Sri Lanka 50 Shades of Green

Trip description

Are you ready to jump on a plane for an unforgettable trip to the island of a thousand colors? Admire the giant Buddhas on your way, meet the clever monkeys at the exit of the temples, go observe the hundreds of dolphins in the Indian Ocean, take a bath with the elephants, enjoy the magnificent white sand beaches where the turtles come to lay eggs during at night, meet the smiling children in the tea plantation villages. There are plenty of opportunities to have fun. There is something for every taste ! Young and old will live an entertaining and warm experience in Sri Lanka, the island of a thousand smiles.

This well-being circuit will allow you to relax completely, experience a complete change of scenery and leave with new energy. Because you are unique, your trip is too!

“Ayubowan! Welcome to Sri Lanka”

Agency photo

Discover the agency :
Inspire Holidays (Pvt) Ltd.

16 days

From : €1,100*


Services included :

Transportation in a private air-conditioned vehicle with an English-speaking driver guide

Breakfast included

Government taxes

Train ride in the mountainous region (seating - subject to availability at time of booking)

24 hour a day, 7 day a week assistance from the team

Hotels in double rooms (subject to availability)

Parking fees for gasoline and tolls; accommodation and meals for the driver

Services not included:

International flights

Visits and activities not mentioned in the "included" section

Day 1: Colombo International Airport -Negombo (20min)

Day 2: Negombo to Yapahuwa then transfer to Anuradhapura (4 h)

Day 3: Anuradhapura to Aukana to Ritigala to Sigiriya (2 h)

Day 4: Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa to Minneriya to Sigiriya (2 h)

Day 5: Sigiriya to Dambulla to Matale and then Kandy (3 hours drive)

Day 6: Kandy and its surroundings

Day 7: Kandy to Maussawa (3h)

Day 8: Maussawa and its surroundings

Day 9: Maussawa- Dalhousie (1h)

Day 10: Dalhousie and Train ride to Ella (1 hour by road and 2 hours by train)

Day 11: Around Ella and Tuk tuk challenge in tea plantations

Day 12: Ella to Udawalawe (3 h)

Day 13: Udawalawe to Elephant Transit Home to Mirissa (3 h)

Day 14: Finally relax on the beaches of the Indian Ocean, recharge the batteries these last days!

Day 15: Mirissa to Galle (1h)

Day 16: Galle to Colombo to Colombo International Airport (1h30)

Day 1 : Colombo International Airport -Negombo (20min)

sri lanka ©Photo-by-Tomas-Malikon-Unsplash

You are met by your driver upon your arrival in Colombo. You have arrived in a tropical land, with Negombo as your first stop. Close to the airport, Negombo is ideal for resting after a long flight.

Many colonial monuments and churches can still be seen there today, such as the Church of St. Mary, built from 1874 to 1922. Moreover, home to a strong community of Catholics, the city is nicknamed "Little Rome".

Depending on the time you arrive, we suggest a trip on the Dutch canal, the wrong name since it existed two centuries before Dutch colonization. It's a great introduction... meeting with nature... to do to appreciate the magnificent sunset.

Overnight in Negombo

Day 2 : Negombo to Yapahuwa then transfer to Anuradhapura (4 h)

negombo ©Photo by Izuru Kannagara on Unsplash

In the morning, we advise you to discover the city of Negombo and the fish market early. North of the Fort on the waterfront. This market is considered one of the biggest in Sri Lanka. Very popular and authentic, it takes place every morning on the sandy lagoon of Negombo. At dawn, the boats land on the beach with their catch. . Don't miss the return of shrimp fishermen pulling their nets onto the beach before transporting their catch to the fish market Activity is in full swing between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m.: fish sorting, cutting and salting, auction sales and negotiations… A show that is as surprising as it is instructive.

Take the road to the cultural triangle, you cross all types of landscapes made of coconut palms, rice fields, jungle….

Along the way, visit the ancient kingdom of Yapahuwa. A little off the beaten track, Yapahuwa is the granite fortress that once housed Buddha's tooth, now housed in Kandy. A After climbing the many steps of the fortress, you will be rewarded with a superb 360° view of the surroundings!

Before sunset you can also visit Mihintale, located about fifteen kilometers from Anuradhapura and considered as an entry point to Buddhism, in this village perched on a hill where you will climb 1800 steps to reach it. It is here that Mahinda, the disciple of Buddha, came to settle to spread the word of his master. Once at the top, the scenery is worth the effort.

You continue to the city of Anuradhapura.

Overnight in Anuradhapura

Day 3 : Anuradhapura to Aukana to Ritigala to Sigiriya (2 h)

anuradhapura ©Photo by Nicolai C. Stigar from Flickr

Anuradhapura was one of the ancient capitals of the cultural center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the outskirts of the new city, the many vestiges of the ancient capital of Sri Lanka (between the 4th and 10th centuries) stand proudly over miles of greenery. You can ride there by bike, on foot or by tuk tuk in search of the most impressive stupas, the most sacred temples and the most adored ruins. A real journey through time that allows you to touch the past splendor of this city.

Then you take the road to Sigiriya, on the way you could make a small detour to see the statue of Buddha Aukana located west of the great lake of Kalawewa, which from its height of 12 meters, is one of the highest. of the country, but also one of the oldest and best preserved. It is the result of a competition launched by a master sculptor and his apprentice.

You could go and discover the Ritigala nature reserve, which houses an old Buddhist monastery. These ruins, dating from the 2nd century BC, are in the middle of the jungle, which makes the walk very pleasant. Your driver accompanies you for this visit. Installation at your hotel in Sigiriya.

Overnight in Sigiriya

Day 4 : Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa to Minneriya to Sigiriya (2 h)

Sigiriya ©Photo-by-Julie-Ricard￾on-Unsplash

In the morning, visit Polonnaruwa, an ancient city which was the royal capital of Sri Lanka during the 11th and 12th centuries, and covers about ten km2. You can visit the ruins of palaces, temples, but especially Kalu Gal Vihara, a set of 4 Buddha statues carved in granite. The visit can also be done by bike. The archaeological museum is also worth a visit.

Then, around 3:00 p.m., leave for a jeep safari in the Minneriya National Park, famous for its population of elephants which is around 400. You can see other wild animals there: crocodiles, buffaloes, deer, monitor lizards, cormorants, pelicans and other multitude of birds. The park is also interesting for its landscapes, between swamps, lakes and mountains emerging on the horizon.

In the evening, just before sunset, you could climb the hill of Pidurangala, right next to the lion rock, which has archaeological significance. A walk in the middle of nature, which will allow you to enjoy a magnificent view once at the top, in particular on the rock of Sigiriya, and the park of Minneriya further. At the top you will see the ruins of a monastery, Buddha statues, caves etc. A beautiful walk still uncrowded.

Overnight in Sigiriya

Day 5 : Sigiriya to Dambulla to Matale and then Kandy (3 hours drive)

Sigiriya ©Photo by Brian Kyed on Unsplash

Early in the morning to avoid the crowds, visit the fortress of the mad king Kashyapa (5th century) perched 200 meters high, on a block of red granite, the Lion Rock of Sigiriya. We advise you early in the morning to avoid the crowds. The hydraulic layout of the site is highly sophisticated and the Demoiselles (royal concubines or apsaras, celestial nymphs) painted on the stone walls are exceptional: for their beauty and because they are the only female images known for the period in Sri Lanka. Listed by UNESCO, it is the most visited site in Sri Lanka.

Later, we suggest you go and discover the Dambulla Golden Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This monastery comprising five sanctuaries is a high place of pilgrimage. It is also one of the largest and best preserved cave temple complexes in Sri Lanka. It houses more than 150 statues and paintings of the Kandy school. Also enjoy the beautiful panorama of the surroundings.

Then, towards Matale, you visit a garden of spices & medicinal plants. You start by walking around the garden, which is simple but very well maintained. You discover how many plants are grown and harvested and learn more about their culinary uses and medicinal properties. You will see in particular: cinnamon, pepper, nutmeg, turmeric clove, or chocolate tree.

Kandy, the last royal capital of the island, retains an aristocratic atmosphere. Discover the city center on foot, starting with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, a sacred Buddhist temple. The site is richly decorated and houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha.

Overnight in Kandy

Day 6 : Kandy and its surroundings

Peradeniya ©Photo by Sri-Dalada￾Maligawa

We invite you this morning to visit the Botanical Garden of Peradeniya which extends over 60 ha on the banks of the Mahaweli River. To see absolutely: the stretch of royal palm trees, the cannonball trees, the collection of orchids, the multicolored flowerbeds. This garden offers a very nice walk, a must, it is said to be one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world.

At the beginning of the afternoon, you could go back to stroll in the city of Kandy. At the very heart of the city is Lake Kandy (or Lake Bogambara), which attracts many walkers. You could then browse the vegetable market not far from the lake, very lively and sometimes crowded with touts but worth the detour for the diversity of products and the atmosphere. You can also stock up on souvenirs at Selyn, Sri Lanka's only fair trade labeled shop. There are lots of pretty things made from organic cotton. Also go and discover the Batik craftsmen, or The Kandyan Arts & Crafts, you will find many wooden sculptures, clothes, jewelry, postcards etc…

At 5:00 p.m., come and discover Sri Lankan culture by attending a performance of traditional Kandyan dances! Dating back to the Kandyan kings, these ritual and religious dances, with splendid colorful costumes, are still an integral part of the cultural richness of the island and are worth seeing. Very popular in Kandy, this type of performance covers many traditions in an original and entertaining style.

Overnight in Kandy

Day 7 : Kandy to Maussawa (3h)

Maussawa ©Photo by Raashid Ahamed on Unsplash

Early in the morning you can explore the Udawathakele Royal Forest Reserve in Kandy. Stroll through this protected natural area to observe the tropical jungle. You might see deer, and hear lots of birds. !

Continue towards Maussawa. The road becomes more sinuous and climbs little by little. We are in the mountainous agricultural region of central Sri Lanka at 980m above sea level; arrival at the Maussawa Estate Ecological Reserve, a 20 ha former tea land restored, rebuilt and preserved in a biodiverse analogue forest, identical to what it was at the origin of this place; the vegetation is lush and very varied. You will stay in a traditional bungalow or in ecological cottages only built with stone and wood materials from the garden, whose terraces dominate the entire surrounding valley, rice fields and tropical forest. Installation in your Eco lodge, For dinner, discover the products served in the restaurant from organic vegetable gardens or organizations of small producers in the area.

Night in Mauwawa

Day 8 : Maussawa and its surroundings

d’Halpola ©Photo-by-sasha-set-onUnsplash

Day in Eco Lanka, this dream place for nature lovers, curious about new horizons, looking for calm, tranquility and discovery of the authenticity of the country. This hidden paradise, with its dense fauna and flora, will reveal to you the charm and mystery of Sri Lanka in total harmony with nature. During the presence of the French owners, you will be able to share the stories about the old Ceylon and its restoration in Sri Lanka.

The guide will also make you discover all the varieties of the richness of this exuberant nature and their traditional use. An Ecotourism (ATES member) was founded respecting the agricultural activities of the villagers working on this place. Several guided treks can be organized according to time and level to discover ancient varieties of endemic and traditional bio-diverse plant species, and observe 80 recorded birds, butterflies and other endemic species.

Visit the traditional transformation workshops of plants, plants, vegetables and fruits to make Kitul. Guided tours of the village of Halpola in the jungle, the rice fields, the traditional temple, swimming in the river or in the waterfalls of the nearby wild forest...

Night in Maussawa

Day 9 : Maussawa- Dalhousie (1h)

Adam’s Peak. ©Photo-by-ManojDharmarathne-onUnsplash

In the morning, enjoy your eco-lodge and the activities on offer.

Towards the afternoon, you take the road towards Dalhousie. (Called Maskeliya by the locals), which lies at the foot of Adam's Peak. Enjoy beautiful landscapes along your route, made up of lakes, rolling mountains and tea plantations. Relaxation at your hotel to rest before the departure to Adam's Peak.

Take advantage of your day to rest in preparation for the ascent of Adam’s Peak.

Around 10 p.m., you begin your trek to reach the summit of Adam's Peak at sunrise. It is said that at the top of the mountain, there is, dug in the rock, a cavity of almost two meters, supposed to be a footprint. The Hindus see there the trace of the passage of Vishnu, or even of Shiva.

Muslims claim that it is the imprint made by Adam's foot when he came out of the Garden of Eden, to which the island of Ceylon is very close, and fell on Earth, which explains the name given to the mountain. It is also claimed to be the footprint of Buddha, or Saint Thomas.

Overnight in Dalhousie

Day 10 : Dalhousie and Train ride to Ella (1 hour by road and 2 hours by train)

Ella ©Photo by Genine Alyssa Pedreno-Andrada

Board a train from Hatton to Ella (seating subject to availability). Before your eyes, the most beautiful landscapes in Asia pass by, made up of endless tea plantations. Your driver picks you up at the station and you continue the road to reach your hotel in Ella, Installation at your hotel.

Overnight at Ella

Day 11 : Around Ella and Tuk tuk challenge in tea plantations

Bandarawela ©Photo by Thawalama

In the morning, your trekking guide welcomes you and explains the course of your day's trek. Several itineraries are possible depending on your level and your desire.

You could climb Ella Rock, or rather get lost in the countryside of Bandarawela, to pass through villages, vegetable gardens and rice fields. Haputale also offers beautiful treks in the heart of the tea fields. Depending on the route, you can go swimming in a waterfall, cross eucalyptus forests and visit a tea factory, an opportunity to learn more about the process of making this national beverage.

Meeting with the pickers and demonstration of the picking!

Overnight at Ella

Day 12 : Ella to Udawalawe (3 h)

Ravana ©Image-by-Jan-Simonsfrom-Pixabay

In the morning, we recommend climbing Little Adams Peak. 2 hours of easy hiking along the tea fields. Then go to the famous Pont Neuf Demodara (Nine Arch Bridge) from where you may see a train passing by.

Leave the lush green landscapes for the wild area of ​​Udawalawe. Along the way, admire the beautiful Ravana Falls. Arrival in Udawalawe and installation at your hotel.

Around 3:00 p.m., you set off on a jeep safari through this tall grass park, which is worth a visit for its elephant population and abundance of birds. You can also see crocodiles, bears, sambars, monitor lizards, and even leopards for the lucky ones. A naturalist guide accompanying you, you will benefit from all the necessary explanations but also from his sharp eyes to spot an animal in the thickets. The park was created in 1972.

Overnight in Udawalawe

Day 13 : Udawalawe to Elephant Transit Home to Mirissa (3 h)

Elephant Transit Home ©Photo-by-FarhathFirows-on-Unsplash

In the morning, you could visit Elephant Transit Home. The UdaWalawe Elephant Staging Home is owned by the Department of Wildlife Conservatory (DWC). You can go there to attend the feeding which takes place every three hours from 9am to 6pm. The baby elephants raised there are released when they reach a certain age. The center accommodates about forty baby elephants.

Then you head towards the coast, considered one of the most beautiful on the island. You will discover hidden beauties along your route. Take a break to explore Matara and discover the Dondra lighthouse, one of the highest in Asia. The lighthouse is still actively used. It helps guide ships along the Indian Ocean. You will also be able to see the Ahangama stake fishermen.

You could go visit the Blow Hole on the south coast, towards Tangalle. The spectacle is impressive because this Blow Hole, a natural phenomenon, is caused when seawater rushes through a submerged cavern and is pushed upwards. Indeed, at high but irregular frequency, a huge jet of seawater can be seen coming out of the rocks!

Night in Mirissa

Day 14 : Finally relax on the beaches of the Indian Ocean, recharge the batteries these last days!

tortue ©Photo-by-dugwin2-onFlickr

A variety of excursions are possible in the surroundings such as a whale watching cruise or going to discover the beaches of Rekawa: The nesting of turtles on Rekawa beach is a magical moment to experience when traveling to Sri Lanka. In this city in the south of the island, the population has joined forces with the Turtle Conservation Project, an NGO that protects nesting areas along the entire coast. Isolated by dunes and vegetation, the beach then becomes the scene of the comings and goings of giant tortoises. During the spawning period, five species of sea turtles, some of which are endangered, lay several hundred eggs on this beach at night.

sometimes, If you will have to walk for several hours with the guide to see them, the rare and moving spectacle of the turtles laying eggs at dusk is nevertheless worth the effort.

You could just laze on the beach. Do not miss to taste fresh fish in the evening, served on the beach.

Night in Mirissa

Day 15 : Mirissa to Galle (1h)

Fort de Galle ©Photo-by-Chathuraindika-on-Unsplash

Today, after having enjoyed your hotel swimming pool one last time, you take the road and go up the coast to reach the Galle Fort, this architectural jewel with various colonial influences.

The fort, built in the 17th century by the Dutch, is a peaceful and welcoming village. It is totally disconnected from the rest of the city. You will appreciate the ramparts, but also the lighthouse as well as the many churches and small shops.

Stroll through the streets of the fort and take the opportunity to buy your souvenirs!

Overnight in Galle

Day 16 : Galle to Colombo to Colombo International Airport (1h30)

Fort de Galle ©Photo-by-MelissaKumaresan-on-Unsplash

All good things come to an end …. Today your driver takes you back to the airport according to your flight schedules.

We hope you will leave with many beautiful memories in mind.


Describe us your travel plan : your wishes and your needs

We send your request to local agencies

Receive freely up to 4 tailor-made quotes

Choose the agency that fits your needs