Experiential holidays

16 days /15 nights

Experiences are ever popular in Sri Lanka and although DMCs often add their own curated experiences into an itinerary, it is worth remembering that our hotels also craft their own collection of unique local activities, and many of these are included within a stay. Hotels in more remote, nature- or culture-rich locations tend to offer the widest array of experiences – think the Cultural Triangle, the Tea Country, and in and around national parks. For this itinerary, we use Lunuganga as a coastal hotel, which is located 20 minutes from the beach.

Gal Oya Lodge is heavily invested in their experiences, and guests are assigned a naturalist upon arrival for their entire stay. Experiences such as guided bird walks, cycle rides, their jungle night walk, hike up Monkey Mountain and animal monitoring programme are all included in a stay. Key experiences – such as walking with Veddha chieftains, elephant-spotting boat safaris and jungle drives into Gal Oya National Park do cost a little extra.

Water Garden – Sigiriya also has a wide range of experiences, and these focus not only on Sigiriya and neighbouring Pidurangala (for incredible sunrise breakfasts), but the wider local area. Options include bird walks, jungle kayaking, village visits and ATV rides. In the hotel, guests can also join an arrack pairing experience or learn to make Sri Lankan cocktails.

At Santani Wellness Kandy, guests can take part in complementary daily yoga classes and experience wild swimming in the river a short walk away from the hotel, on a guided walk. Other unique adventures include walks to a famous ‘hanging bridge’, to waterfalls and natural pools, visits to crafts villages and tea factories, and hikes in the Knuckles Range. Of course, there are also a wealth of amazing treatments available at this first-class wellness spa resort.

The hills in and around Ella are famous for activities such as hikes, wild swimming and zip wiring. Inclusive experiences at Nine Skies include self-guided walks through surrounding tea estates, birdwatching, tea factory visits and breakfast, lunch or sundowners at a secret viewpoint. Other standout hotel experiences include a swim in an underground cave and a brilliant day trip to a waterfall where guests can swim and enjoy a delicious picnic.

Ending the holiday in the Galle area opens up many possibilities for experiential travel. From guided bicycle rides and historic walks to Sri Lankan cookery classes, cinnamon estates and lowland tea plantations, there is plenty in this corner of Sri Lanka to appease all age groups.

TRIP Itinerary

Water Garden – Sigiriya, Cultural Triangle

Santani Wellness Kandy, Werapitiya, near Kandy

Gal Oya Lodge, Gal Oya National Park

Nine Skies, Demodera, near Ella

KK Beach, Habaraduwa, Kahanda Kanda, Koggala or

Why House, Mihiripenna, all near Galle

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