Day 1 : Overnight Travel

Depart London Heathrow on SriLankan Airlines overnight flight to Colombo:

UL0504 Heathrow / Colombo 21:30/12:45 (arrives + 1 day)

Day 2 : Colombo

Arrival

Welcome to Sri Lanka!

You will be met by our airport representative who will be holding a board with your name and waiting for you in the arrivals hall after you pass the baggage claims and customs. You may want to change some currency or purchase a local mobile Sim both of which can be done prior to starting your tour and the airport representative will help you with this. He will then introduce you to your chauffeur guide.

Transfer from Airport  to Colombo, Transfer Details: 32 km, 0.5 hrs

Sri Lanka’s commercial capital is a multi-cultural cosmopolitan community that encompasses the past, present and future, packaging it in a delightful manner. Colombo constantly reinvents itself and absorbs new influences, whilst retaining its unique character. Exploring Colombo will leave you pleasantly surprised with all that it has to offer. Colombo boasts the best of Sri Lanka’s shopping from sophisticated upmarket shopping outlets to street markets and bazaars and everything in between. Sri Lankan cuisine is phenomenal - it encompasses various cultures, and is absolutely worth trying, particularly rice and curry! There is a wonderful range of restaurants and styles in Colombo, from fine dining to simple cafes, serving local and foreign dishes to satiate any appetite.

Overnight accommodation: Residence by Uga

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 3 : Sigiriya

Morning Transfer to Sigiriya, Transfer Details: 147 km, 4.25 hrs

Sigiriya is famous for its palace ruins on top of a massive 200 metre high rock surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures. This remarkable attraction is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world. The environment around the Sigiriya Rock may have been inhabited since prehistoric times. The many rock shelters and caves in the vicinity were occupied by Buddhist monks and ascetics from as early as the 3rd century BC. The population of Sigiriya is quite sparse but the town is significant due to the number of tourist hotels that host visitors who come to view and climb the famous rock.

Afternoon Excursion - The Sigiriya Rock Fortress, Excursion Duration: 3 hrs
The Rock fortress of Sigiriya rises almost 370 metres above sea level with the ruins of a palace dating back to the 5th century AD found on the summit. 1200 steps take you to the top of Sigiriya but the climb is broken up by terraces at regular intervals. Half way up another flight of stairs takes you to the paintings of the Sigiriya maidens. You will also see the mirror wall with its ancient and barely decipherable graffiti. The climb from the Lions Paw to the top of the rock is along a narrow metal stairway with railings but is worth it because of the spectacular views from the summit. For those unable to do the climb a visit to the Sigiriya Museum is highly recommended.

Overnight accommodation: Vil Uyana

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 4 : Sigiriya

Morning  Excursion - The Ruins of Polonnaruwa, Transfer Details: 56 km, 1 hrs, Excursion Duration: 3 hrs
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated Chola invaders in 1070 to reunite the country once more. Today the ancient city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country and has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Sightseeing in Polonnaruwa will include the statue of the great Sinhalese King Parakramabahu who was responsible for building the Parakrama Samudra, a large reservoir that is still in use, the ancient ruins including the area known as the Quadrangle, the Thuparama Image House, the Gal Vihara with fine detailed granite sculptures of the Lord Buddha, the Lankathilaka and the 12th century Lotus bath to name a few.

Late Afternoon Excursion - Minneriya National Park Safari, Transfer Details: 19 km, 0.5 hrs,  Excursion Duration: 4 hrs

The central feature of the Minneriya National park is the large Minneriya Tank, and despite its relatively small size, the park also boasts an unusually wide range of habitat types, from dry tropical forest to wetlands, grasslands and terrain previously used for slash-and-burn (chena) agriculture. This National Park is one of the best places to see wild elephants which are often found in huge numbers. Apart from the elephants, 24 species of mammal are to be found in the park including the sambhur, spotted deer, leopard (rather elusive), sloth bear, toque monkey and purple-faced leaf monkey.  Some 160 species of bird have been recorded in the park, including endemics such as the Sri Lanka jungle fowl, hanging parrot, brown-capped babbler, crimson-fronted barbet and black-crested bulbul.

Overnight accommodation: Vil Uyana

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 5 : Sigiriya

Excursion - Hiriwaduna Local Village Experience with Lunch
Transfer Details: 12 km, 0.25 hrs, Excursion Duration: 3 hrs

Take a short tuk tuk ride to the Hiriwaduna lake from where you will embark onto a local boat to continue your journey to the village. During the leisurely ride you will be able to see a large variety of dry zone bird life and vegetable plots of local farmers. Proceed to see the slash and burn (Chena) cultivation travelling by the traditional hand tractor. Learn how the farmers take care of their crops from atop a tree house and other aspects of their daily life. Ride on a Bullock cart (ox cart) along a dirt track and arrive at the village hut where you can see how the locals cook their rice and curry using earthenware pots and firewood for fuel. Enjoy the lunch prepared and served on a lotus leaf.

Overnight accommodation: Vil Uyana

Activities and Services

Hiriwaduna Local Village Experience

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 6 : Kandy

Transfer to Kandy, Transfer Details: 80 km, 2.5 hrs

Early morning visit to the Dambulla Cave Temples before transfer to Kandy. 

Climb the UNESCO Dambulla Cave Temple which has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries. This cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues.

Kandy is the second largest city in Sri Lanka and the gateway to the Central Highlands of Sri Lanka. Lying in the midst of hills, a lake, river, tea plantations and spice gardens, Kandy is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka. It also has significant religious, cultural and historical value and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the last capital of the ancient Sinhala kingdom and the final stronghold against colonial rule. It is also one of the most venerable places for Buddhists worldwide, who pay homage to the impressive Temple of the Tooth (Sri DaladaMaligawa) that enshrines a relic of Lord Buddha’s tooth.

Afternoon Excursion -  The Temple of the Tooth

The famous Sri Dalada Maligawa - Kandy's revered Temple of the Tooth Relic was built within the royal palace complex and houses the only surviving relic of Buddha, which is venerated by Buddhists. The relic played an important role in local politics since ancient times. It is believed that whoever holds the Tooth relic, holds the governance of the country, which naturally caused the ancient kings to protect the Relic with great effort. Monks conduct daily ritual worship in the inner chamber of the Temple of the Tooth three times a day, at dawn, at noon and in the evening.

Overnight accommodation: Stone House

Temple of the Tooth

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 7 : Kandy

Excursion - Kandy City Tour including Royal Botanical Gardens

Commence a city tour of Kandy visiting the colourful and busy market place, the upper lake drive and a gem museum to see how precious gems are cut, polished and set into intricate pieces of jewellery. Later proceed to visit the arts and crafts centre where you can learn the rich ancient craft making techniques including drum making and Dumbara mat weaving. Proceed on a visit to the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens originally pleasure gardens for Sinhalese Royalty and later turned into a Botanical garden by the British in 1843. It has an amazing collection of over 300 varieties of orchids, probably the largest collection in Asia. A visit to the British Garrison Cemetery and the Commonwealth War Cemetery is also interesting.

Overnight accommodation: Stone House

Activities and Services

Royal Botanical Gardens, Peradeniya

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 8 : Nuwara Eliya

Transfer to Nuwara Eliya by Train, Transfer Details: 92 km, 3.375 hrs

After breakfast, transfer to Nuwara Eliya by train (3 hrs 50 mins). Experience one of the most exciting and scenic train journeys on the island, around the tea covered mountains, through tunnels and over bridges. Upon arrival at Nanu Oya station, you will be met by your chauffeur guide for onward transfer to your accommodation (1-1.5 hrs).

Check in at Stafford Bungalow, a gorgeous boutique plantation home on the outskirts of Nuwara Eliya. Don't miss afternoon tea served on the lawns which is a real highlight.

Situated over 1800m above sea level, Nuwara Eliya lies at the heart of the tea industry in central Sri Lanka. It is blessed with a picturesque landscape and temperate climate. It was the prime sanctuary of British civil servants and tea planters in the early 19th century and colonial landmarks from this era such as the Old Post Office and the Grand Hotel have stood the test of time. Referred to as ‘Little England’, the town still retains its British touch and takes visitors on a journey back in time. The town’s attractions include golfing on a stunning course, fishing in trout streams, boating on Lake Gregory and bird watching in Victoria Park.

Overnight accommodation: Stafford Bungalow

Included

Half Board

Day 9 : Nuwara Eliya

Day at leisure to enjoy your surroundings and take a tour of the tea estate.

Overnight accommodation: Stafford Bungalow

Activities and Services

Included

Half Board

Day 10 : Yala National Park

Morning Visit to Ella, Transfer Details: 62 km, 1.75 hrs

Ella is a quaint village situated in the middle of Sri Lanka’s hill country. With an incredible climate and picturesque surroundings of the hills, tea plantations and forests, Ella is one of the most beautiful destinations in Sri Lanka. The village is flanked on both sides by huge mountains, the front of which is the renowned Ella Rock. There is a space between two sides of the rock, known as the Ella Gap through which you can see plains that are nearly 1000m below. On a clear day you may see right across to the south coast of Sri Lanka. Those looking for an easy hike can opt for the splendid view from Little Adam’s Peak. Ella is also home to Ravana Ella falls, which is one of the widest falls in the island.

Afternoon Transfer to Yala, Transfer Details: 2 hrs 

Check into your hotel which is located adjacent to the boundary of Yala National Park. The Park is situated in Southern Province and is the most popular park in Sri Lanka. The park is the second largest in the island and covers almost 1000 square kilometres. It is divided into 5 blocks, of which only some are accessible to visitors with the main access to the area being via Tissamaharama. It is located in a region known for its prominent and long dry season, especially during the months of September and October when the park sometimes is closed to visitors. It has a diverse variety of ecosystems and terrain including moist monsoon forests, grasslands, flat plains, rocky outcrops, lakes, sandy beaches and marine wetlands.

Rest of the day at leisure to enjoy your surroundings.

Overnight accommodation: Cinnamon Wild

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 11 : Yala National Park

Morning Excursion - Yala National Park Safari, Excursion Duration: 4 hrs

Commence a safari drive through the Yala National Park. Yala has the highest leopard density in the world - for this reason people flock from all over the world here, making it one of the busiest parks during the season. Various other mammals can be spotted during your safari here, including sloth bears, jungle cats, mongoose, wild boar, sambar deer, spotted deer, buffalo and Asian elephants. You can also spot a number of crocodiles near rivers and pools, as well as turtle species near the coastal areas. The birdlife here is also impressive with over 130 species being spotted. The best time to go on safari is early morning or late afternoon.

Late Afternoon Excursion - Yala National Park Safari, Excursion Duration: 4 hrs

Another chance to spot wildlife at Yala National Park.

Overnight accommodation: Cinnamon Wild

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 12 : Galle

Transfer to Galle, Transfer Details: 3 hrs

A leisurely drive to the southern coastal city of Galle. Your hotel here is an 18th century mansion which used to serve as a college and a printing company. 

Galle is a must visit destination in Sri Lanka for any tourist. Galle stands on a peninsula and has a fine natural harbour with excellent defences, and gorgeous views of the ocean. The highlight of this area is the Galle Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a remarkable fortification that was built by Portuguese colonists in the 17th century, and was inhabited by the Dutch and English during their colonial eras. Although several villas and buildings have been renovated into shops, cafes and hotels today, the Fort maintains an aura of old world times.

Rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight accommodation: Fort Printers

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 13 : Galle

Morning Excursion - Galle Fort Walking Tour, Excursion Duration: 1.5 hrs

A walk around Galle Fort encompasses architectural structures interlaced with local traditions. The original Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1505 and subsequently rebuilt by the Dutch in 1663. The British took over in 1796 and used it as an administrative centre. The straight and narrow lanes invite you to a delightful walk into the 17th century. The highlights include the Bastions, the Dutch reformed church and Government house, the Maritime museum, the ‘Meera’ mosque, the All Saints Church and the old Clock Tower dating back to 1707. The entire Fort is surrounded by thick walled ramparts which withstood the 2004 boxing day tsunami. The Fort today encompasses restaurants and cafes, modern and vintage shops and art galleries which have taken over from the 17th century vendors who traded in Cinnamon, lace and ornaments.

Afternoon at Leisure

Overnight accommodation: Fort Printers

Activities and Services

Galle Fort Walking Tour

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 14 : Galle

Full day at leisure to further explore Galle and the local area.

Overnight accommodation: Fort Printers

Activities and Services

Included

Bed & Breakfast

Day 15 : End of Itinerary

Transfer to Colombo, Transfer Details: 153 km, 2.5 hrs

Transfer to Colombo airport in time for your flight to Londn Heathrow.

Depart on SriLankan Airlines UL503 Colombo / Heathrow 13:05/20:00

Included

Bed & Breakfast

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