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Roundup Sri Lanka’s Bucket-list Attractions In 8-Days

Colombo, Dambulla, Ella, Galle, Kandy, Mirissa, Nuwara Eliya, Pinnawala, Sigiriya, Yala National Park

Nature Tour
Culture Tour
History Tour

Get a glimpse of Sri Lanka’s best attractions and enjoy its nature, culture and history. Make your holiday an exciting experience with wide range of activities from playing with the elephants to climbing up an ancient rock fortress or a cave temple.

DAY 01

Colombo – Pinnewala – Dambulla – Sigiriya

  • In the morning, meet the guide and driver at your Colombo or Negombo hotel. Pick up can be arranged from Bandaranaike International Airport for morning arrivals only.

  • Hop into your private air-conditioned vehicle and start the drive to Pinnewala. (~3 hours)

  • Reach Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in time to see the orphaned baby elephants being bottle-fed. You can also feed and pet them.

  • Have lunch at the restaurant overlooking the river, where the elephants – both young and adults – can be seen bathing and playing.

  • After lunch, proceed to Dambulla - drive for ~3 hours to reach the UNESCO World Heritage cave complex.

  • Climb up to the world-renowned cave temples and admire the fascinating interiors with vibrant décor and impressive Buddha statues. The guide will tell you all about the history and stories about these caves.

  • Later in the evening, get back on the road to Sigiriya – a short 30 minutes – 1 hour drive.

  • Check-in to the hotel in Sigiriya.

  • Dinner and overnight in Sigiriya.

DAY 02

Sigiriya – Kandy

  • Have an early breakfast at the hotel and head straight to the Sigiriya Lion Rock. This is the ideal time to beat the heat and crowds at this popular tourist attraction and UNESCO World Heritage rock fortress.

  • Make your way up the “Lion Rock” to the ancient citadel on top, taking in the breath-taking scenery around you.

  • After walking around the terraced summit and learning all about the ancient capital, climb back down and explore the Royal water gardens at the base and take stunning photos of the rock.

  • Proceed for lunch, followed by the drive to Kandy.

  • On route, we can visit a Spice & Herb Garden, the Nalanda Gedige, and the vibrant Hindu Temple in Matale. (~3 - 5 hour drive depending on stopovers).

  • Reach Kandy by evening and check-in to the hotel.

  • Overnight in Kandy.

DAY 03

Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

  • Start the day with a visit to the world-famous “Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic.”

  • The temple itself is a sight to behold. You will also see beautiful white and gold stupas around. There is also a small museum here that showcases stories and information on Buddhism.

  • Make sure you are there early for the “ceremony” and join the devotees to get a glimpse of ‘Buddha’s tooth’.

  • Later, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Kandy or go on a shopping spree. Kandy is well-known for gemstone shopping; you guide can recommend some shops. Ceylon tea, batik textiles, and local crafts can also make good souvenirs.

  • After lunch, get back on the road for the drive to Nuwara Eliya. On route, see tea plantations and spectacular views including those of waterfalls. (~4 - 6 hours’ drive).

  • Reach “Little England” in the evening and enjoy the change of scenery as well as the weather, which is a welcome relief from the sweltering cities.

  • Overnight at hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

DAY 04

Nuwara Eliya – Ella - Yala National Park

  • In the morning, after breakfast at your hotel, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya.

  • You can choose to go boating on the Gregory lake, take a stroll in Victoria Park, visit the Post Office operating in a colonial Tudor Manor or the Hakgala Botanical Garden, explore the markets, farms and tea plantations.

  • By noon, head to Nanu Oya Railway Station to catch your train to Ella.

  • After dropping you off at the station, your driver will travel to Ella with your luggage, by road and wait for your arrival.

  • Enjoy one of the most sought-after train journeys in the world – though it is only a short distance, the train meanders through tea plantations, hills and simply untouched nature, giving you about 3 hours uninterrupted picturesque views.

  • On arrival in Ella, de-board and meet your driver outside the station.

  • Begin the drive towards Yala and reach by evening. (~3 hours drive)

  • Overnight in Yala.

DAY 05

Yala National Park – Mirissa

  • Early in morning, go on a game drive in Yala National Park.

  • Later, after having breakfast, get back on the road to Mirissa. (~3 hours)

  • Reach Mirissa by afternoon.

  • Enjoy the untouched beauty of this quaint beach town, for the rest of the day.

  • Overnight in Mirissa.

DAY 06

Mirissa – Galle

  • Early in the morning, you could go on a Whale Watching tour. (Price not included in tour cost – optional).

  • Spend the day on the beaches of Mirissa and enjoy activities like diving and snorkelling.

  • In the evening, drive to Galle (~2 hours drive)

  • Overnight in Galle.

DAY 07

Galle – Colombo

  • Wake up in the beach town of Galle, have breakfast and set out for a full-day sightseeing tour. There’s so much to see in this vibrant city – from colonial remnants to hip and happening boutique restaurants and shops.

  • Visit the UNESCO Heritage-listed Galle Fort - a Portuguese-built and Dutch-fortified 16th-century fort. You will also see the lighthouse here.

  • Take a walk through old town Galle and the Dutch Hospital – now home to a myriad of upmarket boutiques and restaurants.

  • Have lunch at the Dutch Hospital – choose one of the lively boutique eateries and enjoy a relaxed time.

  • Head over to Flag Rock, at the southernmost end of the Fort. You might see daredevil locals leaping into the waters below.

  • Visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery on the way to Colombo and see how they are attempting to raise the survival rate of sea turtles. You will see tiny turtles in tanks and learn about their lifecycle. (30 minutes tour) OR catch the sunset at the Flag Rock.

  • After the sunset in Galle or the turtle hatchery tour, hop back into the car for your drive along the coast to Colombo. (~3 hours’ drive)

  • Reach Colombo late in the evening.

  • Overnight in Colombo.

DAY 08

Colombo Sightseeing

  • Have a relaxed breakfast at your hotel.

  • Go on a sightseeing tour of Colombo – Half-day drive around or full-day tour, depending on the time of your departure.

  • In Colombo, you can opt to see the colonial buildings, National Museum, Independence Memorial, Gangaramaya temple and other attractions. Take a stroll in Viharamahadevi Park or go boating in Beira Lake.

  • You could also go on a shopping tour of Pettah for good bargains or enjoy the local cuisine on the streets or at a good restaurant by the beach.

  • According to your departure timings, the driver will drop you off at the international airport for your onward journey.

  • Professional English-speaking guide-driver.

  • Insured air-conditioned private car/van (Car in case of 1-3 people and Van for 4 or more people with max 12 people allowed).

  • Fuel, tolls, road taxes and parking fees.

  • Airport transfers.

  • Driver-Guide expenses/accommodation/meals etc.

  • International air-tickets.

  • All meals and beverages.

  • Entrance Fees for attractions.

  • Accommodation.

  • Fee for activities like water sports, train ride etc.

  • Shopping and personal expenses.

  • Whale watching and other activities in Mirissa (Optional).

  • Dinner and Cultural dance show in Kandy (Optional).

  • Tour of Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery (Optional).

  • Anything not mentioned in ‘What’s Included’.

  • The day-wise itineraries are flexible; guests may choose to remove or alter any sites/activities, provided it is within the time and budget allocated to the tour.

  • The guide could suggest and arrange any extra activity that might interest you. However, this would be at your own expense.

  • The guide could recommend restaurants for lunch and dinner, if required. 

Colombo, Dambulla, Ella, Galle, Kandy, Mirissa, Nuwara Eliya, Pinnawala, Sigiriya, Yala National Park

Nature Tour
Culture Tour
History Tour

Contributed By

Courtesy Tourhq

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