Sri Lanka Explorer

Travel Dates: May 2018 to July 2019

13 Days Tour

Prices from £2057.00 

Per person based on 2 people

ITINERARY

Day 01 London Heathrow

Depart from London Heathrow flight to Colombo

Day 02 Arrive at Colombo (L, D) (35Kms/1 Hrs drive)

Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, we will be met by our representative who will assist with our transfer from the airport to our hotel in Colombo.

Rest of the day is at leisure to enjoy the surroundings and the hotel facilities.

Overnight stay at Galadari Hotel

Day 03 City Tour Colombo (B, L, D)

After morning breakfast proceed for the city and shopping tour of COLOMBOŠ.

Bursting with life and color, the islands largest city which was once the Capital of Sri Lanka is now its Commercial hub, this modern city with an ancient heart is a monument to its colonial history. Its architecture is influenced by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Today, it is a mix of modern architecture among colonial buildings. The remnants of Dutch and Portuguese domination is seen primarily in the Fort, located north of the city. In stark contrast, are modern buildings such as The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre and five-star hotels in the same locations, since the end of its civil war, the skyline is constantly changing with investment into the cities infrastructure.

Pettah, where daily life overflows on to the streets, not too far from the Fort is a Traders hub and home to a few unique examples of architecture in its churches and kovils. With its network of streets each specializing in one thing or another, where anything and everything, from garments to toys to electronics and sweet-meats could be found, it provides an interesting insight in to life as it is in a busy, tropical cosmopolitan city, for a more sobering and tranquil experience, visit the Sima Malaka Meditation Island (on the Beira Lake), designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka's most famous architect. The island is landscaped with collections of Thai Buddha Statues, beautiful stone carvings, Buddhist paintings, and a small museum.

Colombo's public transport is largely based on buses and a limited network of trains, either government-owned or operated privately. The more adventurous mode of transport is the auto rickshaw, also known as the three-wheeler or tuk-tuk operated by individuals. As Bella Woolf once said, it is the meeting place of the world. It palpitates with life and with the romance of those who wander the earth. Overnight stay at Galadari Hotel

Day 04 Sigiriya ­ Habarana (B, L, D) (166 Kms/4.5 Hrs drive)

After breakfast, we take an excursion to Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This excursion takes us to Sigiriya, the ŒLion Rock'. Built some 1500 years ago, the most significant feature of the rock in the fifth century would have been the lion staircase leading to the palace garden on the summit. This could be visualized as a gigantic figure towering over the granite cliff, and through the open mouth of the lion would have been a covered staircase built of bricks and timber. All that remains now are the two colossal paws surrounding the ancient limestone steps, but the cuts and grooves on the rock face give an idea of the size and shape of the lion figure. Sigiriya is also well known for the Heavenly Maidens, paintings of beautiful women found on a sheltered ledge on the side of the rock. These are considered to be part of the world's art treasures.

Transfer to overnight stay at Cinnamon Lodge (22Kms/ 40 min drive approximately)

Day 05 Habarana - Polonnaruwa (45Kms/1 Hrs drive Approximate) (B, L, D)

The morning after breakfast we proceed for the sightseeing tour of the Polonnaruwa Ancient Capital. The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's Kingdoms, today the city of Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country, standing testimony to the discipline and greatness of the Kingdoms first rulers. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982, its beauty was used as a backdrop to filmed scenes for the Duran Duran music video Save a Prayer. Its green environment, amazing ancient constructions (including a huge lake built in 1200A.D), good hotels and its warm, friendly people make it an attractive city to visit. The Polonnaruwa Visitor Information Centre and Museum bring this ancient city to life. A visit to the Centre and Museum first, will prove useful before setting out to explore its fascinating sites. Overnight stay at Cinnamon Lodge

Day 06 Habarana- ANURADHAPURA (B, L, D) (55Kms/1.5Hr drive)

Morning after breakfast we proceed on a sightseeing tour to the Anuradhapura Ancient Capital of Sri Lanka, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city could be labeled as the islands most celebrated. When it seemed as if the rest of the world were far behind, this magnificent city during its day, was well ahead of its time, most notably in its use of Hydraulic Technology.

Though most of this ancient city is in ruins today it's most awe-inspiring structures still stand tall. Second, only to the pyramids in Giza, the dagobas, some of them intact and some restored, are amazing monuments to the art of masonry prevalent at that time. The Jetavana Dagoba is the most spectacular of them all. The sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree in Anuradhapura is a sampling of the sacred Bo tree in India (in whose shelter prince Siddhartha attained enlightenment and became Buddha). It is the oldest (2,250 years) recorded tree in the world.

The Anuradhapura Archaeological Museum, the Abhayagiri, and the Jetavanarama Museums offer an in-depth insight and a greater understanding of this dynamic civilization.

Later drive back to Habarana, Overnight stay at Cinnamon Lodge

Day 07 Habarana ­ Dambulla ­ Matale ­ Kandy (B, L, D) (22Kms/30 drive approximately)

After breakfast check out of the hotel and transfer to Kandy, en-route visit the Dambulla cave temples and the Matale Spice garden, drive to visit Dambulla, The city is home to one of Sri Lanka's seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites; the richly painted cave temple complex, is the islands largest and best preserved. Though there are more than 80 documented caves in the area, the most significant are spread over 5 caves, which comprise of statues and paintings related to Lord Buddha and his life.

The latest archaeological site of significant historical importance, the Ibbankatuwa Prehistoric Burial Site, is also found in this great city, within 3 km of the cave temple. At this site, bones of 2700-year-old human skeletons were found, which according to scientific analysis, is evidence of civilizations existing long before the arrival of the Indians to the island. Ancient history aside, Dambulla is home to the Rangiri Dambulla International Cricket Stadium, well known for being built in just 167 days. It's Iron Wood Forest (Namal Uyana) and the largest Rose Quartz mountain range in South Asia make this city special.

Matale is located in the hill country of Sri Lanka, a picturesque hours' drive from Kandy, Matale is a small town famed for its spice gardens. Here, visitors are able to see how spices are grown and processed, an opportunity to take home a selection of fresh spices. Later you will be transferred to Kandy, (approximately 73Kms/2.5 Hrs. drive) overnight stay at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy

Day 08 Kandy ­ Peradeniya - Kandy (B, L, D)

After morning breakfast at the hotel, we will visit PERADENIYA Royal Botanical Garden. A few kilometers from the city of Kandy are the Royal Botanical Gardens - Peradeniya, claimed to be the best in Asia and one of the best of its kind in the world. Dating back to 1371, when King Wickremabahu kept the court at Peradeniya, the groundwork for its conversion as a botanical garden was formulated by Mr. Alexander Moon in 1821. A special attraction is a tree planted by King George V and Queen Mary of the United Kingdom in 1901 referred to as the Cannon Ball as a result of the fruit it bears. The garden is famous for its orchid house which comprises more than 300 varieties of exquisite orchids. The spice garden and the palm trees are some of its other interesting features. After lunch visit KANDY locally referred to as Maha Nuwara, meaning The Great City, Kandy is the Hill Capital and one of the most scenic cities in the country. It is also home to one of the most revered places of the Buddhist Community in Sri Lanka, and around the world. The sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha is housed in the temple, known as the Dalada Maligawa. In one of Asia's most celebrated festivals, The Esala (Kandy) Perahera (held in July/August), where the inner caskets housing the sacred tooth relic, is taken through the streets in a grand procession of dancers, drummers, torch bearers and over a hundred beautifully costumed elephants. Steeped in history and located in the foothills of the central highlands, the city was designated UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. it's not only, it's place of historical significance that makes Kandy a popular tourist destination, but also the shops displaying precious and semi-precious stones, skilfully crafted jewelry, handicraft, colorful batiks and silks; and of course there is the expansive Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, the largest and finest in Sri Lanka. Udawatte Kelle is a primeval forest is Kandy's lure for nature and adventure enthusiasts. This forest reserve contains a variety of trees and is a haven for a variety of fauna and flora, ideal for an early morning nature walk. Overnight stay at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy.

Day 09 Kandy ­ Peradeniya ­ Nuwara Eliya (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we check out from the hotel to board the train for Scenic train ride, bound from Peradeniya to Nanu Oya. This journey is considered as one of the most scenic railway journeys through the highlands of Sri Lanka. As we pass through the lush green tea estates you could not help but indulge in the unmistakable aroma of pure Ceylon tea. The mist covered mountains and the scenic waterfalls truly compliment this beautiful landscape.

Departure: Peradeniya Station

Arrival: Nanu Oya Station

Afternoon on arrival at the Nanu Oya Railway station we will be assisted and transferred to Nuwara Eliya. Overnight stay at Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Day 10 Nuwara Eliya (B, L, D)

The morning after breakfast we will proceed your journey to Nuwara Eliya & en-route visit Tea plantation & Tea Factory. Nuwara Eliya once called, little England nestling at the foot of Sri Lanka's tallest mountain Pidurutalagala, is Nuwara Eliya, the islands most elevated town and home to some of the best tea plantations in the world. Surrounded by wooded mountains and its picturesque lake, its cold temperatures call for sweaters, log fires and blankets, a pleasant contrast to the islands otherwise hot and steamy tropical weather. In terms of entertainment, it is home to the famed Nuwara Eliya Golf Club and Race Course. During the season in April, it attracts visitors from within the country and overseas and the town turns in to a hub of activity with its local Derby and motor races. It is the perfect base for hikes, picnics and trout fishing in the surrounding lakes and rivers. Later we will be transferred to your hotel. Overnight stay at Grand Hotel, Nuwara Eliya

Day 11 Nuwara Eliya ­ Ella ­ Beruwela (B, L, D) (255Kms/5Hrs drive approximately)

After morning breakfast at the hotel we will drive to Beruwala via Ella, visiting Ella gap, Ella is known for the breathtaking views it has to offer. To quote a Traveller the view through the Ella gap is probably the best in the entire island. Besides its spectacular views, the walks around the surrounding hills of the village, among tea plantations and waterfalls is an experience not to be missed. It is said the weather in Ella is similar to a hot English summer, warm during the day and cool at night.The place is also linked to the Ramayana tales, where it is said the demon king Rawana kept the captive Sita hidden in a cave not too far from the present day village. Later we will drive to Beruwela. Overnight stay at Cinnamon Bey, Beruwela

Day 12 Beruwela (B, L, D)

After morning breakfast at the hotel, rest of the day to relax and enjoy the facilities.

Overnight stay at the Cinnamon Bey, Beruwela

Day 13 Beruwela (B) (110Kms/3 Hrs drive approximately)

After morning breakfast at the hotel, we will check out and be transferred to Airport to connect the international flight for our onwards journey.


TOUR PRICE: From June 2018 to July 2019

 Travel Time Price per person based on 2 people Single supplement 
May - Jun 2018 From £2145.00 £552.00
Jul - Aug 2018 From £2130.00 £639.00
Sep - Nov 2018 From £2057.00 £578.00
Dec 2018 -  Mar 2019 From £2352.00 £831.00
Apr -  Jun 2019 From £2251.00 £769.00

TOUR PRICE INCLUDES:

- Return International flights inclusive of taxes
- 4* accommodation as stated with breakfast
- All transfers and transportation with air-con vehicles
- Local English speaking guides
- All entrance fees as per program
- Meals (B/L/D) (Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner) as indicated in the program (Local food, Set Menu):
- Service charge and current government VAT tax
- Train tickets from to Peradeniya to Nanu Oya

TOUR PRICE EXCLUDES:

- Meals (other than mentioned in the program)
- Drinks
- Visas
- Mineral water beyond that supplied
- Early check-in or late checkout
- Insurances
- Optional excursions and activities
- Additional transfer required due to an emergency situation
- Items of a personal nature (Phone calls, laundry, beverageŠ)
- Video & Camera permits

HOTELS