Sri Lanka - A Tropical Jewel

14 days from £2620 per person

On this journey discover Sri Lanka's cultural triangle, exploring the world heritage sites of Polonnaruwa and Anuradhapura - the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka - the rock fortress of Sigiriya and the cave monastery complex at Dambulla. In the centre of the country is the beautiful lakeside town of Kandy, the last capital of the Sinhala kings and site of the famous Temple of the Tooth Relic. Continue with a visit to the old colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya which is almost always wreathed in dawn mist before ending beside the Indian Ocean in beautiful Wadduwa.

Journey Highlights

Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world and a World Heritage site. Famous for its well-preserved ruins.

The city of Kandy is the capital of the hill country, lying amongst hills in the Kandy plateau. It is home to the Temple of the Tooth relic, one of the most sacred sites of worship for Buddhists.

Often shrouded in mist, Nuwara Eliya in the Central Province has a temperate, cool climate providing the optimum conditions for growing tea. A hill country retreat for the British colonialists.

Day 1 Depart the UK

Today depart the UK on the SriLankan Airlines flight to Colombo. (N)

Day 2 Arrive Colombo

Arrive into Colombo and transfer to the Cinnamon Grand Hotel for an overnight stay. Colombo is Sri Lanka's capital. A former Portuguese trading outpost, the city grew under both the Dutch and British to become the commercial hub of the country and today is home to numerous colonial remnants, colourful bazaars and an interesting National Museum. Later visit the city for a brief afternoon tour. (N)

Day 3 Colombo to Kandalama – 160kms

Leaving Colombo drive north-west to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which was established in 1975 and today is home to the largest group of captive elephants in the world. From here continue to Kandalama and the Heritance Kandalama Hotel or nearby Habarana and the Cinnamon Lodge for a three night stay. This region is Sri Lanka's cultural heart and encompasses no fewer than five UNESCO World Heritage Sites from ancient cities and monasteries to rock-cut caves and monolithic Buddhas. (B)

Day 4 Kandalama
&
Day 5 Kandalama

Over the next two days explore the surrounding area with your driver-guide. Highlights include Sri Lanka's first capital Anuradhapura and nearby Mihintale. Explore the wonderful archaeological remains at Polonnaruwa, the island's medieval capital between the 11th and 13th centuries, and the astonishing frescoes and rock fortress of Sigiriya. Time permitting, the Aukana Buddha and jungle remains at Ritigala are well worth visiting as is Minneriya National Park, home to a large elephant population. (B)

Day 6 Kandalama to Kandy – 90kms

This morning drive to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dambulla and visit the richly painted caves of this important temple complex. Dating, at their earliest, from the 1st century BC, the frescoes and sculpture portray both religious and secular life. Later continue to Kandy and stay for two nights at the Cinnamon Citadel Hotel. Capital of the highlands, Kandy is best known for the opulent Temple of Tooth and later visit the temple where Buddha's tooth relic is housed. (B)

Day 7 Kandy

With its palaces, parks and gardens, Kandy is an attractive city. The centre of town is known for its early 19th century architecture and this morning spend time exploring the colourful bazaar and interesting Kandy National Museum. In the afternoon travel outside of Kandy to the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, a former royal pleasure garden but converted into its current form in 1821. With over 4,000 labelled species, Peradeniya is one of the finest botanical gardens in the subcontinent. (B)

Day 8 Kandy to Nanu Oya – by train
Nanu Oya to Kandapola – 15kms

After breakfast, travel by train on the spectacular journey from Peradeniya Station to Nanu Oya in the heart of the island's tea growing region. At Nanu Oya continue to Kandapola and the historic Tea Factory Hotel for a two night stay. Located close to the old colonial hill-station of Nuwara Eliya, with its English country-style homes and pretty well-tended gardens, this afternoon visit the town and a neighbouring tea plantation. (B)

Day 9 Nuwara Eliya

Early this morning make your way to the Horton Plains National Park. Located on a high wind-swept saddle over 2,000 metres above sea level, this is the starting point for a 12kms circular walk to Baker's Falls and the dramatically located World's End. This walk provides some of the finest, and far-reaching, views in Sri Lanka. After the walk, in the afternoon a visit could be made to the Hakgala Botanical Gardens or, alternatively, explore one of the many footpaths that lead from the hotel. (B)

Day 10 Nuwara Eliya to Wadduwa – 180kms

Today drive to coastal Wadduwa and the Blue Water Hotel for a four night stay. Designed by Geoffrey Bawa, the hotel is surrounded by palm trees and its beachside location offers fabulous views of the Indian Ocean. (B)

Day 11 Wadduwa
to
Day 13 Wadduwa

At leisure to relax and enjoy the hotel. Locally you may also wish to visit Lunuganga the country home of the renowned Sri Lankan architect Geoffrey Bawa and Brief Garden, developed by Geoffrey's brother Bevis, who was an artist and landscape architect. (B)

Day 14 Wadduwa to Colombo – 65 kms
Colombo to the UK

Today transfer back to Colombo Airport to catch the SriLankan Airlines flight non-stop to the UK. (B)

KEY: N = No meals B = Breakfast L = Lunch D = Dinner

What's included

  • International flights from the UK
  • Train travel as specified
  • Private car with English speaking driver-guide
  • Hotel accommodation and taxes

What's not included

  • Cost of visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Expenses of a personal nature

Guide to Price

The price above is a guide and can vary according to selected airlines, hotels and season. If you wish to travel alone we will be very happy to assist you with your arrangements and will provide a proposal on request

What To Do Next?

We can design a unique journey to suit you as our tours are totally tailor made. By combining your own ideas with our knowledge and experience we can help you to create your own unique journey tailored exactly to your requirements Once you have formulated your ideas, or if you require some advice, please call us or simply request a quotation

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