An amazing 17-day journey in Sri Lanka, bursting with cultural beauty, fascinating history, wonderful sacred sites and stunning, diverse landscapes. Commencing from Negombo on 13th September 2019, explore the former capital cities and see amazing ancient monuments. Experience the wonderful historic sights of Jaffna. Take a guided tour of Kandy, the cultural capital, and experience the atmospheric old-world charm of Galle. Marvel at the ancient cave paintings at Sigiriya Rock and the incredible stone carvings in Dambulla cave temples. Savour the lush tea plantations and waterfalls in the breathtaking mountain region. Learn about the health benefits of spices as you tour a spice plantation and enjoy a mouthwatering lunch. Enjoy the beautiful beach of Trinomalee, the interesting city of Colombo and other great sights. Along the way there are great shopping opportunities and enticing cuisine for you enjoy.
This wonderful journey will enrich and delight you.
Arrive in Colombo and transfer to our lovely beach-side hotel. In the late afternoon, the group will meet for an official welcome. Overnight Negombo.
After breakfast, visit fishing boats and a few other local sights. Drive to the magical ancient city of Anuradhapura, the former capital of Sri Lanka. En route we have a safari through Wilpattu National park. Overnight Anuradhapura.
There’s a bird watching walk for the early risers. We then go on a sightseeing tour of the fascinating Buddhist stupas and ruins. Enjoy some free time before a late afternoon tour takes you to the beautiful hill-top location of Mihintale, famous as the place where Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka. Overnight Anuradhapura.
This morning, we head to Mannar Island with a lovely drive over the causeway. After lunch we explore the Island’s sights including the ruins of a large seaside fort, beautifully carved tombstones in the old church, barracks and wild horses. Overnight Mannar.
Drive to Jaffna, the most ‘untouristed’ city in Sri Lanka and in the afternoon, we have a tour of the town. The tour includes a walk through the busy Jaffna Bazaar, Jaffna Fort and archeological sites such as Mantri House, Sangili Thoppu and the Archeological Museum. Overnight Jaffna.
This morning we drive to Point Pedro which is the Island’ s most northern point, en route visiting the Bottomless well. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon before we visit NallurKandswamy Temple to attend the early evening Puja ceremony. Overnight Jaffna
Enjoy the lovely scenery and a few sights as we drive to Trincomalee. The afternoon is free to swim in the ocean, laze by the pool, enjoy a massage or stroll. Overnight Trincomalee.
After breakfast we take in the local sights of this fascinating town. Trincomalee has a wonderful natural harbor and an amazing history that goes way back in time. Colonial control changed hands here seven times by the time the British took charge in 1795. The afternoon is free to enjoy the beach (perhaps try snorkeling), relax, explore or have a massage. Another option is to take a whale and dolphin-watching boat trip. Overnight Trincomalee
Today we visit the outstanding ancient monuments of Polonnaruwa, the second former capital of the country, for a guided tour. After lunch we have a short drive to Habarana. There is some free time in the afternoon to relax or have a swim in the resort’s garden pool. There is also an option in the late afternoon to visit a nearby national park for elephant sighting. Overnight Habarana.
An early visit to Sigiriya Rock, one of the most amazing sights in Sri Lanka makes a great start to the morning. This is followed by a visit to the colossal Buddha statue at Aukana. There is some free time in the afternoon to relax with an ayurvedic massage or have a swim in the resort’s garden pool. There may also be an option to go to a local family’s plantation for dinner. Overnight Habarana
A morning drive to Kandy with a visit to the incredible Dambulla cave temples, packed with fabulous Buddhist art, makes this an extra special day. There is also a guided tour and lunch at a spice plantation as well as an early evening visit to the Temple of the Tooth, the most-visited sacred sight in Sri Lanka. Overnight Kandy.
A walk around Kandy’s famous Botanical gardens is on the agenda for the morning followed by a short walking tour of the town. We then have options including a visit to a gem factory, free time to wander the town, enjoy a massage or just relax. In the late afternoon, witness a cultural dance and fire walk. Overnight Kandy.
Go on a scenic mountain drive through beautiful tea plantations to Nuwara Eliya. On the way, we visit a tea factory to see how Sri Lanka’s wonderful tea is made. A tour of the town is planned for the late afternoon. Overnight Nuwara Eliya.
This morning there is an optional trek at Horton Plains National Park to see the World’s End cliff and Bakers Falls. After lunch, we have a scenic train trip to the lovely mountain town of Ella. Overnight Ella
This morning we visit the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home before continuing on to Galle. Enjoy a late afternoon walking tour of the charming historic fort area. Galle Fort, on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was first built in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century. Overnight Galle
Drive to Colombo, en route visiting a moonstone mine. Go on a city tour and enjoy free time for shopping or exploring before a final group dinner. Overnight Colombo
There is free time today before transferring to the airport for flights home.
Your 17-day experience includes air-conditioned travel, fabulous accommodation, train ride, all tours, entrance fees, local guides, guide tips, some meals and bottled water.
Tour Price $4290 per person twin share.
(Single supplement $990)
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on altered circumstances.
Mela I found the tour lived up to my expectations and some. The Srilankan history is complex but the great thing is there were many truly exceptional antiquities. I found them more powerful than the Cambodian Angkor Wat.
The juxtaposition of the old and the modern. The beautiful hotels – renovated and newly built.
It was a fantastic tour with a wonderful guide whose cultural knowledge was staggering. He looked after individual members needs showing a thoughtful and playful side.
Well done and make sure you continue offering this Srilankan tour.
Barbara, South Yarra, Melbourne
A wonderful trip exploring the complex history, culture and food of this wonderful country. I especially enjoyed visiting the less touristy regions in the north and north-east of the country to see how the country has recovered, and is still rebuilding from the tsunami and civil war. Our guide, Bala, was outstanding. His knowledge, his patience and the care he showed made this trip the great experience it was. Thanks so much for organising this tour, Mela.
Joan, Healesville, Melbourne