This 12 day itinerary gives you a glimpse into Sri Lanka's Southern highlights, of which there are many, from the hustle and bustle of Colombo and Galle to exploring tea estates, rainforests, lakes and blissful beaches.
Depart from the UK on an overnight flight to Colombo
After a direct overnight flight, you've made it to beautiful Sri Lanka! Have your bags collected and settle your weary bodies into a private transfer headed to your hotel either in the heart of the bustling capital of Colombo, or hidden away in a leafy, peaceful suburb.
Freshen up and then head out with a local guide to explore the city on foot, focusing on the buzzing market area, The Pettah. There's plenty of subject matter for keen photographers here, so have your camera's charged!
After a leisurely breakfast this morning, your driver will arrive to chauffer you two and half hours down the coast to Galle.
Settle into your new hotel in this old fortress city before setting out to explore with a local foodie guide. Meet the local thambili karaya and swig the refreshing coconut water he gives you, learn about the medicinal uses of spices - including cinnamon, which if sniffed daily is believed to increase long term memory - and round off the afternoon with a hot, fresh pol roti - coconut flatbread. Having explored a little of city, met the locals and piqued your appetite, hunt out a buzzing restaurant on trendy Church Street for supper.
Begin the day exploring more of Galle on foot independently, starting with a perimeter tour of the Fort's 300 year old walls and then moving on to do some shopping in the heart of this UNESO World Heritage Site.
Marvel at the colour and life that still survives and thrives within this ancient Fort as you barter for a sparkling trinket or two.
As late afternoon settles in, meet your driver back at your hotel to make the short 50 minute drive to your next hotel on the banks of Koggala Lake.
This morning you will have the chance to visit the Handunugoda Tea Estate for a tour of the estate with a resident tea planter.
This tea estate is particularly special as they craft a 'Virgin White Tea', which is the most expensive tea per kilo in the world. The tea originated from an ancient Chinese ritual whereby the very finest of teas were cut offered to the Emperor without ever being touched by human hands. This tradition continues today, and the result is a fine tea, rich in anti-oxidants and sold in the finest tea houses in the world.
Return to your hotel and spend the afternoon at leisure.
One of Sri Lanka's least discovered gems is the lush, rainforest lined Koggala Lake. This is a nature lover's paradise, with a plethora of singing birds calling from the tree tops which themselves are reflected in the glassy lake.
Spend a couple of days fully immersing yourselves in the tranquillity of the location. Perhaps a morning yoga session above the bamboo grove, or a guided bike ride around the lake? You'll certainly want to get out onto the water, so try either a kayaking or a boating trip to tiny Cinnamon Island to see the spice fields.
After all that activity you may like to retreat to the hotel spa or find your zen during an expert led yoga class. With beautiful flower-filled bamboo gardens, a steam cavern and two elevated treatments rooms, let a massage relax your muscles and leave you feeling rejuvenated and ready for the rest of the holiday.
Now fully at one with nature, it's time to head to the beach. Your driver will pick you up from your hotel and transport you along the line of the coast to the Tangalle area.
The journey should take around two hours but is well worth it to end up in Sri Lanka's best beach resort. Unpack and head for the beach for a sundowner before dinner.
Renowned for offering the best beaches in Sri Lanka, Tangalle is the perfect place to spend the last few days of your trip soaking up some sun.
Stroll along stretch after stretch of golden sand as the warm ocean water laps your feet and coconut palms rustle in the breeze behind you.
As the afternoons draw out, sit in one of many little beach bars to watch the sunset, then get your fill of fresh fish and signature Sri Lankan spice at a nearby restaurant.
It's the end of your trip and time to head home. Your driver will pick you up from the hotel for the three and a half hour transfer to the airport, arriving in plenty of time to catch your flight back to the UK.
If you would like to book the itinerary mentioned above, with economy flights, during mid-season and staying in our preferred room category at our preferred hotels.
If you would like to pare back the above itinerary by travelling at non-peak times, staying in a standard room and removing some or all of the guided activities.
If you are looking for something extra special, we can discuss with you upgrading your accommodation, flights or activities.