Explore the wonders of Sri Lanka on our Emerald Isle tour. Start with the modern capital city of Colombo, before travelling inland to the 'Cultural Triangle' of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Kandy. Anuradhapura, where Buddhism first came to Sri Lanka, was the country's capital for 1,300 years. The medieval capital, Polonnaruwa, on the shores of a large lake, has a number of historic ruins.
Visit the Temple of the Tooth at Kandy and travel onward to the scenic tea country of Nuwara Eliya. Chance upon a leopard in the thick jungles and picturesque parklands of Yala National Park. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Galle Fort, before ending your holiday with a leisurely couple of days on the sandy beaches of Bentota.
Day 1 Colombo
Met on arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, and transfer to the Galle Face hotel for the night. Enjoy an orientation tour of Colombo this afternoon. A welcome dinner is served this evening.
Day 2 Colombo, Habarana
Drive to Habarana (4 hour) for a three-night stay at the Village by Cinnamon hotel. Enjoy a guided village walk this afternoon.
Day 3 Habarana
A full day’s sightseeing tour to the ancient city of Anuradhapura is arranged today, an important site for Buddhist pilgrims from around the world.
Day 4 Habarana
Visit the World Heritage Site of Sigiriya (Lion Rock) . Accessed by a steep 600 feet hike up to the ancient natural rock fortress that dominates the surrounding landscape, it is home to the the wonderful frescoes of the Sigriya maidens. In the afternoon visit the ruins of another ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa , which is home to the impressive Gal Vihara rock sculptures.
Day 5 Habarana, Kandy
Set out for Kandy today, a 5 hours drive. Stop at the impressive Dambulla Cave Temples en route. In Kandy, stay at the Thilanka Hotel for two nights.
Day 6 Kandy
Visit The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage this morning and later take a pleasant walk through the beautiful botanical gardens at Peradeniya. In the afternoon, visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic followed by a music and dance performance at the neighbouring Kandyan Cultural Centre.
Day 7 Kandy, Nuwara Eliya
A scenic 6 hours long scenic drive takes us to the rolling tea country of Nuwara Eliya where we stay at the St Andrews Hotel for two nights. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 8 Nuwara Eliya
Enjoy an early morning excursion to the Horton Plains: a windswept saddle at 7,000 feet above sea level which has an interesting array of wildlife.
Day 9 Nuwara Eliya, Yala National Park
Take a long drive to the deep south for two nights at the Laya Safari, your base to explore Yala National Parkwhich is best known for its impressive wild leopard population. A unique feature of this park is its proximity to the coast. Wildlife is frequently spotted on the beach, where the dense jungle meets the sea.
Day 10 Yala National Park
Enjoy jeep safaris in the park which is also home to elephant, deer, wild buffalo, crocodile, wild boar and several species of birds.
Day 11 Yala National Park, Wadduwa
A scenic 4 – 5 hour coastal drive to a World Heritage City, the port of Galle where you will visit the Dutch Museum, Groote Kerk (Great Church) and the National Maritime Museum. Drive on from Galle to Wadduwa. Stay two nights at the Laya Beach Resort for two nights.
Day 12 Wadduwa
Enjoy a day of leisure at the beach.
Day 13 Wadduwa, UK
An early start back to the Bandaranaike International Airport for a lunch time flight to London Heathrow, arriving the same evening.
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