Enjoy relaxing in your spacious living room, with views of the lush, green jungle just steps away. In the evening, venture deep into the thick wilderness. Explore the park by jeep safari, taking the back roads in search for Sri Lanka's big four — leopards, elephants, sloth bear and deer.

  4. Day 4

    Jungle Safari.

    Today you will enjoy a full day of journeying through the jungle.

  5. Day 5

    Wilpattu to Sigiriya.

    In the morning head south making your way to Sigiriya. Stop on your journey at Anuradhapura complex temple, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, sprawling with a rich collection of archaeological wonders. Now a World Heritage site, you’ll have the opportunity to explore its ancient ruins with your Travel Director. After, meet a practising Buddhist and embark on a guided walking tour through Ritigala’s jungle-enveloped paths. Hear tales and secrets of the forest dwelling monks, who once inhabited the monastic reserve. Begin your gradual ascent, making your way through seemingly endless paths and flights of carved stairs. This was once a place of meditation, congregation, teaching and general life for a monastic community who devoted their lives to living simply in the forest.

  6. Day 6

    Exploring Sigiriya's Ancient Kingdom.

    Surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens and reservoirs, Sigiriya is steeped in history. Explore Sigiriya with Insight Choice. Choose between climbing Sigiriya Rock or a visit to Sigiriya Botanical Gardens. Later, visit the historic city of Polonnaruwa by tuk-tuk, the second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, where you will explore remains of ancient temples and tombs. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site for yourself before heading back to your hotel.

  7. Day 7

    Colourful Caves and Rainforests.

    Today you’ll visit the colourful Dambulla Caves. Also known as the Golden Temple caves, this World Heritage Site is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. Take in its mighty artwork dedicated to Gautama Buddha as you explore with your group. Stop at Matale Spice Garden, home to exotic plant species and spice trees, and find out how those spices are used in the preparation of local dishes. Later, arrive in Kandy. Surrounded by mountains, rainforest and tea plantations, this sacred city if famous for its Buddhist sites, such as the Temple of the Tooth shrine. Once here you’ll enjoy a cultural evening of drums and dance performance. Your accommodation for the evening is, Mahaweli Reach. Located next to the mighty Mahaweli River, this traditional hotel is based in the hill capital of Sri Lanka and offers incredible culture, history and authentic dining options.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Tea Country Hills.

    In the morning head to the Sacred Tooth Relic. Located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic, a tooth of Buddha is located here. Later, visit Rahju’s contemporary art gallery. Enjoy a private viewing of his magnificent paintings and discuss his unique perspectives on life over a cup of tea. Continue to Nuwara Eliya. A city in Sri Lanka’s tea country hills, this pretty destination is famous for Seetha Amman Temple, a Hindu shrine and Galway’s Land National Park. In the evening, participate in a cooking demonstration, where you’ll learn to cook Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine with a local chef before indulging on your hard work.

  9. Day 9

    Exploring Nuwara Eliya.

    Rise early this morning for an excursion to Horton Plains for a trek to World's End, where a stunning escarpment that plunges 880 metres down to the jungle floor. World’s End is situated in one of the most popular National Parks in Sri Lanka and is the only one where you can are able walk freely as there are no elephants. Stand in awe and capture incredible views of the expansive plateau before mist and cloud obscure the scene. In the afternoon, you will be treated to an special experience when you visit a tea factory and tea gardens. Walk in the plantation during plucking time and spend time with a tea plucker to learn about their life, before enjoying a tasting session with a tea expert. In the evening, toast to your travels with your new friends over a Celebration Dinner at your hotel.

  10. Day 10

    Goodbye Colombo.

    It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers as your journey comes to an end. You’ll be driven back to Colombo airport for your onward flight. A stop will be made in Colombo for those extending their stay.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT CHOICE

  • Sigiriya: Choose between climbing Sigirya Rock or a visit to Sigirya Botanical Gardens.

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Colombo: Head on a leisurely walking tour of Colombo with Mark Forbes, a photographer and wildlife enthusiast, and discover the hidden treasures this city has to offer.
  • Kandy: Meet a practising Buddhist and embark on a guided walking tour through Ritigala jungle and hear tales of the forest dwelling monks, a monastic community, who once inhabited the monastic reserve, devoting their lives to living simply in the forest.
  • Kandy: Visit Rahju’s Contemporary Art Gallery and enjoy a private viewing of his magnificent paintings and discuss his unique perspectives on life over a cup of tea.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Colombo: Take a panoramic city tour of Colombo including all the main sights and Pettah market.
  • Colombo: Explore by Tuk-Tuk old Colombo town and cruise the city streets while watching the sun lower over the Indian ocean. See the city lights come alive for an evening of buzzing activity.
  • Wilpattu National Park: Ascend deep into the lush, dense jungle on a jeep safari in search for Sri Lanka's big four. Keep your eyes peeled for leopards, elephants, sloth bears and an array of colourful birds.
  • Anuradhapura: With your Travelling Concierge you will visit the former capital of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura. Admire the architectural wonders of this first-kingdom that ruled for a thousand years.
  • Sigiriya: Visit this famous fortress set upon its prominent rocky outcrop.
  • Polonnaruwa: Your visit to the archaeological park will reveal what life in the area was like when the city was thriving, 800-years-ago.
  • Dambulla: See Raja Maha Vihara - the most impressive of Sri Lanka's Cave Temples.
  • Kandy: Enjoy a traditional dance performance in the evening.
  • Kandy: Visit the site of the Sacred Tooth Relic Temple.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Colombo: Join your Travelling Concierge and get to know your fellow travellers during your Welcome Dinner.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Enjoy an evening cooking demonstration of Sri Lankan and South Indian cuisine with local chef, before dining on your creations.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Join your Local Expert to visit a tea plantation and learn how this crop is produced. You'll even have the opportunity to experience the traditional technique of tea-leaf picking, before sampling some of the freshest tea possible.
  • Nuwara Eliya: Your mouth-watering Celebration Dinner features the best of Sri Lankan cuisine.
  • Dining Summary: 9 Breakfasts (B), 3 Lunches (L), 2 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW). Festive Highlight Dinner: 21 Dec departure includes a Christmas Eve Highlight Dinner in Kandy.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

Accommodation

 

Hotel Taj Samudra

Colombo (Contemporary) - Sri Lanka

Taj Samudra Colombo is located in the heart of the Colombo city, overlooking the azure waters of the Indian Ocean. Bright and airy, elegant rooms are stylishly designed with classic wood furnishings, creating a luxurious and comfortable retreat for guests.

Mahoora Safari Camp

Wilpattu National Park (Contemporary) - Sri Lanka

The luxurious Mahoora Safari Camp is located on the border of Wilpattu National Park, known for its Leopards. A quintessential glamping experience and satisfying blend of comfort and nature, enjoy relaxing in your spacious living room, with views of the lush, green jungle just steps away.

Hotel Aliya Resort and Spa

Sigiriya (Contemporary) - Sri Lanka

An artful blend of contemporary architecture and minimalistic style with an authentic Sri Lankan touch, the Aliya Resort & Spa is set in the lush forests where elephants roam free. Rooms have been uniquely designed with the colours and motifs of Sri Lankan batik that come equipped with all modern comforts, illustrating a discreet opulence.

Mahaweli Reach Hotel

Kandy (Traditional) - Sri Lanka

Nestled beside the mighty Mahaweli River, Mahaweli Reach Hotel is layered with refined luxury and old-world charm of an ancient kingdom. The property offers spacious rooms that combine traditional Sri Lankan style with luxury comforts.

Grand Hotel

Nuwara Eliya (Historic) - Sri Lanka

Maintaining the British Colonial architecture, Grand Hotel has graciously evolved to perfectly blend with the tranquillity and beauty of Nuwara Eliya. Understated rooms surrounded by tropical greenery offer an elegant space and ambience.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.