Grand Tour of Sri Lanka + Maldives
Why not combine your tour of Sri Lanka with a relaxing stay in the exotic Maldives, consisting of 1,000 coral islands, grouped in shallow water atolls. The crystal clear turquoise waters teeming with marine life offer fantastic opportunities for snorkelling, diving and watersports.
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Today fly to Male and your chosen hotel for the next 7 nights.
Enjoy free-time in your chosen resort in the Maldives.
Today you will be taken to the airport for your flight back to the UK.