Sri Lanka’s hill country is a land of tea-laden hillsides, gurgling waterfalls, stirring mountains and clear hill-country air. Here, in temperatures akin to a beautiful English summer’s day, is wonderful walking country, a chance to experience Sri Lankan scenery at its finest and when the day is over to be sure, satisfied and weary, of a typically hospitable Sri Lankan welcome. Walk Sri Lanka is our most serious walking tour (the strollers among you should also check out our Nature Trek) and offers a chance to sample some of Sri Lanka’s most uplifting scenery on foot. Experienced guides are provided whenever necessary so that you can concentrate upon gazing at the scenery without worrying about the route. At the end of the day’s walk, you are transported by car or van to recover in carefully-selected guesthouse and hotels offering the chance to relax in comfort. Approximate trekking times indicated below will vary depending on individual fitness levels. We can tailor this walking journey according to your preferences, so feel free to ask for modifications.
Note: Weather considerations can apply when exploring the hill country. Trekking in the Knuckles Mountain Range is best avoided during the rainy season from November to mid-January. The months of July and August can also be pretty windy in the Knuckles. The Adam’s Peak climbing season begins in January and ends in April. We can suggest all the adjustments necessary.
Many years of research have gone into a constantly-researched tour that is spreading the word that Sri Lanka is great walking country.
- Trek through Eucalyptus forests and tea estates in the southern highlands
- Climb the sacred Adam’s Peak and take in the awe-inspiring sunrise from the summit
- Take a train journey to the scenic hill country scattered with tea covered hills and gushing waterfalls
- Hike across hills and rural villages in the Knuckles Mountain Range
- Experience the sights and sounds of Colombo with a city walk
- 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 Negombo, North-West Coast
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a convenient hotel close to the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.
Day 2 Kitulgala, Sinharaja & Kitulgala
Transfer directly from the airport to the western foothills of the central highlands for your overnight stay in Kitulgala. Kitulgala is an area with tropical rainforests, winding rivers and an undulating terrain and owes its popularity to the Kelani River which offers exciting Grade 3 rapids for rafting. The calm sections of the river meander through jungle-clad mountains, low country tea and rubber plantations.
Day 3 & 4 Dalhousie, Hill Country
Today you begin your walking journey from Kitulgala to Laxapana. Cross the Kelani River by local catamaran and proceed to the northern edge of the rainforest where the trail leads up to the Seven Maidens Mountains through gardens, tea estates and sometimes along gravel roads. Stop at Laxapana water fall for a snack lunch. Travel by vehicle onto Dalhousie and check into the Slightly Chilled Yellow House overlooking the Kelani River and the magnificent Adam’s Peak Mountain. The surrounding forest reserve is home to numerous species of birds and butterflies - a nature lover’s dream. (Walking distance: 18km). Rest on the following day amid beautiful mountain scenery in preparation for an all-night climb of Adam’s Peak. The sacred Adam’s Peak is visited by thousands of pilgrims from many faiths. The climb is possible from December to April and best attempted at night where you reach the mountain top to see the sunrise and the breathtaking views. The hike up to the peak will take approximately 2.5 - 3 hours for a person of reasonable fitness levels. (Walking distance: 12km). An option or an additional daytime walk before the Adam’s Peak climb is the walking trail through a tea plantation and tea factory, and Dalhousie’s rural village. (Walking distance 5.8km).
Day 5 Koslanda, Hill Country
In the morning, travel by vehicle to your next trail. You are heading for Lipton Seat located within the Dambetenna Tea Estate. The Trail climbs to 1,900m and was a favorite lookout point of Sir Thomas Lipton, the great tea pioneer, when surveying his vast tea plantation. Climb down through the Nayabeddha estate via another spectacular viewpoint. Visit the Dambetenna tea plantation and tea factory which is the longest tea factory in Sri Lanka. Here you will gain insight into the manufacturing process as well as an opportunity to taste and purchase the different grades of hill country tea. (Walking distance: 16km).
Day 6, 7 & 8 Nuwara Eliya, Hill Country
After breakfast, hike through tea plantations and rural villages to the Bambarakanda falls - the highest waterfall in Sri Lanka. En-route, stop at a small and scenic waterfall in the forest for lunch and, if you wish, a swim. You will be picked up from Bambarakanda and transferred to Nuwara Eliya where you will stay the next three nights. The renowned hill-country location is the most important tea production hub of Sri Lanka, founded by Samuel Baker, the 19C explorer of the Nile. The mild climate made it a retreat for British civil servants and planters in colonial Ceylon. (Walking distance: 14km)
Your first full day in Nuwara Eliya is spent trekking. Start from the hamlet of Idalgashinna. About three miles below Idalgashinna station, the southern slope of the range, and surrounded by the Needwood Tea Plantation is an old abandoned fortress, the Kotugodella Fort, at an elevation of about 1200m. The Portuguese once attempted to use the Idalgashinna Pass to force a way into the Uva area. A few scattered stones and the semi-circular outlines of ancient bastions are the only reminders that such a majestic structure once stood there. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxed 3-hour hike in the Horton Plains National Park with a visit to Bakers Falls and World’s End. The park is distinct in its utter solitude. You may not meet more than half a dozen people in a whole day. The wild expanse of Horton Plains, with a mixture of grasslands and forests including the last montane forest in the country, is the only National Park in Sri Lanka where visitors are allowed to roam around freely inside. Situated 7,000 feet above sea level, the walk to 'World's End' and "Little World's End" offers one of the finest views in Sri Lanka. (Walking distance: 15km).
This is your final day in Nuwara Eliya, and we propose a gentle return walk to top of Single Tree Hill. A small dirt road leads from the valley up through tea plantations all the way to the summit. If you wish you can continue on the ridge top above Nuwara Eliya, through tea plantations and Eucalyptus forests. (Walking distance:10km+)
Day 9 Kandy
Hop on board the train from Nuwara Eliya and enjoy one of the most glorious train journeys in the world, winding through spectacular mountain scenery until you reach Kandy - Sri Lanka's hill capital. Spend a night in the town. (Rest day).
Day 10, 11 & 12 Bobebilla, Kandy
Travel by vehicle to the Knuckles range of mountains where you will spend three nights at Rangala House. Rangala House, situated on the edge of the Knuckles Mountain Range, is blessed with endless opportunities for walks which can be undertaken right from the hotel itself, without the need for any initial road transport. Take advantage of this on your arrival day. Rangala House guests are welcome to walk anywhere on the many estate paths and tracks. The tea fields themselves are very attractive, as are the woodlands and cardamom groves. The long views across the mountains are breath-taking. With pure mountain air and a profusion of wildlife this is again great walking country. (Walking distance: 12km)
Knuckles Conservation area is a famous destination offering jungle treks, mountain climbing and opportunities for overnight camping. Knowledge of the best trails is prized by our specialist guides who can be relied upon to know every twist and turn of this conservation area. The entrance is some 30 minutes by road up country from Rangala House. The Knuckles Mountain Range - so called because of its appearance resembles a set of knuckles in a closed fist, consists of five mountain peaks with the highest point about 6,000 ft above sea level and spans about 155 sq kms. A professional guide is essential and tickets must be obtained in advance from the Forestry Department. Trek through dense forests, along rivers and waterfalls, past tea plantation and terraced paddy fields, and along the way, visit some of the small rural village communities. (Walking distances: As requested).
Day 13 Negombo, North-West Coast
Today you head towards the north-west coastal town of Negombo for your final night's stay at The Wallawwa, which is convenient for your flight home.
Villa Hundira is a 12-bedroom boutique hotel nestled in tropical gardens overlooking the picturesque Negombo Lagoon. Situated in the village of Thalahena, it lies just 20 minutes away from Colombo’s international airport, making it a good spot to recuperate after a long flight.
Slightly Chilled Yellow House
Dalhousie, Hill Country
Slightly Chilled Yellow Guest House is aptly named, for it has a vibrant, informal feel that delights its active clientele. This cheery budget accommodation is ideally suited for those wishing to attempt the Adam’s Peak climb. It has spectacular views of the Peak from the dining area and bedrooms. Interiors are light and airy, with a profusion of colours.
One of the island’s secret escapes, Rangala House is a converted tea estate bungalow in the Knuckles Mountain Range, which provides a majestic backdrop for this property. Rangala House faces the luminous, tea-covered hills of the Dukwari Estate and has a pool set amidst abundant tropical foliage and birdsong.
Nestled amongst acres of beautifully manicured gardens, this colonial manor house, or Wallawwa, is now a luxurious boutique hotel. This old and new concept provides guests with unrivalled setting and style just 15 minutes from the airport. 18 bedrooms, Asian fusion cuisine, Z spa and The Wallawwa’s swimming pool – all set amongst one of the finest private gardens in Sri Lanka.
Following are recommended optional activities