Comfort Jaffna Hill Country & Sacred Cities (12 Days)
Remoteness and curiosity welcomes you with open arms as you flow towards Jaffna; an area that has for long been off-limits to travelers. Now full of life, colonial remains and deserted beaches it tempts curious travelers with its stories and tales from the past and the present. Spoiling you also is the lush green hill country with its tea estates and misty mountains. The cultural cities granting you the impressive Sirigiya Rock Fortress, cave-murals, sacred remains and closeness to the charming local Sri Lankan culture.
In just 12 days you will get a fine insight into the present day Sri Lanka and its ancient past. From remoteness to bustling city life, from hill country to plains and from culture to nature. Sri Lanka truly embraces it all, giving you the option to go beyond the beaten track, to go well beyond the ordinary.
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• Explore remote parts of Sri Lanka in the Jaffna peninsula, well beyond the beaten track
Small Group Exploration – normally no more than 2-5 travellers. Being few brings you closer to local life and flexibility to go to places less travelled; to go beyond the ordinary.
|Trip Length:||12 Day(s) 11 Night(s)|
|Tour Departure Dates:||Every day.|
Sri Lanka has now become a round the year destination, however the climate varies from city to city. Expect rain in Colombo and the Hill country (Kandy, Nuwara Elliya and Ella) from April to December.
|Type of Transportation:||
Private vehicle/car for the transfer and walking during local activities/sight seeing.
|Type of Accommodation:||
Stay in hotel rooms with aircon on bed & breakfast basis. Please note there will be no aircon at your hotel in hills station like Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella and Sigiriya, due to pleasant/chilly weather.
Child age: Below 5 years old. Children 5 years and up will be treated as adults.
|Included in Price:||
Meals: 11 x Breakfast.
|Excluded from Price:||
• Meals not stated as included in the above
- Locations Visited:
- Negombo, Colombo, Sigiriya, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Dambulla, Jaffna, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Ella
- Start City:
- End City:
Day 1: Arrival in Colombo Airport – Negombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka – a charmingly beautiful country where 5 days ancient cultural immersion and beautiful scapes awaits you.
Upon arrival in the airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to Negombo. Negombo is approx. 20 minutes’ drive from the airport embracing slow life and beachfront location. For newly arrived travellers it is often a welcomed alternative to the hectic and happening Colombo.
Check in to your hotel and rest for a few hours before capturing the streets of
Negombo. You may visit the colonial remains of the Dutch period, a
Buddhist temple and a catholic church. Get close to slow life in the local fishing village; walk the lively fish market, and the bustling bazaar. Overnight at a small boutique hotel
Optional: Do a Boat trip through the Dutch canal, lagoon and sea.
Please note: If you arrive late in the night on day 01you may go around to see Negombo next morning on day 02, before departing to Sigiriya.
Day 2: Negombo – Sigiriya
Having acclimatized to a new country and new customs, you are ready to venture inlands to the ancient scapes of Sri Lanka.
Start with a slow breakfast and enjoy a cup of hot Sri Lankan tea. Then transfer to Sigiriya where you will check in to your next hotel which is a little hidden gem of a place, where you can relax in touch with nature, but with all of the modern conveniences you need.
Late in the afternoon/early evening when the sun cools down a bit, start your excursion to Sigiriya. Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress – an UNESCO world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock.
Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Driving time: Approx. 200 km / 4-5 hours.
Day 3: Sigiriya – Dambulla – Sigiriya
From a rock fortress to a rock temple – another day of cultural explorations in striking landscapes awaits you.
Have your breakfast and transfer to Dambulla, which is about an hour’s drive from Sigiriya. Here you will find the World Heritage Site of Dambulla Rock Temple – the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. the complex of five caves holds over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and ceilings. This makes it the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of Buddha of which the largest is spanning 14 metres and is a colossal figure of Buddha carved out of rock.
Stop for lunch in town and later in the afternoon you have the option to visit the ancient city of Polonnaruwa – An UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country. The relics stand as testimonials of the greatness of the Kingdom’s first rulers and are spread across a huge area. Expect therefore a decent amount of walking, but we guarantee it’ll be worth it.
If you would rather go back to Sigiriya you have the option to do so. Here you can hire bi-cycles and explore the city at your own pace. The choice is yours.
Driving time: Approx. 1 hour per way.
Day 4: Sigiriya– Jaffna
Prepare to head towards the Northernmost part of Sri Lanka, to Jaffna peninsula and the city of the same name. Jaffna has for long been closed land for travellers, but now holds its doors open. The remoteness gives it a distinct local flavour and its multicultural and colonial heritage a colourful, lively and distinct touch.
On your way North you may stop at Murunkandy Kovil to attend rituals, pass by Kilinochchi town and go through the Elephant Pass, which displays war remains from years of unrest.
Jaffna is in close proximity to the sub-continent of India and is separated from it by the Palk Strait and the Bay of Bengal. The greater part of Jaffna is covered by shallow lagoons and has many interesting islands not very far from the shore. From the 1980’s to early 2009, Jaffna was classified as a no-go for travellers and a war zone. For almost three decades, Somehow, Jaffna survived the endless violence and has sprung back to life.
There are lot of popularly growing tourist attractions around the beautiful Jaffna coastline. Some of the main attractions of Jaffna are the Dutch Fort and unexplored beaches along with some pre-colonial buildings from the Dutch Era. Jaffna is also home to many religious sites including temples, mosques and churches which have been through a rough past but have managed to preserve their beauty.
Check in to hotel, and relax at this homely town. As this place has more of Tamil influence and culture, get an evening cooking class to know local food, followed by a dinner.
Driving time: Approx. 250 km / 5-6 hours.
Day 5: Jaffna
After Breakfast at your hotel, explore Jaffna by bicycle with your local guide. You will visit NallurKandaswamyKovil, Dutch Fort (built 500 years ago by the Portuguese), a local fish market, the famous and beautiful Jaffna library and SangiliyanThoppu.
Along the way, you may stop for lunch at a local place and expect the tour to be around 3 hours.
In after noon visit Casuarina beach, one of the best beaches in the Jaffna area. The shallow waters and the very gentle waves make it ideal for safe sea bathing; the clear blue water and distant views a great place in general to take a break and unwind.
Day 6: Jaffna – Kandy
After you have enjoyed your breakfast, you will head back South towards the sacred city of Kandy. Your transportation will be an exploration in its own right with beautiful scenery beyond your windows just as you may visit the spice Garden in Matale along the way.
Check into the hotel, where you get sense of peace, a bit away from the busy town of Kandy.
Driving time: Approx. 275 km / 6 hours.
Day 7: Kandy
After breakfast enjoy the city tour in Kandy. This sacred city was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name "Kandy" conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king, Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798 – a tranquil place in the heart of the city.
In the evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – a golden roofed Buddhist temple that houses Sri Lanka’s most sacred Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. And though it is not possible to see the actual tooth as it is kept in a gold casket shaped like a stupa, you will feel the sacred ambience and take in the colours, the gilded gifts and the shrines that comprise the temple complex.
Late in the evening you will experience a Cultural Show. Some find this funny, while others find it spectacular. You will see the traditional Sri Lankan drummers stirring up a rhythm and decoratively dressed dancers showing their amazing moves. You will see fireworks and fire stunts in a show that truly has something for all.
Day 8: Kandy to NuwaraEliya
After breakfast your driver takes you by true mountain roads deeper into the hill country. Lush green tea plantations tug the neatly curving hillsides, dots of colour from the workers picking leaves. Go all the way to flushing Ramboda waterfall to put your feet in the chilly water and have lunch on the way. Visit a Tea estate, famous for a fine variety of mountain tea, to get the story of tea making. You will arrive in Nuwara Elliya around 15:00. Check in at you hotel, and relax. If you still have energy left, you can instead visit the Victoria park or do some short treks.
Driving time: 80 km / 2-3 hours
Day 9: Nuwara Elliya – Ella
It will be an early start before sun has the grip. At this time it will be cold and crisp. And you should bring a sweater, and breakfast pack. First you drive out to the Horton plains, wild moorland where you go for a trek. Suddenly you will be at the world's end and it seems like all Sri Lanka lies for your feet. It is truly breathtaking and beautiful on a clear day, making the trek to here more than worth it.
Back down, drive back to your hotel.
Later you proceed with your driver through stunning mountain scapes to Ella, the slow mountain village most people come to love. Check in, at a place overlooking the mountains and if you are still curious and legs still fresh you can visit the waterfall and the ridge nearby for a fine sunset. If you stay back, the view is just as rewarding.
Overnight at an exclusive hotel with the panoramic view.
Driving time: 60 km / 1-1,5 hours
Day 10: Ella
Start your day slow with a small Sri Lankan breakfast and get ready for a simple though inspiring cooking class. Try your hands in preparing some delicious Srilankan delicacies, and the spicy, fresh treat will be served to you for lunch.
Later in the day you may just relax for a lazy afternoon or go to the beautiful Ravana falls and enjoy scenery along the road with colourful food stalls, large rainforest trees, slow market towns and a flow of tuk-tuks. There are also old temples and a cave nearby for a perfect evening.
Day 11: Ella – Colombo
After breakfast check out and drive back to the colorful Colombo.
Slowly you descend from the hill country towards the plains and on the way you will find many reasons to stop by local attractions or to take pictures.
After your drive you will arrive in the posh area of Colombo and check in to your hotel.
In the evening do a walk in the area around to find some of the many hidden treasures in the shape of restaurants, shops and friendly locals. Do your last day shopping or just relax at a café on the street.Overnight at a boutique hotel.
Driving time: 225 km / 5-6 hours
Day 12: Colombo
Free Start your day easy and relax, as it is the last day of your tour.To make it more relaxing you will get a body massage with acupressure technique. Visually disable people trained in the techniques, would do the massage. They might not talk a lot. However, their hands perform the magic on one's body to give that perfect freshness after a long journey.
Later, hopefully still light in mind and body after the treat, get dropped to the airport.
Driving time: 40 Km / 1 hour.
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