22 October 2016
This private tour is a great way to explore the beautiful and fascinating island of Sri Lanka. Beginning and ending in the capital Colombo, you will travel to Sigiriya - the celebrated Lion Rock - the colourful town of Kandy, the cool tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya, the celebrated Pinnawella Elephant Orphanage, the medieval capital of Polonnanruwa, and the cave temple at Dambulla, making this a comprehensive tour of all the main sights. Sri L
On arrival at Bandaranaiake International Airport at Colombo you will be met by one of our tour representatives and taken to your hotel where you can relax and unwind after the journey and discuss all that you will be doing and seeing over the next eight days. Then go out and sample the nightlife in the capital city and try one of the many good restaurants.
Today you travel to Habarana stopping on the way for a memorable visit to the famous Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This government project has been running for more than 30 years and today looks after around 60 elephants. Watch them bathing in the river, feeding and at play. Then continue to Habarana and check into your hotel. Later you visit the Lion Rock, one of the seven world heritage sites on the island. This ancient fortress and ruins has many attractions from its gardens, water terrace, rock carvings and world renown frescos. Climb to the top for stunning views.
Today you explore the Medieval capital of Polonnaruwa which is a world hertage site. The entire landscape here is punctuated by huge man made reservoirs and highlights include the Royal Palace complex including the King's Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive Buddha images cut from a single slab of granite. Later take a jeep safari to Minneriya National Park, a forest which is home to leopards, deer and elephants as well as huge flocks of exotic birds.
Today you are driven to Kandy with a stop at the amazing Dambulla Cave Temple on the way. First used as a refuge for an ancient king, the caves contain 150 Buddha images and provide a great insight into the island's history. Later arrive at the famed city of Kandy, home to the much revered Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic which you visit. This lovely exotic city, the Hill capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings, is another world heritage site. Tonight enjoy a cultural dance show before returning to your hotel.
Your first visit today is to the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens where you will find 150 acres of exotic trees, lawns and flowering shrubs. Under British rule, this former royal park became a botanical garden in 1821 and highlights include a palm avenue, enormous spreading Java fig trees a fine collection of orchids and an artificial lake. After your visit here the rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore this colourful city and all it has to offer.
Today you continue your Sri Lankan adventure by travelling to a tea plantation in the hill country and enjoying the bracing mountain climate of Nuwara Eliya. The mountain slopes and valleys are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations dotted with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. You will see English country style homes here with lovely flower gardens, a golf course and a racecourse.
Today after breakfast you head out of the cool hill country of Sri Lanka for the four hour drive back to Colombo. Great views of the stunning scenery as you leave this lush green area. Once in the capital the rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore on your own. Your guide will give you plenty of suggestions but one place that is worth a visit is the colonial style Galle Face Hotel on the ocean front.
Today your magical private tour of Sri Lanka comes to an end. Enjoy some more time in Colombo sightseeing and shopping for souvenirs before returning to the airport to to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. This wonderful exclusive tour makes a great add on to any holiday in the former Ceylon, or a great trip in its own right.
Standard fr £976pp
Deluxe fr £1090pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated