Begin your Sri Lankan adventure exploring the lively coastal city of Columbo on a two to three-hour guided cycling tour by night. The next day is your opportunity to discover the capital’s incredible fusion street food, which draws on Indian, Malay, Dutch and Portuguese influences. Take a guided foodie tour at the Old Dutch Hospital. Trying thambili (sweet king coconut) or a shot of arrack (fermented coconut sap) is a must. This morning, transfer from Colombo to the dramatic Sigiriya island ‘The Lion Rock’, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The rocky ridge is home to a 5th-century palace, built by King Kassapa I. During your climb to the epic view at the summit, marvel at graffiti, the mirror wall and the€claimed frescoes of the ‘Sigiriya damsels’. Today is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the ancient ruined city of Polonnaruwa. The island’s capital between the 11th and 13th centuries, here you’ll see palace ruins, intricately carved Buddhas and stupas (or dagobas) as you cycle around the four-kilometre man-made reservoir. After breakfast, take the half-hour journey to Dambulla – Sri Lanka’s iconic complex of cave temples. Featuring hundreds of Buddhist frescoes, statues and Hindu deities, the cave decorations date back to the first century BC. Afterwards, head to Kandy to check into your boutique hotel. In Kandy, take a walking tour of the city – the last capital of the Sinhalese monarchy. Surrounded by hillside jungle, here you’ll discover remarkable architecture, watch kottu street food being made and take a tuk-tuk ride. Your tour ends at the 16th-century Buddhist Temple of the Tooth before time at leisure. Start your next day with breakfast tea before exploring the island’s rich history of tea production. Known as Ceylon until 1972, Sri Lanka is now synonymous with the drink since the British brought a camellia sinensis plant here in the early part of the 19th-century. Your four-hour hike in the Hanthana mountain range begins at Ceylon Tea House. Today, enjoy a scenic rail journey from Peradeniya railway station to Nanuoya, with a small picnic provided by your A&K driver-guide. You’ll be met at your destination and taken to your hotel. You’ll be up with the lark on day 10 as you head to Horton Plains National Park for a worthwhile three-hour hike with an adept local trekker. See the well-known viewpoint of World’s End and many species of endemic plants and wildlife. Afterwards, relax back at the hotel or visit a tea plantation. Then sit back and enjoy the landscape during your picturesque six-hour transfer to Bentota where you’ll reach your hotel right on the shores of the southwest coast. After checking in, unwind in one of the two pools or indulge in a spa treatment. Devote the next two days to enjoying all Bentota has to offer, whether relaxing at the hotel or making the most of the sights. Take a boat safari to the mangroves, visit baby turtle at the nearby hatchery or simply relax on the world-class beach. On your final morning, there’s just enough time to bid farewell to Sri Lanka before you depart for the airport and fly home with a wealth of memories to cherish. Details and departure dates of this trip can be tailor-made to meet your specific requirements.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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