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Delights of Sri Lanka

10 days fr £1,099pp

Negombo • Polonnaruwa • Sigiriya • Kandy • Udawalawe • Bentota

TOUR DETAILS
Accommodation:
  • Double Room fr £1,099pp
Validity (selected dates between):
  • 01/05/2020 - 30/06/2020
Also included:
  • 9 Nights Accommodation with Half Board
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • English Speaking Chauffeur Guide
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary
Not included:
  • International Flights (unless otherwise stated)
  • Optional excursions
  • Camera charges
  • Tips
  • Visa Fees
Overview
This 10-day tour is the perfect way to get to know the stunning island of Sri Lanka. You'll visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Dambulla Cave Temple and Galle, enjoy safaris in two of the island's national parks, get up close to the local wildlife at a turtle hatchery and take in numerous temples, artworks and historic sites.
Day 1
Negombo
Your tour begins as you arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport and are met by your chauffeur guide. They'll take you to your hotel in Negombo, where you'll have the rest of the day at leisure.
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Day 2
Polonnaruwa
After breakfast this morning you'll make the four-hour journey to Sigiriya, where you'll check into your hotel before continuing to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital. Set in a landscape dotted with man-made reservoirs, the most famous of which is the enormous Parakrama Samudra or Sea of Parakrama, the well-preserved monuments here include the Royal Palace complex, the Quadrangle and the awe-inspiring Gal Vihare rock temple, with its four huge images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite. You'll also see numerous intricate statues, several temples, the lotus bath, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth.
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Day 3
Sigiriya
After breakfast, you will proceed to the ancient rock fortress Sigiriya, one of Sri Lanka's seven UNESCO World Heritage sites. Home to King Kasyapa, the fortress once boasted an awe-inspiring entrance through the mouth of a stone lion, although only a part of its massive paws remains today. Sigiriya's attractions include its beautiful gardens, world-renowned frescos and mirror wall. In the afternoon, you will take a Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, made up of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas, and home to sambar deer, leopards and elephants. The Park's third-century Minneriya Tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe, as well as the huge flocks of birds (such as cormorants and painted storks) that come to fish in the shallow waters.
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Day 4
Kandy
You'll travel to Kandy this morning, stopping en route at the Dambulla Cave Temple, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, this one dating back to the first century BC. This complex of five caves was first used as a refuge by an ancient king who, on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent rock carvings here. Later kings added to the spectacular artworks, and the caves now contain over 150 images of the Buddha, as well as inscriptions and paintings. Afterwards, you'll visit the Spice Garden at Matale, to see Sri Lankan spices growing in their natural habitat and learn about their use in Sri Lankan cuisine. Next, you'll continue to Kandy, stronghold of the Sinhala Kings and Sri Lanka's most beautiful town, home to the golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa. You'll check in to your hotel and have some time to relax before an evening visit to Sri Dalada Maligawa, or the Temple of the Tooth, famous for its carvings and artworks, and an important shrine for Buddhists as it holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. You'll also have the chance to enjoy a performance of traditional local dance.
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Day 5
Kandy
Today you will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, close to the Mahaweli Ganga. Created for king Kirthi Sri Rajasingha in the 18th century, these beautiful gardens cover 150 acres and include more than 10,000 trees, as well as exotic crops such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber, cinchona (quinine), bamboo and orchids. In the centre of the gardens is an artificial lake in the shape of Sri Lanka.
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Day 6
Udawalawe
This morning you'll make the six-hour scenic train journey from Peradeniya to Ella. Upon arrival, your chauffeur guide will take you the three-hour journey to Udawalawe
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Day 7
Bentota
This morning, you'll take a Jeep safari in Udawalawe National Park, a protected sanctuary surrounded by mountain ranges and made up of grassland, shrub jungle and wild teak plantations, as well as the Udawalewe Reservoir and the Walewe River. Udawalawe is famous for its large herd of elephants, but is also home to deer, wild boar, buffaloes, jackals and leopards. Afterwards, you'll make the four-hour drive to Bentota, stopping en route at the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. Local fisherman are paid to collect the eggs of Sri Lanka's five endangered turtle species, which hatchery staff bury within protective fencing designed to keep out dogs and other predators until they're ready to hatch.
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Day 8
Bentota
This morning you'll head to Balapitiya to enjoy a relaxing boat ride to a small island, where you can enjoy a fish pedicure.
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Day 9
Bentota
Today you'll enjoy a tour of Galle, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505. It was captured and fortified by the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries, and within the well-preserved fort and ramparts are old Dutch churches, monuments and houses, as well as narrow alleys still bearing Dutch names. After your tour, you'll have the rest of the day at leisure.
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Day 10
Departure
Your holiday comes to an end today as you transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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