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Sri Lanka Summer Holiday For Families

This 14 day, privately guided Sri Lanka summer holiday is designed for travel July/August, taking advantage of the calm seas and dry weather of the Countrie's East Coast at this time of year. Enjoy three nights of relaxation, fun, and sun on exclusive Jungle Beach. Discover wildlife and wilderness in Wilpattu National Park, the iconic Cultural Triangle and stunning Tea Country.

Tailor-made Classic 2 weeks

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

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…We were really happy with the service we got from Tourdust which can be best described as friendly, efficient and expert.....

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Itinerary

Overview


  • 14 day fully guided itinerary

  • Designed for travel during July / August / September

  • Fun and relaxation at exclusive Jungle Beach

  • Cookery and cycling in an idyllic rural retreat

  • Explore the Cultural Triangle and Tea Country

  • Wildlife spotting in tranquil national parks

Day-by-day

DAY 1: ARRIVE COLOMBO AND TRANSFER TO MUD HOUSE
You will be travelling with a chauffeur guide throughout the trip. You will be met on arrival at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International airport and transfer to the Mud House; the journey is approximately 2.5 hours drive, depending on traffic. On arrival check-in, unpack & unwind. The Mudhouse is a fabulous rural retreat offering an authentic taste of rural Sri Lankan life. Please note if you would prefer not to have a long drive on arrival, we can add an additional night at The Wallawwa, a lovely hotel near the airport which is perfect for recovering from the flight.
Accommodation: The Mudhouse

DAY 2: COOKING CLASS AND CYCLING
The Mudhouse serves authentic village cuisine cooked the traditional way – with clay pots and firewood hearths. In many ways, the kitchen is the real heart of The Mudhouse – a large thatched building that has grown with time to be able to produce meals around the clock for guests and staff alike. Cooking lessons are possible in either the morning or afternoon, in order to prepare the meals for lunch or dinner. Much of the produce used is harvested fresh from the farm and delivered directly to the kitchen. You can discover how to prepare some of the delicious local recipes from scratch. The cooking lessons are informal and fun and conducted by the two main cooks and the rest of the kitchen team.
All guests are given a bike to use for the duration of their stay. As The Mudhouse’s grounds are quite extensive, many guests use them to explore the various trails between the two lakes and to get to and from the restaurant area at meal times. The land around The Mudhouse is predominantly flat and ideal for exploring by peddle power. It is possible to do a lot of the local excursions by bike, such as the Paramakanda temple and Tonigala rock. Many of the nearby villages and lakes can also be reached by bike, as well as the bright lights of Anamaduwa town, which is just under 8 km away.
Accommodation: The Mudhouse

DAY 3: GAME DRIVE IN WILPATTU NP
Wilpattu is Sri Lanka’s largest national park, covering a staggering 130,000 hectares of land. Wilpattu is distinguished by three distinct types of jungle, where the density and species of trees vary. The park’s other main geographical feature is a network of ‘villus’, or natural fresh water lakes. It is here that the animals come to feed, drink and bathe, and accordingly where many of the best sightings occur.
Leopard, elephant, sloth bear, sambur, spotted deer, wild buffalo, mongoose, and jackal are just some of the 31 species of mammals known to inhabit the park. There are also many species of birds to be seen here including the painted stalk, cormorant, owl, tern, buzzard, kite, ibis, teal, egret, heron, hornbill, and eagle. Wilpattu does not have the same volume of leopards as Yala, nor the same guarantees of sightings, which is why there are also no traffic jams inside the park. It is important to visit Wilpattu with an open mind and appreciate it for the wild and beautiful place that it is. The drive from Mudhouse is roughly 1 hour 15 minutes each way. The best times for animal spotting are early morning and late afternoon.
Accommodation: The Mudhouse

DAY 4: CLIMB SIGIRYA ROCK FORTRESS
Enjoy the scenic 2 hour transfer to the Cultural Triangle. Steeped in ancient history, this area is home to the remnants of powerful ancient cities established thousands of years ago by Sri Lanka’s many kings, with plenty of temples and holy sites to observe en route. Arrive for a three night stay at Aliya Resort and Spa, a sleek contemporary property with great views and a super infinity pool. In the cool of the evening, enjoy an informative, privately-guided excursion to the impressive Sigiriya. Note that it is a steep 30min to 1 hr climb up and 30 min descent (depending on walking speed). It is certainly doable for anyone with a good level of fitness and is well worth the effort; the views from the top are magnificent. Light clothing, sun cream, lots of water and a hat are recommended.
Accommodation: Aliya Resort and Spa

DAY 5: EXPLORE THE ANCIENT CITY OF POLONNARUWA
Spend the morning enjoying a privately-guided tour around Polonnaruwa. This once thriving religious and commercial centre boasts ruins, statues and stupas rising majestically out of the dense jungle, and houses an informative archaeological museum. Explore the site by vehicle or on foot, and do come prepared for the heat. While young children might not follow the guide’s commentary, there is plenty of space for them to run around. In the afternoon relax and enjoy the pool at your hotel.
Accommodation: Aliya Resort and Spa

DAY 6: JUNGLE BEACH
It is an easy 2 hr drive to the east coast and to Jungle Beach, a remote sweep of sand north of Trincomalee. The east coast comes into its own from March through to October, with calm seas, warm clear water, and lots of sunshine (when the SW Coast tends to be rough). Jungle Beach is an exclusive retreat, sympathetically developed within the jungle fringing the beautiful beach. Local activities include snorkelling, diving, whale watching, visiting Trincomalee and, above all, simply relaxing.
Accommodation: Jungle Beach

DAY 7: JUNGLE BEACH
At leisure
Accommodation: Jungle Beach

DAY 8: JUNGLE BEACH
At leisure
Accommodation: Jungle Beach

DAY 9: TRANSFER TO KANDY (4HRS)
It is a 4 hour road transfer to Kandy. Afternoon free. Kandy has been a sacred destination for Buddhist pilgrims for thousands of years and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The gateway to Tea Country, it’s a small but buzzing city which sits at a lower altitude than tea country, thus offering warmer temperatures and less rainfall.
Accommodation: Kandy House

DAY 10: KANDY BOTANICAL GARDENS & TEMPLE OF THE TOOTH
This morning, enjoy a private, leisurely 1½ hour guided walk around the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, accompanied by a botanist. Sri Lanka’s largest botanical gardens have acres of open spaces for children to explore. Do remember to bring a hat and sun cream, as well as a camera! Lunch is at the Empire Café, followed by a 1 hour walking tour of the bustling markets and streets of vibrant Kandy town, a UNESCO world heritage site and gateway to the ‘Tea Country’. Afterwards, enjoy a refreshing cup of tea at the historic Queens Hotel. Before dinner, visit the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth, renowned for housing the relic of the tooth of Buddha, and as such a sacred destination for pilgrims for thousands of years.
Accommodation: Kandy House

DAY 11: TRAIN JOURNEY TO THE TEA COUNTRY (3HRS)
After breakfast, depart from Kandy and embark on a scenic 3 hour train ride into Sri Lanka’s ‘Tea Country’. Climbing to 2,000 metres above sea level, this atmospheric journey reveals majestic mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls, lush, emerald tea plantations, and aromatic cyprus and eucalyptus woodlands. The climate here is cooler and more temperate, so dress accordingly, and bring a camera and money for a drink or snack as the train does not have a restaurant carriage.
Purchasing train tickets remains one of the most challenging parts of organizing a tour in Sri Lanka, purely due to the very high demand for seats, coinciding with limited seat availability as there are only three trains per day, of which only a few carriages have reserved seating. Accordingly, train tickets are strictly subject to availability, and can be confirmed only 10 days prior to the date of the journey. By default, we try to reserve seats on the First Class carriage for all our travellers, unless they specifically request a different carriage. Unfortunately, due to the very high demand, we are sometimes unable to obtain First Class tickets. In such instances, we try our best to get any and all possible alternative tickets.
Accommodation: Camellia Hills

DAY 12: VISIT A TEA FACTORY
Today you will visit a historic tea factory to observe processing methods, before having the opportunity to enjoy a tea tasting. Sri Lanka is one of the world’s largest exporters of tea with a roaring industry that dominates the island’s central highlands. Introduced to the country by British tea planter James Taylor in 1867, tea irreversibly changed the topography, and even the demography, of the country. In the wake of Sri Lanka’s coffee blight, British planters were quick to discover that tea was a more lucrative industry. As the number of tea estates rose, there was an increased need for human labour. The production of tea involves a tedious procedure of plucking, withering, rolling, oxidizing and drying – a process that requires heavy machines and plenty of manpower. Workers were shipped over from Tamil Nadu in India to maintain the plantations, and these people, an often overlooked ethnic minority in Sri Lanka, are still the main employees in the tea industry today. A visit to a tea factory has become a staple of every Sri Lanka travel itinerary, and for good reason! If you look past the crowds of tourists and the sometimes amusingly gimmicky tea tours on offer, you’ll find a fascinating subject matter – the epic story of the tea industry, a central theme to the story of not only Sri Lanka, but also the post-industrialized world.
Accommodation: Camellia Hills

DAY 13: LAST NIGHT IN COLOMBO
It is a scenic 4.5hrs drive back to Colombo. Spend the afternoon exploring the capital city on foot through the historical district. You will see the Dutch Museum, a 17th century building that was originally the residence of a Dutch Governor; the country’s largest wholesale bazaar; St. Peters Church, an Anglican church established in 1821; the renowned colonial emporium, Cargills; and eventually arrive at the lighthouse (the designer of which also designed Big Ben) and Galle Face Green. Finish with a sundowner at the Galle Face Hotel. As an alternative to the historic tour, we can offer a walking street food tour of Colombo.
Accommodation: Galle Face Hotel

DAY 14: DEPART
Transfer to the airport for your flight home

Accommodation


Guide price is based on recommended accommodations. Alternative accommodations and upgrades are available. Please get in touch or click on 'alternatives' below for alternatives and upgrade options.

The Mudhouse

Anamaduwa

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Atmospheric eco-lodge
- Stunning rural location
- Cycling, cookery classes, kayaking
- Traditional local cuisine

Aliya Resort and Spa

Cultural Triangle

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Phenomenal Sirigiya views
- 96 rooms and 18 luxury tents
- Superb facilities
- Large, but good value

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Secluded beachfront resort
- Private beach, snorkelling, jet skiing
- Restaurant, pool, spa, and gym
- Characterful retreat, beautiful setting

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- Peaceful location just outside Kandy
- Superb views of surrounding hills
- Yoga sessions and bike hire

Camellia Hills

Tea Country

Our rating

9/10

Price guide

Price rating 4

- 5-room boutique hotel
- Spectacular lake and mountain views
- 10-metre infinity swimming pool
- Lush garden edged by tea bushes

Galle Face Hotel

Colombo & Around

Our rating

8/10

Price guide

Price rating 3

- Scenic beachside location
- Historic building with tours available
- Well located for exploring Colombo

Details

Getting there

From the UK
Flights from the UK to Sri Lanka tend to be overnight on the way to Sri Lanka and day time on the way back. Only Sri Lankan Airlines currently offers direct flights between the UK and Sri Lanka with a 10-11hr flight time. Indirect flights with one stop and an approximate 13-14hr overall flight time are available with Emirates, Qatar, and Oman Air. Flights typically cost between £500 and £1000 per person depending on seasonality and demand. Please get in touch for a detailed quote including international flights from the UK.
From the US
There are no direct flights from the US to Sri Lanka and the best options tend to have one stop in the Middle East with Qatar, Kuwait or Emirates, with prices between $1000 - $1500 per person and an overall flight time of around 18-22h. From the West Coast there is also the option of flying via Singapore with Cathay Pacific or Singapore Airlines again with prices between $1000 - $1500 pp and an overall flight time of 21-22 hours. Please get in touch for a detailed quote including international flights from the US.

Price includes

Price is a guide price for 2 people sharing (or for the family price, the average per person price for a family of 4 in two rooms). The quoted price includes accommodation (a mix of B&B and FB), a private driver guide throughout, guided activities and entrances for locations mentioned in the itinerary.

When is best?

This itinerary is specifically designed for the Western summer holiday months of July and August, when Sri Lanka’s east coast beaches tend to enjoy calm seas, clear waters, and excellent sunny weather. (The south west coast and Galle areas tend to have rough seas at this time of year).

JANUARY - APRIL
Hot and Dry Peak Season
January to April is peak season with hot, sunny and dry weather throughout. It is a perfect time of year for the Coast, and the higher altitudes of the hill country offer a cool respite from the heat. April in particular can be very hot.
MAY - JUNE
SW Monsoon
Monsoon Season in Galle & SW Sri Lanka. During May and June, the South West ofo Sri Lanka (e.g. Colombo, Galle, Tangalle) are affected by monsoon rains during this period. Not as severe as the name suggests, rainfall tends to be short and heavy and passes through quickly.
JULY - AUGUST
Hot and Mostly Dry High Season
Falling between the two monsoon seasons, July and August tend to be hot and dry with the odd shower and after January - April, the next most popular time of year to visit Sri Lanka. West and South Coast beaches tend in the main to be too rough for swimming at this time of year.
OCTOBER, NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
NE Monsoon
The monsoon from the North East affects the whole of Sri Lanka with often heavy rain, albeit rather unpredictable in timing and intensity. The least popular time for visiting Sri Lanka. The monsoons have usually receded come December and it can be a pleasant time of year to visit with sparkling green scenery.

Is it for me?

This itinerary is ideal for families looking to visit Sri Lanka during the Western summer holiday period of July / August, and for whom a beach stay is a priority. We have focussed on the East Coast beaches which enjoy some of their best weather at this time of year, with hot sunny days and calm, clear waters, unlike the South West coast, which experiences rough seas during this period. The itinerary includes two special, off the beaten path destinations: The Mudhouse, and Wilpattu National Park, a much quieter alternative to Yala, although note that leopard sightings are less frequent in Wilpattu.

Safety

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth office check www.gov.uk/travelaware

What customers are saying after travelling with Tourdust

Average Rating

based on 501 reviews

(5.00/5)

  • We had a wonderful time! Our transfers (besides a bit of a wait when we arrived) were smooth. The gentleman that drove us to and from the airport also drove us to our hike and he was very nice and helpful, clean car and very accommodating.
    Our tour guide on the first day, Mandy, was charming and insightful. It was a slow day in the markets but we appreciated the space and gave us a chance to hear all about the Souks. The gentlemen who was with her was a wealth of knowledge and both did a very nice job!
    Our hike was awesome and our guide was great- he even took us to a cool waterfall and took great care of us; lunch in the mountains was delicious!
    The hotel was so lovely and the staff was very accommodating and helpful. The food was great and the rooms very comfortable!
    I did a good amount of damage in the market (often accused of being Berber;) and truly hope to be back next Spring... maybe a girls trip or perhaps I’ll bring my kiddos!
    Thank you for organizing such a nice getaway for my husband and I; we will confidently recommend Tourdust to our friends!!

    MissingJennifer H reviewing Boutique Marrakech & Atlas Mountains on 12 June 2019

  • We had an amazing trip. Everything was well thought out and so much fun. What a great way to truly see the country and learn the culture.

    Joseph was the perfect guide. Very kind, professional, knowledgeable and patient. The kids loved Joseph and keep asking when will they meet him again. He found the Big 5 for us which was unforgettable! Please pass along our appreciation to Joseph.

    Maji Moto was also another incredible experience. They had great customer service and we loved experiencing their culture.

    Sunbird was absolutely beautiful and I wish we had more time there. We loved the view of the lake!

    One suggestion to make the trip even better for other guests in the future would be to have a cooler with drinks and snacks in the Jeep at all times because a ton of driving is involved and it would be helpful to have a cold drink and snacks during the long trip.

    Thanks again for organizing this experience of a lifetime for us!

    MissingBrandon H reviewing Maasai Family Adventure on 12 June 2019

  • Both hotels were excellent. Sari Konak is in a superb location for visiting all the iconic sights. Our family suite was spacious, newly decorated and very clean. There was a separate room for our son and a kitchenette with ‘fridge and kettle. Good choice at breakfast and served on lovely roof terrace. Great views of Bosphorus. One evening, we caught the commuter ferry to Kadikoy for an evening meal. A great option if there isn’t time to fit in a Bosphorus cruise. Also recommend The Old House restaurant which is very close to the hotel. We were in Istanbul during Ramadan so there was a family atmosphere in the city late into the night.

    Esbelli Evi was delightful; a huge cave suite, great character, two bathrooms, sitting room and kitchenette with a fridge well stocked with beers and soft drinks. Private, quiet courtyard with gate to communal areas. Breakfast choice was really good and plenty of outdoor seating. Easy walk into village. Favourite options for dinner were Ziggys (stylish outdoor roof terrace) and Urgup Pide (popular with locals).

    Really must mention owner Suha Ersoz and his staff - all of whom are extremely kind and helpful.

    All our transfers went smoothly. Our driver and guide (Gaia) in Cappadocia were excellent and our itinerary was fast paced and interesting. Lunch options were great, especially on the river at Ilhara. A highlight for me was spitting a wild tortoise!

    Balloon flight with Kapadokya Balloons was well worth the money and well organised.

    MissingTim S reviewing Istanbul & Cappadocia Family Holiday on 07 June 2019

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Alternative Itineraries

Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.

Luxurious 15 day guided family trip exploring Sri Lanka’s treasures, including the ‘Cultural Triangle’, ‘Tea Country’, glorious beaches and ri Lanka's finest lodges.

Tailor-made Luxury 15 days

Adults from $6,707 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average per person price for ground arrangements for two people sharing.

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

Families from $5,999 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

Perfectly balanced relaxing and indulgent 2 week holiday in Sri Lanka with a focus on the wildlife, Tea County and the Coast and plenty of time for fun and relaxation by the pool and beach.

Tailor-made Classic 13 days

Families from $2,803 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

2 week holiday in Sri Lanka with a focus on the Cultural Triangle, the Tea County and the Galle Coast. Designed with a nice balance of guided activities and pool / beach time and perfect for families.

Tailor-made Classic 13 days

Families from $2,730 pp plus flights

'From Price' is the average price per person for ground arrangements for a family of four (two adults + two children under 12).

Flights are typically an additional $1,008 per person economy class from London

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