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Monday
02 December
9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday
03 December
9:00am - 6:00pm
Wednesday
04 December
9:00am - 6:00pm
Thursday
05 December
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Friday
06 December
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Saturday
07 December
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Sunday
08 December
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Buddha statue inside Dambulla cave temple, Sri Lanka. Dambulla cave temple also known as the Golden Temple of Dambulla is a …

In Sri Lanka – a drum beats, an elephant trumpets and a mystical Buddhist chant fills the air all in one moment. This is a magical island like no other, packed with national parks, timeless ruins, unforgettable train journeys and golden beaches. Our 11-day adventure showcases the best of Sri Lanka's scenery, ancient relics, diverse wildlife, warm-hearted people, mouth-watering cuisine and local culture.

Shutterstock 180137912 Visit A Tea Plantation

Why go?

  • See the largest and best-preserved Dambulla cave temple complex in Sri Lanka
  • Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Buy fresh spices at Matale Spice Garden
  • Learn about orchids at Paradeniya botanical gardens
  • Visit the British-built town of Nuwara Eliya
  • Enjoy a scenic train journey
  • Try the famous tea and flavourful food
  • Enjoy the waters of the Indian Ocean whilst in Bentota
  • Read our blog to find out everything you need to know before visiting Sri Lanka

Itinerary

View full itinerary
  • Accommodation
  • MEALS No meals included

Welcome to spectacular Sri Lanka! Upon arrival at Bandaranayke International Airport, we’ll proceed through immigration, collect our luggage and transfer to our hotel in Colombo. After a short rest at the hotel we will begin our sightseeing tour of Colombo.

Driving through the city to the busy commercial areas, as well as the tree-lined residential, Cinnamon Gardens, we will visit Fort, the former British administrative centre and military garrison; Sea Street, the Goldsmith’s quarters in the heart of Pettah; the Bazaar area, which is also a Hindu Temple; and the Dutch Church of Wolfendaal, which dates back to 1749. We’ll also visit the BMICH and see the replica of Avukana Buddha and Independence Square. Overnight Colombo

  • Accommodation 4 * Colombo Seven or similar, Colombo
  • MEALS Dinner included

After breakfast we will transfer to the village of Habarana where we can enjoy a catamaran ride on the Habarana lake. Later on we will visit the village itself, where we’ll stop for lunch. Our next stop is a local village garden where we can enjoy a Tuk-Tuk ride. We will finish our tour of Habarana with a Sri Lankan cooking demonstration and a ride on a local tractor trailer.

Later on we will transfer to Dambulla and visit Dambulla Cave Temple - the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has more than 80 documented caves in the surrounding area. Major attractions are spread over five caves, which contain statues and paintings. These paintings and statues are related to Gautama Buddha and his life. In the first cave, you’ll find a recumbent image of the Buddha - 47ft long and cut out of the rock! Overnight Dambulla

 

  • Accommodation 4 * Amaya Lake or similar, Dambulla
  • MEALS All meals included

After breakfast we will transfer to Sigirya and climb the famous Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This 5th Century “Fortress in the Sky” is perhaps the island’s single most fantastic wonder, and is known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that once stood at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defence, the huge rock rises to a sheer height of almost 500ft. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens. On one of the stairways, a secular painting - the only known ancient work of Sinhala - has survived in the form of frescoes of life-sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original colour.

The Sigiriya Rock Climb is strenuous but not difficult. There are 1200 steps to the top. The climb will take approx. 2 hours with all the stops on the way and depends on group fitness and the crowds at the time. When reaching Lion staircase which is a halfway to the top there is some sort of platform where you can rest and stay there if do not wish to proceed to the top. If you do not wish to climb Sigiriya you can also stay at the bottom and wait for the group.

In the evening we will proceed to Minneriya for our jeep safari at Minneriya National Park. This 8,889 hectare National Park is famous for its large population of elephants. Roaming the jungle in herds of 100 to 150, they can be seen in the catchment area of the lake.

Wild elephants, buffaloes, boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, sambhur, leopards, crocodiles, jackals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fishes and 78 varieties of butterflies are all recorded in the Minneriya National Park. Overnight Dambulla

  • Accommodation 4 * Amaya Lake or similar, Dambulla
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we will transfer to Kandy, stopping en route to visit the Spice Garden at Matale. Here we will see many spices, including cinnamon, cardamom and pepper creepers. After seeing the garden, you’ll also have the opportunity to buy some spices to take home if you wish. Next, we will proceed to the Batik Factory, where we'll see the traditional manufacture of beautiful Batik prints.

In the afternoon we’ll proceed to Kandy. Kandy is an example of Buddhism’s influence in Sri Lanka. Temples, shrines and monasteries are everywhere, keeping Buddhist traditions alive. We will visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, which houses a relic of the tooth of the Buddha himself. Ever since 4th Century B.C, when the Buddha’s tooth was brought to Sri Lanka and hidden from sacrilegious hands in an Orissan princess’ hair, the relic has grown in repute and holiness throughout Sri Lanka and the Buddhist world. It is now considered to be Sri Lanka’s most prized possession.

When evening comes, we’ll witness a cultural show featuring various Sri Lankan types of dance. Overnight Kandy

  • Accommodation 4 * Amaya Hills or similar, Kandy
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we will visit Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, which is home to over 5,000 species of trees and plants. The origins of the Botanic Gardens date as far back as 1371, when King Wickramabahu III ascended the throne and kept court at Peradeniya near the Mahaweli River. With 67 hectares of exquisite beauty and botanical treasurers, this is a haven not only for scientists but for nature-lovers too.

Afterwards we will transfer to Peradeniya railway station for a picturesque train journey to Nuwara Eliya. This scenic trip through the mountains and tea growing regions is simply superb. Sit back and soak up the breath-taking views!

After arriving at Nanu-Oya railway station, we will continue to Nuwara Eliya, stopping en-route to visit a tea plantation and tea factory. Tea was first planted in Sri Lanka in 1824 at the Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, when a few plants were brought from China. More were introduced from Assam in 1839, and in 1867 a Scottish planter named James Taylor planted tea seedlings throughout 8 hectares of forestland in the Loolcondura Estate. In 1873, Sri Lanka’s tea export industry began with a modest 10kg being shipped to London. In 1996, Sri Lanka was producing 258 million kilograms of tea!

In the evening we will begin our short sight-seeing tour of Nuwara Eliya – also known as the ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka. Set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains, valleys, waterfalls and tea plantations, the area is supposed to be one of the coldest places on the island - but is really just like an England spring day (although the temperature does drop at night). All around Nuwara Eliya we will see evidence of Britain’s influence; the houses are like country cottages and Queen Ann style mansions. Overnight Nuwara Eliya

 

  • Accommodation 3 * Jetwing St Andrews or similar, Nuwara Eliya
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we will transfer to Bentota for our beach stay. Bentota has one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka and is great for watersports and ayurveda treatments.

Overnight Bentota

  • Accommodation 4 * Avani Bentota or similar, Bentota
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

Today is free for you to spend how you wish. You can get out into local streets and return to chill with a refreshing drink by the sea or catch a train to Galle and the public bus back which is an experience itself! Galle is Unesco World Heritage Site and a delight to explore on foot. Here you can see an exotic old trading port blessed with imposing Dutch-colonial buildings, ancient mosques and churches, grand mansions and museums. If you wander its rambling lanes you'll pass stylish cafes, quirky boutiques and impeccably restored hotels owned by local and foreign artists, writers, photographers and designers.

Overnight Bentota

 

  • Accommodation 4 * Avani Bentota or similar, Bentota
  • MEALS Breakfast & Dinner included

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport for our flight back to the UK. Arriving London the same day.

  • Accommodation 4 * Avani Bentota or similar, Bentota
  • MEALS Breakfast included
TEMPERATURE

Average Daily Maximum: 30°C 

APPROX. FLIGHT TIME

10 hours and 30 minutes

TIME DIFFERENCE

GMT  +5 hours 30mins

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

What’s included:

  • Scheduled return flights from London to Colombo & transfers
  • Single room with private facilities
  • Welcome drink
  • Breakfast and dinner daily and lunch on day 3
  • Private transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking guide. (Vehicle/guide will not be available during the stay at beach hotel)
  • Jeep safari at Minneriya national park
  • All the entrance fees according to the tour itinerary:
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy
  • Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya
  • Catamaran Ride on Habarana Lake
  • Tuk-Tuk ride in Habarana
  • Cooking demonstration in Habarana
  • A ride on a local tractor trailer in Habarana
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Train Trip from Peradeniya to Nuwara Eliya
  • Solos Tour Leader
  • 2x mineral water bottles per person per day during the tour
  • Free mobile SIM card on arrival (passport details to be given for ownership transaction)
  • Special gift on the departure

 What’s extra:

  • Sri Lanka eVisa. Apply here
  • Lunch (included on day 3)
  • Drinks
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Insurance - see here
  • Tips to the guide and driver

Useful Information

Visa

You will need a visa to enter Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Department of Immigration & Emigration has announced that British nationals arriving in Sri Lanka before 31 January 2020 on a short visit of up to 30 days are exempt from paying visa fees.

You will need to get a visa to enter Sri Lanka. If you’re staying for less than 30 days, the Sri Lankan immigration authorities recommend that you get a visa online (ETA) from the official portal before you travel.

 

For the latest information and advice on visas, check with the Sri Lankan High Commission in the UK.

Passport validity
Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry to Sri Lanka.

Your specific passport and visa requirements, and other immigration requirements are your sole responsibility and you should confirm these with the relevant embassies and/or consulates of the countries in which you are planning to travel. 

Yellow fever certificate requirements
Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Transfer Time
The transfer time from Colombo Airport to your hotel in Colombo is approximately 50 minutes, depending on the traffic.

Currency

Sri Lankan rupee

You can exchange the money from the airport exchange counters. That is the most recommendable option.

Gratuities
We suggest a Group Collection to cover guides, transfer drivers, and hotel staff of £50.00 per person. Your Tour Leader will collect this on your behalf and distribute it accordingly, thus relieving you of the burden of who, when and how much to tip. The tipping of housekeeping will be left to your individual discretion (a small amount left in your room on departure should cover this and would be much appreciated). As is customary, ‘the hat’ will be passed around for the driver and guide on all optional excursions. For any meals that are not included in your itinerary, or taxi fares, your Tour Leader can advise of an appropriate % to add on.

Included Programme
A sightseeing programme is included in your touring package.

Dress Code
The emphasis is on casual clothing for throughout. Comfortable shoes or walking boots are recommended. Please bring some warm clothing for example a fleece or warm outer jacket for the evenings in Nuwara Eliya as the temperature in tea plantations is approx.10 degrees lower than in other parts of the country. Conservative dress is preferred for both men and women. No shorts or vest tops in restaurants. In the temples the dress code would be same for men and women, that is shoulders and legs covered, no hats, and shoes to be taken off.

Temperature
Average Daily Maximum:

30°C Jan 30°C Feb 31°C March
31°C April 30°C May 20°C Jun
29°C Jul 29°C Aug 29°C Sep
29°C Oct 29°C Nov 30°C Dec

Please note that the temperature in tea plantations is approx. 10 degrees lower than in other parts of the country.

Please note

  • A reasonable level of fitness/mobility is required as we include plenty of sightseeing/travelling, sometimes with early starts. We would not recommend this holiday for those with walking difficulties.
  • Certain parts of this trip will involve climbing steps to historical landmarks, therefore reasonable level of fitness is required
  • The order of the itinerary and events may be subject to change
  • The tour includes bumpy roads and sometimes a bit of mud

Ready to book?

VIEW DATES & PRICES

Depart Return Nights Age Group Price From COMMENTS  
10 Oct 2020 20 Oct 2020 10 All Ages £ 2115 BOOK

What’s included:

  • Scheduled return flights from London to Colombo & transfers
  • Single room with private facilities
  • Welcome drink
  • Breakfast and dinner daily and lunch on day 3
  • Private transportation in an air-conditioned vehicle with English speaking guide. (Vehicle/guide will not be available during the stay at beach hotel)
  • Jeep safari at Minneriya national park
  • All the entrance fees according to the tour itinerary:
  • Sigiriya Rock Fortress
  • Minneriya National Park
  • Temple of Tooth Relic, Kandy
  • Royal Botanical Garden, Peradeniya
  • Catamaran Ride on Habarana Lake
  • Tuk-Tuk ride in Habarana
  • Cooking demonstration in Habarana
  • A ride on a local tractor trailer in Habarana
  • Dambulla Cave Temple
  • Train Trip from Peradeniya to Nuwara Eliya
  • Solos Tour Leader
  • 2x mineral water bottles per person per day during the tour
  • Free mobile SIM card on arrival (passport details to be given for ownership transaction)
  • Special gift on the departure

 What’s extra:

  • Sri Lanka eVisa. Apply here
  • Lunch (included on day 3)
  • Drinks
  • Any expenses of a personal nature
  • Insurance - see here
  • Tips to the guide and driver

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