Destination: Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka small group tours for seniors

An island nation adrift in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka offers endless stretches of idyllic beaches, verdant rainforests and jungles, a dazzlingly green tea plantation to view and ancient temples. As well as being abundant in natural beauty, the country has a vibrant culture and compelling history just waiting to be explored on a Sri Lanka tour. It is the perfect place to step off the beaten track and take in the country’s allure. Odyssey has been offering inclusive Sri Lanka small group tours for senior or mature couples & the solo traveller since 1983.

Sri Lanka Tours

Tours for Mature Aged and Senior World Travellers

The Ancient City of Polonnaruwa

15 days


Sri Lanka | Culture and History Small Group Tour

Visiting Sri Lanka

A small group tour of Sri Lanka for mature couples and solo travellers is a great introduction to the trading history of the world and "Spice" The centre of the island offers rolling hills, year round cool climate and former British colonial hill stations complete with Tudor hotels, rose gardens and the oldest golf course in Asia. Scattered around the country are National Parks filled with game. The world’s first game reserves were founded in Sri Lanka over 2,000 years ago.

From A$7,950 AUD

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Colombo , the capital, is a sprawling ocean city adjacent to the Indian ocean, of shady boulevards and colonial architecture that has an increasingly cosmopolitan side is where a Sri Lanka small group tour typically begins. But your Sri Lanka itinerary should include time up at Nuwara Eliya, for a piece of colonial Britain and a tea plantation or Anuradhapura for a reclining buddha and buddhist temple, the UNESCO world heritage site of Sigiriya rock fortress up on Sigiriya rock, now an ancient ruin and the ancient city below or cave temples in the National park. Explore stylish eateries, charming shops and the city’s bustling seafront. Galle , an ancient city on the southwest coast, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for good reason. A historic town of grand Dutch-colonial buildings, majestic mansions and ornate mosques, Galle is known for Galle Fort, the fortified old city founded by Portuguese colonists in the 16th century who would visit Sri lanka for spice. It is an unmissable sight. In central Sri Lanka, you will find Kandy , the country’s cultural capital. Set amongst the country’s lush green hills and shrouded in mist, the powerful ancient Kingdom of Kandy was able to hold off the advancement of Portuguese and Dutch colonisers during the 16th and 17th century thanks to its less-accessible location. Here, discover the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic as well as colonial architecture and sprawling botanical gardens.

Sri Lanka for those interested in flora and fauna and keen to see some of the country’s diverse wildlife, Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a national park, should be high on the list of a Sri Lanka trip. Bordered by rivers, it is a biodiversity hotspot and the county’s last viable area of primary tropical rainforest. But also this is the home for an ancient temple, ancient ruins, Ceylon tea and a spice garden mixed with a fascinating culture.

With its myriad of charms, Sri Lanka is the perfect destination for an island holiday. Inquire with us or find out more here about the small group tours Sri Lanka has on offer through Odyssey Traveller.

Articles about Sri Lanka

Lankatilaka Vihara ruins in Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka

Questions about Sri Lanka for senior travellers

Experience the history, culture and landscape of the spice island that is Sri Lanka. For seniors who like to explore this is a small group tour that captures the essence of this island away and off the the beaten track.

31 Jul 19 · 2 mins read
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Touring Sri Lanka

The need to know

Getting Around

Odyssey travels by coach and occasionally uses local transport, including trains and ferries. Specifics are always outlined in your tour itinerary. Sri Lanka’s bus network is extensive and bus services are cheap, so buses are a handy way to get around. Trains link Colombo with all tourist towns, while taxis are common in all sizeable towns.


In Sri Lanka’s major cities, Odyssey stays in centrally located 4 star hotels, with easy access to public transport. In smaller towns or rural areas, we usually stay in family-run hotels or guesthouses with charm! On our long stay tours, during which you spend the length of the tour in a single location, we use serviced apartments.

Tour Guides

Odyssey always engages local guides with regional knowledge to ensure an authentic experience during on your Sri Lanka holiday which you can learn as much as possible about the history and culture of places you visit.

Our guides seek to share their intimate knowledge and stories with our small groups.

Geography, environment and weather

Lying to the south east of India, the island nation of Sri Lanka has a total area of 65k square kilometres, with a coastline of 1,340 kilometres. Sri Lanka largely features flat plains, though the terrain does get more mountainous toward the south-central interior.

Sri Lanka has over 100 rivers, as well as 45 estuaries and 40 lagoons, while its mangrove ecosystem stretches over 7,000 hectares.

Sri Lanka has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures being a near constant all-year round. Rainfall can get quite heavy, especially during the mid-year monsoonal period, so be sure to check weather reports and have some wet weather gear handy if necessary.

World Heritage sites

Sri Lanka has 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You can view the official list of the sites here ( While every site has something of value, here are a few highlights:

  • Sacred City of Kandy – the last capital of the Sinhala Kings and sacred site to Buddhism in Sri Lanka, the city of Kandy contains nearly 500 historic buildings and the serene beauty of Kandy Lake
  • Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications – founded by the Portuguese in the 16th century, the Old Town of Galle features a visually striking blend of European architectural styles and South Asian influences
  • Golden Temple of Dambulla – A sacred Buddhist pilgrimage site for over 2000 years, this cave monastery features ornate mural paintings and 157 statues

Festivals and events

Befitting its rich history and age-old cultural traditions, Sri Lanka has numerous colourful festivals and events. Sinhala and Tamil New Year is one of the major events on the national calendar, with families across the country by decorating homes, lighting firecrackers, and hosting lavish dinners for loved ones. Religious festivals feature prominently in Sri Lanka – notable examples include the Buddhist festival Vesak Poya, whereby Sri Lanka’s cities are decorated and illuminated by colourful lanterns, and the Kataragama Esala Hindu festival, which features colourful processions of dancers, musicians, elephants and acrobats.

Reading lists

  • Elephant Complex: Travels in Sri Lanka by John Gimlette
  • The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jeffries
  • Cinnamon Gardens by Shyam Selvadurai
  • Serendipity by Ashok Ferrey

Eating and Drinking

Fragrant spices and herbs feature heavily in Sri Lankan cuisine. Dhal curry is a mainstay of Sri Lankan cuisine, in which spices like tumeric, fenugreek and mustard seeds add vibrancy and flavour to the lentil curry. Fish ambul thiyal (fish curry) makes use of Sri Lanka’s wonderful seafood, with fresh fish sauteed in a blend of spices including pepper, cinnamon, garlic and pandan leaves. Kottu roti is one of Sri Lanka’s most popular dishes – mades out of a mix of shredded vegetables, meat, spices, and pieces of roti, kottu roti makes for a very tasty form of street food. To wash down the spice and picquancy of Sri Lanka’s delicious food, a wood apple juice may come in handy – made from the South Asian wood apple fruit, wood apple is often drunk as a thick smoothie and has a unique taste.

Health and Safety

Generally speaking, Sri Lanka is safe to travel around in, though always exercise common sense while travelling. Be advised that outbreaks of dengue fever to occur in Sri Lanka, so protect yourself from mosquitos.

Electrical Supply

Whenever you travel overseas, it’s always wise to take an appropriate travel adaptor. The electricity supply in Sri Lanka operates at 230V and 50 Hz. Sri Lanka uses two plug types, Type D and Type G.

Tour Reviews

Loved: National Institute of traditional medicine hike to Wanyditse Goemba Punakha festival – definitely a highlight Hanging the prayer flags at the pass! The outdoor picnics! Archery competition! Dumtse Lhakhang – went to heaven!!! Dzong Drak Kha (mini tigers nest) amazing views and climb Sanga Choekor Shedra (Bhuddist College) Drakpa and his team (Nima and Karma) were just amazing. Drakpa was very knowledgeable, friendly, caring and cheerful. He went out of his way to provide us with information and experiences to help our understanding of the culture and religion, he was funny and entertaining and very professional under pressure.Nima was a very competent driver, and I have never felt in safer hands in the difficult driving conditions we were in.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

The trip to the Tang valley and the Ogyencholing museum were a highlight. Beautiful scenery, wonderful people and one of the best museums I've seen. That night and all next day it snowed - what a buzz. Made everything look magical and improved the scenery for the next few days

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. · I have travelled expensively but have not with a travel organisation that comes anywhere near Odyssey's attention to detail and the comfort of its travellers. · The tour was fantastic and well organised and well managed. The transport provided was always very good and where the seats were a little narrow, the bus was big enough for us to 'spread out' for more comfort. · Our accommodation was excellent as was our local guide.I would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful country with many treasures to explore and learn about. Discover Myanmar Nov ‘15

Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors

The local guide, Drukpa, was exceptional value. When I was ill for a couple of days his care for me, assisted by Len, was way beyond my expectation.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

We did this tour in 2011. Wonderful, extraordinary experience. Loved every minute.

Rex and Maree

Journey through Mongolia and Russia small group tour

I wish to sincerely thank Len for his amazing care, good cheer and flexibility ! Len has that great combination of simultaneous organisation and flexibility, which is so very necessary on a small trip such as this. In his stride, he was able to re-design the program at short notice due to weather conditions (working closely with Drakpa) and the end result was better than the original plan in my opinion!!! It was clear from day one, that Len cared and payed attention to each and every one of us at every step of the way – going out of his way to assist those who needed it. The trust and camaraderie we developed with Len made the trip that much more special! I miss our laughs.

Participant March 2017

Bhutan | Small Group Cultural Tour

Your chat-operator was informative and helpful. We have covered quite a few countries and seasons to travel. Full marks for that!

Philip Lee

Discovering Myanmar | Small Group Tour for Seniors


What time zone is Sri Lanka in?

Sri Lanka has a single time zone, Sri Lanka Standard Time (UTC+5:30). Sri Lanka does not observe daylight savings.

Is tipping customary in Sri Lanka?

If you’re on an Odyssey tour, we take care of tipping so you don’t need to give it a second thought. However, in your free time, or if travelling independently, it’s essential that you tip an appropriate amount for services. Sri Lanka has an active tipping culture, though it is custom for tips to be earned for good service rather than to be simply expected. An approximate tip for hotel staff such as housekeepers and porters would be about 100 rupees, while a few hundred may be expected of a decent tour guide, though this can vary. A service charge of 10% is sometimes added to restaurant bills, but otherwise a similiar tip is appreciated.

What is internet connectivity like?

Wifi is commonly available in guesthouses and hotels, though coverage may be patchy in rural areas .

Can I use my mobile phone in Sri Lanka?

Check with your cell phone provider to see whether you’re able to make calls and use data while in Sri Lanka. Many providers will allow you to pay a daily fee that allows you to make calls and check the internet while only being charged your regular rates. However, be certain to inform your provider that you’re heading overseas, because just like a bank they can turn off your service as a result of unusual activity.

Articles about Sri Lanka published by Odyssey Traveller

For all the articles Odyssey Traveller has published for mature aged and senior travellers, click through on this link.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Sri Lanka

Responsible travel tips for Sri Lanka.

  • Learn at least the local greetings to break the ice. Although many locals speak English, the more you know of the native language, the greater your experience of the country will be.
  • Carry a business card in your wallet or purse from your local hotel, to assist you with the return journey if you do become lost.
  • Always ensure that you are covered by travel insurance. If you need advice on this feel free to contact Odyssey and we’ll be able to help.
  • When travelling independently, make sure you check the opening hours of shops and museums so that you don’t miss out! Museums and galleries are often closed on Mondays. Also be certain to check whether your trip coincides with any public holidays, so you can plan accordingly.
  • Consider contacting your bank to inform them that you may be making purchases overseas. Otherwise, they may flag any activity on your account as suspicious. Also, check which ATMs and banks are compatible with your cards, to ensure you can withdraw cash with minimal fees.
  • Before departing, make sure you have a number of Sri Lankan rupees in a range of denominations. You don’t want to be carrying around enormous amounts of cash, but take enough to make it easy to pay in locations that might not accept credit card. It will also help you avoid card transaction fees, and it makes tipping a breeze.

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