Deserted Cities & Sky Fortress
Leaving bustling Negombo, we discover some of the island's well preserved art and stone carvings. We explore the ancient ruined city of Anuradhapura and visit Mihintale, Sri Lanka's cradle of Buddhism, then continue to the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya. Here we make the giddy climb up Lion Rock - its ruined fortress precariously perched on top, and its famous 'heavenly maidens' painted in a niche in the sheer cliff face.
The Hill Country
We make for the mountains and Kandy, where we visit the much venerated Temple of the Tooth. After a scenic drive through magnificent mountains, we stay at a resort, an introduction to the verdant highlands. The air here is refreshingly cool and clear - a place of perpetual spring. During the pilgrimage season, it may be possible to make an excursion to climb 'Adam's Peak' from here.
Outrigger Canoes & Beaches
Driving towards Unawatuna, we stop to visit the Buduruvagala rock carving of Buddha. We then continue to one of the country's most scenic stretches of coast, where small fishing villages dot the shoreline, and stilt-fishermen, broad sandy beaches and outrigger canoes are commonplace. Our last days are spent relaxing on the beach at Unawatuna - an easy-going place to swim - and visiting the Dutch city of Galle (ancient Tarshish).From December to April there's also the chance to take a boat trip in search of whales.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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