Discover this exotic island with our luxury Sri Lanka family holiday with a private car and driver. Starting with a visit to Wilpattu National Park, keep an eye out for lazing leopards and elephants exploring the forest before heading to Habarana to learn about ancient Sri Lanka in the country’s cultural heart. To cool off, take the train to the tea hills of Ella where you can climb Little Adams Peak and hike to local waterfalls. Finish on the southern beaches of Mirissa and Hikkaduwa where golden sand, turquoise water and delicious seafood top off a wonderful family holiday to Sri Lanka!
This itinerary can be tailored to suit your requirements please contact one of our consultants to start planning your dream trip.
Depart the UK from your chosen airport.
On arrival in Sri Lanka you will be met at the airport and driven to your hotel in Negombo, where you will check in for one night. Spend your first evening by the beach, before an early night ready for tomorrow.
After breakfast you’ll head north to Wilpattu National Park where you will check in for two nights. You’ll have time to settle into the safari camp and have lunch before embarking on an afternoon safari where you can keep an eye out for leopards and elephants in the forest.
Today you’ll enjoy a morning and afternoon game drive through Wilpattu National Park. Wilpattu has recently re-opened after the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka and offers its visitors a great experience that you have to share with far fewer people than in Yala National Park. The wildlife is returning more and more each year – so look out for leopards lazing on the tree branches, elephants roaming through the grasses and sloth bears quietly snuffling for snacks. Crocodiles and buffalos enjoy the cool river and herons fly overhead – this truly is a wildlife wonderland.
Enjoy an early morning safari in Wilpattu looking for some more animals that you may have missed before driving south to Habarana, around a three hour drive, where you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.
After breakfast you’ll set off to visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa, the capital of Sri Lanka during the 12th Century. The city is made up of shrines, monasteries, pavilions and ponds culminating at the “Gal Vihara”, statues of the recumbent, standing and seated Buddha that have been carved from a single wall of granite – a true masterpiece of Sri Lankan art. After a few ours exploring you’ll head to Minneriya National Park in the afternoon where kids will love looking for elephants in the lush grasslands surrounding the lake.
Today you’ll travel to the rock fortress of Sigiriya, a 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky”. The ‘Lion rock’ of Sigirya is a citadel of immense beauty rising out of the jungle. At the base of the rock you’ll find a moat and extensive water gardens before climbing the steep stairs to the top, for unparalleled views over the surrounding forests. The majestic lion’s paw guards the stairway to the palace on the summit next to the frescoes of maidens that have survived in a sheltered area of the rock. After exploring you’ll return to the hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
This morning you’ll leave Habarana and travel towards the tea hills, driving down to Kandy before hopping on the train that rattles its way to Ella. With a cool breeze through the window and people selling local snacks on the train the whole family will enjoy this iconic train ride through the mountains. Keep an eye out for birds along your journey – you might spot woolly necked storks, buzzards and peacocks. On arrival in Ella you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.
Your time in Ella is yours to enjoy how you wish – whether you hike the gentle trail to the summit of Little Adam’s peak for endless views of lush countryside and waterfalls, wander through the local tea fields or simply enjoy your luxury hotel, high in the tea hills of Ella.
After breakfast you’ll depart Ella and head to Mirissa, descending through the mountains past chilli fields and pepper plantations while kingfishers and bee-eaters flit through the warm air. Soon you’ll arrive at the famous lighthouse at Dondra Head – built with British stone, this iconic white lighthouse looks beautiful against the crashing turquoise ocean and waving palm trees, the perfect welcome to the coast. Continue along the shore to Mirissa, where you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Relax in the beachside town of Mirissa – your time here is at leisure so why not walk the endless golden beach, eat some delicious local roti or just hit the hotel pool. You can also take a whale watching tour or visit a cinnamon plantation while you are here – if you’d like to add one of these tours, just ask!
After breakfast you’ll be driven along the coast to Hikkaduwa where you’ll check into your hotel for three nights.
Spend your time in Hikkaduwa at leisure – you can enjoy the beautiful villa and pool, spending some quality time together with your family, looking back over a wonderful holiday exploring Sri Lanka.
The south-west beaches of Sri Lanka are sunny and warm between December and April, while the summer months are a little wetter as the monsoon season kicks in. In contrast the north-east beaches shine on the opposite time of year so there are always beautiful sunny beaches to be found in Sri Lanka. The higher tea fields of Ella can get cold at any time of year but in general the climate is humid and tropical.
If you'd like to get a feel for this trip, read our blog post Easter break in the sun: Sri Lanka with kids - written by one of our consultants who's been there.
This itinerary is purely a suggestion, and can be tailor-made to your requirements, so please contact us with your dates and requests and we’ll put together a bespoke quotation for you.
14 nights in boutique 4* standard accommodation.
Hotels in this category include: