Sri Lanka – Big hitters tour
14 days from £1,208* per person Saving you £225 per person*
This itinerary isn’t set in stone. Pick, mix, swap however you like – your trip will be totally tailor made for you.
Day 1 Airport – Negombo
Your guide will welcome you at Bandaranaike International airport and accompany you to your hotel in Negombo. The rest of your day will be free for you to relax at the hotel after your flight.
Day 2 Negombo – Sigiriya
Your hotel breakfast will set you up for the trip from Negombo to Sigiriya.
In the afternoon, visit the Sigiriya rock fortress, built in the 5th century during the reign of King Kasyapa. Sigiriya is commonly called the ‘Fortress in the Sky’ and is one of Sri Lanka’s most impressive sights. It’s also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the palace on the summit of the 600-foot rock.
Day 3 Sigiriya – Anuradhapura – Sigiriya
Time to visit the ancient city of Anuradhapura, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See the city’s treasured brick dagobas and the sacred Bo Tree, said to have been grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha gained Enlightenment. It was planted 2,250 years ago and is the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world.
Day 4 Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriywa
After breakfast at the hotel, you’ll be taken to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. This royal capital offers well-preserved 12 th – century ruins and plenty of impressive stone work that takes you back in time – some of the monuments are nearly 1000 years old. Your guide will explain how the king’s court was laid out here.
On the way back to your hotel you’ll stop for a safari at Minneriya National Park, known for its large population of elephants roaming through the jungle in herds of 100 to 150. The wildlife doesn’t stop there – look out for buffaloes, boar, spotted deer, sloth bears, sambhur, leopards, crocodiles and jackals. Want more? There are also nine species of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of bird, 26 varieties of fish and 78 varieties of butterfly…
Day 5 Sigiriya – Kandy
Today you’re heading towards Kandy, the Hill Capital city of Sri Lanka. Stop to take in the atmospheric Dambulla cave temples, another World Heritage Site. It’s the largest cave monastery in the country with a history going back to the 1st century BC.
In the evening, you’ll see a show introducing you to the various musical and dancing styles of Sri Lanka.
Day 6 Kandy
A day of sightseeing in Kandy, exploring the Royal Palace, the Temple of the Tooth and the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. These boast more than 4,000 species of trees, plants and creepers. Don’t miss the Spice Garden, Orchid House and the five elegant Palm Avenues.
Day 7 & 8 Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
Time to take a scenic train journey, chugging slowly up to Sri Lanka’s tea country. You’ll go to Peradeniya railway station and board the train. Here, the journey is as important as the destination – time to sit back and take in the stunning scenery as you wind along the track.
You’ll arrive at Nuwara Eliya, the favourite hill station of the British, who sought to recreate a typical English village here. Note the old brick post office, the country house-style hill club and the 18-hole golf course, then turn to take in the astonishing views of valleys, meadows, mountains and greenery surrounding Lake Gregory.
Day 9 Nuwara Eliya – Yala
After breakfast, you’ll leave for your Yala hotel. In the afternoon you’ll be accompanied to Yala National Park for a leopard-spotting safari. The male leopards there are pretty confident and can often be seen walking the tracks during the day. Some come quite close to the jeeps, so have your camera ready.
Day 10 Yala
Back to Yala National Park for the day to take in more wildlife. As well as leopards, you can see elephants, spotted deer, sambar deer, wild boar, wild buffaloes, sloth bears and jackals, as well as a wonderful array of birdlife.
Day 11 Yala – Galle
Your guide will take you to the colonial city of Galle. Galle was a key harbour city for centuries, attracting Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial powers. Centuries later, the Galle Fort still stands, one of the few World Heritage Sites in which a bustling community continues to live.
Day 12 & 13 Galle – Wadduwa
Today you continue to your hotel in Wadduwa to spend a couple of days enjoying the beach setting. Wadduwa is a working fishing village and nothing beats a stroll down to the boats to watch the fishermen bring in the day’s catch. It’s the perfect end to your tour of Sri Lanka.
Day 14 Goodbye Sri Lanka (until next time)
Time to head back to the airport to catch your flight home.
*Prices are based on private arrangements (not lower priced escorted tours with set dates). Quality three star accommodation is quoted here (unless mentioned otherwise), with breakfast included and other meals where mentioned. Mostly private transfers with an English speaking driver/guide and all activities mentioned, with top guides, are included. Domestic flights and transport all included from Day 1 to end point. Can be tailored to your needs, so prices could be lower for budget arrangements or higher for luxury.
International flight is not included