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Fairway Galle Literary Festival Tour 2019 – 8D Sri Lanka Guides
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Fairway Galle Literary Festival Tour 2019

per person

Explore Sri Lanka, the “pearl of the Indian Ocean”, and attend the Galle Literary Festival in the historic Dutch Fort.

Embark on a literary adventure!

8D Sri Lanka and Gutsy Creatives have partnered to create an extraordinary experience for writers. Join other literary-minded travelers on a journey through Sri Lanka. Your first five days will be spent enjoying the quality programming of the Galle Literary Festival – named by Harpers Bazaar UK as the ‘No. 1 literary festival in the world’.

After the festival concludes, travel with us to some of the most culturally significant locations in Sri Lanka. Travel through lush, tropical jungles to witness first-hand one of the most biologically diverse and unique places on earth. Plus, enjoy custom writing workshops specifically designed to connect you with the land, the culture and the people of Sri Lanka.

View complete tour information.

Tour Info (PDF)

Register on our partner site.

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Meet Your Tour Guides

  • Charaka Wijeratne
  • Manager, 8D Sri Lanka

Charaka has over ten years experience guiding visitors through his home country of Sri Lanka. After serving as Foreign Media Coordinator at the famous Temple of the Tooth in Kandy, he formed 8D Sri Lanka to craft once-in-a-lifetime Sri Lankan experiences suited to the needs and desires of travelers from all nations.

Email  | Twitter | Instagram

  • Kelsye Nelson
  • Director, Gutsy Creatives

An author and entrepreneur with decades of experience in the publishing and literary fields, Kelsye founded Gutsy Creatives with the goal of providing authors and creatives of all kinds with the knowledge and inspiration required to create a satisfying and successful life in the arts.

Email  | Twitter | Instagram | www.Kelsye.com

  • Attractions Covered

    Galle Literary Festival 5 days / Devon & St. Claire waterfalls / Gregory Lake and Park / Nuwaraeliya Hill City / Ceylon Tea Fields / Ancient Kingdom Kandy / Kandyan Dance / Ceylon Gem Museum / Botanical Gardens / Ceylon Herbal & Spice Garden / Sigiriya Lions Rock / Polonnaruwa Ancient Kingdom / Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha / Minneriya National Park / Dambulla Golden Cave Temple 


  • Departure
    Colombo, Sri Lanka
  • Departure Time
    9.00am January 16, 2019
  • Return Time
    Morning, January 26, 2019
  • Dress Code
    Casual and comfortable. May bring semi-formal outfit for literary festival special events.
  • Include
    Chauffer Guide / Driver (English Speaking)
    Transportation & Fuel
    Entrance & Activity Tickets
    Airport Transfers
  • Not Included
    Expenses Of Personal Nature
    Airline Tickets & Visa

Day 1 | 16th January | Colombo - Galle


  • TOUR START - Welcome!
  • 9AM Meet your guides at the pick up point in Colombo (TBA)
  • Travel to Galle and check in to your hotel.
  • Pick up festival passes and packets.
  • Begin Galle Literary Festival

Day 2 | 17th January | GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Galle Literary festivalDAY TWO of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival

Participate in your choice of festival programming. Full schedule available at www.galleliteraryfestival.com Breakfast provided at your hotel. On your own for lunch and dinner. Your guides Charaka and Kelsye will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, or to help book additional festival activities.

Day 3 | 18th January | GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Galle Literary festivalDAY THREE of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival

Participate in your choice of festival programming. Full schedule available at www.galleliteraryfestival.com Breakfast provided at your hotel. On your own for lunch and dinner. Your guides Charaka and Kelsye will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, or to help book additional festival activities.

Day 4 | 19th January | GALLE LITERARY FESTIVAL

Galle Literary festivalDAY FOUR of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival

Participate in your choice of festival programming. Full schedule available at www.galleliteraryfestival.com Breakfast provided at your hotel. On your own for lunch and dinner. Your guides Charaka and Kelsye will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, or to help book additional festival activities.  


Galle Literary festivalDAY FIVE of the Fairway Galle Literary Festival

Participate in your choice of festival programming. Full schedule available at www.galleliteraryfestival.com Breakfast provided at your hotel. On your own for lunch and dinner. Your guides Charaka and Kelsye will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, or to help book additional festival activities.  

DAY 6 | 21st January | GALLE - NUWARAELIYA

  • MORNING: After breakfast at your hotel, meet your guides at your hotel, then travel to the hill country Nuwaraeliya. Along the way, stop and freshen up with a cup of fresh tea at the St. Claire Tea Castle with the beautiful views of the surrounding hills and the Devon waterfall. Also an opportunity to learn the history of the world famous Ceylon tea production and a chance to enjoy a tea tasting experience.
  • AFTERNOON: We continue our journey to Nuwaraeliya. Lunch will be taken along the route, or in the town of Nuwaraeliya depending on travel conditions. On arrival in “little England”, you’ll check in to the hotel. Choose to relax and refresh in your room before dinner, or join us for a stroll on the banks of the beautiful Gregory Lake.
  • EVENING: Group dinner at the hotel. After-dinner writing workshop.
  • WRITERS WORKSHOP: Surrealist Writing Games for Writers and Non-Writers Alike 
  • Indulge in decades-old writing games that use collaborative prompts to stimulate creativity, love of language and inspired (and often amused) community.

DAY 7 | 22nd January | NUWARAELIYA - KANDY

  • MORNING: After breakfast, travel to Kandy, the cultural capital of Sri Lanka and the last kingdom of ancient Sri Lanka. Enjoy the sights of one of the most beautiful routes in the country as we drive through the hillsides with breathtaking views of the stacked tea fields and lush jungle vistas.
  • AFTERNOON: Lunch with the group. Check in to your hotel. Afternoon writing workshop.
    WRITERS WORKSHOP: Truth in Mythology - Characters and Stories from Sri Lanka’s Past
    There are some stories that every Sri Lankan knows - such as how Princess Hemamala helped smuggle the tooth relic into Sri Lanka by tucking the tooth in her beautifully styled hair. Your local guide Charaka will share a sampling of the most dramatic episodes from Kandy’s fabled past. We’ll use these stories to spark an inspired writing session led by Kelsye focused on myth building.
    EVENING: Time to enjoy a unique Kandyan Cultural Dance Show and Performance. Drummers, dancers and demons dressed in the ancient Kandyan costumes will entertain you in this hour-long performance that ends with a thrilling fire walking and fire breathing event.
    Then stroll along the ancient and beautiful Kandy lake to the near by Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha.This temple is the most famous and culturally significant attraction in Kandy as the palace of the ancient kings and contains an important Buddhist relic.
    After visiting the temple and enjoying dinner with the group, return to the hotel for the night to rest for tomorrow’s travels.

DAY 8 | 23rd January | KANDY - SIGIRIYA

MORNING: First, breakfast at the hotel. Next, we make our way to the stunning Royal Botanical Garden. During World War II, Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in the South Asia, used this botanical garden as the headquarters of the South East Asia Command. Now it is another popular attraction, renowned for its rare tropical plants and collection of orchids. The garden includes more than 4000 species of plants, comprising of orchids, spices, medicinal plants and palm trees.
While in the lovely setting of the botanical garden, participate in our morning writing workshop.
WRITING WORKSHOP - Writing in Nature: This unique workshop guides you through simple writing exercises designed to open your senses and expand your writerly awareness and perception of place and environment.
AFTERNOON: Visit a famous Ceylon Gem Museum to learn first-hand why Sri Lanka has been renowned for its gems in the world market since ancient times. Fellow traveler Marco Polo called Sri Lanka ‘Serendib’ meaning island of gems. Sri Lankan blue sapphires “Ceylon Sapphires” are sought-after by gem enthusiasts the world over.
EVENING: Check in the hotel. Enjoy dinner with the group. Retire early to rest for tomorrow’s incredible adventures.


MORNING: After breakfast, head out for a day trip to explore the Polonnaruwa Ancient Kingdom. These scenic, expansive ruins date back a 1000 years. There are many historical monuments in this beautifully architectural ancient city. There massive and intricate stone statues, buildings, ponds and tunnels. This ancient citadel is situated overlooking the massive man-made lake of Parakarama Samudraya. Samudraya means “ocean” in Sinhala. The lake is an impressive feat. After lunch, travel back to the hotel in Sigiriya.
AFTERNOON: Time for new adventure! Now we safari by jeep deep into the Minneriya National park to witness the largest gatherings of wild elephants in Sri Lanka. The national park’s fauna species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies. The park is also an important habitat for the two endemic monkeys of Sri Lanka: purple-faced langur and toque macaque. Additionally, you may catch sight of the sambar deer, axis deer, leopard and the sloth gray slender loris.
EVENING: Return to the hotel for dinner and some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

DAY 10 | 25th January | SIGIRIYA - NEGOMBO

  • MORNING: Eat a hearty breakfast this morning! After breakfast, you’ll climb the Sigiriya Lion Rock. Sigiriya (or Lion Rock) is an ancient rock fortress nearly 200 meters (660 ft) high. It is a site of historical and archaeological importance. According to the ancient Sri Lankan chronicle, King Kasyapa built his new capital and royal palace on the top of this rock. He also built a gateway in the form of a massive lion on a small plateau about halfway up the side of this rock. Sigiriya is a World Heritage Site and one of the best preserved examples of ancient urban planning.
  • On returning to the green gardens surrounding Lion Rock, enjoy our final formal writing workshop.
  • WRITING WORKSHOP - Mindful Writing:
  • In the peaceful calm of the palace garden ruins surrounding Lion’s Rock, this final writing workshop introduces you to basic breathing and meditation practices to quiet your mind, focus your thoughts and dive deep in your writing.
  • AFTERNOON: After lunch, visit the Dambulla Golden Cave Temple. This temple is also a World Heritage Site. This temple complex dates back to the first century B.C.. It is the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. The rock towers 160 meters over the surrounding plains. There are more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. There are a total of 153 Buddha statues, three statues of Sri Lankan kings and four statues of gods and goddesses.
  • EVENING: Travel to Negombo. Check into your hotel and bid adieu to your fellow travelers. Retire early to rest for your journey back home - or head out with new friends to sample the warm, dynamic nightlife of Negombo beach - the choice is yours.

DAY 11 | 26th January | NEGOMBO

  • MORNING: Enjoy breakfast at your hotel. Explore Negombo on your own.

For complete tour information, please download the tour pack.

Download complete tour information and itinerary

Package Includes:

  • • Transportation in A/C vehicle for the duration of the tour as described in the plan.
  • • Four writing workshops as described in the plan.
  • • Comfortable hotel accommodations for 10 nights.
  • • Breakfast at all hotels for the duration of the tour.
  • • Lunch and dinner on all tour days
  • • Entrance tickets for all attractions named in the tour plan.

Not included:

  • • Air tickets.
  • • VISA fees.
  • • Airport pickup or drop off.
  • • Drinks.
  • • Entrance and attraction tickets other than those mentioned in the plan.
  • • Insurance charges.
  • • Video or photography permits for personal equipments.
  • • Expenses of personal nature.

Tour Tips

  1. 1. American citizens may purchase a 30-day tourist visa online in advance of the trip, or secure a “VISA on arrival” upon landing at the CMB airport. More info: www.eta.gov.lk
  2. 2. When visiting temple, you will not be allowed entrance if wearing clothes that do not cover the knees or that bare shoulders. You must also remove shoes, caps, hats, and scarfs.
  3. 3. Smoking in public is banned in Sri Lanka. All hotel rooms will be non-smoking.
  4. 4. It is advisable to drink bottled water while traveling.
  5. 5. Please let your guides know at time of booking if you have any physical or dietary needs. All our welcome and we will do our best to accommodate your requirements.
  6. 6. Hotel accommodations are 4-star or better, but may be substituted 3-star due to availability.

Terms & Conditions:

  1. 1. Booking signifies full agreement to these terms and conditions.
  2. 2. A non-refundable deposit of $300 per person is due at booking.
  3. 3. The balance must be received by December 28, 2018 to hold your spot.
  4. 4. A refund of 100% minus the non-refundable deposit is available if booking is canceled before December 28th, 2018.
  5. 5. A refund of 60% minus the non-refundable deposit is available if booking is canceled before January 11, 2019.
  6. 6. No refunds available January 11, 2019 or later.
  7. 7. Tour plan quoted is tentative and subject to change after booking.
  8. 8. Additional attractions, events and/or activities may be added at client’s request and expense.
  9. 9. The itinerary may change at any time due to weather, attraction closures or other unforeseen circumstances.
  10. 10. Travel times may vary due to traffic and road conditions.
  11. 11. Registrant(s) is responsible for purchasing their own travel and health insurance for the duration of the tour.
  12. 12. Registrant(s) will not hold 8D Sri Lanka, Gutsy Creatives or any representatives of these organizations responsible for any personal injury or loss that occurs traveling to and from the tour, or during the tour.
  13. 13. Registrant(s) acknowledges that 8D Sri Lanka and Gutsy Creatives reserve the right to refuse participation to any registrant or participant at any time in its sole and absolute discretion, in the tour, without any liability to hosting organizations, for any reason, including but not limited to, lack of physical ability to participate in the scheduled activities, behavior that significantly and materially disrupts the other participants’ ability to enjoy the tour, and abuse of alcohol or other drugs.

To book the tour, register at our partner site Gutsy Creatives: 

> > Register now at Gusty Creatives < <


Booking instructions:

1. Visit the official tour page on Gutsy Creatives to book.

2. Select your accommodation preference on the booking page. (Single shared, single private, double private.)

3. Pay your $300 deposit online via the tour selection link above.

4. Pay the balance before December 28, 2018. (You’ll receive an invoice via email.)

Registration fee:

Single registration with shared room: $2299

Single registration with private room: $2899

Book with a friend and save $250 per person! Double registration with private double room: $2049 (per person)

Payment Schedule & Refunds

  • - $300 non-refundable deposit per person due at time of booking.
  • - Full balance due by December 28, 2018.
  • - Cancel for any reason before December 28, 2018 and receive a 100% refund (minus deposit).
  • - Cancel for any reason before January 11, 2019 and receive a 60% refund (minus deposit).
  • - No refunds after January 11, 2019.

Half tour options available. Book either the Galle Literary Festival segment, or the Sri Lanka Tour segment individually.

Questions? Contact your tour guides.