Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

  • 12 Days

  • Sri Lanka

  • Active pace

Journey through lush forests to sacred temples and ancient ruins and through misty hills on winding railways. From the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Temple of the Tooth to the leopards of Yala National Park, Sri Lanka is a place of endless appeal.

Your journey starts here

Highlights

VIP private home pick-up service
Flights
Transfers
Services of a driver/guide
Accommodation
Selected meals
All airport taxes
  • Overview

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

  • Day 3

  • Day 4

  • Day 5

  • Day 6

  • Day 7

  • Day 8

  • Day 9

  • Day 10

  • Day 11

  • Day 12

of 12 days

Your detailed itinerary

Tour departing on 30th April 2018

Meals included: 10 breakfasts, 10 dinners

Overview

Journey through lush forests to sacred temples and ancient ruins, through misty hills on winding railways; from the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and Temple of the Tooth to the leopards of Yala National Park, Sri Lanka is a place of endless appeal.

At a glance

  • Colombo - visit the attractive Dutch Hospital Shopping Precinct and the wide lawns of Galle Face Green.
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress  - the ruins of this 5th century palace are one of the country’s most dramatic sights.
  • Kandy - visit the Temple of the Tooth which houses one of Sri Lanka’s most important relics.
  • Rail journey to Nuwara Eliya - a stunning railway journey from Kandy to the misty hills of Nuwara Eliya.
  • Nuwara Eliya  - a sightseeing tour in the capital of Sri Lanka's tea industry.
  • Yala National Park - spot leopards and water buffalo on a jeep safari.

Extensions

  • 2 nights Dubai hotel stay pre-tour
  • 6 nights Sri Lanka beach stay post-tour
  • 7 nights Maldives beach stay post-tour

Please call our Travel Specialists to book this holiday with an extension.

Day 1

Depart UK

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • 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.

Meals included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Hotels

  • Colombo: Ozo Colombo
  • Sigiriya: Hotel Sigiriya
  • Kandy Mahaweli Reach
  • Nuwara Eliya: Araliya Green Hills
  • Tissamaharama: Hotel Chandrika
  • Galle: Amari Galle

Notes

A number of steep steps must be climbed in order to reach the top level of Sigiriya Rock Fortress.

For 2017 departures - the journey to Horton Plains is a 3-4 hour trek through mountains, which some people may find difficult.

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 or Bundala National Park.

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.

Tour hotels will be as specified or alternatives of a similar standard.

Latest customer reviews

9th April 2017

A great way to see Sri Lanka

4th April 2017

See above for my answer to this

23rd March 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.

20th November 2016

A VERY COMPREHENSIVE TOUR COVERING BOTH CULTURAL AND WILDLIFE OF THE ISLAND.OUR TOUR GUIDE JANAKA WAS EXCELLENT. WE DID HOWEVER FIND IT STRENUOUS AND INDEED IT WAS TOO MUCH FOR SOME OF THE OLDER MEMBERS OF THE PARTY. BETTER DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE LEVEL OF PHYSICAL FITNESS REQUIRED FOR MORE THAN THE ONE DAY WOULD MORE ACCURATELY REFLECT THE TOUR. OUR INITIAL PICK-UP WAS POOR WHEN AS WE HAD TO WAIT FOR OVER AN HOUR AFTER CLEARING OUR BAGGAGE. WE HAD TO WAIT FOR A LATER FLIGHT TO ARRIVE WITH ANOTHER ARCHERS CUSTOMER. UNACCEPTABLE AFTER A LONG FLIGHT. ALL ACCOMODATION WAS VERY GOOD, ESPECIALLY THE OZO IN COLOMBO AND THE QUIRKY ST ANDREWS HOTEL IN NUWARA ELIYA. THE FOOD THROUGHTOUT WAS VARIED AND VERY GOOD QUALITY WITH SOMETHING TO SUIT ALL PALATES. ON A TECHNICAL NOTE THIS FEEFO FEEDBACK WILL NOT SUPPORT TRUE CUSTOMER SATISFACTION FOR ANY QUALITY PROCESS.

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