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The island nation of Sri Lanka has a wealth of cultural, archaeological and natural treasures. This comprehensive tour visits both the popular and some of the lesser-known sites in northern, central and southern Sri Lanka.
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Saving up to £200 on specific departures when booked by 31 Aug 19
Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. (N)
Arrive in Sri Lanka's cosmopolitan capital and transfer to the Cinammon Lakeside (or similar) for 1 night. After settling into your hotel, get to know your fellow travellers over afternoon tea at the iconic Galle Face Hotel, a seafront hotel with a rich history. (N)
This morning head to the Cultural Triangle, a picturesque region with an abundance of heritage-listed sites. Stay 3 nights at the Heritance Kandalama hotel (or similar) in Dambulla, an ideal base from which to discover the country's rich heritage. (B)
Explore Sri Lanka's first ancient capital, Anuradhapura, which was established around the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, said to be the oldest tree planted by hand in the world. The city was the capital for nearly 1,500 years and has a beautiful array of Buddhist shrines and relics waiting to be explored. Afternoon visit to Mihintale, the birthplace of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. (B)
Continue your exploration of Sri Lanka's famed Cultural Triangle by visiting one of Sri Lanka's most iconic sights this morning - the Unesco Sigiriya rock fortress that rises dramatically from the central plains. A climb to the top offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Continue to Polonnaruwa, an impressive archaeological site packed with ancient structures including tombs, temples and stupas. (B)
Morning visit to Dambulla, home to Asia's most impressive and vast cave complex. Admire the many Buddhist murals and statues, some of which date back as far as the first century BC. Continue to the beautiful hill station of Kandy and stay 2 nights at the Earls Regency (or similar). Afternoon orientation tour before enjoying a traditional and colourful Kandyan dance performance. Nearby you will find one of Sri Lanka's holiest sites, the Temple of the Tooth, said to contain the tooth relic of Buddha. The evening Puja ceremony held here is a fine spectacle where prayers and music fill the air. (B)
Kandy is set on the shores of a beautiful manmade lake and the area abounds in rich and varied plant life. After a leisurely breakfast, stroll through the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens and admire the flora, the butterflies and birdlife and most notably, the impressive collection of exotic orchids. Spend the afternoon at your leisure - maybe explore Kandy's bustling markets or just relax at your hotel. (B)
Early morning drive to Nuwara Eliya hill station, which perfectly epitomises the hill country's mix of misty mountains, lush tea plantations and tumbling waterfalls. Situated at 2,000 metres above sea level, Nuwara Eliya attracted the British in the 18th century and their legacy is still visible. Stay at the Heritance Tea Factory (or similar) for 2 nights. (B)
Early morning visit to Horton Plains, situated on Sri Lanka's highest plateau (this excursion involves a 2.5-hour walk*). The plains form an undulating plateau over 2,000 metres high and are a beautiful area of grasslands, interspersed with patches of forest. Enjoy the panoramic views over the spectacular escarpment and observe the monkeys and sambar deer that inhabit the area. The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)
Transfer to Ella; the view through the Ella Gap - a break in the hills - is one of the finest in Sri Lanka. Visit the Rawana Ella Falls and impressive Buduruwagala statues before continuing to Yala. Stay 2 nights at Jetwing Yala (or similar). (B)
Rise early for a morning wildlife safari in Yala National Park. Covering 1,300 sq km, Yala National Park encompasses a diversity of jungle habitats, including scrub, brackish lagoons and riverside locations. Creatures that may be seen include elephants, leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild pigs, jackals, marsh crocodiles and a great variety of birdlife. (B)
Drive to Ahungalla, stopping for a visit to the Elephant Transit home and tour of Galle fort. Stay 2 nights at Heritance Ahungalla or upgrade to the Vivanta by Taj Bentota (Superior Charm Seaview room) from £80. Following day at leisure to relax before your flight home. (B)
Transfer to Colombo and fly to London with Sri
Lankan Airlines. (B)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
Due to high altitude and
uneven terrain, the Horton Plains trek requires
a good level of fitness. Visits to certain ancient
monuments in the Cultural Triangle require
quite a bit of step climbing. In some cases this is
in excess of 1,800 steps and in other instances
somewhere between 800 and 1,200 steps.
This tour is based in 4- and 5-star accommodation.
extension price is based on travel in the low
season and is intended as a guideline. There are often special offers available for off-peak
travel and longer stays. Please contact your
Cox & Kings travel consultant for details.
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.
CET2019: 12 Nights
Sri Lanka is a most beautiful Island and there is so much to see. To me, highlights were the elephant orphanage, the tea plantations and the safari but I did also enjoy visiting the temples and learning the culture.Miss Gillian Cowley
There were several inspirational moments - the visit to the temple of the Tooth in Kandy, the visit to Yala national park and the ascent of Sigirya. If I had to choose one it would be the leopard sighting at Yala.Mr Niall Bowser
The Botanical gardens in Kandy and the Yala National Park were both outstanding. Mrs Linda Green
Visiting ancient buddhist temples, caves and ruins. I was inspired imagining so many monks dedicating themselves the the dharma teachings of the Buddha. Mrs Anthea Murray
Ahungalla is an ancient fishing hamlet 9 kilometres north of Ambalangoda. A small town...
The coastal town of Bentota has some of India's finest beaches, allowing for...
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...
Located in the middle of tea-growing country. Nuwara Eliya, meaning ‘City of Light’, is...
Yala is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and was given over to conservation in...