Exploring Sri Lanka

Resort:Exploring Sri Lanka
Destination: Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka
Price From: £2479.00


Explore the intriguing island of Sri Lanka. Embark on a comprehensive tour of its largest city, Colombo. Delight in a visit to a home for orphaned elephants that have been abandoned. Stand in awe before you climb up the 5th-century Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a former palace and UNESCO World Heritage Site. See elephants bathing and grazing in their natural habitat in Minneriya National Park. Learn about the unique spices used in Sri Lankan cuisine, such as cinnamon, clove and cardamom at a spice market. Behold the fascinating Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy, revered in the Buddhist world. Take a guided tour of a tea estate and see how tea is packed using traditional methods. Come to know the legends and art of traditional Sri Lankan mask making. Along the way discover a country of deep history and traditions and the immeasurable beauty of unspoiled landscapes.


Day 1: Overnight Flight

Discover the stunning landscapes, rich culture and deep traditions found in the enchanting country of Sri Lanka.

Day 2: Colombo, Sri Lanka – Tour Begins

Your tour begins in the bustling capital city of Colombo, a vibrant cosmopolitan city combining colonial roots and modern influences. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant featuring traditional Sri Lankan specialties.

Day 3: Colombo

Today you will come to know the treasures of Colombo, the commercial hub of the country. Join a local guide who will lead you on a tour of this historical city that spans centuries and melds styles from the Portuguese, Dutch and British. See the central business district called the Fort, the colorful and lively Petta Bazaar, the sprawling Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, and Independence Square, created in recognition of gaining their freedom in 1948.

Day 4: Colombo – Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Sigiriya

Our first stop today is at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which has been rescuing elephants since 1975. They care for abandoned and wounded elephants of all ages. Watch how the animals are now beginning to thrive as they interact with each other and their handlers during feeding time. Continue to the lush forests of Sigiriya and find yourself surrounded by tranquility at your luxury hotel.

Day 5: Sigiriya – Rock Fortress – Minneriya National Park – Sigiriya

This morning we ascend* an impressive granite peak to explore the ruins of the ancient city of Sigiriya – “fortress in the sky.” Treasured by the locals, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a sprawling former palace and fortress with extensive gardens considered to be the oldest landscaped gardens in the world complete with fountains and lakes. Next, enjoy a picturesque lunch set among reed beds and paddy fields. This afternoon, proceed to Minneriya National Park. Explore this wildlife sanctuary, established in 1938, and witness herds of elephants bathing and grazing in their natural habitat.

Day 6: Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Spice Market – Kandy

Travel to the fascinating ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (UNESCO). Spend time discovering this former capital city of Sri Lanka which was built in the 12th century when trade and agriculture flourished under the reign of King Parakramabahu. The king was ahead of his time developing an irrigation system that still supplies the water during dry season to local farms. Then its on to the city of Matale, known for hosting merchants from around the world since ancient times. During a guided tour of a spice market, learn about the various spices and smell fragrant clove, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg and many other spices used in Sri Lankan cooking. Continue to the picturesque, lakefront city of Kandy. This evening, enjoy a cultural show with traditional Sri Lankan dancing, ceremonial drums and music.

Day 7: Kandy – Temple of the Tooth Relic – Mahaweli River Cruise

Explore Kandy, set on a plateau surrounded by the mountains of central Sri Lanka. Visit the impressive gilded Temple of the Tooth Relic, revered by Buddhists from around the world for being the place that holds the actual tooth of Buddha. Next, take a walk through the Royal Botanical Gardens, established in the 14th century as a garden for the Kings of Kandy. Today, the gardens 150 acres are home to more than 5,000 species of trees and plants, including an orchid house. This evening, delight in a sunset river cruise on the tranquil Mahaweli River followed by dinner at a local restaurant.

Day 8: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

Travel along the scenic road that leads you to the lush green landscape found near the town of Nuwara Eliya. Rolling hills and tea plantations surround this former colonial British retreat nicknamed Little England. During a city tour, see the English country-style homes, the Gothic Holy Trinity Church and the pink post office with its unique clock tower.

Day 9: Nuwara Eliya – Tea Estate

Start your day at the Pedro Tea Estate located in Kandapola, just north of Nuwara Eliya. Join an expert for a guided tour of the estate and factory where they still pack tea using 19th century methods; savor a taste of their tea. The rest of your day is at leisure to enjoy your historic hotel. Perhaps you will stroll the lawns adorned with topiary and roses, play a game of billiards, or take advantage of the hotels amenities.

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya – Bentota

Our journey today takes us to Bentota, a coastal paradise brimming with sunshine and beautiful beaches. Arrive early this afternoon and have the remainder of the day at leisure to relax and take in the luxurious ambiance at your beachfront resort.

Day 11: Bentota – Galle – Bentota

Spend the day discovering the city of Galle, a fortified city settled by the Portuguese in the 16th century that flourished in the 18th century under Dutch rule. The city reveals an interesting blend of cultures and styles. Explore Galles Dutch Fort (UNESCO), the largest European fort in Asia. Then embark on a guided tour of the islands prominent landmarks where you will see the scenic harbor, the National Maritime Museum, St. Marys Cathedral, and a Shiva temple.

Day 12: Bentota – Ambalangoda – Bentota

Travel to Ambalangoda to learn about the art of Sri Lankan mask making and come to know the legends associated with them. Begin by spending time at a local museum and workshop to discover how these masks are created and how they are used in dramatic dance performances. Then, visit the Bandu Wijesooriya School of Dancing where an expert discusses the types of dances they perform and how the masks are used in performances. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a special farewell dinner.

Day 13: Bentota – Colombo – Tour Ends

Transfer to Colombo where your tour ends.