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From captivating wildlife and remarkable archaeological sites to timeless ruins and culture rich cities, discover sensational Sri Lanka on this exceptional tour. We visit iconic locations such as Dambulla, Polonnaruwa and the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle. Experience the quaint village of Hiriwadunna, Sigiriya Rock Fortress, and a panoramic city tour of Colombo. Our fantastic 12-day itinerary explores the best of Sri Lanka, ensuring a memorable tour for all.
Today, we fly to Colombo.
Upon arrival in Colombo, you will be met and transferred to your hotel where you will stay for one night.
This afternoon enjoy a panoramic city tour of Colombo. This busy and vibrant city features a mixture of modern life and remnants of a bygone colonial era. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-Westsea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago. The historical, religious and commercial sites of Colombo include the Fort and Pettah, the elite residential Cinnamon Gardens, the Galle Face Green, the newly opened Lotus Tower, Viharamahadevi Park and much more.
This evening, a welcome dinner will be included at your hotel.
This morning we drive to Dambulla for a three-night stay. The town is famous for its magnificent rock cave temples, which are adorned with exquisite cave paintings and shelter numerous statues of Lord Buddha.
During the day you will have the opportunity to join a jeep safari within the Minneriya National Park. Famous for its large wild herds of elephants which congregate on the edge of rivers and reservoirs to bathe and socialise, it's one of the best parks in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favourite habitat for animals, which include leopards, deer and wild elephants. Keep an eye out for monkeys as well, including the purple-faced langur and macaques.
The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya built on a giant rock rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains below. This remarkable 5th-century archaeological site is made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. A moat, rampart and extensive gardens, including the renowned water gardens, ring the base of the rock and the frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya.
This morning we drive to Sigiriya. The 5th-century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and UNESCO World Heritage Site – Sigiriya – doesn't only boast of ancient Sri Lankan engineering and urban planning supremacy, but also claims to be one of the finest monuments of art and culture. Step through the gigantic 'Lion Paws' overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below to appreciate the absolute splendour that once dominated this rock fortress.
This afternoon we continue to Polonnaruwa. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries A.D, Polonnaruwa is a World Heritage Site. Here you can see the Gal Viharaya, three splendid statues of the Buddha in upright, sedentary and recumbent postures carved out of rock. There is also the ruins of the Royal Palace, the audience hall, lotus bath, the 12th-century Polonnaruwa statue, and Parakrama Samudra tank (lake) built by King Parakramabahu the great. Furthermore, the ruins of famous places of worship, such as the Shiva temple, Lankatileka, Watadage, Galpotha, Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former temple of the tooth, reside here.
Please note: To reach the top of Sigiriya Rock, there are nearly 1,200 stone steps up and then down.
Today we visit Hiriwadunna, a quaint rural village in the centre of Habarana, where there are more trees and birds than people. We include a tour of the village before enjoying a ride on a decorated tractor through beautiful rice fields before being welcomed by a local family for a delicious traditional Sri Lankan meal.
Following our visit on the farm, we will enjoy catamaran ride on the scenic lake.
This afternoon we continue to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, which is considered by many to be the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
This morning we visit the Dambulla Rock Cave Temples. The magnificently constructed cave Temples are adorned with exquisite paintings and numerous statues of Lord Buddha.
Following our visit to the caves we continue our journey to a spice garden in Matale, where we will see the spices growing, and learn how they are used in traditional medicine and local cuisine.
This afternoon we arrive in the lakeside town of Kandy, the World Heritage Site and last Royal capital of the Sri Lankan Kings. Cradled among the misty hills, we will visit the town’s crown jewel of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha. We stay overnight in Kandy.
This morning we take a world-renowned train journey through the spectacular lush Sri Lankan countryside and lands of tea plantations to the celebrated British colonial retreat of Nuwara Eliya.
We continue to a local tea plantation where you will see the picking and processing of the prestigious brand of Ceylon Tea before returning to Nuwara Eliya for an overnight stay.
Spend the day at leisure exploring Nuwara Eliya. Alternatively, you can join our optional excursion to Horton Plains National Park. With stunning viewpoints and an abundance of wildlife, the park is hailed as one of the most beautiful World Heritage Sites in the world.
Our optional excursions are a great addition to enhance your holiday experience and are highly recommended.
|Horton Plains National Park||2024 TBC||2025 TBC|
The optional excursions will be available to book during your tour.
Prices are per person and are subject to change. Payment will be in Euros (cash payments only).
This morning we head to the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle. Once the centre of Dutch rule in the 17th century, Galle is a beautiful coastal town rich in history. Known for its majestic fort, it is one of the best-preserved colonial era cities in Southeast Asia.
On arrival in Galle, you will have time at leisure to explore this delightful city.
After a leisurely morning in Galle, we travel to Beruwala for a two-night stay.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.
Single Room Supplement from £699.00 (12 days).
You will stay at each of the following hotels, or similar:
Cinnamon Lakeside in Colombo for one night, Amaya Lake in Dambulla for three nights, Amaya Hills in Kandy for one night, the Blackpool Hotel in Nuwara Eliya for two nights, Radisson Blu in Galle for one night and the Cinnamon Bey in Beruwela for two nights.
All hotels are of a minimum 4-star superior Sri Lankan standard.
Please Note: Due to demand, we may use other hotels of a similar standard. Your exact hotel details will be provided with your travel documents.
All of our coaches are modern and comfortable, and you can be assured of a high level of service and reliability from our expert-trained coach crews, who will be on hand to assist and escort you along the way.