Fortresses, Frescoes & Royal Palaces

This extraordinary island set in the Indian Ocean, is incredibly fertile and a great producer of exotic fruits. For centuries it was the spice producer of the world famous for its Cinnamon & Pepper. It is now best known for its tea plantations established by the British.

With a strong cultural past that now offers over 7 UN World Heritage sites, Sri Lanka was once one of the richest countries in Asia. The gentle pace of development makes Sri Lanka the perfect destination for those looking for a varied and stimulating holiday.

  • Ride an elephant – it will make you feel like Asian royalty.
  • Join in a game of cricket – the cricket-mad locals are always happy for an extra pair of hands.
  • Stop on the side of the road to quench your thirst with a King Coconut (Tambili) and eat a hopper from a local street stall.
  • Fly high in a hot air balloon over the ancient Sigiriya Rock Fortress and enjoy a champagne breakfast!
  • Immerse yourself in the Esala Perahera in Kandy – a colourful festival involving huge processions of glittering elephants, dancers and drummers.
  • Eat the freshest chili crab with your feet in the sand under the stars by the Indian Ocean.
  • Gem shopping – find that perfect semi precious stone to remind you of Sri Lanka forever.
  • Bicycle around the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa.
Day 1
Airport / Kurunegala (half board)

Arrive Colombo International Airport – Ayubowan!

Enroute to your hotel (1 hour drive) stop for a delicious “Tambili” (King Coconut) to quench your thirst and rehydrate after a long flight. Arrive in time for a delicious home cooked Rice & Curry and retire to your balcony with a good book and a cup of Ceylon tea.

Optional: Consider a bullock cart ride around the coconut estate – it’s a great experience.

Overnight at Horathopala Estate

Day 2
Kurunegala / Dambulla (half board)

Set off on a 3½ hour drive to the Cultural Triangle.
Stop in Kadjugama, the Cashewnut town and purchase some of Sri Lanka’s finest nuts – a great gift for someone back home.
Check in to your hotel and have lunch overlooking the Kandalama lake.
In the afternoon, climb to the top of Sigiriya, the UN World Heritage Site – an ancient rock fortress from the 5th Century with amazing views of the Cultural Triangle.
Dine under the stars whilst listening to the amazing night sounds of the surrounding jungle.

Overnight at The Chaaya Village Hotel (3 star hotel)

Day 3
Dambulla / Polonnawura / Dambulla (half board)

A 3 hour return journey to visit Medirigiriya, a 7th century temple atop a rocky point.

Polonnaruwa is a UN World Heritage Site and was the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th – 13th Centuries. It contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Stop for a light lunch at the Polonnawura Rest House. It is superbly located on Sri Lanka’s largest man-made lake and is famous for hosting Britain’s Queen Elizabeth in 1954.

This evening enjoy the a’ la carte menu in the fine dining restaurant at The Heritance Kandalama.

Optional: Early morning elephant ride around Kandalama Lake – spot the stunning Paradise Fly Catcher or the beautiful Kingfishers on elephant back! US$ 20 per person

Take a bicycle and your very own guide and cycle through the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. US$ 15 per person.

Pay the extra US$ 5 to take a ‘pump man’ with you. You may end up with a flat tyre and he will sort you out in no time at all.

Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park to see wild elephants. Home to the largest gathering of elephants in the world each Aug – Oct. US$ 30 per person.

Overnight at The Chaaya Village Hotel (3 star hotel)

Day 4
Dambulla / Anuradhapura / Dambulla (half board)

This is a 3 hour return journey to visit the most extensive & important ancient city of Anuradhapura from 4th century B.C. and see the 5th century B.C Aukana Buddha – the most magnificent & most well preserved ancient image in Sri Lanka. Stop at the 7th century Mahakandarawa stone bridge situated amidst a forest.

Enjoy the hotel’s amazing selection of local & international cuisine.

Top Tip: Have a sunset cocktail on top of a rock. A fabulous spot to see the sun set.

Optional: Early morning hot air balloon ride! An incredible experience with a champagne breakfast. You will never forget it – US$ 220 per person.

Visit the local village temple and get an insight into Buddhism from the head monk (no charge).

Afternoon massage at the hotel’s Six Senses spa.

Enjoy a fantastic traditional BBQ in a cave – 4 people or more: US$25 per person.

Overnight at The Chaaya Village Hotel (3 star hotel)

Day 5
Dambulla / Kandy (half board)

Depart for Kandy via Dambulla (3 hour drive) and discover the caves rock temple dated from first century B.C. Arrive at the last stronghold of Sinhala Kings & UN World Heritage Site – the hill country capital of Kandy.

Optional visit to an exotic Spice Garden in Matale where you can be treated to a garden tour and cooking demonstration to understand the taste and aroma of the world famous spices.

For lunch stop at Aluwihare Kitchens and The Matale Heritage Centre. Eat delicious home cooked Rice & Curry in the centre’s restaurant which supports over 35 villagers. Get an insight into the incredible work of one of Sri Lanka’s prominent artists who started the centre.

Overnight at Hotel Chaaya Citadel

Day 6
Kandy (half board)

Today, explore the city and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. Wander around the lake and the streets of Kandy getting a feel for this wonderful city. For those interested in shopping for gems, antiques, clothes and leather, explore the local markets and shops.

For an authentic lunch eat traditional Rice & Curry at the Old Empire Hotel, a UN Conserved Designated Building. Sit upstairs for a great view over the lake.

In the afternoon visit the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens and see its treasures of tropical flora. Keep an eye out for the amazing fig tree!

Early evening enjoy a superb performance of Kandyan dancing and drumming.

Optional: Gem Museum & Factory tour, Art & Crafts Village, private performance of Kandyan dancing and drumming.

An evening drink at the eclectic Helga’s Folly Boutique Hotel – situated high above the lake. The owner Helga is one of Kandy’s social luminaries.

If you are not staying at The Kandy House then we recommend dinner at this 200 year old manor house – once the home of the King’s Chief Minister. Try to get there in the daylight to see the magnificent pool over the paddy fields. Ask for the Manager Mendis to make you an Arrack Sour – they are the best cocktail in Sri Lanka!

Overnight at Hotel Chaaya Citadel

Day 7
Kandy / Colombo (half board)

Depart Kandy for Colombo (3½ hours). Enroute stop at the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage – home to hundreds of abandoned or injured elephants.

Arrive Colombo in time for lunch & shopping at Barefoot. Visit Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple & Simamalaka Shrine designed by Sri Lanka’s leading architect Geoffrey Bawa.

Sunset Cocktails on the checker board of the Galle Face Hotel – Asia’s oldest hotel located in the Indian Ocean in the centre of Colombo. Dinner at Sri Lanka’s most stylish restaurant, Gallery Café – once the office of the world renowned architect Geoffrey Bawa.

Optional: Vist Colombo National & Dutch Museums, Old & New Parliament Houses, the world’s leading tea auctions, Town Hall, Independence Square. If in Colombo on a Sunday, suggest an early morning bike ride around Colombo’s market and trading area Pettah, exploring old churches, museums, Hindu & Buddhist temples.

Overnight at The Galle Face Hotel (5 star hotel)

Day 8
Colombo / Airport

It’s time to leave the Isle of Serendipity!

Stop for your last “Tambili” on the way to the airport (40 minute drive). Enjoy the Duty Free shops at the airport, especially ODEL and STONE & STRING.

If you would like to stay on and continue exploring this incredible island, e.g. some time on the beach or exploring the tea country – we can tailor make an experience of a life-time that you will never forget.

Land cost per person on twin sharing basis.
Please call us for a customized quote.

Travel Protection is offered by us and is an additional cost.

Includes:
  • Total of 07 hotel nights in Sri Lanka in hotels mentioned or similar in category.
  • Meals on half board basis.
  • Transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Service of an experienced English speaking Guide.
  • Entrance fees as per the itinerary.
  • Government Tax and Service Charge.
Excludes:
  • Any air fares and airprot taxes.
  • Visas (not reuired – granted on entry at airport).
  • Any meals not mentionedin the above itinerary.
  • Additional transfers, sight-seeing or entrance fees to locations not mentioned in the program.
  • Optional tours and activities.
  • Expenses of personal nature such as tips, laundry, telephone calls, etc.
  • Tips and porterage.
  • Peak Period Supplement.
  • Compulsory Christmas and New Year’s Eve room supplement.
  • Camera and Video permits at Cultural sights.
  • Travel insurance.
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