Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Sri Lanka Family Holiday

Start: Negombo Finish: Colombo

Visiting: Negombo , Dambulla, Kandy , Bandarawela, Udawalawe , Mirissa, Colombo


Duration: 11 Nights

Physical rating: Medium

Special diets catered: Vegetarians

Tour code: HHFL

Tour operator: Intrepid Travel

Group size: 2 - 16

Age range: 5-99 years

Tour operated in: English


From: $1719 $1516

Extra tourhub saving: $31

-£125
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Tour Overview

Naturally gorgeous, culturally captivating and steeped in mysticism, Sri Lanka makes for a wonderful introduction to both travel and the Indian subcontinent for children and adults alike. Embark on a 12-day family tour and discover temples carved from cliffs, fortresses built on boulders and wildlife-rich parks. Expose your family to different ways of life while cycling through peaceful villages and touring working tea plantations. Wonder at wildlife when you go safari in search of wild elephants, deer and crocodiles. Chill out by the beach in Mirissa while the kids are playing with other young travellers on the tour. Educational, active and leisurely paced, this trip is everything you could want in a family getaway.

Highlights

  • iconShare dinner with a Sri Lankan family before sealing the friendship with an informal lesson in a traditional Kandyan dance.
  • iconThe whole family will be impressed by the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya, from the massive stone lion paws at the entrance to the 200-metre climb to the top.
  • iconSoak up some sun during a strategically scheduled beach break along the palm-fringed sands of Mirissa, where the kids can splash, and you can relax.
  • iconExplore the Dambulla cave temples, where prehistoric Sri Lankans lived thousands of years ago and ancient murals and statues depicting the Buddha are on display.
  • iconSpotting elephants in their natural habitat during a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park is something your kids – and you – will never forget.

Itinerary

icon Day 1: Negombo

Location: Negombo

Accommodation: Lavinia Hotel or similar

Welcome to Sri Lanka! Known as the ‘Pearl of the Indian Ocean’, the island offers travellers palm-studded beaches, rolling plantations, and sacred sights steeped in spirituality. There are no activities planned today until your group welcome meeting at 5 pm. If you arrive with time to spare before the meeting, maybe spend some time relaxing poolside at the hotel or (if the family is keen to start exploring) head out on an Urban Adventure Spirit of Negombo day tour. This optional locally-led tour introduces your family to life in the seaside town.

Optional Activities:
-Negombo - Spirit of Negombo Urban Adventure

icon Day 2: Dambulla

Location: Dambulla

Accommodation: Pelvehara Village Resort or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Begin the adventure by heading to Dambulla by private vehicle, located at the end of a moderate 4-hour drive from Negombo. This town plays home to some of the world’s most spectacularly decorated cave temples. Upon arrival, choose whether to join an optional excursion to the vegetable wholesale market, a labyrinth of shops and stalls that offers a fascinating look at the vast range of produce grown in Sri Lanka. Later, explore the Dambulla cave temples, where prehistoric Sri Lankans lived thousands of years ago and thousands of ancient murals and statues depicting the Buddha are on display.

Included Activities:
-Dambulla - Cave Temples

icon Day 3: Dambulla

Location: Dambulla

Accommodation: Pelvehara Village Resort or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Today’s adventure takes you from Dambulla to Sigiriya, a colossal stone monument hosting a ruined fortress. Let the kids burn off some energy with a climb to the top of enormous rock, checking out the murals and caves along the way. If the weather is playing nicely, you should be able to take in sweeping views of the thick forests from the summit before descending. Once you return to Dambulla, take the family for a pleasant bike ride around the countryside. After a day full of activity everyone should be nice and tuckered out by the time night falls.

Included Activities:
-Sigiriya - Bike ride
-Sigiriya - Lion Rock

icon Day 4: Kandy

Location: Kandy

Accommodation: Hotel Senani or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Say farewell to Dambulla in the morning and make a 3-hour drive to beautiful Kandy, often called the cultural capital of Sri Lanka. The verdant hills surrounding the city, along with the tranquil lake in the centre, creates the perfect scenery for family photo opportunities, and the old shops and restaurants will keep you busy for hours. Spend the afternoon basking amongst rows of flowers and towering palm trees in the Royal Botanical Gardens, home to more than 4000 species of plants including orchids, spices, medicinal plants and various trees. It’s a leisurely walk full of colour. Continue to the Spice Gardens to learn about Sri Lankan spice plants and herbs.

Included Activities:
-Kandy - Botanical Gardens

Optional Activities:
-Kandy - Private cultural dance performance

icon Day 5: Kandy

Location: Kandy

Accommodation: Hotel Senani or similar

Meals: breaksfast, dinner


This morning, visit Dalada Maligawa (the Temple of the Tooth), which houses the country's most sacred relic: a tooth said to belong to the Gautama Buddha. Pilgrims have been coming to pay homage at this site since the 16th century and they still come in droves today, making it a fascinating place to teach kids about one of the world’s oldest religions still being widely practiced. This evening join a local family for dinner and learn the steps to a traditional Kandayan dance during some lessons from local performers.


Included Activities:
-Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony

icon Day 6: Bandarawela

Location: Bandarawela

Accommodation: Orient Hotel or similar

Meals: breaksfast

After breakfast hit the road by private bus past lush green hills to Nuwara Eliya (3 hours), a former colonial hill station built entirely during the 19th century. The old world architecture reflects what you might expect to find in an English village and the town is a fascinating mix of water buffalo and brick Victorian buildings, golf courses and tea plantations. From here board a train to Bandarawela (2 hours). Enjoy views across the hills and tea plantations from your accommodation this evening.

icon Day 7: Bandarawela

Location: Bandarawela

Accommodation: Orient Hotel or similar

Meals: breaksfast, lunch

After a few busy days on the road, today unfolds at a slower pace. Bandarawela is an unhurried, unpretentious hill town that exists to supply the needs of the tea plantation workers and their families. Another distinctive feature of Bandarawela is the colonial flavour still preserved in the many old buildings, including the Bandarawela Hotel and the old supermarket. Enjoy a leisurely morning walk through the countryside, past tea workers plucking the tips of the plants and throwing them into the baskets on their backs. The afternoon is free for your enjoyment – you could always get the family together and challenge some of the locals to a friendly game of cricket.

Included Activities:
-Bandarawela - Country side trek
-Bandarawela - Tea Plucking Experience

icon Day 8: Udawalawe

Location: Udawalawe

Accommodation: Udewalawe Camping (with basic facilities) or similar

Meals: breaksfast, dinner

After a hearty breakfast and 8.30 am checkout, drive to Udawalawe National Park (approximately 3 hours). This park has an amazing array of animal and birdlife, with more herds of wild elephants than anywhere else in Sri Lanka. Following lunch, hop in a jeep for a safari inside the park. Other wildlife regularly spotted here includes macaques and larger monkeys, spotted deer, crocodiles and sometimes even leopards. This is a real safari experience, nothing like a zoo or safari park – truly an adventure for all ages! Check into the campsite at around 6 pm after a full day of adventure.

Included Activities:
-Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari

icon Day 9: Mirissa

Location: Mirissa

Accommodation: Paradise Beach Club – Mirissa or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Join your leader for an early morning, four-kilometre walk to a nearby lake which is home to lots of local birds. Head back to camp and fill up on a hearty meal before travelling to the chilled-out beach town of Mirissa. This is one of the best spots in Sri Lanka and you and your family will have some free time to explore it your way. Check out the stunning beach and splash around in the waves or ask your leader for a delicious dinner recommendation.

icon Day 10: Mirissa

Location: Mirissa

Accommodation: Paradise Beach Club – Mirissa or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Take free time today to relax around Mirissa’s lovely waterfront or take in some of the local sights. The waters are clear and inviting if you’d like to go for a splash in the Laccadive Sea, or you could grab a bite of fresh fish to share with the family. If you’re interested I the local fishing industry, consider gathering the family heading to nearby Weligama by tuk-tuk or bicycle to see colourful fishing boats bring the day’s catch to sell along the shore. The local cottage industry of lace products is also well worth a look. In the evening, visit the Dutch Fort in Galle for a spot of kite flying. If the colours of the kites don’t get you excited, the kaleidoscopic hues of the sunset surely will.

Included Activities:
-Mirissa - Kite Flying

Optional Activities:
-Mirissa - Whale Watching (Nov to Mar)

icon Day 11: Colombo

Location: Colombo

Accommodation: Fairway Colombo or similar

Meals: breaksfast

Check out of the hotel and head towards Colombo. Once you arrive, take a bit of time to wander through the bazaar and take in the sights, sounds and smells of the bustling market. Afterwards, enjoy a bit of free time. You’re in the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, so there’s more than enough things to occupy the whole family. The waterfront is full of life and makes for an excellent starting point. Regroup in the afternoon and head to Galle Face Green – five hectares of ocean-side park bliss – with your fellow families.

icon Day 12: Colombo

Location: Colombo

Meals: breaksfast

Your Sri Lankan family holiday concludes this morning after breakfast. There are no activities planned for today and you are able to depart the hotel at any time after check out at 12 pm. If you are departing later in the day, you can arrange luggage storage at the hotel. Additional accommodation is available through your agent at the time of booking, subject to availability.

What's Included

  • icon
    Meals

    11 breakfasts, 1 lunches, 2 dinners

  • icon
    Kandy - Temple of the Tooth with pooja ceremony

  • icon
    Accommodation

    Hotel (10 nights), Camping (1 night)

  • icon
    Dambulla - Cave Temples

  • icon
    Sigiriya - Lion Rock

  • icon
    Bandarawela - Country side trek

  • icon
    Mirissa - Kite Flying

  • icon
    Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari

  • icon
    Sigiriya - Bike ride

  • icon
    Kandy - Botanical Gardens with local botanist

  • icon
    Kandy - Botanical Gardens

  • icon
    Bandarawela - Tea Plucking Experience

Included Activities

  • Dambulla - Cave Temples
  • Sigiriya - Bike ride
  • Sigiriya - Lion Rock
  • Kandy - Botanical Gardens
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Bandarawela - Country side trek
  • Bandarawela - Tea Plucking Experience
  • Udewalawe National Park - Wildlife safari
  • Mirissa - Kite Flying

Transport

  • Private bus , train , bicycle

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Got a question? Check out our Q&As

Ask A Question
How long has the tour company been trading?

Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

What are the Flexible booking conditions in place for Covid-19?

Lock your trip in with a deposit, then you just need to pay in full by 21 days prior to departure. If you cancel your trip up to 21 days before departure, you can transfer your deposit to another available trip or hold your deposit on file indefinitely (excluding Polar). We are an accredited member of ATOL, AFTA, ABTA, TICO, USTOA and the US Travel Association, so your booking is protected.

What are the Safety Policies in place for Covid-19?

We have reviewed all our health and safety policies and are implementing new minimum standards that emphasise increased hygiene and sanitation. These are in line with recommendations from the World Health Organisation and following the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Safe Travel protocols for tour operators, for which we have received a 'Safe Travels Stamp'

Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

For almost all of our trips, we offer a single supplement option for those solo travellers who wish to have their own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room.

What policies are in place for Covid-19?

Dates & Availability

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Dec 19, 2021

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