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Sri Lanka: A Summer Family Adventure

14 days from £2820 per person

With its friendly people, good hotels and manageable size, Sri Lanka is the perfect family destination. From national parks and misty hills stations to exquisite cultural sites and glorious sandy beaches, this beautiful island is the essence of Asia. Starting in Colombo, white-water raft on the Kelani River then elephant spot in Udawalawe National Park before continuing to capital of the highlands, Kandy and the Udawattekele Sanctuary. After visiting the charming Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage spend four nights relaxing on the beach at Passikudah before returning, via the ‘cultural triangle’ to Colombo.

Route: Colombo – Udawalawe National Park – Kandapola – Kandy – Passikudah – Habarana – Kotugoda – Colombo

Itinerary Highlights

Designed as a sanctuary for displaced animals during the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir, the Udawalawe National Park is an important habitat for water birds and the Sri Lankan elephant.

Nuwara Eliya is located in the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country. During your stay visit Horton Plains National Park with the part-paved circular walk leading to ‘World’s End’ providing fabulous views.

The beaches of Passikudah are some of the finest on the island. Set on Sri Lanka’s under-developed north east coastline, the turquoise waters and abundant marine life are perfect for snorkelling.

Itinerary: Sri Lanka: A Summer Family Adventure

Today depart the UK on the SriLankan Airlines flight to Colombo. (N)
Arrive into Colombo and transfer to the Galle Face Hotel for an overnight stay. Colombo is Sri Lanka's capital. A former Portuguese trading outpost, the city grew under both the Dutch and British to become the commercial hub of the country and today is home to numerous colonial remnants, colourful bazaars and an interesting National Museum. Later visit the city for a brief afternoon tour. (N)
Accommodation in Colombo: Galle Face Hotel (or similar)
Today leave Colombo and travel by road to the small town of Kitulgala close to the banks of the Kelani River for a thrilling white water adventure. Rafting on the Kelani is suitable for all experiences and, as the river widens, it passes the film location for 'Bridge over the River Kwai'. After lunch leave Kitulgala and continue to Udawalawe National Park. (B)
Accommodation in Udawalawe National Park: Kalu's Hideaway (or similar)
Today explore Udawalawe on morning and evening jeep safaris accompanied by a naturalist. Mainly open parkland, the park is famous for its elephants which can be seen in herds of over one hundred. Udawalawe is also home to spotted deer, sambar, barking deer, wild boar, water buffalo and jackal whilst the birding is excellent with nearly 200 species recorded. In the afternoon visit the Elephant Transit Home which has helped care for dozens of injured, sick, or orphaned baby elephants from all over Sri Lanka. (B)
Accommodation in Udawalawe National Park: Kalu's Hideaway (or similar)
Early this morning enjoy one further jeep safari before leaving Udawalawe for the scenic drive up into the hills to Kandapola, the heart of the island's tea growing region. Located close to the old colonial hill-station of Nuwara Eliya, with its English country-style homes and pretty well-tended gardens, this afternoon visit the town and a neighbouring tea plantation. (B)
Accommodation in Kandapola: Tea Factory Hotel (or similar)
This morning visit the Horton Plains National Park. Located on a high wind-swept saddle over 2,000 metres above sea level, this is the starting point for a 12kms circular walk to Baker's Falls and the dramatic World's End. This walk provides some of the finest, and far-reaching, views in Sri Lanka. Later drive to Kandy. Capital of the highlands, Kandy is best known for the opulent Temple of Tooth and later visit the temple where Buddha's tooth relic is housed. (B)
Accommodation in Kandy: Cinnamon Citadel Hotel (or similar)
After breakfast visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage which was established in 1975 and today is home to the largest group of captive elephants in the world then return to Kandy and the Udawattekele Sanctuary—once the reserve of the kings of Kandy and today home to several endemic species of flora and fauna and over 150 different species of birds. End the afternoon at the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, a former royal pleasure garden, and one of the finest botanical gardens in the subcontinent. (B)
Accommodation in Kandy: Cinnamon Citadel Hotel (or similar)
Leaving Kandy, today drive to Sri Lanka's beautiful east coast. Located to the north of the city of Batticaloa, first landing point of the Dutch in 1602, Passikudah has one of the island's finest beaches of golden sand and gentle crystal clear waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. (B)
Accommodation in Passikudah: Maalu Maalu Resort
Alternative option: Uga Bay Resort
Over the next three days relax and enjoy Passikudah. The Maalu Maalu Resort is located directly on the beach and has a large, welcoming swimming pool and its own Ayurvedic spa. For the more active, cycle or walk to some of the small neighbouring fishing villages, dive or snorkel the virgin coral reefs or visit the Portuguese fort in Batticaloa. (B)
Accommodation in Passikudah: Maalu Maalu Resort
Alternative option: Uga Bay Resort
Today leave Passikudah and drive to Habarana. Habarana sits at the heart of Sri Lanka's 'cultural triangle', an area of numerous exceptional Buddhist sites. Later visit nearby Minneriya National Park which is home to a large elephant population. Unlike many of the other national parks, due to their large numbers elephants can be usually be spotted at a very close range. (B)
Accommodation in Habarana: Cinnamon Lodge (or similar)
This morning see the astonishing frescoes and rock fortress of Sigiriya, a vast flat-topped rock which dominates the surrounding rainforest for miles around, before continuing to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dambulla. Here, visit the richly painted caves of this important thousand year old temple complex, then drive back to Colombo and nearby Kotugoda. (B)
Accommodation in Kotugoda: The Wallawwa (or similar)
Today transfer back to Colombo Airport to catch the SriLankan Airlines flight non-stop to the UK. (B)
**KEY: N = No meals, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

What To Do Next?

We design unique, tailor-made holiday itineraries to suit you, by combining your ideas with our knowledge and experience. Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for, or if you require some advice, please call us or complete the enquiry form online for a quotation.

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Private car with English speaking driver-guide
  • Wildlife viewing with local naturalist
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The above price is based on two people travelling together and sharing accommodation in low season. The price is only a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and date of travel. If you wish to travel with your family, friends or on your own we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements.

Sri Lanka Holiday Review

In all a wonderful and memorable trip and thank you again for organising everything and being so accommodating and helpful.

DL & ML - Sri Lanka - January 2018

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For over 30 years, Pettitts Travel have led the way in creating authentic, tailor-made holidays. Our knowledgeable team have first-hand knowledge of our destinations and no two itineraries we prepare are the same.

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