Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

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Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

A portrait of beautiful Sri Lanka, taking in the cultural centres of Anuradhapura, Sigiriya and Kandy, the mountainous Horton Plains and lush Yala National Park.

12 days from

£1,795

per person, for 2 people

Based on departing 18/09/2017 from London Gatwick Airport

View Dates
  • World's End, Horton Plains World's End, Horton Plains
  • Girls in traditional clothes, Colombo Girls in traditional clothes, Colombo
  • Buddhas by the river front, Colombo Buddhas by the river front, Colombo
  • A leopard in Yala National Park A leopard in Yala National Park
  • A crocodile in Yala National Park A crocodile in Yala National Park
  • Elephants in Yala National Park Elephants in Yala National Park
  • Tea picker in Nuwara Eliya Tea picker in Nuwara Eliya
  • Tea pickers in Nuwara Eliya Tea pickers in Nuwara Eliya
  • Frescoes at Sigiriya Rock Fortress Frescoes at Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
  • Botanical Gardens, Kandy Botanical Gardens, Kandy
  • Temple of the Tooth, Kandy Temple of the Tooth, Kandy
  • Jeep Safari, Yala National Park Jeep Safari, Yala National Park
  • Large white seated Buddha, Mihintale Large white seated Buddha, Mihintale

Itinerary Map

DAY 1 : Depart UK.

DAY 2 : Arrive Colombo.

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of this bustling city. Historically, Colombo was known as a trading port due to its natural harbour and was a city of strategic importance to the Portuguese, Dutch and British before Ceylon gained independence in 1948. Many old colonial buildings can still be seen around the city alongside more traditional Sri Lankan architecture. See the Galle Face Green promenade, Dutch Hospital precinct, Fort Railway Station, a Hindu Kovil, the Beira Lake and Independence Square. NOTE: Depending on flight time arrivals, sometimes it may be necessary to do the Colombo sightseeing on day 11. Includes Dinner

DAY 3 : Colombo - Anuradhapura - Mihintale - Sigiriya.

After breakfast, journey through the lush Sri Lankan countryside to Anuradhapura, the country's ancient capital. The city is considered sacred to the Buddhist world and is surrounded by monasteries. Your city tour takes in the well-preserved ruins of this area and the Sri Maha Bodhi (or Bo Tree), the oldest recorded tree in the world. This remarkable tree was a sapling taken from the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi tree in India, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. Later visit the pilgrimage site of Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka, before continuing to Sigiriya. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 : Sigiriya - Minneriya - Sigiriya.

This morning visit the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a giant magma plug which has served both as a long-standing Buddhist monastery and a fortress. Surrounded by a network of gardens and moats, it is an historical, geological and anthropological landmark. The ancient ruins of the upper palace built by King Kasyapa can also be found on the summit, which at 656 feet above sea level affords magnificent views across the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside. On the way to the top, see the famous 'Cloud Maidens' frescoes painted on the rock wall. Later, take an afternoon safari drive to either Minneriya, Kaudulla or Eco Park National Park where with luck, elephants, Sambar deer and leopards might be seen. NOTE: A number of steep steps must be climbed in order to reach the top level of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 : Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy.

This morning visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa. After lunch visit the fascinating Dambulla Rock Cave Temple which comprises of five caverns, each amazingly preserved, containing frescoes and statues of the Buddha. En route to Kandy there is also a visit to a spice garden and a batik factory. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 : Kandy.

A jumble of culture, history and colonial buildings, Kandy is nestled in forested hills and is one of Sri Lanka's most interesting cities. This morning first visit the Temple of the Tooth then enjoy a comprehensive tour of this green city, taking in the colourful market place, the upper lake drive and the Gem Museum. There will also be a visit to the Arts & Crafts Centre and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are renowned for their collection of orchids, spices and medicinal plants. This evening visit a cultural show and be entertained by Kandyan dancers and drummers. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 : Kandy - Nuwara Eliya.

Today, admire the views on a scenic rail journey from Kandy to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya by train. Experience one of the world's most stunning rail journeys on this quintessential Sri Lankan rail service. The train bumps and grinds through the forests and tea plantations and is a highlight of your tour. Otherwise known as 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya is set nearly 2,000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills and lush tea plantations. It is considered the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry, with its cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall providing the perfect climate for tea production. This evening, take a sightseeing tour around the town. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 : Nuwara Eliya - Horton Plains - Nuwara Eliya.

An early start this morning as you journey up steep mountains to the Horton Plains. Located on Sri Lanka's highest plateau, this mountainous region is blanketed in mist-wreathed forests and affords spectacular views of the valleys below, occasionally extending to the coastline. The evening is at leisure in Nuwara Eliya. NOTE: The journey to Horton Plains is a 3-4 hour trek through mountains, which some people may find difficult. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 : Nuwara Eliya - Yala.

After breakfast journey south towards Yala National Park. The rest of the day is free to relax in the lush jungle surroundings of your hotel. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 : Yala.

This morning, take a jeep safari through Yala National Park. Home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, sights of these beautiful creatures are not uncommon. Yala is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with around 230 species recorded in the park. As well as leopards and birds, look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles - Yala really is Kipling's Jungle Book brought to life! Later, you will have another opportunity to spot animals on an afternoon safari. Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September/October, during this period the Yala Safari drive will take place in the Bundala National Park. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 : Yala - Galle - Colombo.

This morning travel to Galle for a city tour, before continuing back to Colombo for an overnight stay. If you are choosing a Sri Lanka beach extension, your tour will end here. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 : Colombo - UK.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK or to the Maldives if you are extending your stay. Includes Breakfast


Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September / October. During this period The Yala Safari Drive will take place in the Udawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park.

Hotels on Tour

  • Nuwara Eliya:St Andrews
  • Yala:Hotel Chandrika
  • NOTE:Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard
  • Colombo:Ozo Colombo
  • Sigiriya:Hotel Sigiriya
  • KandyMahaweli Reach

Visa Information

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

What's Included

  • VIP Private Home Pick-up Service to take you to and from your UK departure point (Terms & Conditions apply)
  • Flights
  • Accommodation on tour
  • Meals on tour - 10 breakfasts and 10 dinners
  • Services of a driver-guide
  • Transfers
  • All airport taxes/service charges excluding locally paid departure tax where applicable

Holiday Highlights

  • Colombo and Galle city sightseeing
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Nuwara Eliya - tea plantation
  • Horton Plains
  • Yala National Park

Why Book With Archers Holidays?

  • We've been part of the same family-owned company for 85 years
  • Great value holidays with no hidden costs
  • We have more touring holidays in North America and Europe than any other operator
  • Our expert Tour Directors have a 96% customer satisfaction score
  • Your holiday is fully protected through ABTA and ATOL
  • Private airport transfer included in your holiday
  • Great for single travellers
  • Save £50pp on your second holiday
Itinerary Map

DAY 1 : Depart UK.

DAY 2 : Arrive Colombo.

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. This afternoon, embark on a sightseeing tour of this bustling city. Historically, Colombo was known as a trading port due to its natural harbour and was a city of strategic importance to the Portuguese, Dutch and British before Ceylon gained independence in 1948. Many old colonial buildings can still be seen around the city alongside more traditional Sri Lankan architecture. See the Galle Face Green promenade, Dutch Hospital precinct, Fort Railway Station, a Hindu Kovil, the Beira Lake and Independence Square. Includes Dinner

DAY 3 : Colombo - Anuradhapura - Sigiriya.

After breakfast, journey through the lush Sri Lankan countryside to Anuradhapura, the country's ancient capital. The city is considered sacred to the Buddhist world and is surrounded by monasteries. Your city tour takes in the well-preserved ruins of this area and the Sri Maha Bodhi (or Bo Tree), the oldest recorded tree in the world. This remarkable tree was a sapling taken from the Jaya Siri Maha Bodhi tree in India, under which Buddha achieved enlightenment. Later continue to Sigiriya for your overnight stay. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4 : Sigiriya - Minneriya - Sigiriya.

This morning visit the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a giant magma plug which has served both as a long-standing Buddhist monastery and a fortress. Surrounded by a network of gardens and moats, it is an historical, geological and anthropological landmark. The ancient ruins of the upper palace built by King Kasyapa can also be found on the summit, which at 656 feet above sea level affords magnificent views across the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside. On the way to the top, see the famous 'Cloud Maidens' frescoes painted on the rock wall. Later, take an afternoon safari drive to either Minneriya, Kaudulla or Eco Park National Park where with luck, elephants, Sambar deer and leopards might be seen. NOTE: A number of steep steps must be climbed in order to reach the top level of Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 5 : Polonnaruwa - Dambulla - Kandy.

This morning visit the ruins of Polonnaruwa. After lunch visit the fascinating Dambulla Rock Cave Temple which comprises of five caverns, each amazingly preserved, containing frescoes and statues of the Buddha. En route to Kandy there is also a visit to a spice garden and a batik factory. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6 : Kandy.

A jumble of culture, history and colonial buildings, Kandy is nestled in forested hills and is one of Sri Lanka's most interesting cities. This morning first visit the Temple of the Tooth then enjoy a comprehensive tour of this green city, taking in the colourful market place, the upper lake drive and the Gem Museum. There will also be a visit to the Arts & Crafts Centre and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are renowned for their collection of orchids, spices and medicinal plants. This evening visit a cultural show and be entertained by Kandyan dancers and drummers. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 7 : Kandy - Nuwara Eliya.

Today, admire the views on a scenic rail journey from Kandy to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya by train. Experience one of the world's most stunning rail journeys on this quintessential Sri Lankan rail service. The train bumps and grinds through the forests and tea plantations and is a highlight of your tour. Otherwise known as 'Little England', Nuwara Eliya is set nearly 2,000 metres above sea level and is surrounded by rolling hills and lush tea plantations. It is considered the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry, with its cool temperatures, humidity and rainfall providing the perfect climate for tea production. This evening, take a sightseeing tour around the town. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8 : Nuwara Eliya - Ella - Tissamaharama

This morning visit a Tea Factory and be enlightened on the tea manufacturing process; from the fermentation of the leaf to the rolling, drying, cutting, sieving and grading of tea. Continue to Ella and view the famous Demodara nine arch railway bridge located between Demodara and Ella railway stations. Later climb Little Adams peak, a short 20 minute climb will take you to the top of the 1140 meter peak, where breath-taking views of an endless valley, tea plantations and waterfalls make the easy climb a rewarding effort. Visit the famous Ravana Ella Falls before continuing to Tissamaharama. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 9 : Yala National Park.

This morning, take a jeep safari through Yala National Park. Home to one of the highest densities of leopards in the world, sights of these beautiful creatures are not uncommon. Yala is also a birdwatcher's paradise, with around 230 species recorded in the park. As well as leopards and birds, look out for elephants, sloth bears, water buffalo, macaques and mugger crocodiles - Yala really is Kipling's Jungle Book brought to life! Return to your hotel, and later join an afternoon safari. Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September/October, during this period the Yala Safari drive will take place in the Bundala National Park. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 10 : Tissamaharama - Galle.

This morning travel to Galle. Galle stands on a peninsula and has a fine natural harbour with excellent defences, and gorgeous views of the ocean. The highlight of this area is the Galle Fort, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an afternoon city tour. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 11 : Galle - Colombo.

Transfer to Colombo for an overnight stay. If you are choosing a Sri Lanka beach extension, you will be transferred to your chosen beach hotel. Includes Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12 : Colombo - UK.

Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK or to the Maldives if you are extending your stay. Includes Breakfast


Note: The Yala National Park is closed to visitors around September / October. During this period The Yala Safari Drive will take place in the Udawalawe National Park and Bundala National Park.

Hotels on Tour

  • Tissamaharama:Hotel Chandrika
  • Galle:Amari Galle
  • NOTE:Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard
  • Colombo:Ozo Colombo
  • Sigiriya:Hotel Sigiriya
  • KandyMahaweli Reach
  • Nuwara Eliya:Araliya Green Hills

Visa Information

A visa is required to travel on this tour. Please refer to www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice prior to departure for the latest requirements and how to apply.

What's Included

  • VIP Private Home Pick-up Service to take you to and from your UK departure point (Terms & Conditions apply)
  • Flights
  • Accommodation on tour
  • Meals on tour - 8 breakfasts and 9 dinners
  • Services of a driver-guide
  • Transfers
  • All airport taxes/service charges excluding locally paid departure tax where applicable

Holiday Highlights

  • Colombo and Galle city sightseeing
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Kandy - Temple of the Tooth
  • Nuwara Eliya - tea plantation
  • Yala National Park

Why Book With Archers Holidays?

  • We've been part of the same family-owned company for 85 years
  • Great value holidays with no hidden costs
  • We have more touring holidays in North America and Europe than any other operator
  • Our expert Tour Directors have a 96% customer satisfaction score
  • Your holiday is fully protected through ABTA and ATOL
  • Private airport transfer included in your holiday
  • Great for single travellers
  • Save £50pp on your second holiday

Our Customers Rate this holiday 100% (7 reviews)

Feefo is an independent feedback service used by companies that care about honesty, integrity and doing the best that they can for their customers. Most of all, they are companies that are prepared to listen to what you, their customers, have to say.

09-Apr-2017

A great way to see Sri Lanka

04-Apr-2017

See above for my answer to this

23-Mar-2017

Bought spices from the spice garden and local market, a selection of teas from the market and tea factory, a batik hanging from the batick factory which explained how batik is produced and a piece of jewellery from the gem factory.

20-Nov-2016

A VERY COMPREHENSIVE TOUR COVERING BOTH CULTURAL AND WILDLIFE OF THE ISLAND.OUR TOUR GUIDE JANAKA WAS EXCELLENT.<br/>WE DID HOWEVER FIND IT STRENUOUS AND INDEED IT WAS TOO MUCH FOR SOME OF THE OLDER MEMBERS OF THE PARTY. BETTER DETAILED INFORMATION ...

15-Aug-2016

Fantastic tour, excellent hotels & guide. Varied itinerary (historic, religious, wildlife, safari, culture, village life etc.), really showing the best Sri Lanka has to offer. Such excellent commentary - really well looked after in a group of only 4....

24-Jun-2016

Our guide and driver Antony made the holiday what it was.Jammed pack of sightseeing and local knowledge..

01-May-2016

The tour, transport to and from the airport, and guide were excellent. The tour bus provided had very little leg room and was cramped and uncomfortable.

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