Discover Sri Lanka’s culture, beauty, wildlife and stunning beaches on this privately escorted tour taking you from the west coast to the east. Explore the archaeological treasures of Polonnaruwa, scale the vertiginous staircases of Sigiriya’s famous Lion’s Rock and spot elephants and other wildlife on a jeep safari through Minneriya National Park. Relax on the beautiful beach in the coastal resort of Pasikudah for a few days, visit the sacred Temple of the Tooth and a tea plantation in Kandy, and discover the bustling capital, Colombo.
Including international return flights with Sri Lankan Airlines, private transfers, the services of private English-speaking representatives and guides, and all accommodation on half board basis.
The imposing Lion’s Rock in Sigiriya, the fine treasures of Polonnaruwa including the magnificent group of beautiful Buddha images carved out of granite at the Gal Vihara temple and watching the Asian wild elephants gather in Minneriya National Park.
Fly from the UK overnight for a late morning arrival in Sri Lanka. Be met by your English-speaking representative at Colombo Airport, and be transferred to your hotel in Negombo. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure with dinner at your hotel. Stay at Pledge Scape, Negombo for 1 night on half board basis.
After breakfast take the 150km drive to the ancient city of Sigiriya. En route visit the UNESCO-listed Dambulla cave temple filled with ancient sculptures and paintings of Sri Lankan kings, of Buddha and of various Hindu deities. The caves showcase the evolution of Sri Lanka’s artistic style with statues and paintings dating from different periods of the island’s rich history. Continue to Sigiriya, the centre of Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle, and settle into your hotel for the next two nights, enjoying dinner and a relaxed evening. Stay at Aliya Resort & Spa, Sigiriya for 2 nights on half board basis.
Rise early for breakfast and a morning visit to Sigiriya’s famous Lion’s Rock. Built on the orders of King Kashyapa in the fifth century, this is an exceptional architectural, artistic and engineering landmark of ancient Sri Lanka. Near vertical granite walls soar above the canopy of the rainforest to the ruins of an almost impregnable ancient fortified palace. Having scaled the 1200 steps of the vertiginous staircases attached to sheer rock walls, the rewards are unforgettable: spellbinding views of mist-wrapped forests, water gardens and cave shrines. Return to your hotel and spend time at leisure before an afternoon jeep safari in Minneriya National Park. The park is one of the best places to see wild elephants and with scrubland, park and wetlands it also provides shelter for buffalo, sambar deer, toque macaques, crocodiles and leopards as well as attracting a great number of birds. Depending on the movement of elephants the visit may be to Kaudulla or Eco Park. Return to your hotel in Sigiriya in time for dinner.
After breakfast depart for the coastal town of Pasikudah, visiting the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, en route, to see its fine archaeological treasures. In medieval times Polonnaruwa was the island’s capital and is home to well-preserved ruins, tombs and temples, stupas and statues, and a group of beautiful rock carvings of Buddha at the Gal Vihara temple. Expect to visit the ruins of the Ancient Palace, which once stood seven storeys high and contained a thousand rooms, the Royal Pond, The Sacred Quadrangle, including the Vatadage which once held the sacred Tooth of Buddha, the Archaeological Museum, Rankot Vehera stupa and the Gal Vihara temple. Afterwards continue to the resort of Pasikudah and settle into your hotel for the next five nights. Stay at Maalu Maalu Resort & Spa, Pasikudah for 5 nights on half board basis.
On the eastern shores of Sri Lanka, Pasikudah boasts a beautiful sand beach and coral reef. Spend the next few days at leisure, relaxing, swimming, snorkelling and exploring the area independently.
Leave Pasikudah after breakfast for the five hour drive to the UNESCO-listed city of Kandy. This bustling city is known as the last capital of Sri Lanka’s kings and home to one of Buddhism’s holiest shrines, the Temple of the Tooth, residing within the royal palace complex. On arrival settle in for a two night stay at your hotel before dinner. In the evening enjoy a city tour including a visit to the Kandy Temple of Tooth. Stay at Mountbatten Bungalow, Kandy for 2 nights on half board basis.
Spend part of the morning at the beautiful Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya. Established in 1821, the 140 acre site contains one of the world’s largest collections of flora from sub-tropical climates with more than 4,000 species; its fine orchids and giant Javan fig tree are of particular note. Afterwards continue to a tea plantation before returning to the hotel for a hands-on cooking lesson, where you will create a delicious lunch under the guidance of an experienced instructor. Dinner in the hotel and evening at your leisure.
Leave for the 125km drive to the capital Colombo after breakfast. Colombo is Sri Lanka’s largest city and its commercial capital; a bustling city with a rich history. Enjoy a city tour and a chance to experience delicious street food. Stay at Galle Face Hotel, Colombo for 1 night on half board basis.
Transfer to Colombo airport for your return flight to the UK.
Price featured is a from price per person based on 2 adults sharing a room including return economy fights and private resort transfers. Saving shown is per couple against original system pricing for selected properties. All holidays are subject to limited availability and change and may include offers promoted previously. Full booking conditions can be found here.