TAILOR MADE TOURS
Rainforests, Arid Plains, Highlands, Sandy Beaches and Ancient Buddha Statues
SRI LANKA - THE DESTINATION
Sri Lanka has more than 2,550 years of continuous written history by means of the Mahawansha, and was also mentioned in several ancient Indian texts. One of the most famous is the Ramayana, in which the island, which was referred to as Lanka, was the island fortress of the king Ravana. Read more...
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Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Sri Lanka with Seven Senses.
EXPERIENCE SRI LANKA
WITH SEVEN SENSES
14 Days / 13 Nights
From £2,420 pp / with standard hotels, homestays
Explore Colombo on a street food tour with a local, climb the Sigiriya rock fortress, stay in a tree house, and homestays. Visit off the beaten path destinations such as Pidurangala or the Ritigala Archeological site. Head to Dambulla Caves, visit the evening ceremony in Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Have a village walk, then cook lunch with your host at your homestay. Spend time in Gay Ola National Park, observe the wildlife from a boat. Head to the highlands for some walks, continue to Horton Plains National Park to hike in the cloud forests, visit a former British outpost, Nuwara Eliya, before returning to Colombo by train and having an amazing last night with your hosts.
A GLIMPSE OF SRI LANKA
7 Days / 6 Nights
From £1,190 pp / with standard hotels, homestays
Explore Colombo on a street food tour with a local, climb the Sigiriya rock fortress, stay in a tree house, and homestays. Visit off the beaten path destinations such as Pidurangala or the Ritigala Archeological site. Head to Dambulla Caves, visit the evening ceremony in Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. Have a village walk, go shopping to the market, then cook lunch with your host at your homestay, before returning to Colombo by train and having an amazing last night with your hosts in Villa Hundira.
SRI LANKA OFF THE BEATEN TRACK
16 Days / 15 Nights
From £2,145 pp / with standard hotels, homestays
A true off-the-beaten-path tour of Sri Lanka. Start your trip a 5 hour drive away from Colombo at a local home stay, where you will pick your own vegetables at a farm and cook your Sri Lankan meal with the locals.
Go canoeing and fishing, and experience wild crocodiles and elephants. Surf the waves of the Indian Ocean. Explore ancient monasteries, cook a BBQ dinner at the beach, trek through some of the most scenic mountains of Sri Lanka, visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and cycle through remote villages.
SRI LANKA - THE DESTINATION
Sri Lanka has more than 2,550 years of continuous written history by means of the Mahawansha, and was also mentioned in several ancient Indian texts. One of the most famous is the Ramayana, in which the island, which was referred to as Lanka, was the island fortress of the king Ravana.
Emerson Tennet a traveler to Sri Lanka in the 1850's wrote:
"There is no country in the world that has attracted the attention of authors in so many distant ages and of so many different countries as Ceylon... Its aspects, its religion, its antiquities, and productions, have been described as well by the classic Greeks, by the Romans; by the writers of China, Burma, India and Kashmir; by the geographers of Arabia and Persia; by the medieval voyagers of Italy and France; by the annalist of Portugal and Spain; by the merchant adventurers of Holland, and by the travelers and topographers of Great Britain.
...Ceylon, from whatever direction is approached, unfolds a scene of loveliness and grandeur unsurpassed, if it be rivaled, by any land in the universe."
Go to Kandy to see the Sri Dhalada Maligawa and Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Also don't miss out on the traditional Sri Lanka dance performance held every day at 17:00 in the city hall.
Go to Matale and climb the Sigiriya or Pidurangala Rock, see the ancient frescoes and enjoy a panoramic view of the area.
Go to Raththota, Matale and climb Riverstone, see the Mini Worlds' End and directly travel to Wasgamuwa.
Go to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa to see ancient temples, ruins which are very beautiful.
Go to Nuwara Eliya to see beautiful villages which look like England. There are many tea estates and Hakgala botanical gardens too.
Go to Unawatuna, Galle, Trincomalee (Nilaweli Beach), Pasikuda and north areas to see extremely beautiful beaches.
Go to Mirissa and Kalpitiya and watch whales and dolphins with privately operated boat tours.
Go to Jaffna to see the Portuguese built Fort (1618) it was later expanded by the Dutch (1795), Nallur Temple, Keerimalai natural fresh water pond just 10 feet from the sea and the islands in the Northern Province (Delft, Kayts, Leyden, Middlburg and many more) to see unexplored Sri Lanka.
Go to Yala National Park , Wilpattu , Wasgamuwa for the best wildlife Safari experience. Udawalawe to see elephants and Kumana (Yala East) for birdwatching.
Go to Kithulgala for white water rafting in the Keliniya River.
Go to Dehiwala Zoo. Located in the Colombo district. It will take nearly 8 - 10 hours to view all the animals, Aquarium, butterfly park, elephant Show, sea lion show and the snake farm. You have to purchase entrance ticket. Also has to pay for your camera/video.Ticket prices may vary for foreigners and SARC citizens from the locals. When you get in side the compound follow the guide number posted there, starting 1 and it is nearly 60 routes there. 176 route bus pass this place or on the Galle road, get down at the Dehiwala junction. Agree for LKR100 and Jump in a Trishaw to get in front of the entrance (10 Km from Colombo Fort). It is strictly prohibited to take polythene bags with you. Good restaurant available inside the compound. Sundays are crowded day specially on school holidays there may be around 5,000 visitors in a day.
Go to Galle Face Terrace. It is located next to Colombo center and next to the old parliament complex on the Galle road near to the sea. It is a place for locals to gather to spend their evening. At the end of the terrace is 150 years old Galle face hotel. In the morning it is a place for walking and jogging. (0.18Km). In the evening it is a place for to see the fantastic sun setting with different colors. Street vendors sale local food, Coca Cola, Pepsi and mineral water. During season you can view different kinds of kites being flown over there. Also you can purchase one of them and can fly it. There is a viewing stage built in to the ocean you can walk up to the guard railing at the end. Also there is a flag post and in the sun rising and setting time you can watch colorful flag ceremony by the armed force. t is a nice place to capture different kinds of images.
Go to Independence square arcade, Colombo. Fine dining, entertainment and shopping for International brands.
Go to Floating market at the Bastian Mawatha (Close to Fort Railway Station), for local products shopping and dining on a floating restaurant.
CLIMATE AND WHEN TO GO
Since Sri Lanka is a tropical country, you can expect the rain anytime of the year in different parts of the country. However, the two major rainy seasons are North-East monsoon (October to January) predominantly affecting the east coast and South-West monsoon (May to July) which predominantly affects the west & south coast of sri lanka.
Being an island, the climate of Sri Lanka changes dramatically from one part of the country to another. For example at Nuwara Eliya, in the hills of Central Sri Lanka, has a temperature around 5-20°C throughout the year, whereas Hambanthota, located in the dry zone, has a temperature consistently around 30-35°C.
There are several customs that (for Westerners) take a bit of getting used to.
It is customary to remove shoes and wear conservative attire (i.e. no miniskirts, tank tops, short pants etc.) when visiting temples. It is also the custom to remove shoes before entering a home, though this is not as strictly followed as in places such as Japan.
Never touch or pat the top of the head of Buddhist monks, including children who practice at a temple.
Do not turn your back to (or be alongside) a Buddha statue when within a reasonable distance (observe what others are doing). This includes posing for photos. It's OK to photograph a statue, but all persons should be facing it.
Public nudity is illegal in Sri Lanka - nude/topless sunbathing and skinny dipping should be avoided, except in the private beach resorts which allow it.
Although much latitude is given to tourists, it is more polite to use your right hand when shaking hands, handing money and small objects, etc. Of course you can use both hands for something big and/or heavy.
Be respectful to monks. There's no particular etiquette for Westerners - just be polite. Always give them a seat on a crowded bus (unless you're disabled or very elderly).
It is highly controversial to discuss politics, particularly the Sinhalese/Tamil divide or the LTTE. The 26 year old civil war which ended in 2009 has seen thousands of attacks throughout the country, including suicide bombings and massacres which have killed scores of politicians and civilians on both sides alike.
No photography of sensitive locations (inside and outside), and inside of shopping malls and tea factories (outside OK). Be especially careful in Fort, Colombo (except on the beach). If soldiers are guarding something, it probably shouldn't be photographed. Don't rely on signs alone, as sometimes they are old or missing. For example, one end of a bridge may have a "No Photography" sign, but not the other.
Seemingly innocuous public displays of affection between lovers such as kissing and/or hugging may be culturally frowned upon as it is considered to be private behaviour but it is acceptable in functions and establishments designated for adults such as nightclubs, casinos and beach parties. Much lenience is given to foreigners and holding hands and public affection between parents and their children is not frowned upon.
Visitors to Sri Lanka having tattoo of Buddha or other tattoos of religious significance may be arrested and deported: it is advised to cover up religious tattoos all time if you want to visit despite the warning. There are no issues with non-religious tattoos.
This is nearly a smoke-free country and smoking in public places is prohibited including inside buses and trains. Violators can be prosecuted.
Photographing with your back to statues of the Buddha or posing in an inappropriate manner next to them are prohibited. Violators will be booked.
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