Jewels of Sri Lanka

Code: LKWHW

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Activity types:

  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Level

  • Easier
More information

Difficulty indicator

Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £2,055.00 - 13 to 14 nights

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Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

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Sri Lanka is like a jewel in the Indian Ocean, offering a great variety of landscapes and places to see, all easily accessible with short journeys across the island. It is an island rich in history, where you can roam around forgotten ancient cities, and gardens and estates from the days of British rule.

Wonderful walks in the rolling hills reveal beautiful tropical panoramas, and the chance to see great wildlife.  Every visitor is assured a friendly welcome from extremely hospitable people. Sri Lanka is a sensual island with so much to offer.

Holiday highlights

  • Great variety in a relatively small area
  • Explore the peaceful ruins of ancient cities dating back over 2,000 years
  • Walk in beautiful hill country, through tea estates with amazing views
  • Visit Kandy, the lively lakeside city in the hills with its sacred Buddha tooth relic
  • Receive a warm and friendly welcome from a very hospitable culture
  • Stay in excellent hill stations, beach resorts and colonial style guesthouses

Price includes

  • 13 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
  • Half Board from dinner on arrival to breakfast on departure
  • A full programme of guided walks led by local guides, and HF Holidays’ leader
  • All sightseeing and entrance fees
  • Travel by air-conditioned coach/minivan or train
  • Tips

Accommodation

We stay at a selection of mountain and beach resorts and colonial-style guesthouses with great character.

 

2017

On arrival stay at the 4 star Ramada Hotel(1 night) in the centre of the city, approx 45 mins transfer from the airport, and the perfect location from where we can explore the sights of Colombo.

At Anuradhapura stay at the Palm Garden Village Hotel (2 nights). Well equipped rooms are set in chalets in extensive gardens with a large swimming pool. A lovely place to relax after visiting the ancient cities. 

We then stay at Cinnamon Lodge (2 nights), located in the heart of Sri Lanka's 'Cultural Triangle'. Set in 27 acres of forested grounds, this is a peaceful place to relax. Each of the chalets is en-suite and offer spacious, comfortable rooms in a tranquil setting. There is a large outdoor pool too. We then transfer to its sister hotel, the Cinnamon Citadel (3 nights), siutated in a peaceful setting just on the outskirts of Kandy, with a pool and restaurant overlooking the river.  

In Nuwara Eliya, we stay at the Grand Hotel (3 nights), a 4 star former colonial residence, this beautiful hotel is surrounded by lush green scenery. It provides us with the perfect base to explore the surrounding countryside and its tea trails. 

Our final accommodation is spent at the Mount Lavinia Hotel (2 nights) close to Colombo. It is a large coastal resort, once the residence of the British Governor, with a private beach, inviting pool and large terrace from which to watch the sunset. Two nights here provide the perfect finale to your holiday.

On occasion we may need to change the accommodation listed above. If this happens, your replacement accommodation will be of the equivalent standard or higher. In the rare instance this is not possible, we will contact you in advance.

Itinerary

Download trip notes 

Walks are mostly part day, walking in the cooler mornings and afternoons, exploring ancient ruins on foot, and walking on undulating paths through the hill country. Distances are between 2-7 miles (3.25-11.25km) on clear paths.

Day 1: Depart UK.

Day 2: Arrival in Colombo and transfer to your accommodation (1 night) for some time to unwind in the gardens or by the pool.

Days 3-4: Enroute to Anuradhapura, we'll visit a RAMSAR wetland area for a short walk. Stay at Anuradhapura (2 nights) for walks around the grandest city of ancient Ceylon, dating from the 2nd century BC.  We climb the rocky hill of Mihintale, where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka.

Day 5: A nature walk in the Dambulla countryside gives an insight into village life. We then head to our relaxing resort, the Cinnamon Lodge (2 nights). Optional Jeep Safari at Minneriya Wild Life Park. (payable locally)

Day 6: Walks at the 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya, also known as the 'Lion Rock', to see the remarkably well preserved frescoes of the Heavenly Maidens. Later we travel to the medieval city of Polonnaruwa and see the Gal Vihara statues.

Days 7-9: Visit Dambulla Rock temple before travelling into hill country and the attractive city of Kandy (3 nights). We have time to explore the city on foot, visiting the excellent botanic gardens and the Temple of the Tooth. Plenty of time to relax and discover some of the tea trails from our hotel.

Days 10-12: Take the train through the hills to Hatton and continue by bus to picturesque Nuwara Eliya (3 nights). This small hill town is a well preserved example of colonial style from the era of the British tea plantations. Our walks here include tea trails along Gregory's Lake, walks searching for wildlife on the mist-shrouded Horton Plains, and a visit to the impressive Bakers Falls.

Days 13-14: A long journey to the coast at Mount Lavinia. We have a short stop en route at Kitulgala. Our final day leaves us the option of relaxing by the beach at Mount Lavinia, or taking a trip to Galle. Enjoy a slap-up seafood farewell dinner on the beach as a final evening celebration.

Day 15: Transfer to Colombo for our return flight home.

Day 16: Arrive home.

General Information

Passports
To enter Sri Lanka, passports should have one blank page and be valid for no less than six months from date of arrival.

Visas
All passenger arrivals (except Singaporean and Maldivian) to Sri Lanka must obtain ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation), prior to their arrival by logging into  http://www.eta.gov.lk/slvisa/. The Visa required is a Double-Entry Tourists Visa applicable for 30 days from the date of arrival in Sri Lanka and costs US $40.

Important: All passengers traveling to Sri Lanka from 1 January 2012 are required to submit the following at the port of entry to Sri Lanka:
        a) Valid passport (not less than 6 months)
        b) A copy of the ETA approval notice
        c) Return air ticket
        d) Sufficient funds

Health advice
Before booking, you should check with your doctor to see if any health precautions are needed. The following websites provide a wealth of information on travelling and health: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk    www.traveldoctor.co.uk

Your doctor may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, or typhoid if you haven't received one previously for travel. Routine immunisations, such as those that prevent tetanus / diphtheria, should be reviewed and updated as needed. Malaria is not a high threat in the areas that the holiday visits, although as the situation is ever-changing it is strongly advised that you consult a medical professional for up to date information. Cases of Dengue Fever have been reported in Sri Lanka, please take precautions against being bitten by mosquitoes.

Climate
Sri Lanka is warm and sunny year round with average temperatures of 27°C (80°F) on the coast and around 20°C (68°F) in the hills. It can rain at any time of the year, but the driest season in the west, south and central highlands is October to March.

Money
The currency is the Sri Lanka Rupee (Rs). Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and larger stores, but usually a charge will be added. Often the most convenient and economical way to obtain money is to use a credit or debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM machine. Visa cards are the most widely accepted by ATMs. The tourist board urges caution when paying by credit card due to the potential for fraud. It is recommended to bring cash in Pounds Sterling or Sri Lankan Rupees as the most convenient method of payment, particularly as much of the holiday is spent outside towns and cities. Traveller’s cheques are not advised.

Tipping
Tips are included on this holiday.

For flights information please see the Dates and Prices tab.

Leaders

Peter Snelson, aka Wolfy

Wolfy was fortunate enough to be Expedition Leader for a young adult development expedition to Laos and Vietnam for 3 weeks in 2014. He enjoyed it tremendously and found the culture and friendliness of the people he met wonderful. He also leads youth expeditions on a regular basis to Morocco, exploring the High Atlas Mountains. During the summer of 2016 he is leading an expedition to South India, travelling from the west coast to the east. Having learnt lots about the diverse and varied cultures here he is looking forward to comparing and contrasting them to Sri Lanka with our guests, plus exploring the delights of Sri Lanka and finding out lots about this fantastic country.

He leads for HF Holidays in UK, mainly at mountain houses, and also in European resorts.

Wolfy also ‘freelances’ as an Outdoors Instructor at various Outdoor Adventure Centres throughout the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales and trains, supervises and assesses Duke of Edinburgh teams, National Citizenship and Princes Trust groups. He loves to offer groups real adventure in wild places whether on foot, in kayak or open canoe.

Wolfy will be leading our 17 February 2017 departure.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
9 Mar 2016, 4:54 p.m.

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No review provided

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Very helpful with booking Good brochure and information
8 Mar 2016, 2 p.m.

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+

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All transactions were straightforward and clear.
Travel documents arrived on time

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There should be more walks and less sightseeing.
7 Mar 2016, 8:10 a.m.

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Faultless

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Excellent hotels and fascinating sights
18 Oct 2015, 9:30 p.m.

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Efficient and well organised

Product review:

Excellent tour ,very varied and interesting.The hotels were excellent.The English guide was very well organised and the Sci Lankan guide was superb and made it a very memorable holiday
14 Oct 2015, 4:38 p.m.

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The overall organisation was exceptional as usual. Nothing was too much trouble to organise or rearrange. And exceptionally good HF leader accompanied us and made sure that everything ran smoothly

Product review:

An extremely enjoyable experience with a mixture of wildlife and history//heritage. An excellent Sri Lankan guide who managed to fit in most of the programme despite the sometimes inclement weather. It was a busy programme but well worth the effort of having to sometimes arise early to benefit from good weather.
12 Oct 2015, 7:23 a.m.

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excellent service throughout the holiday, a few blips with the admin due to unforeseen circumstances

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This was a fantastic holiday, great hotels, superb guides with extensive knowledge about wildlife and local knowledge and a lovely country with warm and friendly people
19 Mar 2015, 3:25 p.m.

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Just completed our third international trip with HF and they've been consistently very good.

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Very interesting and varied itinerary. Excellent local guide
Thank you for your feedback, we're so pleased you enjoyed your Worldwide Journey, at HF Holidays we aim to provide the best kinds of walking holidays all over the world.

HF Holidays Ltd.
8 Mar 2014, 5:28 p.m.

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Service review:

Everything was well organised, but it would have been better if seats had been booked on the plane to enable the party to sit together.

Product review:

Some of the hotels were too large and impersonal. I would prefer to sacrifice some comfort for a less 'touristy' experience. At some points during the tour it felt like we were being bussed around the same tourist sites as everyone else in the hotel.
6 Mar 2014, 9:23 a.m.

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Service review:

Holidays have been well coordinated and as in brochure once there although there are occasional administrative glitches.

Product review:

Our enthusiastic local guide offered/added activities and especially in week 1 this made the programme too full with no down time for relaxation. There were many great features: the luggage van with bags in rooms on arrival; excellent hotels with wide range of interesting food for example.
5 Mar 2014, 4:59 p.m.

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Service review:

The administration for the holiday was well arranged with the exception that the e ticket did arrive quite late. Otherwise I have no other complaints.

Product review:

It was an excellent holiday to Sri Lanka. Excellent guides, excellent hotels and food. The only criticism is that perhaps there was too much crammed in the holiday given the current temperature being in the 30Cs. The guides did their best to re-arrange the programme to suit us.

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
18 Feb 2017 LKWHW - Jewels of Sri Lanka 13 £2,055.00 Book Now
22 Sep 2017 LKWHW - Jewels of Sri Lanka
(Travel included)

Flight - Outbound

SRI LANKAN AIRLINES

  • Depart: 22 Sep 2017, 8:40 p.m.
  • Arrive: 23 Sep 2017, 12:40 p.m.
  • Depart from: London Heathrow
  • Arrive at: Colombo Katunayake

Flight - Return

SRI LANKAN AIRLINES

  • Depart: 6 Oct 2017, 12:50 p.m.
  • Arrive: 6 Oct 2017, 7:10 p.m.
  • Depart from: Colombo Katunayake
  • Arrive at: London Heathrow
14 £2,529.00 Book Now
23 Sep 2017 LKWHW - Jewels of Sri Lanka 13 £2,055.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • Single room: £580 (2017)
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person