A traditional Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)
List Words : Team Wanderlust | 25 March 2019

Sri Lanka's best tours: Wonders, thrilling wildlife and unforgettable beaches

If you’re looking for exciting encounters with leopards and elephants, historical wonders and down time on some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, these tours have something for you...

1. Sri Lanka by land and sea

Elephants bathing in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Elephants bathing in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Experience everything Sri Lanka has to offer – the history, the beaches, the flavours and the wildlife – on this 14-day adventure around the island with G Adventures.

Starting in Negombo, you’ll head to the pretty hilltop town of Kandy, visiting a spice plantation and exploring the ancient Temple of the Tooth. You’ll hike around Ella Rock,  learn to cook classic homestyle Sri Lankan food and visit the Elephant Transit home in Udawalawe National Park.

Then you’ll head over to Galle and the southern coast (with whales and dolphins as your travel buddies) for some well-earned time with snorkelling, surfing, and a beach barbecue.

Trip: Sri Lanka Land & Sea

Who: G Adventures

When: Departures Nov-Mar

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1,949 (exc. flights)

2. Eat your way around Sri Lanka

Fish curry by the sea in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Fish curry by the sea in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Leave moderation at home and indulge yourself on this gourmet adventure in Sri Lanka with Intrepid.

From super fresh seafood straight from the Negombo seafood market to fiery curries cooked in local homes, your tastebuds will experience every flavour this beautiful island has to offer. 

Shopping trips to local markets reveal the colourful spices and exotic vegetables on offer. You’ll also take lessons in Tamil, Sinhalese and Bergher cooking so you can reproduce these treats for friends and family back home.

Trip: Sri Lanka Real Food Adventure

Who: Intrepid

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: 12 days

How much: From £1,450 (exc. flights)

3. Cycle the back roads of Sri Lanka

Bike on a beach in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Bike on a beach in Sri Lanka (Shutterstock)

Explore varied Sri Lanka in depth and at a more revealing pace on a 14-day cycling tour with Exodus.

Cycling primarily along back roads, you’ll get under the skin of the country and its people, enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like cycling through the tea estates of Nuwara Eliya and the Buddhist ruins of Buduruvagela. 

A ride through Bundala National Park is one you’ll never forget and your downtime on the beaches of Ahangama will be a welcome and enjoyable break.

Trip: Cycle The Backroads Of Sri Lanka

Who: Exodus

When: Regular departures throughout the year

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1,699 (exc. flights)

4. Experience Sri Lanka’s wild side

Leopard in Yala National Park (Shutterstock)

Leopard in Yala National Park (Shutterstock)

Treat yourself to a wildlife trip like no other on this luxury holiday to Sri Lanka's famous national parks and marine reserves with Wexas Travel.

Your journey begins in Sinharaja Rain Forest, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the last remnant of Sri Lanka's tropical lowland rainforest. Next up is a visit to Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and where you'll get the opportunity to see elephants, leopards, aquatic birds and wild animals. Finally, finish your trip with a visit to Galle, where you will be able to enjoy some incredible whale and dolphin watching. 

The focus of this trip is Sri Lanka’s incredible wildlife, but you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy its rich history, culture and food as well.

Trip: Sri Lankan Wildlife And Whales

Who: Wexas Travel

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 9 days

How much: From £2,165 (inc. flights)

5. Explore the temples and tea trails of Sri Lanka

Tea picker in Sri Lanka (Dreamstime)

Tea picker in Sri Lanka (Dreamstime)

Trek deep into the heart of Sri Lanka and discover little visited parts of this island paradise on this two-week walking holiday with KE Adventure Travel.

Few places on Earth can rival the geographical variety of Sri Lanka. From 2500 metre peaks and emerald green tea plantations to vast forest reserves and tropical coastline, this trip is designed to take you to its very heart. 

Trek the newly opened Namunukula range, conquer Adam's Peak, explore Arugam Bay and a jeep safari in the Yala National Park. This is the Sri Lanka very few visitors get to see.

Trip: Temples and Tea Trails of Sri Lanka

Who: KE Adventure Travel

When: Departures Aug, Nov & Dec

How long: 14 days

How much: From £1695 (exc. flights)

6. Sri Lanka in a flash

Traditional stilt fishermen near Galle (Shutterstock)

Traditional stilt fishermen near Galle (Shutterstock)

For those with only a handful of days to spare, this 6-day adventure with TravelLocal is the perfect introduction to Sri Lanka's sumptuous south-west. 

Starting in the dramatic karst landscape of Sigiriya, you’ll head to the chilled hill town of Kandy, before venturing to Yala National Park for an afternoon safari and fantastic wildlife encounters.

Your journey ends in the colonial town of Galle, famed for its beautiful beaches and whale watching. After the unforgettable experiences on this tour, you’re be sure to come back again for longer.

Trip: Sri Lanka in a Flash

Who: TravelLocal

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 6 days

How much: £670 (exc. flights)

7. Sri Lanka: Beyond The Ordinary

Sampunaatheecharam Shiva Temple near Jaffna (Shutterstock)

Sampunaatheecharam Shiva Temple near Jaffna (Shutterstock)

Venture off the well-travelled tourist path and discover a side to the country that most visitors haven't even heard about, on this 13-day adventure with Selective Asia.

You’ll experience Colombo’s food scene through the eyes of a local, get back to nature for a couple of nights at the 'Mudhouse' eco-retreat in Anamaduwa, and spot wildlife both on land in Wilpattu National Park, and on the sea off the island’s west coast. You’ll also spend four nights in Jaffna, the island’s northernmost region, only recently reopened to travellers after years of civil war.

Your journey ends on the unspoiled beaches of the Kalpitiya Peninsula, which attract far fewer tourists than the beach resorts to the south, and are much more beautiful.

Trip: Sri Lanka: Beyond The Ordinary

Who: Selective Asia

When: Flexible departures throughout the year

How long: 13 days

How much: From £1,472 (exc. flights)

 

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