Red Dot's Sri Lanka and Kerala Tour allows travellers to enjoy the best that Sri Lanka can offer – ancient cities, tea-growing hills and the shimmering waters of the Indian Ocean –before hopping across to Kerala to experience the sights and sounds of Kochi, the serene backwaters and tranquil Kumarakom. As always, the route, length, accommodation and activities of the itinerary can be adjusted in any way you wish.
A tour which covers the highlights of both Sri Lanka and Kerala and will leave you wanting more.
- Explore Sri Lanka’s ancient heritage
- Visit Kandy’s iconic Temple of the Tooth
- Energise in Sri Lanka’s tea hills
- Loll on the beaches of Sri Lanka’s Galle Coast
- Delve into the heritage of Fort Kochi
- Sail along Kerala’s tranquil backwaters
- Dine on delicious traditional cuisine
- Accommodation in a shared double / twin room
- Chauffeur-guide and vehicle for the duration of the tour (including leisure days)
- Both airport transfers
- Expert advice and support prior to and during the tour
TERMS & CONDITIONS
- Price shown is a starting price and is subject to change, depending on travel dates / the number of people travelling etc.
- Price shown is based on two people sharing a double / twin room
- See our Booking Conditions for more details
Day 1, 2 & 3 Sigiriya, Cultural Triangle
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer directly to the Cultural Triangle and rest up after your flight. Spend the next two days exploring the heritage wonders of this region, from the ruined medieval citadel of Polonnaruwa to the iconic Sigiriya Rock Fortress, developed by King Kasyapa in the 5th century and considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world. A highlight for many is Dambulla Cave Temple, a 2,000-year-old cave temple complex decorated with stunning ceiling frescos which houses the largest number of Buddha statues of anywhere in the world. For some variety, go elephant spotting in Minneriya National Park or meet the monkeys at Polonnaruwa.
Accommodation: Aliya Resort and Spa
Recommended Activities: Dambulla Cave Temple , Polonnaruwa , Sigiriya Rock Fortress , Minneriya National Park
Day 4 & 5 Kandy
Today you journey to Sri Lanka's hill capital, the lakeside city of Kandy. In the evening, we recommend a visit to the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha – that has been enshrined in the island since 4th century AD – is housed in a golden casket. Religious services, accompanied by traditional music and drumming, are held daily at dawn, midday, and in the evening and can be viewed by travellers. The following day, why not explore the beautiful Botanical Gardens and some of the city’s British colonial heritage? There are also many other activities on offer in the surrounding area.
Accommodation: Theva Residency
Recommended Activities: Royal Botanical Gardens , Kandy City Walking Tour , Temple of the Tooth
Day 6 & 7 Ella, Hill Country
Travel by train into Sri Lanka’s tea-growing highlands. Here the humidity is low and temperatures are akin to an English summer's day, so you can go trekking, cycling and canoeing quite comfortably. Alternatively, visit a tea factory and enjoy a gentle stroll through a plantation, or just soak up the magnificent scenery.
Accommodation: 98 Acres Resort
Recommended Activities: Walking in Ella , Sri Lanka Waterfalls
Day 8, 9 & 10 Koggala, Galle Coast
After breakfast, travel to the golden beaches of the south coast. Explore Galle’s 17th century Dutch Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well-preserved heritage architecture, dramatic sea-facing ramparts and maze of narrow streets lined with quaint houses, art galleries, antique shops and restaurants. For those wanting sun and surf, there are several fine beaches in the area including Unawatuna and Mirissa, both of which offer a variety of water-sports.
Accommodation: KK Beach
Recommended Activities: Galle Dutch Fort , 6 Best Water-Sport Activities in Sri Lanka , Take a Sri Lanka surfing lesson
Day 11 & 12 Kochi
Leave early in the morning to the airport to catch your flight to Kerala and arrive mid-morning in Kochi, an ancient trading port scattered across several islands which boasts a fort with beautiful heritage architecture. Consider going on a sunset boat cruise this evening to see the various islands and for great photo opportunities of the iconic Chinese fishing nets. The following day, go on a guided tour of Kochi Fort, the highlights of which include: Mattancherry Palace, a gift to the Raja of Kochi back in 1557; St. Francis Church, first built in 1510; the resting place of Vasco de Gama, and a magnificent synagogue dating back to 1568. During the evening you can watch a Kathakali dance performance – a vibrant, colourful and spellbinding 400-year dance-drama.
Accommodation: Eighth Bastion
Recommended Activities: Mattancherry Palace, Jewish Town
Day 13 The backwaters
Today’s transfer to the backwaters is a short one, allowing for a leisurely breakfast before you board your houseboat at noon. The backwaters is a 900km complex of waterways which was used for transporting produce, but today is a tranquil landscape of smooth water lined with small villages and palm trees, visited by the occasional cormorant and a variety of other birds. Your accommodation is an old rice barge, converted into comfortable overnight accommodation with a kitchen, beds and a fully functional bathroom, a dining and sitting area – a team of at least three will be responsible for the driving and maintenance of the boat and the cooking of your meals. A highlight of your afternoon will be taking a small canoe ride through the smaller waterways running through a village. In the evening, tie up to shore and enjoy delicious fresh fish and spicy curries on the open deck of your boat. We can offer good-quality houseboats of all sizes at competitive rates.
Recommended Activities: Backwater journey, Country Boat cruise
Day 14 & 15 Lake Vembanad
After breakfast, you will have another two hours to cruise as you head for Kumarakom, an island on the large Lake Vembanad that is blessed with an idyllic location. The area has attracted several beautiful hotels offering a tranquil place to end your holiday. Ayurvedic treatments can be done at many of these properties.
Accommodation: Coconut Lagoon
Recommended Activities: Trivandrum day trip
Day 16 Kochi
Depart for Kochi Airport to begin your journey home.
Aliya Resort and Spa
Sigiriya, Cultural Triangle
Aliya Resort and Spa is a modern, eco-friendly resort which offers a range of good accommodation including luxury tents and interconnecting rooms for families. It is perfectly situated for excursions in the Cultural Triangle and has a variety of facilities including a spa and an infinity pool with stunning views.
Theva is a uniquely-designed boutique hotel offering luxurious accommodation overlooking the Hantane Mountains in Kandy. The building has been constructed to provide breath-taking mountain views from each and every space in the hotel and the interiors are light and airy and contemporary in design, with a mix of glass, wood and polished cement floors.
98 Acres Resort
Ella, Hill Country
The 98 Acres Resort is a 12 room eco-friendly, boutique hotel in Ella set amidst tea covered hills with magnificent views of the southern plains, Ella rock and Little Adam’s Peak. Accommodation is in individual stone chalets and the lounge and restaurant pavilion has breathtaking views.
This CGH Earth hotel offers a charming base with a nautical theme in the Dutch-influenced corner of Fort Kochi.
Take a luxury houseboat along Kerala’s famed waterways – a heaven of interlinking canals, paddy fields and coconut trees.
This hotel on the eastern shores of Lake Vembanad is reached only by boat and offers cute village-style cottages in a coconut grove.
Following are recommended optional activities
Polonnaruwa, Cultural Triangle
Sri Lanka’s medieval capital from 1073 until the late 1200s, the ruins of the Kingdom of Polonnaruwa are incredibly well-preserved and include magnificant granite sculptures of Lord Buddha.
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya, Cultural Triangle
Sigiriya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most majestic, awe-inspiring and stunning historical locations in the world, built in the 5th century AD by ‘mad’ King Kasyapa.
Minneriya National Park
Habarana, Cultural Triangle
Minneriya National Park is a small but popular wildlife park home to a wide range of Sri Lanka’s wildlife. It is also the site of the world-renowned wildlife event ‘The Elephant Gathering’.
Dambulla Cave Temple
Dambulla, Cultural Triangle
The most famous cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, the ancient Dambulla Cave Temple boasts the largest number of Buddha statues to be housed in one place, as well as stunning ceiling paintings.
Kandy City Walking Tour
Discover Kandy’s rich history which includes incredible art and architecture, Buddhism, British colonial rule, and its vibrant multicultural present.
Temple of the Tooth
Tradition relates that a sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha was brought to Sri Lanka in 4th century A.D. and has been enshrined in the Dalanda Maligawa, or Temple of the Tooth, since the late 1500s.
Royal Botanical Gardens
The Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens is the largest of its kind in Sri Lanka and the finest in Asia. Explore the beautiful surroundings with an expert, or simple enjoy a relaxed stroll in the sun.
Sri Lanka Waterfalls
More than a hundred waterfalls are scattered across Sri Lanka’s verdant central hills, and whilst some are fairly small or inaccessible, many are worth hiking to. We've highlighted our top five.
Walking in Ella
Ella, Hill Country
Ella is one of the most beautiful spots in the hills for walking, offering trails of varying levels of difficulty – make the short climb up Little Adam’s Peak or hike to the summit of Ella Rock.
Galle Dutch Fort
Galle Fort, Galle Coast
Galle Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site originally built by the Portuguese before it was further developed by the Dutch and British, covers nearly 4sqkm and houses a range of old colonial buildings.
6 Best Water-Sport Activities in Sri Lanka
Discover the 6 best water-sport activities in Sri Lanka, from athletic surfing, kite-surfing and windsurfing to laidback snorkelling and sailing trips.
Take a Sri Lanka surfing lesson
Weligama, South Coast
Learn to surf the waves at Weligama Bay on Sri Lanka's blissful south coast with the extra assurance of your own instructor to guide you every step of the way. For beginners and those seeking to improve their style.