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Discover Sri Lanka

9 days fr £781pp

Negombo • Habarana • Anuradhapura • Minneriya National Park • Sigiriya • Kandy • Udawattakele • Colombo

TOUR DETAILS
Accommodation:
  • Standard fr £781pp
Validity (selected dates between):
  • 01/11/2019 - 20/12/2019
Also included:
  • Accommodation on Half Board Basis
  • English speaking chauffeur guide
  • Excursions as per itinerary
  • All applicable government taxes/levies
Not included:
  • International Flights (unless otherwise stated)
  • Visas
  • Tips
  • Perahera Supplement 20/08 -30/08 $$55.00 PRPN
Overview
With magnificent temples and centuries-old monuments, rugged mountains, lush jungle and glittering lakes, Sri Lanka is as endlessly fascinating as it is beautiful. This nine-day tour packs in a wealth of unforgettable sights and experiences, including ancient palaces, awe-inspiring artworks and richly diverse forests and gardens.
Day 1
Arrive Sri Lanka
Your Sri Lankan holiday begins as you’re met on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo.
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Day 2
Negombo to Habarana
This morning you’ll make the four-hour journey to Habarana, known as Sri Lanka’s cultural hub, the central point of the cultural triangle and the most convenient base for excursions to the ancient cities of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya/Dambulla, Ritigala and Minneriya National Park. Situated in the country's "dry zone", it's irrigated with an elaborate network of lakes, reservoirs and canals, creating beautiful landscapes and providing fertile habitats for Sri Lanka's incredible bio-diversity. After checking in at your hotel, you'll have the rest of the day at leisure.
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Day 3
Anuradhapura
Today you'll visit Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Sri Lanka's first capital, from the sixth century BC until the tenth century AD. It's home to the Sri Maha Bodhi, the oldest historically documented tree on earth, at over 2,200 years old, as well as numerous ancient Buddhist shrines and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals. You'll also visit the stunning Brazen Palace, the Ruwanweli Seya dagoba, the third-century Samadhi Buddha, regarded as the finest rock sculpture in the island, and Jetevanarama – a huge dagoba said to be the largest brick-built structure in the world.
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Day 4
Polonnaruwa and Minneriya National Park
Today you will set off to explore the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you'll visit the well-preserved Royal Palace complex, including the King's Palace and Audience Hall, the Quadrangle, several stunning Buddhist temples and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite. In the afternoon, you'll enjoy a game drive in Minneriya National Park. Made up of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas, this is home to sambar deer, leopards and elephants. At its centre is the third-century Minneriya Tank, an incredible place to observe the elephants who come to bathe and graze, as well as the huge flocks of birds that fish in the shallow waters.
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Day 5
Sigiriya
After an early breakfast, you'll head off to climb the unforgettable Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set amid the jungle, this complex includes water gardens, frescoes of beautiful maidens, the Mirror Wall with its ancient graffiti, and the Lion platform.
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Day 6
Kandy
This morning you’ll travel to Kandy, stopping en route at one of the spice gardens in Matale to discover the island’s variety of indigenous spices and learn about their uses. You'll also visit the Dambulla Cave Temples, an amazing complex of five caves, used as a refuge by an ancient king who, on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images here. Later kings made further improvements, and the caves now contain over 150 images of the Buddha, dating from the second century BD to the 19th century AD. In Kandy, you'll check in to your hotel, then visit the famed Temple of the Tooth, commonly known as Sri Dalada Maligawa. This is an important shrine for Buddhists, as it holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha, and it’s also famous for its carvings. Finally, you’ll enjoy a performance of traditional local dance.
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Day 7
Udawattakele
This morning you will take a trek through the rainforest at Udawattakele, to view the many bird species that live here, including Layard's parakeet, gold-fronted and blue-winged leafbirds, spotted and emerald doves, Tickell's blue flycatcher and the Oriental dwarf kingfisher. Afterwards, you'll enjoy a city tour of Kandy, taking in culturally important places such as Embekke, Gadoladeniya and Lankathilaka Viharaya.
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Day 8
Colombo
This morning you’ll visit the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, founded in 1824 and now home to more than 4,000 species of plants and trees, including giant ficus trees, a huge range of bamboo and palms, rare Ayurvedic plants, orchids and spices. Afterwards, you’ll travel to Colombo where, after checking in to your hotel, you’ll take a tour of Sri Lanka’s largest city. This traditional gateway to the Orient is a fascinating blend of East and West.
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Day 9
Depart Sri Lanka
This morning, you will be transferred to the international airport for your onward flight.
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