Discover Kerala & Sri Lanka
18 days from £1,189 (was £1,399)
- Explore the backwaters on a boat tour of gorgeous Kerala
- Stay with a local family in green palm huts in picturesque Alleppey
- Discover the ancient towns and beautifully preserved temples of Anuradhapura and Kandy
- Visit a community project and tea plantation in Nuwara Eliya
- Trek through and spot local wildlife in Horton Plains National Park
- Catch a cultural dance, watch a cricket match, and take part in a cooking class in Sri Lanka
An incredible 18-day tour through some of the most intriguing and beautiful areas of southern India and Sri Lanka, this Asian adventure will give you a real taste for the culture and traditions of both countries. Starting in India's Kerala region, you'll get to travel through the watery cities and villages of the southwest coast, exploring quaint places like Kochi and Kollam, and get to enjoy a wonderful homestay experience with the local community in Alleppey before boarding an included flight to Sri Lanka. You'll travel through serenely beautiful countryside, staying in some of the most picturesque destinations in each country and getting to visit some of the oldest and most sacred temples and palaces in Sri Lanka whilst trying some fun activities and experiences at the same time.
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Day 1: Welcome to India! Arrive in Kochi
Arriving in Kochi today, you'll need to make your own way to your accommodation from the airport. Get yourself checked in and head out for a wander around town. Later on you'll meet the rest of your group and your tour leader at a welcome meeting.
Day 2: Kochi to Alleppey
Spend a bit of time checking out Kochi’s Jewish Quarter before we make the journey to Alleppey. Go on a walking orientation with your guide, then head off on an island tour. This afternoon you’ll get to meet your local host family, who you’ll be staying with tonight in a green palm house. Lunch and dinner included.
Day 3: Alleppey to Kollam
Wave goodbye to your host family in the morning and hop on a ferry for a cruise along the backwaters. Afterwards, we’ll board the bus to Kollam. Take a walk through the streets and town centre with your guide. In the afternoon, hit the local shops or check yourself into a local spa. Breakfast and lunch included.
Day 4: Kollam to Varkala
Start the day with a trip to the fishing docks in Kollam before heading to Neendakara Harbour – the largest fishing market on the Arabian Sea. Later on, we’ll make the journey to Varkala. Enjoy a bit of relaxation in the afternoon with an optional Hindu Ayurvedic massage.
Day 5: Varkala
Enjoy some free time in Varkala today. Take a gentle walk through the gardens of Janardhana Swamy Temple or spend the day beside the sea. Later, take a bicycle tour, join a yoga or Pilates class, or hike up Varkala Hill to visit the lighthouse.
Day 6: Varkala to Kochi
Returning to Kochi today, we’ll explore the Cochin area, from the Dutch Palace and the Jewish Quarter to the spice market and St Francis Church. Later on, watch the huge Chinese fishing nets at work and check out an optional Kathakali dance.
Day 7: Kochi to Negombo
Today we'll board a flight to Sri Lanka. Say farewell to India as we fly from Kochi to Negombo. Some of your travel friends might be leaving the tour at this stage and new members might join us in Sri Lanka, so feel free to join the welcome meeting before a group meal in the evening.
Day 8: Negombo to Sigiriya
We’ll make the journey to beautiful Sigiriya today. On the way, we'll stop to join a small community for some delicious local food. Take a walk around the city on arrival, or opt to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
Day 9: Sigiriya
You’ll have free time in the UNESCO World Heritage City of Sigiriya today to head out and explore at your own pace. Roam the local streets or trek through close by countryside, or why not visit the Dambulla Cave Temple? You could also fit in a trip to the Polonnaruwa Ancient Capital.
Day 10: Sigiriya to Digana
Heading to a unique cultural homestay today, we’ll stop to take a look around the spice garden at a local herbal centre to learn about the medicinal uses of different plants and spices. We’ll then continue on to our homestay in a local village. We’ll meet the local people, including a jeweller who handcrafts Kandyan jewellery and a woman who makes incense. You’ll even have a go yourself! Tonight, help to prepare dinner and learn the process of making bread or a Sri Lankan sweet. Lunch and dinner included.
Day 11: Digana to Kandy
Wake up early and help the villagers feed the animals, before enjoying breakfast and tea overlooking the Victoria Reservoir. On arrival to Kandy, enjoy a casual walk around the lake and city or visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth – home to a sacred relic – one of Buddha’s teeth, which is kept in a golden casket. This evening, watch local dancers perform a Kandyan Cultural Dance (extra cost). Breakfast included.
Day 12: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
On our way from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya we’ll stop at the community project, Sthree Craft Shop and Café to enjoy breakfast prepared by inspiring women and young people. In Nuwara Eliya, we'll visit a local tea plantation to see how they produce Orange Pekoe Ceylon tea. Breakfast included.
Day 13: Nuwara Eliya to Ella
Go on a trek through the beautiful Horton Plains National Park this morning or, if you're not feeling that energetic, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet chilling out in town. In the afternoon, we’ll make the short journey to Ella. After having a look around, why not join a local cooking class?
Day 14: Ella
Spend the morning hiking up Little Adam’s Peak this morning, then take a trek up to Ella Rock in the afternoon (optional). You'll get to enjoy some truly beautiful countryside, spot colourful local wildlife, and add to your collection of awesome Asia photos!
Day 15: Ella to Hikkaduwa
We'll head off to Hikkaduwa in the morning, taking a pit stop on route to stretch our legs on a guided tour of the 16th-century Galle Fort. At Hikkaduwa, make your way to the beach for a bit of sun lounging or head straight into town to sample some of the local cuisine.
Day 16-17: Hikkaduwa
The next couple of days are yours to do with as you like. There are lots of excursions, trips, and different activities to take part in. Head to the turtle hatchery to see the baby turtles, visit the local Coral Sanctuary, try your hand at surfing, or go on a dolphin boat tour.
Day 18: Farewell
Today we bid farewell. There are no scheduled activities, so you can depart whenever you like. If you’re heading back to Colombo for your flight home today, allow plenty of time for the journey which takes 3-4 hours depending on traffic from Hikkaduwa to Colombo International Airport and check in. A return transfer is not included but your trip leader can help you with arranging transport.
Please note itineraries and activities are subject to change.
- 17 nights’ accommodation including a homestay in Alleppey
- All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
- Flight from Kochi to Negombo
- 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 2 dinners
- Guided Alleppey boat tour
- Ferry cruise in Kollam
- Neendakara Harbour visit
- Homestay near Kandy
- Incense-making and cooking demonstrations
- Orientation walks in Kochi and Kollam
- Spice garden visit
- Tea plantation tour
- Little Adam's Peak trek
- Galle City and Fort tour
- 24/7 emergency support
- Flights (except the flight from Kochi to Colombo which is included)
- Airport transfers
- Travel Insurance
- Some meals
- Optional activities
Your accommodation in both India and Sri Lanka will consist mainly of guesthouses and hostels, with the exception of your homestay in Alleppey, which will be in a green palm hut. Generally, your accommodation will be on the basic side, but all of our hostels and guesthouses on route are clean and comfortable and are in a great location at each destination. You'll generally share a room with between two and four people of the same sex, the number of people to a room may vary.
3 breakfasts, 3 lunches and 2 dinners are included on this tour. You will need to purchase the rest of your meals yourself, which gives you a great opportunity to sample a range of Asia’s delicious food. Do let us know if you have any dietary requirements when you book.
You’ll need to arrange your flight to arrive in Kochi International Airport (COK) on day one of your itinerary, the trip welcome meeting starts around 6pm on this day so please arrive in time for this.
Please note, we can arrange an airport transfer for you when you arrive. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.
Your trip ends in Hikkaduwa on day 18, so you’ll need to arrange transport to Colombo and return flights or onward travel from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport (CMB), which is around a 3-4 hour from Hikkaduwa drive, so please make sure you allow plenty of time to get to the airport and for check in.
To arrange your flights, contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037 or email them at [email protected] They will be able to search for the best flight offers to your chosen destinations, so you can plan and organise your trip in one place. Just make sure you give them your full name, as stated in your passport, along with your chosen departure dates, return dates, and any other details you want to include.
The minimum age for this trip is 18 years, the maximum age is 39 years.
A visa is required for entry to India and must be obtained before you travel. You can apply for a tourist visa or an e-tourist visa via the Indian High Commission. Your passport will need to be machine readable, have two blank pages available for immigration stamps, and must have at least six months' validity remaining on entry to India.
You will need to get a visa before arrival for Sri Lanka with a UK passport. You can apply for a Electronic Travel Authorization visa online (ETA) through the offical Sri Lankan ETA website.
You should also ensure that your passport will still be in date for six months after your return.
All visa information is subject to change and you should consult the nearest High Commission or Embassy for the most up to date information.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations?
We’re not qualified to offer you medical advice, so you should visit your GP well ahead of time to find out what inoculations you might need. Remember to tell them exactly where you’re travelling to as vaccination and medication requirements vary between different regions. You’ll also need to make sure you have enough of any prescribed medication to see you through the duration of your trip.
Should I Get A Gift For My Homestay Family?
Yes, gifts are a great way of showing your appreciation and respect to local families that put a roof over your head for the night, but don’t get anything extravagant or expensive – a token from your hometown, useful kitchen utensils, or gifts for the children, like books and stationery are always gratefully received.
How much should I budget for the meals not included? We recommend budgeting USD295-385 for meals not included.
Should I Take A Backpack Or A Suitcase?
We recommend you use a soft bag or frameless backpack, plus a small bag for excursions. Luggage is limited to one piece per person, with a maximum weight of 15kg.