Day 1 Colombo
On arrival in Colombo, transfer to your hotel and enjoy free time until your tour briefing.
Ramada Colombo (or similar)
Day 2 Colombo (B)
Explore the Grand Oriental Hotel, Fort district, kovils (Tamil Hindu temples) and the Gangaramaya Temple.
Wander through the Pettah, a vibrant and crowded street market area where everything from televisions to chillies are sold.
This afternoon, enjoy free time to explore independently.
Day 3 Colombo to Anuradhapura (B)
Drive to Anuradhapura and stop en route at Negombo to visit the famous fish market. Along the way, you may see locals performing seasonal ‘toddy tapping’, a process which produces a popular local alcoholic beverage made from palm trees.
Continue to Anuradhapura, the centre of Sri Lanka’s cultural heritage. This ancient Buddhist capital also features spectacular ruined stupas set among park-like scenery.
Enjoy an evening at leisure.
Palm Garden Village (or similar)
Day 4 Anuradhapura (B)
Spend the morning at the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism, Mihintale. Climb up to the hill temples for spectacular views. While there are some steep steps the view is well worth the climb.
Enjoy free time at your hotel before visiting some of Anuradhapura’s main sites including the Thuparama Dagoba, perhaps the oldest Buddhist structure in the world.
In the evening, experience one of Anuradhapura’s most revered Buddhist temple sites where a fantastic atmosphere is created by the many visiting pilgrims coming to pray under the huge dome of Ruwanwelisaya Dagoba.
Day 5 Anuradhapura to Sigiriya (B/L/D)
Depart Anuradhapura and stop at a rural village near Habarana for an insight into Sri Lankan rural life. Take a bullock cart ride to see farming life before enjoying a simple lunch using fresh local ingredients including eggplant, yam, green banana or okra.
Continue to the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa and visit the remains of the Royal Palace and impressive neighbouring Quadrangle which retains some palace structures.
Drive on to Sigiriya and relax over dinner at your hotel.
Hotel Sigiriya (or similar)
Day 6 Sigiriya< (B/D)
Steeped in myth and legend, explore Sigiriya Rock which is an ancient monastery or palace believed to date back two millennia. Depending on your fitness levels, climb to the rock summit and be rewarded with magnificent views of the surrounding jungles and countryside. During the climb see superb apsara frescoes before seeing two enormous rock lion paws as you begin the ascent to the summit.
Return to the hotel and spend the remainder of the morning at leisure. Take an afternoon tour of the deserted forest monastery of Ritigala followed by dinner.
Day 7 Sigiriya to Kandy (B/L)
Travel from Sigiriya to Dambulla, home to five hilltop cave temples filled with one of Sri Lanka’s most celebrated collections of Buddhist art. The temples hold dozens of Buddha images and vast colourful frescoes.
Afterwards, visit a tropical spice garden and learn about the plants which are used medicinally and in cooking.
Enjoy a local lunch before driving into the central hills to Kandy, Sri Lanka’s second largest city set amid forested peaks.
Hotel Suisse (or similar)
Day 8 Kandy (B/D)
Rise early to visit the Temple of the Tooth which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered relic, a tooth of Buddha and see one of the daily ‘pujas’ or prayer ceremonies. Pilgrims from all over the Buddhist world flock to the temple which is regarded as one of the holiest in the religion.
Sample a simple local breakfast or a refreshing cup of tea before visiting a colourful central market area and the beautiful Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Once favoured by Sinhalese kings and the British colonial rulers, the gardens feature a spectacular and colourful collection of exotic tropical plants as well as a huge colony of fruit bats.
This evening, enjoy a cooking demonstration and farewell group dinner.
Day 9 Kandy to Nuwara Eliya (B)
Take an old-fashioned train from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya.
On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, visit a tea plantation and enjoy a short town tour.
Grand Hotel (or similar)
Day 10 Nuwara Eliya to Yala National Park (B)
Descend to the lowlands via the town of Ella.
Take an easy walk to Little Adam’s Peak and pass the Ravana Waterfalls. In the afternoon, arrive at Tissa, your base for Yala National Park.
Kithala Resort (or similar)
Day 11 Yala National Park (B)
Enjoy an early morning and late afternoon safari at Yala National Park, famous for its leopards.
Spend time relaxing at the resort during the day.
Day 12 Yala National Park to Mirissa (B/L/D)
Drive from Tissa to Mirissa. Stop en route at Mulkirigala to visit an unusual temple which features Buddhist art.
On arrival, enjoy lunch before spending the afternoon at leisure.
Relax with dinner at your hotel.
Mandara Mirissa (or similar)
Day 13 Mirissa to Hikkaduwa (B/L)
This morning, board a boat to search for the Blue whale (September to April only, An alternative local activity will be arranged from May to October.)
After lunch, drive to Galle. Discover Galle Fort, a great place to explore the quaint streets.
Hikka Tranz By Cinnamon (or similar).
Day 14 Hikkaduwa (B/D)
Enjoy free time to further explore.
This afternoon, visit a turtle hatchery focussing on conservation before enjoying a farewell group dinner in Galle Fort.
Day 15 Hikkaduwa to Colombo (B)
Enjoy breakfast before transferring to Colombo for your onward journey.
Departures are guaranteed to operate and maximum of 16
- Single supplement: $1595
- Single supplement: $2095
- Single supplement: $2295
DEPARTURE DATES 2019 – 2020
DEPARTURE CALENDAR 2019 – 2020