Undiscovered Sri Lanka

Description

On this comprehensive tour of Sri Lanka you will see so many of the country's historic and natural highlights as well as having time to relax at a luxurious resort. Beginning in Sigiriya, where you find the stunning Lion Rock fortress, you visit the colourful hill capital of Kandy, with its beautiful royal botanical gardens and famous Temple of the Tooth, explore the cave temple complex at Dambulla and stop at the Matale Spice Garden. Add to this a jeep safari in a national park and a turtle watch on the beach and you have all the ingredients for a great trip.

Day 1
Colombo

Welcome to Sri Lanka, or Ayubowan as the locals say. On arrival at Colombo's Bandaranaike International Airport you will be met by a chauffeur guide and driven to your hotel at Negombo, which is around 20 minutes away. Check in and relax after the journey then the rest of the day is free for you to enjoy all the hotel facilities or go out on your own and explore the surrounding area. If you have the energy, you could always take a trip into the capital city Colombo.

Day 2
Polonnaruwa

A four hour drive this morning to Polonnaruwa, a medieval city and Unesco World Heritage Site. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, and the monuments are well preserved and give clear evidence of the glory of Sri Lanka's past. Highlights are the Royal Palace complex including the Kings Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite. Overnight Polonnaruwa.

Day 3
Sigiriya

One of the highlights of the tour today when you visit the Lion Rock fortress at Sigiriya, at the heart of Sri Lanka's cultural triangle. You can climb to the top up an iron stairway seeing the water gardens and world renowned frescoes and the mirror wall. Then, in the afternoon, you are taken on a jeep safari in Minneriya National Park which is home to sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The main feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank which is a great place to see elephants who come to bathe and huge flocks of birds.

Day 4
Kandy

Today you travel to Kandy stopping on the way at the Dambulla Cave temple. There are more than 150 images of the Buddha in these caves and the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Then stop at the Matale Spice Garden and learn about all the spices used in Sri Lankan cuisine before driving on to the hill capital of Kandy, the country's most beautiful town, where you visit the famed Temple of the Tooth after checking in to your hotel. In the evening enjoy a cultural Kandyan dance show.

Day 5
Kandy

This morning you are taken to the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens, some 150 acres of trees lawns and flowering shrubs. Under British rule, the royal park became a botanical garden in 1821. Sights include a palm avenue planted by the British in 1905. Another British import was the enormous spreading Java fig which sprawls across the lawn, grown from a sapling brought from the East Indies. The gardens also have stands of towering bamboos and a fine collection of orchids. Overnight Kandy.

Day 6
Udawalawe

You are picked up from your hotel in Kandy this morning and driven to the station for a wonderful six hour scenic train journey through the countryside to Ella. If there are any problems with the trains, you will be taken by road to make sure you arrive at your next destination on time. At Ella train station you will be met by your chauffeur guide and driven to your next hotel in Udawalawe. The rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore on your own.

Day 7
Bentota

Begin today with a jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park. Surrounded by mountain ranges, the terrain of the park is a mixture of grassland, shrub jungle, wild teak plantations and it is internationally renowned for its large herd of elephants. The park is also known for several species of deer, wild boar, the dangerous wild buffalo, jackal and there are even rare sightings of leopards. Then on the way to your resort hotel at Bentota, stop and visit the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery where thousands of hatchlings are released into the sea every month.

Day 8
Bentota

A relaxing day today and a welcome break from travelling. Enjoy all the hotel facilities and top up your tan before heading off to Balapitiya to enjoy a 20 minute boat trip out to a small island. Here you can swim and try a fish pedicure - a unique sensation where tiny fishes nibble the dry skin from your feet. Then you are taken back to your hotel at Bentota and the rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore the area possibly trying one of the local seafood restaurants.

Day 9
Bentota

Today you are driven the one and a half hours to Galle for a city tour. This Unesco World Heritage Site is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505. Captured and fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries, the city still retains the air of old Holland. Within the well preserved fort and ramparts are old Dutch churches and the many well preserved old houses and narrow alleys still bear Dutch names. Return to Bentota after your tour.

Day 10
End of Tour

Today your wonderful trip around Sri Lanka comes to an end when you are picked up from your hotel in Bentota and driven back to the international airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey home. If you want to extend your stay in Sri Lanka you could instead be taken to the capital city Colombo and enjoy some time exploring, taking a tuk tuk tour around this fascinating city, watching the locals playing cricket on all the open spaces, and having a very English tea at the splendid Galle Face Hotel on the sea front.

Tour details 10 days

Double Room fr £996pp

Tour Highlights

  • Colombo
  • Polonnaruwa
  • Sigiriya
  • Kandy
  • Udawalawe
  • Bentota
  • Galle

Included:

  • Accommodation as per Itinerary
  • English Speaking Guide
  • Excursions as per Itinerary

Not included:

  • Visas
  • Tips

What 339 customers thought of Colombo

Perfect personal service. Mason and his team went the extra mile for us. Thanks for everything. We had a great holiday.

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Thank you to all your team. We had a fabulous holiday.

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Faultless organisation from start to finish

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Despite a small blip we were contacted promptly by Natalie who resolved the problem very quickly. Very impressed and restored confidence. The interaction enhanced the remainder of our stay.

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Sally and Chris were excellent arranging assistance through the whole journey.

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Superb, helpful service resulted in a fantastic holiday for all of us.

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The trip went very smoothly. My companion is unable to walk and we had good assistance to get her to and from the plane.

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Emirates let us down badly

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Excellent service

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Flew to Colombo

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Great service as always

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