Carlton Special Tour of Sri Lanka - 7 Nights


From £1520 £1118 /pp

Wonderful tour, beautiful places.
by Jean

020 8385 6868


Sri Lanka has a remarkable variety of sights and experiences on offer for a small island. If you have an interest in wildlife and nature and do not mind a certain amount of travelling in order to see as much as possible within the timeframe of a one week tour, this itinerary is very much recommended. 

After a stopover at Colombo, proceed to the Cultural Triangle and the magnificent Sigiriya Fortress, the most impressive historic site in Sri Lanka. Kandy has a charming colonial atmosphere and is one of the prettiest towns in Asia.

The full train journey through the Hill Country takes you through Alpine forests to Haputale, with dramatic views of the plains below. Horton Plains is a high altitude Cloud Forest that is drenched in beautiful ferns and forests of rhododendron. 

A visit to Yala National Park in the Deep South of the island will be a highlight. This famous reserve has the greatest concentration of Leopards in the world today.

Recommended For: Those who wish to experience the island’s wildlife and nature as well as the must-see cultural sights.

This is a private tour with your own vehicle and driver-guide.


Tour Map

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Depart UK

The flight from LHR to CMB takes approximately 10 hours (Via Sri Lankan Airline)

Day 2 - Colombo

22 Miles Approx 30 Minutes over the express highway

Relax On Arrival At Colombo
The Mount Lavinia Hotel (1877) is an ideal place to relax upon arrival in Sri Lanka. The hotel has a private stretch of beach for its guests and wonderful Indian Ocean sunsets can be seen from its Terrace Bar.


First Class Hotels :
Jetwing Beach , Negombo

Special Choice :
Villa Hundira , Negombo

Day 3 - Dambulla

94 Miles Approx 4 Hours

Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawela is Sri Lanka’s most visited attraction, and provides a very relaxed place to spend a few hours watching elephants. Set in a pretty riverside location, this is home to about 70 Elephants- the largest group of orphaned Elephants in the world! Most have been found injured or abandoned in the wild. Baby calves, some only a few weeks old are fed by bottle and the whole herd is then bathed in the adjoining river. A tour highlight for many visitors to Sri Lanka.


First Class Hotels :
Habarana Village By Cinnamon

Special Choice :
Thilanka Resort And Spa , Dambulla


Day 4 - Kandy

44 Miles Approx 2.5 Hours

The Magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress
The amazing rock fortress of Sigiriya is often listed as 8th Wonder Of The Ancient World and is easily the most impressive historic sight in Sri Lanka. You enter through The Royal Pleasure Gardens with a series of ponds and landscaped terraces until the ascent of the rock fortress begins through a series of dramatic staircases.

Hidden half-way is a cave that reveals the Sigiriya Frescoes. This is Sri Lanka’s premier artistic treasure and is a must for all visitors. If you have a head for heights, you can reach the top via the gigantic Lions Paws, which are the remnants of a huge stone lion that used to guard the entrance. There are stunning views of the forested plains below from the top.

Temple Of The Buddha’s Tooth
Delightfully located in a valley surrounded by hills, Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings. The UNESCO protected Old Town area is a lovely place for an afternoon walk along a maze of streets leading to the Temple Of The Buddha’s Tooth and the Kandy Lake, magnificently framed against forest clad hills in the background.

Visit The Temple Of The Buddha’s Tooth in the evening, for the ‘’pooja ceremony’’ that starts around 6:30 pm. At this time crowds gather to offer flowers and prayers to the sacred relic in the inner sanctum and the temple drummers are in full swing – a magical experience.


First Class Hotels :
Cinnamon Citadel , Kandy

Special Choice :
Hotel Thilanka , Kandy


A Train Journey Of Approx 5 Hours

By Train Through The Hill Country
The Highland Queen leaves Kandy Railway Station for a spectacular journey through the Hill Country. There are lovely views of waterfalls and tea estates among the glorious scenery of the Great Western mountain range.

We include the full-length railway journey through pine and cloud forests near Horton Plains as well as the mind-boggling views of the Eastern Hill Country at Haputale. Clients are booked on the super luxury Expo Carriage or Rajadhani or the Observation Car when available.

The Magnificent Views At Ella And Haputale
The most beautiful views in the entire island can be seen from the so called Ella and Haputale Gap – spectacular breaks in the mountains with views all the way down to the coast from the edge of the southern escarpment.


Luxury Hotels :
98 Acres , Ella

Special Choice :
Mountain Heavens , Ella

Day 6 - YALA

44 Miles Approx 3 Hours

Horton Plains Cloud Forests And World’s End
A strange windswept plateau at 6500ft with moss covered forests of rhododendron and sweeping grasslands crossed by crystal-clear streams. A path leads to World’s End - a sheer precipice of some 3000ft! and the enchanting Baker’s Falls.


Luxury Hotels :
Jetwing Yala

Special Choice :
The Safari ,Yala

Day 7 - YALA

Encounters With Leopards And Wild Elephants At Yala
The jewel among Sri Lanka’s wildlife reserves and one of Asia’s premier sanctuaries is justifiably famous for its population of Leopards that can easily be observed hunting and lazing around during daylight hours. The island’s big cat is attracted by the presence of large herds of Spotted Deer, Sambar (Elk) and Wild Boar that comprise its staple diet.

Apart from the wildlife, the stunning landscapes at Yala consist of strange shaped rock outcrops that are the ideal habitat of the aggressive Sloth Bear and a coastline dotted with beautiful lagoons harbouring migratory flamingoes and ferocious Marsh Crocodiles.

Around 100 Elephants are also found in and around the park. Today there are said to be 18 to 20 ‘tuskers’ in the reserve, including some huge ‘cross-tuskers’.


Luxury Hotels :
Jetwing Yala

Special Choice :
The Safari ,Yala


A Journey Of Approx 3 - 4 Hours

The South Coast Road And The Stilt Fishermen Of Koggala
A lovely coast road passes through a succession of picture-postcard beaches and idyllic bays such as Weligama, widely acknowledged as one of the most beautiful in the world.

The island’s unique Stilt Fishermen can be seen in this area during the late afternoons.

The Old World Town Of Galle
Galle has a charming old Dutch Fort (1640) which is the best preserved in Asia. Huge ramparts enclose an Old Town of great historical and architectural value. The labyrinth of streets and alleyways contain about 200 old colonial buildings that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site of prime importance.

Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery
See turtle hatchlings prepared for release back in to the sea. If you are lucky you may be allowed to release some yourself.

Sri Lanka’s Beach Resorts
A beach stay on Sri Lanka’s famous palm fringed coastline combined in addition to this tour will make for an excellent 2 week holiday on the island.

Depart Sri Lanka

Depart Sri Lanka – Daytime flights arrive back in UK the same day.

More Information:

First Class - Room And Breakfast (Breakfast)

Special Choice – Half Board (Breakfast + Dinner)

 Based On 2 Persons Sharing Room 

 *Price Excludes Beach Stay 

Terms and Conditions


  • Private tour of Sri Lanka in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking driver/guide.
  • All entry fees for places of interest as described in itinerary including jeep hire at national parks. 
  • Train Tickets.
  • Meal plan as stated. 


  • Flight and accommodation supplements may apply at peak periods.
  • Beach stay at end of tour if required will be charged separately with options given.


  • Children under 6 years of age sharing parents bed are given the land tour FREE OF CHARGE!!
  • Special rates available for 2 adults and 1 child sharing triple room.
  • Discounts available for families and larger groups.


  • You are welcome to suggest changes or alterations such as a more relaxed tour with fewer activities, additional nights at places that may interest you, and adventure activities like white-water rafting.
  • Tell us about any special interests and we will incorporate them in to your tour schedule.

If you want to widen your choice of tour hotel options, go to our View All Hotels index and tell us the mix of hotel you wish to stay at? If you have chosen your own hotels, we will include these along with your quote request.


All distances are point to point and do not include stops for sightseeing en-route. Actual travelling times may vary according to traffic, local weather and other factors.


There are a large number of beach hotels featured on our website. You are welcome to browse the Beach Hotels index and ask for your own choice of beach hotel. Alternatively we will feature a standard set of 6 beach hotel options that we can personally recommend.

 You are welcome to specify the actual number of beach nights you require.


Unless specified, we usually feature the clockwise version of the tour for Winter Season (October-May) enquiries, and an anti-clockwise version of the tour for Summer Season (June – September) enquiries as the occurance of fine weather, sea bathing, snorkelling and watersports depends very much on the coast that is ‘in season’ at the time of your travel.



Beach Stay – Should You Choose The West Coast or East Coast?

From November to April, the West, South West and Deep South of the island experiences fine weather and calm seas. The tropical scenery and well established resorts make these areas popular even during the Summer months of July and August even though seas are slightly rough.

From May to October, the amazing East Coast beaches are among the finest in the entire world with shallow seas where you can just wade out for hundreds of feet into the sea!

Is It Possible To Stay At Nuwara Eliya In The Western Hill Country?
Yes, but it will take about 5 or 6 hours to get to Yala from the Western Hill Country.

Is Yala Open Year Round?
Yala usually closes for a month with the beginning of the dry season in the South East of the island. This is usually for about 30 days anytime between 01/09 and 31/10 of each year. The park closes to avoid stress on wildlife as they search for water among the dwindling water-holes with the onset of the dry season. During this time visitors can opt to visit either UdaWalaweNational Park (1.5 Hours away) or Bundala National Park (40 minutes away), both of which stay open throughout the year.

What Is The Best Time To See Leopards At Yala?
Leopards are seen throughout the year, with slightly more sightings in the dry months of August and September. Afternoon Safaris are best for Leopards.

Is It Easy To Stay On The Deep South Beaches After This Tour?
Yes, this tour is ideal for a beach stay in and around Galle.

Need Assistance?

We can prepare custom tours to fit your budget. Contact us to discuss your travel requirements, and we can advise you on how best we can assist you.

Need Assistance?

We can prepare custom tours to fit your budget. Contact us to discuss your travel requirements, and we can advise you on how best we can assist you.

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