Highlights: Dambulla- Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Matale - Kandy - Pinnawala - Nanu Oya - Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Ella - Udawalawe - Galle - Kosgoda - Colombo
Other departures: Manchester - £1599, Birmingham - £1575, Edinburgh - £1549, Belfast - £1735, Bristol - £1735, Norwich - £1725, Southampton - £1615, Newcastle - £1579, Cardiff - £1429
Sri Lanka is a lush, tropical island paradise, known to ancient Greek mariners as TAPROBANE. Arab traders called it Serendib – hence the word "serendipity", meaning discovery by happy accident. It was famously described by Marco Polo as "undoubtedly the finest island of its size in the world".
This is a culturally rich and environmentally diverse country, with nine World Heritage Sites (the oldest dating back to the 3rd Century BC); 86 species of mammals (including elephant and leopard) and more than 400 bird species (including 26 endemics); a colorful array of flowering plants and trees, and a Hill Country famous for tea; 14 National Parks out of 100 areas protected by the government; and an Indian Ocean coastline boasting palm-fringed and sandy tropical beaches.
Day 1: Dambulla
Arrival at Colombo International Airport. Here, you will be met by a designated chauffeur guide from Hayleys Tours. After the formalities at the airport you will be escorted to your air conditioned vehicle and proceed to Dambulla.
On arrival, check in to the hotel and free for leisure.
Overnight stay at The Paradise Resort & Spa or Similar
Day 2: Dambulla/Sigiriya/Polonnaruwa/Dambulla
After breakfast leave for the Sigiriya Rock Fortress where you could climb the 1200 steps and admire the fabulous frescoes on the walls of the ancient rock fortress.. (Approx Transfer time : 20 min drive)
The Sigiriya Rock Fortress is known as the 8th wonder of the world. This rock fortress was built by King Kasyapa in the 5th century A.D. and was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. In a sheltered a pocket, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. The summit of the rock, with an area of nearly one hectare was the site of the palace and the outer wall was built on the very brink of the precipice. The UNESCO sponsored Central Cultural Fund has restored Sigiriya 5th century water gardens to their former glory.
On completion sight seeing tour around Polonnaruwa. (Approx. 01 - 01 ½ hrs drive) Polonnaruwa was established as the capital by King Vijayabahu I after Anuradhapura had been invaded in the late 10th century. However it was under King Parakramabu I, who ruled in the late 11th century, that Polonnaruwa became a magnificent walled city. He built the vast reservoir, Parakrama Samudra (the Sea of Parakrama) still in use today, and ordered the construction of monasteries, temples, palaces, bathing pools and Buddhist statues, all set in a forested park surrounded by moats. During his period of rule it is said that Sri Lanka was known as the Granary of the East.
Thereafter return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.
Overnight stay at The Paradise Resort & Spa or Similar.
Day 3 : Dambulla/Matale/Kandy
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and proceed to Kandy.
En route visit Dambulla cave temple. (Approx Transfer time: 20 minutes drive)
Dambulla Cave Temple is a vast isolated rock mass and it was here that king Valagambahu took refuge in the 01st century B.C. when fleeing from his enemies. He later turned the caves into a rock temple. The Golden Temple of Dambulla has been the centre of pilgrimage for Buddhists and Hindus alike for 22 centuries. It is Sri Lanka’s most popular historic site. The Cave monastery, home to Buddhist monks is covered with exquisite 2,000 year-old murals depicting the life and times of the Lord Buddha. The shrines also house a collection of 157 statues of Buddha in various sizes and poses, including a 15 meter long reclining Buddha and vividly coloured frescoes on the walls and ceiling, making this the largest antique painted surface in the world. On completion proceed to Kandy En route make a visit to a Spice Garden in Matale. (Approx Transfer time: 1 - 1 ½ HRS)
Matale is famous for its batik production and spice gardens. Batik has been an ancient art of painting cloth and today Sri Lanka is among the world leaders in the design of batik. Batik galleries and factories offer batik from simple single-colored designs to intricate multi-colored masterpieces. For centuries, spices have been one of Sri Lanka's celebrated exports. Spices are mostly grown in home gardens (as a home industry) and used not only to flavor food but also for medicine and cosmetics.
Thereafter check in to your hotel in Kandy and In the late afternoon, make a visit to The Temple of tooth Relic.
Kandy is a lovely city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings retains an aura of grandeur, which time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its center, it is the site of the renowned "Temple of the Tooth". Kandy and its satellite villages is the center of the island’s handicraft industry and its traditional dances are the most spectacular in the country.Since ancient times, the relic has played an important role in local politics because it is believed that whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kings and is a UNESCO world heritage site partly due to the temple.
After that proceed to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.
Overnight stay at OZO Kandy or Similar
Day 4: Kandy/Pinnawala/Kandy
After breakfast proceed to visit Millennium Elephant Foundation (Approx Transfer time: 1 - 1 ½ HRS)
Elephant walk experience program at Millennium Elephant Foundation
Millennium Elephant Foundation was founded in 1999 as a charity in Sri Lanka for captive elephants.
Millennium Elephant Foundation has always offered people the chance to interact with elephants in a safe and responsible way for both the person and elephant, whilst learning about the plight of Asian Elephants.
What’s included :
• Personalized educated guide for your whole tour
• Approx. 40 minutes walking with an elephant around the grounds watching and observing the way elephant behavior whilst learning about Sri Lankan elephants.
• Bathing the same elephant in the river, which will be a personal experience.
• Optional shower whilst standing next to elephant.
• Free entrance and tour of Maximus Elephant Dung Paper Factory.
On completion proceed Kandy to visit Royal Botanical Gardens. (Approx Transfer time: 1 - 1 ½ HRS)
This was originally the King’s own royal pleasure garden that was later converted in to a botanic garden and opened to the public. At the Royal Botanical Gardens at ‘Peradeniya’ you could treat your eyes to an amazing, wide and rare collection of tropical and temperate, exotic and indigenous flora, and an orchid house with the largest collection in Asia.
After that return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.
Overnight stay at OZO Kandy or Similar.
Day 5: Kandy/Nanu Oya/Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, check out from the hotel and proceed to the Railway station to catch your train to Nanu Oya.
Leave to Railway station, and board the train and leave for Nuwara Eliya. Enjoy the picturesque journey, the train snaking its way through the mountains through the tea country. The vehicle will follow you to Nanu Oya, the last station before Nuwara Eliya.
On arrival at the Nanu Oya railway Station, you will be picked up by your chauffeur guide and proceed to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya where you will spend the rest of the day.
Proceed by the vehicle to Nuwara Eliya. Wander though the trails of British colonial era with buildings ranging from Georgian to Queen Anne, Golf course with 18 holes, the hill club of the English Tea Planters Stay overnight in Nuwara Eliya.
On completion, Check in to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.
Overnight stay at The Blackpool hotel, or Similar
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya/Horton Plains/Nuwara Eliya
After an early breakfast at the hotel proceed to the Horton Plains National Park. (Approx Transfer time: 45 mins)
Horton Plains, 6500ft above sea level lies Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau. Nature lovers will revel in this wide, patna-grass covered plain, the haunt of many wild, yet harmless, animals and the home of many species of birds. Bridle paths will take you to the precipice known as World’s End – a sheer drop of 1,050 meters. Waterfalls are seen and heard everywhere in this hill country.
On Completion, return to your hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.
Overnight stay at The Blackpool hotel, or Similar
Day7: Nuwara Eliya/Ella/Udawalawe
After Breakfast, check out from the hotel and Proceed to Udawalawe via Ella. (Approx Travel time: 3 HRS - 4 HRS)
Ella is a small sleepy village positioned high in the mountains, on the southern edge of Sri Lanka's Hill Country. Most visitors happy to be there many days. But if you are willing to pass through out of town, you can find plenty of things to do to keep you occupied.
It's situated in the middle of beautiful countryside, with small vegetable plots in the valleys, tea plantations on the hill slopes and forests on the tops.
On completion, Check in to your hotel in Udawalawe and in the evening proceed to Udawalawe National park.
Udawalawa, Located approximately 200 km south-east of Colombo city and is a major eco tourism destination in Sri Lanka. The 30,821 hectares dry zone game park has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperat ure of 29.4°C. It is most famous for the many elephants that live there (about 400 in total). During a visit, it is not unusual to see whole herds of adults and young elephants feeding or bathing and playing in the water! In addition to this main attraction, the park is home to many water buffalo, water monitor lizards, sambar deer, monkeys and the occasional leopard, as well as being an exciting location for bird enthusiasts.
After that return to your hotel and relax.
Overnight stay at Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort or Similar
Day 8: Udawalawe/Galle/Kosgoda/Colombo
After breakfast, Check out from the hotel and Proceed to visit the colonial coastal town of Galle and Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. (Approx Transfer time: 3 - 3 ½HRS)
Galle is a coastal town where the Dutch presence is still visible. Galle was an ancient port (said to be the legendary Tarshish of the Bible), and our first international commerce and trade centre. Today, Galle is the bustling provincial capital and administrative centre of the south. It is famous for its lovely Unawatuna Bay, where the sea is reef protected and therefore safe for swimming. The old Dutch “Star Fort” (a World Heritages Site) covering 36 hectares, the well-preserved Groote Kerk (Dutch Church), Dutch Government House, the New Oriental Hotel (built in 1684) old bell tower and a tide-based Sewage-System, also introduced by the Dutch. In Galle they still make the Dutch ‘pillow-lace’ and do fine ebony carving and gem polishing. On completion proceed to Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery. (Approx Transfer time: 1 - 1 ½HRS)
Turtle Hatchery :‘The beaches of Kosgoda are the nesting grounds for five species of marine turtles. They are the Green turtle, the Leatherback, the Hawksbill the Loggerhead and the Olive Ridley. All 5 species have been recorded to nest along specific areas of Sri Lanka’s coast. Studies have indicated that beaches can be categorized in accordance with visitation by different species of turtles.’
On completion, Check in to your hotel in Colombo and spend the rest of the day at leisure, enjoying the hotel amenities.(Approx Transfer time: 2HRS)
Overnight stay at OZO Colombo or Similar
Day 9: Colombo
Today after breakfast you will be transferred to the Colombo Airport to catch your flight, back home accompanied with all the happy memories of the tropical isle; Sri Lanka once known as TAPROBANE.
(Approx Travel Time - 01 Hour)
- Flights from London Heathrow with Emirates
- Airport taxes
- 8 nights accommodation in a Double Sharing Room
- Transport in Air conditioned vehicle along with English speaking guide
- Entrance fees as per the program
- Excursions & Activity as per Itinerary
- One-on-one Casino coupons at selected casinos in Colombo
- Bed & Breakfast