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Sri Lanka In depth

  • Colombo
  • Anuradhapura
  • Sigiriya
  • Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Udawalawe National Park Safari
  • Beruwala
  • 13 nights from
  • £1,625 per person
  • Trip Code: MC-1169

Holiday Overview

Sri Lanka In depth

 

An amazing holiday showing Sri Lanka in all its glory. Get a real feel for this rich and diverse country on this comprehensive tour. A circuit from Colombo will take you to many of Sri Lanka’s UNESCO sites, including Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya, Anuradhapura & Galle. Also experience Sri Lanka’s rich stocks of flora and fauna in the national parks of Wilpattu, Minneriya & Udwalawe. To this we contrast again with time in Colonial Nuwara Eliya, a hill station and tea plantation often referred to as “Little England” with its mock-Tudour buildings.  After all of the sight seeing, enjoy some well earned down time on the beach.

Start / Finish – Colombo

14 days / 13 nights 

 

Sri Lanka In depth includes:

  • Transfers and sightseeing as listed
  • 1 night accommodation Colombo
  • 1 night accommodation Anuradhapura
  • 3 nights accommodation Sigiriya area
  • 2 nights accommodation Kandy
  • 2 nights accommodation Nuwara Eliya
  • 1 night accommodation Udwalawe
  • 3 nights accommodation Beruwala
1

Day 1 - Colombo

Arrive in Colombo, transfer to your chosen hotel. 

Commence a panoramic city tour in Colombo. Colombo is the business and commercial center and the new capital is Sri Jayawardhanapura Kotte, only a few miles away. Colombo was only a small seaport, which came into prominence in the 16th Century with the arrival of the Portuguese in 1505 and the development of it as a major Harbour took place during the British period. Colombo became the capital of Sri Lanka in 1815 after Kandyan Kingdom was ceded to the British. The remains of the buildings during the period of the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule are found in every area of the city. None of the Portuguese & Dutch fortifications are found today but some of their buildings and churches could be seen in the Fort & Pettah areas.

Accomodation - Cinnamon Lakeside

Meals Included - Dinner

02

Day 02 - Colombo – Wilpattu – Anuradhapura

Breakfast at the hotel. Check out and leave for Wilpattu, to commence an afternoon safari in the Wilpattu national park.

 

Wilpattu national park is 508 square miles (131.694 hectares) in extent and was declared as a National Park in 1938. The special feature in this Park is the large number of Villus (lakes) where you can watch wild life and many species of birds. Leopards were the most famous animals in this Park and Wild Elephant herds. Spotted Deer, Sambhur, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Wild Buffalo, sloth Bear, Mongoose, Crocodile and Peacocks are also found here.

Thereafter, leave for Anuradhapura and check in to your overnight hotel.

Accommodation - Palm Garden Village

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner

03

Day 03 - Anuradhapura – Mihintale – Sigiriya

After breakfast, commence a sightseeing tour in Anuradhapura.  Anuradhapura, the capital of Sri Lanka from the 05th Century B.C. to the end of the 10th Century A.D. was the most celebrated of Sri Lanka’s ancient ruined cities. The city’s greatest treasures are its dagobas constructed of bricks and are hemispherical in shape. The most notable of these dagobas are the Ruvanveliseya dating back to the 2nd Century B.C. and is 300 feet in diameter, the Jetawanarama is 370 feet and one of the largest structure in the ancient world. Thuparama Dagoba is enshrined with the collarbone of the Buddha. The city’s most renowned relic is the sacred Bo Tree, which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world. Anuradhapura is also a “UNESCO World Heritage Site”  Thereafter, visit Mihintale.  140 miles from Colombo, 8 miles from Anuradhapura. Mihintale is called the “Cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka”- it was here that the Buddhist doctrine was first preached by the monk ‘Mahinda’, son of Asoka, Emperor of India, to King Devanampiyatissa more than 2000 years ago. Mihintale - ‘the hill of Mahinda’ is approached by a magnificent, wide, ancient stone stairway of 1,840 steps.  This is the World’s first declared sanctuary from 247 B.C. and continues to be one up to this day.  Some of the monuments found here are the oldest in the country and the large number of Brahmi inscriptions dates from the 3rd century B.C.  Kantaka Cetiya, Ambastala Dagoba, Maha Thupa, At Vehera, Alms Hall, Girihandu Seya, Indikatu Seya, Old Hospital and Kaludiya Pokuna are some of the interesting sites at Mihintale.  There is an interesting Site Museum at Mihintale and an actual Relic Chamber of a Dagoba at Mihintale is the main highlight of the Museum.  After sightseeing, leave for Sigiriya. 

Accommodation - Habarana Village by Cinnamon 

Meals Included - Breaksfast & Dinner

4

Day 4 - Sigiriya & Senadiriyagama

After an ancient prince killed his father to claim the throne, he was forced to flee to his pleasure palace and convert it into a fortress to guard against his opposition. The spectacular citadel of Sigiriya built on a giant rock rises sheer and impregnable out of the plains below. This remarkable 5th century archaeological site is made unforgettable by its dramatic setting. A moat, rampart, extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock and the frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya. Note: Please note that to reach the top of Sigiriya Rock, there are nearly 1,200 stone steps up and then down. Anybody in reasonably good condition will be able to venture to the top of Sigiriya Rock and it's certainly worth the effort, however important to know these little details before embarking on this outing. Thereafter, you will proceed to the Senadiriyagama to immerse in a local village experience.

Senadiriyagama, a beautiful little village close to Sigiriya. Your first visit is to the village temple with a history spanning over 300 years. You will be greeted by the village folk with lotus flowers which are customarily believed to represent purity, spiritual awakening and faithfulness. The short tractor ride along the gravel road through the village that leads up to the temple is an experience as you will see the smiling faces of villagers engaging in their daily routines and children walking to school by the roadside in their pristine white uniforms. Once you arrive at the temple, you will light oil lamps, incense sticks and offer flowers to the Sacred Bo Tree and stupa. You will then walk towards “Budu Geya” - the main house with Senadhira, a local farmer who will fervently explain the history of the temple and the village relating to stories about how Senadiriyagama temple was once used as a resting camp for troops during the period when the land was ruled by kings. After a “Pirith” chanting, you will be blessed by the temple monk for the onward journey by tying a white string commonly known by the locals as a “Pirith Noola”. Thereafter you will walk along the reservoir bund towards the pier to experience a catamaran ride on the Senadiriyagama Lake. If you are lucky you will catch a glimpse of the local fishermen by the lake and maybe even purchase the catch of the day! Once you arrive you will take a short walk towards the “Wadiya” - a mud hut, where a cool king coconut awaits to beat the hot sun. You will then partake in a delicious Sri Lankan meal with local delicacies and tropical fruits prepared for you by a local family. After lunch, a tuk tuk will transport you back to the vehicle to take you back to the main road.

Accommodation - Habarana Village by Cinnamon 

Meals Included - Breaksfast, Lunch & Dinner

5

Day 5 - Polonnaruwa & Minneriya

Polonnaruwa - is the 2nd capital of Sri Lanka. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries A.D, and is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya (3 splendid statues of the Buddha in upright, sedentary and recumbent postures carved out of rock). The audience hall, the lotus bath, the Polonnaruwa statue (12th century) and the Parakrama Samudra tank (lake) built by king Parakramabahu the great. There are also ruins of famous places of worship such as the Shiva temple, the Lankatileka, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vihare Dagoba and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth. You can also visit the ancient city in Cycles if you wish! In the afternoon, you will experience a jeep safari at the Minneriya National Park. Famous for its large wild herds of elephants congregate on the edge of rivers and reservoirs to bathe and socialize, it's one of the best parks in Sri Lanka to see wild elephants. The park covers 8,890 hectares and consists of a mixed forest of evergreen shrubs, a favourite habitat for animals, which include deer and wild elephants. Keep an eye out for monkeys as well, including the purple-faced langur and macaques

Accommodation - Habarana Village by Cinnamon 

Meals Included - Breaksfast & Dinner

6

Day 6 - Sigiriya - Dambulla – Matale – Kandy

After breakfast you will visit the Dambulla Cave temple. Dambulla Rock Temple - was built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. Dambulla is a world heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. The caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters. Afterwards you will proceed to Kandy. You will also visit a spice garden in Matale.

Accommodation - Cinnamon Citadel

Meals Included - Breaksfast & Dinner

7

Day 7 - Kandy

After breakfast, you will proceed on your sightseeing tour in Kandy. Royal botanical gardens of Peradeniya is 147 acres in extent; Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the Kings of Gampola and Kandy. There are more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Some rare and endemic as well as flora from the tropical world are found in the gardens. Spice Garden and Orchid House are popular with tourists. There are 5 Palm Avenues beautifying the gardens, the earliest and tallest Palm Avenue (Royal Palm Avenue) was planted in 1905 and the Double Coconuts from the Seashells Island, with the largest seed of all plants in the world is one such avenue. Return to Kandy to visit the temple of the tooth relic and enjoy a brief tour of the beautiful Kandy town. Unconquered for centuries, this capital city held the Sinhalese culture and sacred Buddhist Relics safe against the unsuccessful onslaught of Dutch and Portuguese invasions, before finally falling to British political tricks at the beginning of the nineteenth century. Amongst other fascinating sights, Kandy is the home of The Temple of the Tooth Relic, one of the most sacred places of worship in the Buddhist world. You will also visit an Arts & crafts workshop and a gem lapidary during your sightseeing tour. Thereafter witness the traditional cultural dance show starting at 1700hrs.

Accommodation - Cinnamon Citadel

Meals Included - Breaksfast & Dinner

08

Day 08 - Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, you will check out from the hotel and will be transferred to Nuwara Eliya.  Along the way, you will have the opportunity to visit a Tea plantation and a Tea factory. (Closed on Sundays and on public holidays)  The stunning drive to Nuwara Eliya is a photographer’s paradise. Pause every now and again to admire the waterfalls, tea estates and the vegetable fields along the way. Once you arrive in Nuwara Eliya, you will notice the sudden drop in temperature. 

This afternoon, proceed on a city tour in Nuwara Eliya.  With log fires and blankets in the Victorian-style bungalows and the beautifully kept lawns and flower gardens, it is no wonder this part of the country has become known as ‘Little England’. Wander through the fruit and vegetable markets and strike a bargain at the night ‘bale’ market to understand the local community on this part of the world.

Accommodation – Blackpool Hotel 

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner.

10

Day 10 - Nuwara Eliya – Ella – Udawalawe

After breakfast, you will check out from the hotel and will be transferred to Udawalawe via Ella. The view from Ella Gap is one of the most spectacular scenic sights in Sri Lanka - the landscape falls away in a dizzy drop of 3000ft to the eastern plains.

This afternoon, you will commence a jeep safari in the Udawalawe national park. Udawalawe national park covers an area of 230,821 hectares and was declared in 1972. It is only 115 miles from Colombo via Ratnapura and Pelmadulla. This Park is rich in Elephant population as the Park has about 500 Elephants. Wild Buffalo, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Sambhur, Hare, Mongoose, Crocodile and 30 species of Snakes are recorded. Three Circuit Bungalows are available at Seenuggala, Weheragolla, and Thimbiriyamankada and 2 Campsites are at Weheramankada and Pransadara. 50 species of Butterflies and many species of Birds are found in the Park. Return to the hotel and spend the rest of the day at leisure.

Accommodation – Grand Udawalawe Safari Resort

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner.

11

Day 11 - Udawalawe – Galle – Beruwala

Early morning prior to breakfast, you will visit the Udawalawe Elephant Transit home.  Located in Udawalawe, close to the famous Udawalawe National Park, the Elephant Transit Home was established in 1995 to care for orphaned elephants. These abandoned elephant calves are nurtured and re-habilitated with the ultimate hope of re-introducing them back into the wild, as soon as they are fit enough to fend for themselves.  Thereafter, leave for Galle. The South Coast’s major city is Galle, whose oldest landmark is the massive Portuguese and Dutch Fort which is a “World Heritage Site” in which the central city is contained. But the city may be much older. Some scholars believe it to be the “Tarshish” of the Old Testament, to which King Solomon sent his merchant vessels, and to which Jonah fled from the Lord.  Today, the 90-acre Galle Fort shows no evidence of the Portuguese founders. The Dutch incorporated the Portuguese northern wall in a great rampart in 1663. A second, taller wall was built inside of it. Between the two walls, a covered passage connected the central bastion with the Fort’s two half bastions overlooking the sea.  The Dutch also installed a sophisticated drainage system, complete with brick-lined underground sewers that were flushed twice a day by the high and low tides. The original gate to the fort was by the harbour. It is still there, marked by the British Coat-of-arms on the front and the Dutch V.O.C. (Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie) with the Coat-of-arms with a rooster crest, on the inner side of the Fort. Continue onwards to the Beaches of Beruwala

Accommodation – Turya Kalutara 

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner.

12

Day 12 - Beruwala

Full day at leisure

Accommodation – Turya Kalutara 

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner.

13

Day 13 - Beruwala

Full day at leisure

Accommodation – Turya Kalutara 

Meals Included – Breakfast & Dinner.

14

Day 14 - Beruwala - Airport

Today your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport.

Meals Included - Breakfast

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