Sri Lanka Grand Adventure (Nov 1 - March 31)
Voted by "Lonely Planet" as the number one country to travel to in 2019 and set in the Indian Ocean in South Asia, the tropical island nation of Sri Lanka has a history dating back to the birth of time and so much to offer in such a small package. It is a place where the original soul of Buddhism still flourishes and where nature’s beauty remains abundant and unspoilt. Sri Lanka boasts 8 Unesco World Heritage Sites with dozens more ancient sites where legendary temples boast beautiful details. A tropical nation bursting with life, Sri Lanka still has wild elephant populations. It also has pleasantly relaxed national parks where you may encounter water buffalo, a plethora of birds or a troop of primates. Sri Lanka also boasts temperate hill stations which are achingly beautiful, girt by a sea of tea plantations and rainforests. Mountain peaks will beckon the adventurous trekker or for the more sedate, a miniature rail line is often available. There are the beaches that are often deserted and pristine and finally the beautiful people, always smiling and colourful. Sri Lanka is often overlooked but now it has been rediscovered.
No Roads Expeditons / Connaissance De Ceylan Partnership
No Roads Expeditions are extremely fortunate to have Connaissance De Ceylan as our in-country partners. Through a strong family connection of one of our guides, a bond has been created between these two companies that share similar values in relation to the environment, creating sustainable eco-tourism and supporting local economies.
Your hosts are hand-picked, carefully trained local Sri Lankan guides and drivers, who are passionate about creating great memories for guests and extremely proud of their amazing country. On occasions, Stewart and Peter will host an expedition and these are clearly identified next to the expedition dates.
"Taste the Spirit of Adventure"
- Ride through the Ancient Ruins at Polonnaruwa
- Go on safari, watch herds of wild elephants as they graze on the forest edge and head to the large lakes to bath and drink.
- See Samba Deer, water buffalo and several different species of monkeys in their natural environment.
- Travel by train through the cool high country as it meanders through the hills and tea plantations.
- See the tea being hand picked, visit a tea factory to see how it is processed before tasting rich pure Ceylon Tea.
"Eat- Pray- Explore- Relax.........Repeat"
- Taste authentic traditional local cuisines with bold influences from the Dutch and Portugese shared history.
- Stay overnight and experience life in a Buddhist Monastery. Learn meditation and the fundamentals of their philosophy from the Monks themselves. Eat as they eat and join them or listen to them in prayer.
- Explore the ancient ruins of Kings Palaces and the Royal Kingdoms, trek to Adams Peak and visit " The End of the World" at World's End.
- Rejuvenate at some of the countries best 4 Star resorts in pristine locations and enjoy traditional local Ayurvedic spa treatments.
- Chill out and relax by the pool or join one of the many short side trips on offer during the designated rest days.
Ancient Palaces, lost cities and Wildlife Reserves are just a few of the things to look forward to on your 16 day Sri Lankan Adventure. Sri Lanka, is also known as Serendib (serendipity) but we think you will soon agree that this small island country is a lot more than just a "pleasant surprise."
Your adventure begins in the nations capital Colombo, where you will be picked up from the airport for an early check in at the hotel to freshen up and then explore the city in the afternoon on a guided tour. The next day you will be heading up to the North Central Province to see the ancient ruins that are abundant throughout this area. Experience the lost cities and palaces and go on safari before heading to the east coast for some rest and relaxation. Visit an area that was decimated by the 2004 tsunami. Travel to the heart of the country and see the vast tea plantations, visit the ancient temples and experience life within a monastery for a truly unique and spiritual connection.
Trek to World's End and get up early to watch as the first rays of sunlight fall onto the summit of Adams Peak, a spiritually significant place for the local Buddhist community as it is said that Buddha first stepped here when he descended back to earth.
Your Sri Lankan adventure will finish off in the amazing location of the Dutch Fort located in Galle to the south of the island. Explore the old fortification, go shopping and enjoy the array of boutique shops that have opened up within the fort. Finally, travel back to Colombo by coach where you will be taken to the International airport for your flight or start the next leg of your adventure with a stopover to the Maldives for a few days.
Rich in gems, spices, natural resources and rare species of flaura and fauna, Sri Lanka (formerly known as Ceylon) is located in the heart of the Indian Ocean. Dubbed "the Pearl of the Indian Ocean", it was a major trading hub for the Dutch, Arab and Portugese traders for many centuries. The fertile soils and temperate conditions, were found to be perfect for growing tea. It soon became a major industry and the demand for "Ceylon Tea" saw it exported world wide as it still is today. Sri Lanka later became a part of the British Colony and it finally obtained its independence in 1948.
In the mid 1900's Sri Lanka became a popular tourist destination due to its amazing scenery, ancient history, architecture, nature reserves and culinary delights. It attracted adventure seekers from around the world, but in the 1970's the advent of the civil war meant travelling freely throughout Sri Lanka was no longer possible and tourism quickly declined.
Finally, the end of a 30 year civil war and the rebuilding efforts since the 2004 Tsunami has opened Sri Lanka up once again as a destination that offers a multitude of diverse locations and activities allowing people to explore some of the 8 world heritage UNESCO sites throughout the country including nature reserves, ancient cities/ ruins and temples.
Experience a blend of ancient Sri Lanka's old world charm and modern day culture as the country once again grows into a holiday destination that many people will want to see for themselves.
Day 1: Airport / Colombo 40kms - 1h
Day 2: Colombo / Yapahuwa 160kms – 4h30min | Yapahuwa / Sigirya - 85km -2h
Day 3: Sigiriya - Minneriya Safari - Sigiriya
Day 4: Sigiriya / Anuradhapura 80km - 2hrs (one way)/ Sigiriya - Ayurvedic Treatment
Day 5: Sigiriya-Polonnaruwa-Passekudah
Day 6: Passekudah
Day 7: Passekudah / Ella 185kms - 4hrs15min
Day 8: Ella / Bandarawela - Temple Stay 13km - 30min
Day 9: Bandarawela / Nanu Oya (by train) / Kandapola - 20km - 30min / Kandapola / Nuwara Eliya 14kms - 30min
Day 10: Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains 36kms - 1hr10min (one way) / Nuwara Eliya / Adam's Peak -116kms - 3hrs
Day 11: Adam's Peak / Kandy - 97kms - 3hrs
Day 12: Kandy
Day 13: Kandy / Kegalle - 40kms - 1hr / Kegalle / Galle - 185kms - 3hr15min
Day 14: Galle
Day 15: Galle
Day 16: Galle / Colombo - 125kms - 2hrs / Colombo / Airport -35kms - 40min
This expedition is open between 11th January and 31st March for group sizes of 2 or more. If advertised dates do not suit, please contact the office on 03 9598 8581.
SRI LANKA TOURIST VISA
Visa applications for Sri Lanka is a quick and simple online process with applications usually processed within 24 hours. Cost is about $35 USD. Passport and flight details are required to lodge an application.
Day 1: Airport / Colombo 40km / 1h
Arrive at Bandaranayake International Airport on the morning flight.
Assistance and transfer to hotel on arrival by a representative of Connaissance de Ceylan (our in country partners).
Proceed to Colombo and check in with welcome drinks.
Join Colombo City Walks for an interesting walk through Colombo Fort and Pettah area exploring architecture and history of the merchant city (01 Hour) and have the opportunity to go shopping.
Dinner and overnight stay at The Galle Face Hotel. (D)
Day 2: Colombo / Yapahuwa – 160kms – 4h30min | Yapahuwa / Sigirya 85km / 2h
After breakfast, leave for Sigiriya visiting Yapahuwa en route.
Yapahuwa, which was the seat of Government in the 13th century is situated 7 km's east of Maho. The southern and south eastern parts of the land at the base of the rock are protected by two moats and ramparts. Within the fortifications are the remains of many ancient structures.
Proceed to Sigiriya. Arrive, relax and check-in at Aliya Resort and Spa for dinner and overnight stay (B,D)
Day 3: Sigiriya / Minneriya Safari
After an early breakfast, leave to visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress by Tuk Tuks. (2 pax per Tuk Tuk / self-drive available)
Sigiriya, a massive rock in the green scrub jungle, is perhaps the most memorable place for visitors to Sri Lanka. The site was known from ancient times as a hermitage for Buddhist monks. A well-planned monastic complex included caved temples, bathing pools, lovely ponds and Asia's oldest surviving landscaped gardens. Today, Sigiriya is famous for its frescoes painted in the pocket of the rock. The "Lion stairway", the "mirror wall" and the "water gardens" are its other highlights.
Return to the hotel for lunch.
Mid-afternoon, depart for Minneriya National Park for an elephant safari.
Dinner and overnight at Aliya Resort and Spa. (B,D)
Day 4: Anuradhapura / Ayurvedic Treatment
Sigiriya/ Anuradapura – 80kms – 2hrs (One way)
After breakfast, proceed to Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura was the first ancient capital of the country of kings for about 1400 years. In the pinnacle of its glory, the city extended over a surface of 52 sq. km and the population amounted to several tens of thousands. Its magnificent monuments, refined sculptures and paintings are testimony to a veritable and original Sri Lankan culture.
Scheduled AYURVEDIC TREATMENT for each guest.
Sri Lankan Traditional Dinner and overnight at Aliya Resort and Spa. (B,D)
Day 5: Sigiriya / Polonnaruwa / Passekudah
Sigiriya/ Passikudah – 152kms – 3h45min
After breakfast, leave for Polonnaruwa and visit the ancient capital by bicycles with a guide.
Polonnaruwa was the medieval capital of Sri Lanka and today it is one of the most beautiful centres of cultural heritage. With its comparatively brief history and a dozen rules, it has far more completely preserved ruins than Anuradhapura. Visit the ancient ruins and Gal Vihara complex, where 3 gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock.
Proceed to Passekudah. Check in for leisure, dinner and overnight at Maalu Maalu Resort (B,D).
Day 6: Passekudah
Wake up early morning to catch the sunrise in time and enjoy the spectacular view of the dawn.
Optional – walk to the close by village to watch local fisherman in action the traditional way.
Return to hotel.
After breakfast, take part in a cooking competition. An introduction and the menu will be given by the hotel chef and you will go to the local market with him or a representative. Buy the rations / spices needed with the budget provided and return to the hotel for the cooking session of your own local cuisine. The winner will be given a Sri Lankan cookery book.
Relax at the hotel. Dinner and overnight at Maalu Maalu Resort (B,D).
Day 7: Passekudah / Ella
Passekudah / Ella – 185kms – 4hr15min
After breakfast check out of the hotel and leave for Ella.
Check in to hotel. Evening visit trek to Mini Adam's Peak to witness the beautiful sunset. Trek approximately 1hr30min.
Return to Heaven's Edge (Standard) hotel for dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 8: Ella / Bandarawela - Temple Stay
Ella / Bandarawela - 13km - 30min
After a late breakfast, proceed to Bandarawela.
Arrive and proceed to the temple; includes a 1.5km walk from the main road to the temple as it cannot be reached by vehicle.
3.30pm - Arrival at the temple and welcome
5.00pm - Conversation with monks
Two types of Meditation
Samatha or Tranquility - meditation trains the mind to concentrate on only one object.
Vipassana or Insight - meditation trains the mind to observe the many objects coming in to awareness through the six sense doors in order to develop the wisdom to eradicate the defilements in the mind and be freed from suffering.
7.00pm - Dinner
10.00pm - Rest in nature.
Overnight accommodation will be floor style sleeping arrangements and during your stay you should wear (recommended) baggy trousers and shirts / blouses / waist coat. It is cold in the morning and evening times.
Day 9: Bandarawela / Nanu Oya (by train) Nanu Oya / Kandapola - 20km - 30min / Kandapola / Nuwara Eliya - 14km - 30min
5.30 AM - Wake Up
6.00 AM - Walking meditation program
7.00 AM - Breakfast
8.00 AM - Farewell monks
Leave to Bandarawela train station and take the train to Nanu Oya Station. (9.55 / 12.00noon)
(Tickets subject to availability / regular train – second class)
Arrive at Nanu Oya station and proceed by road to Kandapola.
Visit Liddesdale Tea Factory and Plantation at Kandapola and enjoy a packed picnic lunch (let us knwo of any special dietary requirements).
The Ceylon tea is acclaimed as the best tea in the world. The influence of climatic conditions imparts to the product a variety of flavours and aromas, synonymous with quality. The cultivation and manufacture of tea is presently a highly skilled, scientific and technical process, with Sri Lanka producing some of the most fragrant teas in the world.
Check in to Araliya Green Hills Hotel at Nuwara Eliya for dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 10: Nuwara Eliya / Horton Plains - 36km - 1hr10min (one way) / Nuwara Eliya / Adam's Peak -116km - 3hrs
Early morning leave for trekking (approximately 3 hours) at Horton Plains. Packed breakfast to enjoy en route.
Located on a high windswept saddle at 2134 metres elevation, these plains are hard to reach. Many visitors come to see “World’s End” situated on these plains which is considered to be the finest view in Sri Lanka. Early morning the Indian Ocean rims the horizon, 80 km away.
Horton Plains is Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau discovered by Sir Thomas Farr in the 1900's and named after the then British Governor of Sri Lanka Sir Horton. It is the only place where you can see the bear monkey. This is one of world’s best nature tracks and certain plant species, birds and insects you see only at Horton Plain. Nature lovers will enjoy this wide, patna-grass-covered plain, the haunt of several wild yet harmless animals and the home of many species of birds. Bridle paths through the plain will take you to the precipice, popularly referred to as “ Worlds End “; a sheer drop of 1050 metres. Lie on your stomach and peep over the ridge. When it is clear of mist, the view is simply magnificent!
Return to hotel and check out. Proceed to Nalathanni / Adam’s Peak.
Arrive late afternoon. Check in to Punsisi Rest guesthouse to refresh and relax, dinner and rest (B,D).
Day 11: Adam's Peak / Kandy - 97km - 3hr
Early morning around 2.00am, proceed to climb Adam’s Peak in time to view the sunrise from the temple.
After descending ADAMS PEAK (on same route), return to the hotel for breakfast and a refresh before travelling to Kandy via Gampola passing beautiful en route tea plantations and with time availability visit Kotmale Dam.
Arrive in Kandy. Sri Lanka's second city is Kandy, a beautiful historical city in the citadel of the country. It is not only known for it's great kings who ruled the city for almost 225 years independently until the British took over in 1815, but it is also the place where the Sacred Tooth of Lord Buddha is laid in a magnificent temple. The incomparable Perahera celebration, a procession of more than 100 elephants, is held here every August.
Check in to Mount Batten Bungalow Hotel, relax and refresh before dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 12: Kandy
After breakfast proceed to Kandy and visit the city of Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Visit the home and private collection of Dr Jacques Soulie – an amazing man who will hold you capivated by his journey.
Return to Mount Batten Bungalow for dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 13: Kandy / Kegalle - 40km - 1hr / Kegalle / Galle - 185km - 3hr15min
After breakfast travel to Galle via The Millenium Elephant Foundation visiting the Elephant Dung Paper Factory.
Arrive in Galle and check in to Tamarind Hill Hotel for dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 14: Galle
After breakfast explore Galle. Galle is the south coasts major city, whose oldest landmark is the massive 17th century Portuguese and Dutch Fort in which the central city is contained. as you walk through the streets, you can see stron Dutch influenes in the architecture, along with some old British residences and various mosques with Arabic touches. This is the most perfectly preserved colonial town in Sri Lanka, and an atmospheric piece of time-warped island history.
Streets of low-slung Dutch villas are hemmed in by massive coral bastions and the waves of the Indian Ocean break just beyond. History's influence is unavoidable in Galle Fort, a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Return to the Tamarind Hill Hotel to relax before dinner and overnight stay (B,D).
Day 15: Galle
After breakfast, leisure on half board by the ocean.
Dinner and overnight stay at Tamarind Hill Hotel (B,D).
Day 16: Galle / Colombo - 125km - 2hrs / Colombo / Airport - 35km - 40min
AM / PM
After breakfast, depending on flight departure times, either transfer to the airport, Colombo for a shopping experience or your guide can assist with an optional itinerary addition such as a speed boat ride on Madu River in a world heritage wetland site. This is not included in the itinerary price and the cost of any activity after leaving the hotel in Galle would need to be met by each guest. Please note that you have to be at the airport 3 hours prior to your departure flight.
- The above mentioned timings between cities are approximate and subject to change in adverse weather / traffic conditons / refreshment stops and other unpredicted disturbance on the road.
- Alcoholic beverages are not provided at the hotels on Full Moon Poya Days.
Welcome assistance and transfers on arrival and on departure.
Accommodation on Half Board basis through-out.
Transport in an a/c vehicle with an English speaking guide.
Visits / activities according to the program.
Entrance fees to the sites mentioned in the above itinerary.
If you are travelling alone and do not want to share accommodation, a Single Supplement will apply. Please ask us before booking.
- International Airfares
- Airport Tax
- Travel Insurance for your trip
- Alcoholic beverages
- Lunch’s during the tour
- Hiking equipment / water / etc
- Photo and video camera permits at the sites
- Any activities after leaving the hotel in Galle.