SRI LANKA DISCOVERY - GROUP TOUR
Explore the cultural and natural highlights of the Emerald Isle, including the colonial capital, ancient Buddhist cities of the Cultural Triangle, spectacular Sigiriya Rock, the cave art of Dambulla, the tea-growing highlands and the wilds of Yala National Park. Discover the historic Galle Fort, wander quiet villages and meet the locals, enjoy tropical beaches and savour delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.
DAYS 1-2: COLOMBO
Arrive in Colombo and transfer to your hotel. Sri Lanka's capital city is filled with colonial heritage, and a sightseeing tour unveils the city's many charms, including a guided walk through the colonial Fort area and the colour and atmosphere of Pettah, Colombo's vibrant market area and one of Asia's classic street markets before free time for further exploration.
DAYS 3-4: ANURADHAPURA
As an island, fishing is a major source of food in Sri Lanka. At Negombo, stop at the country's second largest fish market to see the locals at work selling and dryingseafood fresh from the sea before a stop to learn about the production of “toddy” a local alcoholic drink (seasonal but usually possible). On arrival in Anuradhapura enjoy some free time. Rise early for an exploration of World Heritage listed Anuradhapura to discover the well-preserved ruins of Sri Lanka's ancient civilisation. See the many religious monuments at Mihintale, a nearby mountain peak known as the Mahindas' Mountain and the place where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka. In the evening, visit one of the most popular Buddhist sites at Anuradhapura, where locals come to worship and make merit according to ancient tradition.
HOTEL:Palm Garden Village
DAYS 5-6: SIGIRIYA & DAMBULLA
Leave for Habarana, stopping at a rural area for a deeper understanding of village life in Sri Lanka, where famers work the land according to the changing seasons. You will also have a chance to sample some delicious village cuisine, before continuing on to ancient Polonnaruwa and its historic attractions. Visit one of Asia's most spectacular cultural sites, the Sigiriya Rock fortress. Only the fit and adventurous will want to climb the rock, but all can enjoy the superb ruins and fine views around the base. Enjoy a free afternoon to relax, or take a trip to explore the nearby Ritigala Monastery with inscriptions dating back to the 1st century BC.
HOTEL:Sigiriya Village Hotel
DAYS 7-9: KANDY & NUWARA ELIYA
Visit the marvellous gallery of art in the Dambulla Rock cave temples, and a fascinating spice garden, and then continue on to Kandy for an evening at leisure. Visit the Temple of the Tooth, a Buddhist temple in the Royal Palace complex that houses the Relic of the Tooth of Buddha. After free time to enjoy your magnificent surroundings, a city tour reveals this charming highland hub, with a beautiful lake and colourful streets. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore the city independently, or continue with your guide to the magnificent Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. Take an historic train through spectacular highland scenery to reach the quaint, colonial tea centre of NuwaraEliya, in the heart of Sri Lanka's picturesque tea country, and take a guided walk through the heart of this old British-colonial town.
HOTELS:Hotel Suisse, Grand Hotel
DAYS 10-12: YALA & TANGALLE
Leave for an exciting drive stopping at Ella, a quiet town nestled in a valley. Enjoy an easy hike to Little Adam's Peak for spectacular hill landscapes before continuing our descent to Tissa. In Yala National Park, keep your eyes peeled during early morning and afternoon game drives, where elephants are commonly sighted and sightings of the park's famous Leopards are frequent. Travel to the beachside town of Tangalle. Either tonight or tomorrow, visit a turtle hatchery whereendangered turtles nest on the beach.
HOTELS:Priyankara Hotel, Ranna 212
DAYS 13-15: GALLE & HIKKADUWA
Visit the Mulkirigala Rock Monastery and see the famous stilt fishermen on your way to Galle. Discover the remarkable history of the Galle Fort at this World Heritage site with its stunning seaside setting. Experience the fort's antique architecture and charming streetscapes on our heritage walk through Galle, with free time to explore the town on your own. Enjoy an optional local breakfast at a local 'rotty' shop before an interactive Sri Lankan cooking demonstration to learn to prepare a typical Sri Lankan meal. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travellers. On your last day, enjoy free time before your departure transfer.
From per person: £2105 per person sharing (price subject to change & availability).
14 nights hotel accommodation
2 lunches and 3 dinners
2 jeep safaris
transport in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding jeep safaris)
small group touring
Western tour leader based on a minimum of 7 travellers
local English-speaking guides
Excludes: International flights - on request (from £550 pp upwards)