14 Days Family Tour

An adventurous tour that delves into the rich cultural tapestry of the country, featuring tea plucking, boat rides, elephants, train rides, as well as beautiful rivers and lakes.

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Days

Nights

Itinerary

Day 1
  • ARRIVAL / GALLE
  • Arrival assistance at Colombo International airport.
  • Transfer to Galle. (Approx. 2 hours)
  • Galle City Tour in the Afternoon.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Arrival in Sri Lanka, you will be met on arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport by our Guide who will assist you with your luggage and guide you to your vehicle.

And transfer to Colombo.
Galle City Tour

Galle, the epic Southern capital, is the intersection where classic Dutch architecture meets a tropical setting creating a vivid atmosphere in beauty. Walk the Dutch-haunted streets listening to the creaks of wooden saloon doors and observe how European architecture mingles with South Asian traditions today flooding cultural enthusiasts on a global scale. Its original ramparts and bastions preserved up to date showcase evidences of a heritage preserved for more than 3 1/2 centuries. Walk clockwise within the fort to observe the ‘old gate’ carrying the British coat of arms. Flanking the old gate is the Zwart bastion – the oldest of all – and the lighthouse standing 18 feet in its glory next to the Point Utretcht Bastion. This Dutch bliss is painted with streets that spread in a rectangular grid pattern pierced with houses carrying Dutch colonial style verandas. However, its hallmark stands a reality where the Dutch fort remains a working community with its usual buzz of administrative offices, court complex, commercial buildings, churches and Southern folks frequenting its streets bracing the air of the Elysium of architecture, Galle!

Overnight stay at Galle

Day 2
  • GALLE / BALAPITIYA / AMBALANGODA / GALLE
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • “Madu” River Boat Ride in the Morning. (Approximately 2 hours).
  • Visit Ambalangoda Mask Factory in the Afternoon for a mask painting session with the family. (Approximately 1 hour)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel

Balapitiya Boat Ride

Balapitiya is where one could just sit back and observe how ecology and culture combines under the sun! Cut through the clear water of Madu River – a lifeline of Balapitiya – and head towards Kotu Duwa, the small island housing a temple that dates back to ancient Sinhalese kings. Or, sail through tunnels of shady mangroves swaying alongside Madu River – hiding an ecological treasure – to witness the tranquility of this bio-diversity hot spot which boasts of reptiles, mollusks and over 70 species of fresh water fish. Today the region – which is strong in observing rural folk life in the island – does not only boast of cinnamon plantations in abundance, but also has a fine ‘fish pedicure center’ – one of the most potent & latest rejuvenation techniques. Apart from these amenities Balapitiya has also become a household name in the minds of bird watchers ensuring a thrilling offshore experience.

Mask Factory visit and Mask Painting

Faces carved into perfection on solid wood and painted cobra hoods are common sites for a wanderer across the seaside suburb of Ambalangoda. Conversely, this is a masker’s bliss! Walk into the gallery of folk dances & mask making – the mask museum – or simply take a look at a hut busy cutting, molding and painting masks. You might be able to tune into the mysteries that surround Ambalangoda’s heritage of mask making that acts as the backdrop of folk dances and rituals staged across the pearl of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka.

Overnight stay in Galle.

Day 3
  • GALLE / UDAWALAWE
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • Transfer to Udawalawe in the Morning. (Approximately 2 ½ hours)
  • Afternoon Jeep Safari in Udawalawe National Park. (Approximately 3 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Udawalawe National Park

Be ready to witness trumpets across the border as you approach elephant country around the corner! Udawalawe truly is a sanctuary for the big footed & tusked. Marked by relatively large herds of elephants, the national park proves to be one of the best places one could observe them in their natural habitat. Hop into a safari jeep and head into the park, you are most likely to drive into your first herd of giants within the maiden hundred meters. Turn on your radar into other species – such as potted deer, sambur, barking deer, water buffalo and jackal – found within the park.

Overnight stay in Udawalawe.

Day 4
  • UDAWALAWE / NUWARA ELIYA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Visit the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe in the Morning. (Approximately 2 hours)
  • Transfer to Nuwara Eliya. (Approximately 4 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Elephant Transit Home

Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home bears a different story. Established in 1995, it caters to all injured elephants found in the area before releasing them into their natural habitat. So, make sure to just watch – rather than touch – these gentle giants as they feed, play and mingle with each other, before heading into the wild with one another.

Nuwara Eliya

Misty steep roads, twisting through lush green blankets of tea bushes in a cool climate, remind visitors that they are within the range of the renowned British colonial retreat, Nuwara Eliya. Augmented by an English countryside atmosphere, the city of light – once governed by English & Scottish planters – is still studded with colonial bungalows, hedgerows & one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in the world. A hike through the green grass and red-brick walls should present breathtaking views of a buzzing countryside hamlet.

Overnight stay in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 5
  • NUWARA ELIYA
  • Breakfast at Hotel.
  • OPTIONAL – Early Morning trekking in Horton Plain’s. (Approximately 4 hours)
  • Tea Plucking Session with the Family. (Approximately 2 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Optional – Horton Plain’s National Park

Horton Plains, UNESCO World Heritage Site & Eco-tourism hideout in the heart of the isle, painted with unending stretches of green pastures marks one of the healthiest wet montane evergreen forests in Sri Lanka. With an altitude above 7000ft, the plateau sweeps to a robust 3169 hectares sheltering flora and fauna varieties that may be found nowhere else on earth. As the tributary of Belihul Oya – Bakers Falls – thunders down rocks head off the beaten track – across frost-covered grass – to feel the icy-cold wind against your face. You may even gaze down World’s End, a head-spinning 3700ft drop towards the Southern end or drive carefully through herds of sambar deer, shy to human touch & birdlife chirping across the plains. If you’re cautious enough you may be greeted by the sights of a grunting wild boar, a pouncing fishing cat, otters or even the ‘Spotted-Ghost that haunts the plains’, the Sri Lankan Leopard!

Tea Plucking Session with the Family (Morning Session at 10.00 AM / Afternoon Session 03.00 PM)

For the ultimate holiday souvenir, how about taking home a packet of tea that you picked yourself?

At Heritance Tea Factory we will deck you out in local attire – saree for the ladies, sarong for the gentlemen – and provide you with a basket in which to collect your leaves. Then we will take you out to our organic tea fields and show you which leaves to pluck. You’ll find that it takes a bit of practice to make sure the leaves end up in your basket rather than on the floor!
The professional tea pluckers will accompany you – you’ll be amazed at how efficiently and quickly they manage to fill their baskets by comparison. Luckily, we don’t expect you to produce the minimum 15kg a day that is their target! Then we return to the Heritance Mini Tea Factory, where our chief tea taster, Nadaraj, will inspect your efforts. He will reject any leaves that are unsuitable, so you must pay attention when picking, or all your efforts will be in vain! Nadaraj will take you on a tour of the Mini Tea Factory and explain the whole process, from the initial drying (withering) of the leaves, through rolling, fermenting and sifting, to produce the different types of tea.

Overnight stay at a hotel in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 6
  • NUWARA ELIYA / KANDY
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Kandy in the Morning by Train. (Approximately 4 hours)
  • Witness the Cultural Show in the evening
  • OPTIONAL – Visit Temple of Tooth Relic in the Afternoon. (Approximately 2 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Train Ride

Hop into a rattling train smoking and hissing its way through green valleys of the hill country pierced by endless waterfalls & dotted by tea pluckers draped in bright-colored saris.

Kandy City

Last ruled by King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe – before it was brought under the British rule in 1815, Kandy – the World Heritage Site & last royal capital of Sri Lankan kings – crafts an array of culture, history and heritage in the minds of visitors across the globe. Experience an ancient Kandyan legacy engraved around its crown jewel, the temple of the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha. A stroll across this small lakeside town – cradled among the misty hills – will feature the Kandy City Centre – bundled with latest and world class brands, bazaar, an arts & crafts centre, as well as a gem museum & lapidary. Drive towards Victoria Golf Course, undoubtedly one of the best golf courses in the world for a sweep blended with class and style. Or walk in color as you glide through fresh fruits and vegetables in the Kandy market. Fine tune your evening by stepping to the beat of traditional music & drumming amplified by a cultural show enhancing the rich and vibrant culture of the Wonder of Asia, Sri Lanka.

Optional – Kandy Tooth Temple

Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site mainly due to the temple.

Bhikkhus of the two chapters of Malwatte and Asgiriya conduct daily worship in the inner chamber of the temple. Rituals are performed three times daily: at dawn, at noon and in the evenings. On Wednesdays there is a symbolic bathing of the relic with an herbal preparation made from scented water and fragrant flowers called Nanumura Mangallaya. This holy water is believed to contain healing powers and is distributed among those present.

Overnight stay in Kandy.

Day 7
  • KANDY / RAMBUKKANA / KANDY
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Half Day excursion to Millennium Elephant Foundation. (Approximately 3 to 4 hours)
  • Rest of the day at leisure.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Millennium Elephant Foundation

Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is situated on a beautiful 15 acre estate known as ‘Samaragiri’, which has been home to the Samarasinghe family for many generations. The family has owned elephants since the 1960’s. In 1979 Mr Sam Samarasinghe (1939 – 1991) an animal lover opened the estate to the public as Club Concept. Guests can interact by riding, bathing and feeding elephants. Club Concept supports Millennium Elephant Foundation which was founded in Sam’s memory in August 1999 with the assistance of a world renowned animal charity. MEF has been working continually to improve the treatment of elephants in Sri Lanka by providing a place of medical services and facilities. Charity Number 457.

Elephant Walk Experience Program:

  • Personalized guide for your whole tour.
  • Educational talk by an expert about our Foundation, elephants and a tour of our museum
  • At least a 30 minute walk with an elephant around our grounds watching and observing the elephant whilst learning about Sri Lankan elephants
  • Bathing the same elephant in the river, with only your group without other tourists
  • Optional shower whilst standing next to elephant
  • Free entrance and tour of Maximus Elephant Dung Paper Factory
  • 3 course lunch – including tea or coffee
  • Whole experience last around 3-4 hours.

Overnight stay in Kandy

Day 8
  • KANDY / GAL OYA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Gal Oya in the Morning. (Approximately 3 hours)
  • Bicycle tour around the local area or a bird walk depending on the client’s mood.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Gal Oya

Discover an ancient land untouched by time, a haven of serenity in which to reconnect with the rhythms of the earth. Immerse yourself in nature. Soak yourself in local culture. Explore the rich wildlife of Gal Oya, one of Sri Lanka’s most remote and least visited wilderness areas.

Gal Oya Lodge is a unique Sri Lanka ecolodge spread across 20 acres of private forest. Take your time enjoying this natural paradise with boat safaris, jungle drives, bicycle tours, riverside picnics, naturalist treks and even a walk with our Vedda neighbours, one of the last remaining communities of the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka.

Bicycle Tour around the Local area (1 – 3 hours)

Join one of the naturalists on a leisurely bicycle ride during your stay at the lodge. You may choose to ride on a shorter off-track trail to the small Kiri Oruwa Lake, which is teeming with bird species. Alternatively, you may ride on the longer main road which cuts through the national park to the beautiful Namal Oya Reservoir. Helmets are provided.

Bird Walks and Hikes through the Local Area (1 – 3 hours)

Join a resident naturalist for a walk around the lodge, enjoying the abundant birdlife and beautiful surroundings. The walk offers a number of possible routes through the trees and around the nearby lake, to observe a wide range of bird species such as Kingfishers, Eagles, Kites and many aquatic birds.

Overnight stay in Gal Oya.

Day 9
  • GAL OYA
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Early Morning Trek to the top of the Monkey Mountain. (Approximately 2 -3 hours)
  • A walk of discovery with the Chief Veddha. (Approximately 1 -2 hours)
  • OPTIONAL – Boat Safari in Sri Lanka’s Largest Lake. (Approximately 3 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Early Morning Trek to the top of the Monkey Mountain

For the adventurous early risers, a 1.5 hour uphill trek first thing in the morning is a must. Up top, dramatic 180 degree views over the large forested valley await. An early start allows you to watch the sun rise over the hills in the distance, observing the never ending jungle canopy below. After you’ve finished, return for a well-earned breakfast and enjoy the rest of your day.

A walk of discovery with the Chief Veddha

Gal Oya Lodge neighbours one of the last remaining communities of the Veddha – the forest-dwelling, indigenous people of Sri Lanka. We can invite the village Chief to take you on a walk through the jungles of his ancestors. Discover and learn about local nature as he brings the forest alive, explaining his tribe’s use of medicinal plants, ancient hunting grounds and cave dwellings. It’s a fascinating insight into how the hunter-gatherers lived in the jungles of Gal Oya.

Optional – Boat Safari in Gal Oya Lake

Enjoy the only experience in Sri Lanka that allows you to spot wildlife from the water. It’s a unique way to immerse yourself in the animals’ habitats. With a little luck you could spot elephants swimming between islands or bathing at the lake’s edge. A 2-3 hour safari by boat and a scenic 40 minute drive from the lodge to the lake is perfect to explore the national park and surrounding villages.

Overnight stay in Gal Oya.

Day 10
  • GAL OYA / PASSIKUDAH
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer to Passikudah in the Morning. (Approximately 2 ½ hours)
  • Rest of the day at leisure by beach.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel

Passikudah

Passikudah is a small coastal village situated in the east of Sri Lanka about 35km from Batticaloa. It is famous for its golden bay and clear, shallow waters in which you can wade 50m out to sea. It is a virgin beach and renowned throughout the country for its beauty.

From here you can visit Batticaloa, which is home to a historic Dutch Fort and a lagoon that reportedly has singing fish in it. If you are a keen diver, then there are some excellent diving spots, including the wreck of the HMS Hermes, a WW2 British naval ship. You can also enjoy exploring the Maduru Oya National Park where you have a good chance of seeing elephants as well as Hindu temples and the ancient city of Polonnaruwa.

Overnight stay in Passikudah.

Day 11 & 12
  • PASSIKUDAH
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Full day at leisure by the beach.
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Overnight stay in Passikudah.

Day 13
  • PASSIKUDAH / NEGOMBO
  • Breakfast at the hotel.
  • Transfer at Negombo in the Morning. (Approximately 7 hours)
  • Overnight stay in Hotel.

Negombo

Located within a fairly close range to Bandaranaike International Airport, Negombo – the cinnamon hub of the Colonization of Dutch – offers some of the most exiting diving stretches in the country. With quite a pleasant beach and lagoon watch how Negombo dishes out some of the best lobsters, prawns and crabs found in the country, right on to your table or simply grab your kiteboards for an enthralling fly over crashing waves. Today Negombo also represents an ultimate nightlife featuring bars, disco bars and clubs. So, jazz up to the rhythm of the West, and be ready for a night of ‘fest’, because at Negombo everything is ‘best’.

Overnight stay in Negombo.

Day 14
  • NEGOMBO / AIRPORT
  • Breakfast at the Hotel.
  • Leave to Airport for departure to Maldives. (Approximately 30 mins)

You will be transferred to the Airport to board your flight for onwards journey.

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