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Sri Lanka is a year-round destination: while
the west and south succumb to monsoon
rains, the period from May to September
is the right time to travel to the rest of the
country. This tour includes tea plantation
tours, sacred Buddhist sights, wildlife
tracking excursions, ancient architectural
riches and beach relaxation.
View more climate information & imperial units
Saving up to £200 on specific departures when booked by 28 Feb 19
Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. (N)
Arrive in Colombo and transfer to the Jetwing Colombo Seven (or similar) for a 2-night stay. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. (N)
Today immerse yourself in rural Sri Lanka with a visit to a quaint village set amid paddy fields. Meet the locals, take a tuk tuk ride, visit a traditional village home and observe traditional production of cinnamon and oil and the ancient art of rubber tapping. Later enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan lunch followed by a panoramic city tour of Colombo, absorbing the city's unique mix of Portuguese, Dutch, English and Indian influences. (B, L)
This morning drive to Kandy, Sri Lanka's cultural centre and home to the country's holiest site, the Temple of the Tooth, which you will visit tonight for the auspicious evening ceremony. Before that, explore the town's bustling bazaar and Kandy's arts and crafts centre. Stay 3 nights just outside the city at the Amaya Hills (or similar), which offers panoramic views of Kandy and is surrounded by verdant wooded land. (B)
Wander through the Royal Botanical Gardens in Peradeniya, which contain an amazing variety of flowers, trees and plants. Peradeniya was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was later expanded by the British. Remainder of the day at leisure for you to further explore Kandy or to relax at your hotel. (B)
A trip to Sri Lanka would not be complete without taking a train ride in the scenic hill country. Embark in Peradeniya and meander past verdant tea plantations, rolling hills and charming villages before reaching Nanu Oya station. Disembark and drive to Nuwara Eliya Golf Club for lunch. Founded in 1889, it is one of the oldest golf clubs in Asia. On your way back to Kandy, visit a tea plantation and factory to see the manufacturing and grading process of tea, before tasting a cup of pure Ceylon tea. (B, L)
This morning drive north to Sigiriya, an ideal base to explore the many heritage-listed sites that make up Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. En route visit the Dambulla cave temple complex which is filled with over 150 statues and paintings of the Buddha. From the caves you can also enjoy the surrounding countryside.
Spend 3 nights at the Jetwing Lake (or similar). (B)
Another of the Cultural Triangle's wonders is Polonnaruwa, an ancient city which was once a medieval capital and a thriving and religious cultural centre. Within the complex, hidden beside ancient ruins and verdant jungle, you will find a Primate Centre dedicated to the conservation of three primate species (toque macaques, hanuman langurs and purple-faced langurs). Enjoy a guided field session from one of the conservationists who will be able to expound the behaviours of the primates that inhabit amongst the temples. (B)
Rising majestically from the central plains, the Sigiriya Rock Fortress is perhaps one of Sri Lanka's most dramatic sights. Ascend the steep stairs - 1,200 in total - to reach the summit of the fortress, admiring the colourful frescoes that adorn the side of the rocks along the way. You will be rewarded for your efforts with spectacular views of the surrounding lush landscape and countryside. Enjoy a typical farm lunch at Priyamali Gedara before continuing to Minneriya for an afternoon safari. Spreading over 8,800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants, herds of deer and a variety of birdlife. Evening cookery demonstration at the hotel. Learn how to make a typical Sri Lankan chicken curry and two vegetable dishes. (B, L)
Travel to Passikudah for 3 nights' relaxation at Anantaya Resort & Spa (Superior room); located on a secluded beach on the lesser visited east coast of Sri Lanka, this luxurious resort is surrounded by unspoilt natural beauty, clear waters and exotic coral reefs. (B)
At leisure. (B)
Travel back to Colombo by road for an overnight stay at the Jetwing Colombo Seven (or similar) or opt for a domestic flight with Cinnamon Air from Batticaloa, from £225. (B)
Take the direct flight back to London with Sri
Lankan Airlines. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Visits to certain ancient
monuments in the Cultural Triangle require
steep climbing, including ascending more than
1,800 steps in one instance.
Due to changes to seasonal
schedules and opening times, there are minor
itinerary variations for certain departure
dates. Please check with your Cox & Kings tour
consultant for details.
The 5 August 2019 departure coincides with
the Esala Perahera festival in Kandy.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
SSU2019: 12 Nights
Dambulla is located 72 km north of Kandy, within Sri Lanka’s ‘Cultural Triangle’. It is...
Kandy, situated at an altitude of 500m, is the cultural centre of Sri Lanka and was the capital...