Compact Sri Lanka

Compact Sri Lanka showcases the very best of this remarkable island, from historic Galle to the wilds of Ella’s hills. Immerse yourself in Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage, discover an abundance of wildlife, and wander along immaculate beaches in a varied tour guaranteed to leave you wanting to return.

At a glance
  • Stroll Galle’s historic walls above bustling streets and the Indian Ocean
  • Support orphaned elephants at Uda Walawe National Park
  • Climb Ella Rock for breathtaking views over forests & valleys
  • Ride a scenic train through central Sri Lanka
  • Witness sacred prayers at Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth
  • Wander amongst orchids at Peradeniya Botanical Gardens
Itinerary
Price & Hotels

Galle - 2 nights

One of Sri Lanka’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites, Galle is a charming fortified town with an eclectic colonial history. Periods of Portuguese, French & British occupation are evident in the mixed architecture throughout Old Galle, while New Galle, outside the walls, is more reminiscent of a miniature Delhi or Mumbai. Stroll around Old Galle’s ramparts (which extend nearly all the way round the town, offering fantastic views over the streets, the cricket ground and out to sea), chat with the locals, and wander through New Galle’s bustling markets.

Day 1 - Arrive Colombo, drive to Galle

On arrival in Sri Lanka, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel in Galle.

Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.

Day 2 - Galle Fort tour

Includes:

After a morning at leisure, enjoy an afternoon with your expert local guide, exploring Galle Old Town and its warren of narrow streets surrounded by ramparts that overlook the ocean. As you stroll around the old walls, see the historic Dutch influence evident in the architecture around every corner. Your guide will point out places of interest, and how the area has transformed over the centuries to incorporate boutique shops, art galleries and cafes which now sit alongside (and within) the historic buildings. At the end of the tour, remain in the Old Town to have dinner at one of the chic restaurants, or return to relax at your hotel.

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Uda Walawe National Park - 1 night

Uda Walawe National Park is a vast sanctuary, home to water buffalo, water monitors, lizards, sambar deer, monkeys, dozens of bird species, as well as the occasional leopard and around 500 elephants. It’s not unusual to see whole herds of elephants feeding, bathing or just playing in the water. Make a visit to the Elephant Transit Home, an elephant orphanage situated within the park, to learn how orphaned calves are cared for before being released into their natural habitat. All efforts are made to minimize human contact with the elephants, but you will be able to watch them being fed and bathed, and head out for a dusk drive through the park to spot a herd on the move. Return to your camp or lodge as darkness falls to share stories of the day's sightings.

Day 3 - Drive to Uda Walawe National Park, via Elephant Transit Home, dusk safari

Includes:

After breakfast depart for Uda Walawe National Park, which is home to hundreds of elephants. Make a stop en-route at the Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home to learn about how orphaned elephants are cared for before being released back into their natural habitat. All efforts are made to minimize human contact with the elephants, but you’ll be able to watch them being fed and bathed. Continue on to the national park where there will be time to freshen up at your lodge before joining your guide & tracker for a dusk safari through the park.

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Ella - 2 nights

Once a small sleepy village, Ella is steadily growing, with new places to stay and eat opening each year. It remains a friendly, laid back base for exploring the central Sri Lankan hills, with perfect views through Ella Gap; a picturesque valley which cuts through the hills. On one side of the valley, the steep slopes of Ella Rock stretch towards the sky; to the other, Little Adam’s Peak offers hikers of all abilities the chance to explore the forested landscape. Enjoy an early morning safari at Uda Walawe before setting off to Ella for an afternoon tea factory tour. The next day is at leisure to embark upon a challenging trek or gentle hike at your own pace.

Day 4 - Dawn safari, drive to Ella, Tea Factory visit

Includes:

Rising at dawn, join your naturalist for a morning drive through the park, spotting for wildlife. For many, the morning is the most exhilarating time, watching and listening as the park's inhabitants noisily greet the new day. Return to your lodge for breakfast before departing to Ella. In the afternoon there will be an opportunity to visit a nearby tea factory, where you will learn about the history and modern-day production methods of this region's most valuable commodity.

Day 5 - Relax & explore

Includes:

Your day will be at leisure to make the most of your lodge facilities or get out and explore the surrounding natural beauty on foot.

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Kandy - 2 nights

Sri Lanka's UNESCO-listed former capital, Kandy is best known for its Temple of the Tooth Relic, and as host to the island’s most important festival, the Esala Perahera. This festival takes place for ten days during July or August, Filling Kandy’s streets with music, dancing, fire-breathing, juggling and other celebrations on the anniversary of Buddha’s enlightenment. It's a city rich in culture and natural beauty, with a steep, green valley surrounding it in all directions, making your first descent into its streets a pretty special moment.

Day 6 - Tea Country train to Kandy

Includes:

Take the morning train to Kandy through 'tea country', which extends along the route giving you wide views over one of Sri Lanka’s most scenic landscapes from the comfort of your carriage. On arrival in Kandy the remainder of your day will be at leisure to relax or explore.

Day 7 - City tour & Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, Temple of the Tooth Relic

Includes:

Your guide will be available to take you wherever you want to go this morning. For an insight into local life, head to Kandy’s lively morning market, then perhaps relax in the tranquillity of the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens (modelled on Britain's Kew Gardens) which house the largest variety of orchids in Sri Lanka. Closer to the centre of town, just behind the Temple of the Tooth Relic, you’ll find the Udawatta Kele Sanctuary; a forest reserve, containing a rich variety of endemic flora and fauna, and a popular place for walking and bird watching. Make a stop at the nearby British Garrison Cemetery, or stroll back into town, where you can escape the heat of the day in one of the many tea shops along Kandy’s main street.

In the early evening reunite with your guide to visit Kandy’s most famous site; the Dalada Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth Relic. Within the temple walls, a tooth - which Buddhists believe came from Lord Buddha - is enshrined in a golden casket. Watch as the relic is revealed to the eager eyes of waiting pilgrims, causing a flurry of prayers.

Day 8 - Depart Colombo

Includes:

Transfer to Colombo airport for your onward flight.

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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.

Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.

Hotel class Price per person (based on total # travelling)
2 persons 3 - 4 5 - 6
First Class £1,099US$1,440 £931US$1,220 £872US$1,142

Deco on 44

As its name suggests, Deco on 44 is located in an outstanding Art Deco-style property that has been refurbished throughout to ensure your stay is as comfortable... See more

Kalus Hideaway Hotel

Uda Walawe is one of Sri Lanka’s most abundant national parks, and Kalu’s Hideaway is right outside it, less than a mile from the park’s famous Elephant Transit Home... See more

98 Acres Resort & Spa

Built on (not coincidentally) 98 acres of historic tea estate with mind-blowing views across waves of emerald Ceylon tea towards Little Adam’s Peak... See more

OZO Kandy

If you’re looking for a convenient, central Kandy location, then the OZO Kandy certainly ticks that box: being close to the lakeside and within walking distance of the Temple of the Tooth. The design is more modern and sleek... See more
Superior £1,233US$1,616 £1,065US$1,395 £1,006US$1,318

The Fort Printers

The utterly charming Fort Printers hotel was originally a school house, later a print house before being turned into its latest reincarnation: a boutique-style hotel... See more

The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

The Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort offers good quality, convenient accommodation set in a beautiful...

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98 Acres Resort & Spa

Built on (not coincidentally) 98 acres of historic tea estate with mind-blowing views across waves of emerald Ceylon tea towards Little Adam’s Peak... See more

Villa Rosa

Drive just five minutes from the centre of Kandy, winding up one of the city’s typically steep roads, and you’ll soon arrive at the gates of Villa Rosa... See more
Deluxe £2,149US$2,815 £1,982US$2,596 £1,922US$2,517

Taru Villas - Rampart Street

An elegant combination of colonial charm and modern amenities, The Taru Villas - Rampart Street also boasts an enviable location in Galle's Old Town... See more

Mahoora Tented Safari Camps

Imagine experiencing Sri Lanka's wilderness from your very own safari camp. Expertly hosted and supervised by experienced rangers, eco-camping in Sri Lanka is one of those life adventures that move you.… See more

Nine Skies

Named after the ‘nine skies’ which can be seen through the arches of the famous Demodara Nine Arch Bridge, Nine Skies is perfectly placed for those looking to admire one of Sri Lanka’s iconic views... See more

Stone House

Suave and sophisticated, the Stone House wouldn’t look out of place in the pages of an interior design magazine. Couple this with personalised service and attention to detail... See more

Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.

These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).

Itinerary additions

  • If you have a few extra days to spare, make the most of Sri Lanka's year round sunshine and add on some R&R time on one of the country’s beaches. Depending on your month of travel your consultant will be able to advise the best resort for the time of year.
  • If you’re travelling between November & April, book a whale watching trip during your stay in Galle. Promising a nigh-on guaranteed chance of spotting a whale during peak season, the waters off the south coast are amongst the world’s best locations to spot these incredible mammals.
  • For many the Cultural Triangle is a must-see. Give us two nights and we'll show you the highlights of the island's heritage.
At Selective Asia we specialise in creating unique, tailor-made experiences. The holiday itineraries provided on this website are intended to help you visualise what is achievable in your destinations of choice, over a given period of time and at an intended budget.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.

The important stuff

Please note: Sri Lankan hotel contracts are extremely seasonal in comparison to most of their Asian counterparts and therefore you should expect surcharges at various times of the year, not just festive periods. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.

Inclusive:

  • English speaking, local guide
  • All accommodation listed
  • Land transportation by private air-conditioned saloon car / minivan (for small group). Please ask for vehicle upgrade supplement if required.
  • Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
  • All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All meals listed
  • International flight reconfirmation.

Exclusive:

  • Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
  • Entry visas
  • International airport departure taxes
  • Any meals not listed in the itinerary
  • Drinks, other than water on activity days
  • Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
  • Travel insurance
  • All other services not listed in 'inclusive'

Please note

All prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.

 

Extras

Flights

We will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.

Visa

You may require a visa to enter Sri Lanka. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.

Passport

Please ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.

Insurance

You will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.

Vaccinations and Malaria Prevention

You will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.

Booking Procedure

Only once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.

Travelling Responsibly

We care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Make it yours!

Call us on 01273 670 001

Get in touch

Our tailor-made service costs you no extra

This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...

Your own private guides

You'll typically have your own private guides throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.