Quick Getaway

Ultimate Island Escape

Colonial charm, jungle beats, ancient heritage, urban vibes

Feel like escaping to a tropical isle? Sri Lanka is calling your name.

Explore ancient heritage in Sigiriya, incredible folklore and festivals in Kandy, and step out on the sidewalks of Colombo.

This eight day island getaway is ideal for those who need a refreshing break. Discover the highlights of Sri Lanka, and explore a perfect blend of nature and culture. Head into the central province and learn about Sri Lanka’s ancient kingdoms and empires.

Visit Sigiriya rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument. Explore the ruins of Polonnaruwa, and run wild with the elephants in Minneriya. Take part in Sri Lanka’s colourful festivities and pay tribute to the Buddha at the Temple of the Tooth, in Kandy. Hit the streets in Colombo an indulge in terrific shopping and great restaurants.

You will travel across the countryside by road. Encounters Asia arranges for your stays in charming boutique hotels, which embrace the Sri Lankan spirit.

Warm hospitality and delicious food await your arrival in each destination. Our naturalists, guides and experts are native to the island and will guide you seamlessly throughout your journey. Are you ready to make your getaway?

Who It’s For:

This itinerary is the perfect for the traveller who wants to get a taste of island life, Sri Lankan style. If you like your culture with a hefty dose of natural beauty, then the Central Highlands and tea country are sublime. Feel like stretching those legs? Sigiriya and Dikoya have some great walks, hikes and bike trails that you can explore.

Difficulty:

This is an easy journey for most travellers, as long as you are comfortable with leisurely walks. Our experienced guides will take you on game drives into the national parks. You can opt to do short hikes in Sigiriya and Dikoya, or simply relax in the natural environs.

Our Travel Style

Experiential and inspiring! Our accommodations are luxurious and boutique, with a stylish aesthetic and warm service. Enjoy game drives with experienced naturalists in comfortable vehicles, while your cultural explorations are lead by knowledgeable guides.

Lush greenery. Ancient empires. Tea Gardens.

This itinerary brings you the highlights of Sri Lanka at its best. We invite you to join us on an exclusive Encounters Asia journey, which can be custom-designed for your dates of travel. Let’s head off on an adventure, together.

Client Reviews

Nilantha Ilagamuwa

Reconciliation without truth is nothing but a smokescreen

Geoffrey Bawa

Architecture cannot be totally explained, but must be experienced.

Tour Program

Day 01

Colombo

Touch down in Colombo, where Sri Lanka’s international airport is located. As you disembark the plane, the Encounters Asia team will be waiting for you as soon as you exit Customs. Encounters Asia will organize a private transfer to your hotel, situated close to the airport, for a comfortable first night’s stay.

Overnight – Jetwing Beach / The Wallawwa

Day 02

Sigiriya & Minneriya

Head inland into the countryside for the drive to Sigiriya. Check in to your hotel and freshen up, before you drive down to Minneriya National Park, a tranquil wilderness which is well known for its elephants as well as rare primates like the toque macaque and the Sri Lankan purple faced langur. You can also spot leopards, sloth bears, the slender grey loris, and various types of deer.After finishing your safari in Minneriya, return to your hotel in time for dinner.

Day 2 – Highlights

Game drive in Minneriya National Park

Overnight – Cinnamon Lodge / Vil Uyana / Water Garden

Cinnamon Lodge

Where You Will Sleep:

Lush and forested grounds give way to a lodge that is full of rustic charm. Traditional tiled roofs, an organic garden, and an array of wild birds and small animals that run across the property give it a lovely ambience. Spacious rooms and suites are decorated with warm colours, and one and can opt to dine indoors or by the lake.

Vil Uyana

Where You Will Sleep:

Inspired by the London Wetland Centre, this eco-luxury property is set amid reeds, waterbodies, paddy fields and marshland. With 36 rooms and suites, the Paddy and Forest Dwellings have their own private plunge pool. Luxurious furnishings and amenities make each dwelling extremely comfortable.

Four dining outlets, an infinity pool, wellness centre along with a gym and yoga make this an ideal place to relax and soak up the environs. Nature trails, bicycles, a Loris conservation centre and a library add to the ambience.

Water Garden

Where You Will Sleep:

The villas at Water Garden are situated amid an expansive property and a gorgeous landscape. Flanked by winding tributaries and surrounded by vegetation, these villas are chic, spacious and exclusive. Secret gardens and private plunge pools, along with a host of amenities and other features, make this property exceptional. Excellent cuisine in a casual, chic ambience surrounded by forest, and a gorgeous spa make this property a dream.

Day 03

Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa

Visit Sigiriya, a striking rock fortress, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Dating back to the 5th Century AD, it was commissioned by King Kasyapa as his fortress and palace.

After visiting Sigiriya, head over to Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital of Sri Lanka.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this ancient citadel is full of beautiful architecture, ornate gardens and a massive 2500 hectare water tank called the Parikrama Samudra. Polonnaruwa is easily explored on foot, and if you prefer, you can also explore the area by bicycle.

Day 3 – Highlights

Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Polonnaruwa’s medieval citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Overnight – Cinnamon Lodge / Vil Uyana / Water Garden

Day 04

Kandy

After breakfast, check out of your hotel and drive to Kandy, through the highlands. Check in to your boutique hotel and freshen up. After lunch, explore the centre of Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth.

Situated in the heart of the central highlands, Kandy, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is naturally protected by a barrier of mountains, rivers and jungles.

The kings of Kandy fended off attacks from the British, the Portuguese and the Dutch for two centuries. Untouched by colonialism, Kandy remains the centre of cultural heritage in Sri Lanka. The Sacred Tooth relic of the Buddha is housed at the Temple of the Tooth, which dates back to the 16th century.

Day 4 – Highlights

The Temple of the Tooth

Overnight – Elephant stables / Stone House / Kandy House

Elephant Stables

Where You Will Sleep:

This old colonial bungalow was the former residence of Sir Cudah Ratwatte, this hotel features a collection of 7 rooms and suites, which combine colonial charm with chic elegance. A beautiful swimming pool, and a relaxed bar, living room, and reading room make this property cozy and welcoming. What we love is the hotel’s private collection of classic cars, ideal for an excursion into the city.

Stone House

Where You Will Sleep:

The rooms and suites at Stone House are individually designed, with unique local artwork. Luxurious furnishings, modern amenities and a blend of cultural influences adds to the eclectic feel of the place. Delicious meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner are enhanced with local ingredients and Sri Lankan spices, but the highlight is Afternoon Tea, with a selection of Ceylon tea and a variety of treats.

Kandy House

Where You Will Sleep:

Situated on the outskirts of Kandy, this is a nine-bedroom former manor, and one of Sri Lanka’s best boutique hotels. An original 18th century residence, it is situated amid a jungle full of birds and lush vegetation. Graceful arches and a low pitched roof give it immense character. The service is warm yet discreet, and the hotel has a no-children under 12 years of age policy. Each room is unique, embellished with antiques, vintage prints, wood carvings and silks.

Day 05

Dikoya

After a leisurely breakfast, leave Kandy to go to Dikoya. This scenic drive takes you through lush forest and tea gardens, before bringing you to Dikoya, a legacy of the colonial plantation era.

Lush tea gardens, high mountain peaks and waterfalls cascading down the hill slopes make this region extremely picturesque.

Check in at your boutique hotel, and the rest of the evening is at your leisure.

Day 5 – Highlights

Scenic drive through the highlands and the tea gardens.

Overnight – Craig Appin by Jetwing / Dikoya by Jetwing / Camelia Hills / Ceylon Tea Trails

Craig Appin

Where You Will Sleep:

A beautifully restored colonial bungalow, which once belonged to a tea planter named Craig Appin, it has just five rooms. Old time furniture and four poster beds give the rooms a distinct vintage atmosphere, reminiscent of the plantation era. Dine with your fellow guests on a beautiful antique dining table, which is situated on a terrace.

Dikoya By Jetwing

Where You Will Sleep:

A period planter’s bungalow, this quaint villa is situated amid the gardens of the Dickoya Tea Estate. Wooden flooring, fireplaces, and antique furnishings give it a cozy atmosphere. A lush and peaceful garden adds to its charm. The service is warm and the staff serves up delicious local or continental cuisine in the dining room or on the terrace.

Camellia Hills

Where You Will Sleep:

Soak up the atmosphere of the tea country and enjoy stunning views of the Castlereagh Reservoir. Lush tea gardens stretch for miles around you as far as the eye can see. Plump sofas, open fire places, outdoor dining and a lovely garden swimming pool create an idyllic ambience.

Ceylon Tea Trails

Where You Will Sleep:

Classic and elegant, this property has a touch of vintage luxury which makes it special. Hardwood floors are enhanced with gorgeous floor rugs, four poster beds with spotless linens look out upon gorgeous views of the grounds. Dedicated butlers, and signature services such as ‘bed tea’ add to its charm.

Home-grown herbs, and teas from the surrounding estates add a special touch to the menu. Time-honoured traditions such as roaring fire-places, a single malt, or afternoon tea as the mist rolls in, gives it an unrivalled atmosphere.

Day 06

Explore Dikoya

Today you are at leisure to explore Dikoya on your own. You can opt to go on a trek in the countryside, or alternatively take in a little sightseeing and just enjoy your hotel. If you feel like being outdoors, we recommend an excursion to Lipton Seat, or a walk across one of the tea estates.

Day 6 – Highlights

Explore the natural environs and soak up the charm of Dikoya.

Overnight – Craig Appin by Jetwing / Dikoya by Jetwing / Camelia Hills / Ceylon Tea Trails

Day 07

Colombo

Breakfast and check-out and proceed to Colombo and check-in at the hotel. After you’ve had lunch and some time to relax, head out into the streets of Colombo to explore its urban vibe.

Colombo has an atmosphere of its own. A compact city, it can be mildly hectic at times,  but Encounters Asia helps you to seamlessly navigate the chaos without breaking a sweat.

An easy-going city, its colourful history goes back to the 5th century. Today it is an eclectic blend of ancient, colonial and modern influences. The old Dutch hospital is now a chic entertainment district with great shopping and restaurants. Serene temple and quaint bazaars rub shoulders with shopping malls, and ritzy condos jostle for space with 19th century villas.

Day 7 – Highlights

Tap into the pulse of Colombo

Overnight – Galle Face Hotel / Shangri La / Maniumpathy / Uga Residence

Galle Face Hotel

Where You Will Sleep:

Situated on the waterfront, just off the legendary Galle Face Green, The Galle Face Hotel is the iconic hotel in the heart of Colombo. One of the oldest hotels east of the Suez, this property is legendary. Enjoy a decadent afternoon tea to the tune of bagpipes, as the sun goes down over the Indian Ocean, or a relaxing drink in the cozy Traveller’s Bar. The rooms are classic and elegant. Hardwood floors, large beds and soft lighting create a cozy ambience. From a specially blended Pimms cup on the Chequerboard, to an elegant dinner at 1864, dining at The Galle Face Hotel is delightful.

Shangri La

Where You Will Sleep:

Located in the heart of Colombo’s happening district, the Shangrila is a tropical oasis, in the midst of the city. Contemporary and luxurious, it has rooms, suites and serviced apartments. The hotel has an array of outstanding dining options that include both restaurants and bars. It also has an excellent spa, which offers a selection of treatments and therapies, along with a 24 hour health club and swimming pool.

Maniumpathy

Where You Will Sleep:

Since 1906, Maniumpathy has been home to five generations of a Sri Lankan family with roots near Jaffna, before it was converted to a boutique hotel. It has eight double rooms, and every room is named for the matriarchs of the family. Each one is uniquely designed with furniture and furnishings that have a touch of heritage and luxury. The Nandi restaurant serves Jaffna cuisine, in keeping with its origins. A tranquil swimming pool is ideal for a cooling dip, once you return from a day out in the city.

Uga Residence

Where You Will Sleep:

Tucked away in a quiet enclave off Park Street and a short distance from the Gangarama Buddhist temple, this is one of the most chic and elegant boutique hotels in Colombo. The original residence of a 19th century barrister named Sheikh Salehboy Moosajee, this gorgeous Victorian townhouse has welcomed governors, maharajas, and other important dignitaries. Today this eleven suite boutique hotel offers a quiet retreat, from where you can explore the best of Colombo at leisure.