Covering all the 'musts', from Colombo's city sights to the Lion Rock, Temple of the Tooth and Udawalawe National Park, this trip also reveals many Sri Lankan surprises.You'll enjoy Insider moments like�� passing hill stations and plantations on a train journey deep into Sri Lanka's tea country, before plucking fresh tea leaves and learning the art of 'tasting' at a Ceylon Tea factory. And feeling the warm hit of local spices as you enjoy lunch with a local family in Katugastota.
Tour Operator: Trafalgar Tours
- 10 buffet breakfasts.
- 5 dinners.
- 4 lunches (including Be My Guest).
Please note: while prices are accurate at time of loading they are subject to change due to currency fluctuations and currency surcharges may apply.Please check price at time of booking
Day 1 - Arrive Colombo (2 Nights)
Welcome to Sri Lanka. Upon arrival at Colombo Airport transfer to your hotel. This evening join your Travel Director and fellow guests for a Welcome Reception with drinks and local appetisers. Welcome Reception
Day 2 - Colombo Sightseeing
Begin your City Tour this morning at Kelaniya Raja Maha Viharaya; one of the most sacred Buddhist worshipping places in Sri Lanka. Marvel at its eastern architecture, remarkable frescoes and learn of the many legends that surround this religious site. In the past Kelaniya itself was a large city and the Kelani Raja Maha Viharaya was one of the largest and one of the most beautiful temples on the island. See the Old Parliament House, the Town Hall and Independence Square before making a stop at the oldest Hindu Kovil in Colombo, Sri Kailawasanthan Swami Devasthanam. This afternoon enjoy some free time to relax, explore further or take part in an Optional Experience. Later see a different and more charming side of Colombo as you drive around the city by 'tuk tuk'. Make a stop to sample some local snacks and experience the flavours and spices of Ceylon, a Cultural Insight, before returning to your hotel.Buffet Breakfast
Day 3 - Colombo – Sigiriya (2 Nights)
This morning get a deeper insight into a rather simpler lifestyle as you leave the city behind and head for the village of Horakelle. Take a walk around a tranquil garden surrounded by a coconut plantation, spices and fruit trees. A bit later meet a local villager and assist in preparing lunch, a Cultural Insight. Then continue on to your next destination the Cultural Triangle whose enchanting sites date back to the 4th century B.C. En route discover the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, part of a complex that lies atop a massive hill on the edge of the town and is one of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the country. It is renowned for its unique sculptures and the largest mural paintings. Later check into your hotel.Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4 - Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa Sightseeing
This morning make an early start to avoid the heat of the day and visit the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sigiriya, an ancient rock fortress from the 5th Century which dominates the jungle from all sides. Choose to climb to the top of 'Lion Rock' or just go up halfway to the 'Lions Paw'. Alternatively for anyone not feeling energetic take a stroll around the gardens at the base and admire the scenery. A bit later enjoy breakfast before continuing to Polonnaruwa which was once the site of Sri Lanka's second medieval capital. The landscape is studded with sites of well-preserved archaeological importance. Return to your hotel for a relaxing evening.Buffet Breakfast
Day 5 - Sigiriya – Kandy (2 Nights)
This morning your choice of activities gives you two Cultural Insight experiences in the village of Habarana. Choose between taking part in a traditional folklore dance lesson with a Local Specialist or visit a forest hermitage to see the dwelling of a Buddhist monk and learn about the art of meditation. Continue your journey on to Kandy and on arrival check in to your centrally located hotel. Enjoy some free time to relax or go out and explore the city with a walk around the lake or a visit to a local market. This evening visit the Temple of the Tooth where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined. At dusk observe a religious service (pooja) accompanied by traditional music and drumming.Buffet Breakfast
Day 6 - Kandy
This morning depart the hotel by tuk-tuk and travel to the village of Katugastota to meet a Local Specialist, a senior from the village who will demonstrate how to play a beat or two on the 'Beraya' (a traditional drum). Ancient sources reveal that these drums were used for special occasions and have become an integral part of life in Buddhist Temples and are also used in processions, especially in Kandy. Next take a walk through the village to the home of a local family for a special Be My Guest lunch. The family lives in a small traditional house built in the late 1950's with a Kandyan style garden which has many spice trees planted for their own personal use. The staple food of Sri Lanka is rice and this is eaten for lunch with a combination of spicy curries served with a hot coconut sambol locally known as "Pol Sambolaya" or green leaves sambol known as "Malluma". Engage in conversation with the family to learn all about local life in the village; they have some great stories to tell! Later return to Kandy for a free afternoon and evening.Buffet Breakfast, Be My Guest Dining
Day 7 - Kandy – Gampola - Nuwara Eliya
This morning travel by train through Sri Lanka's tea country to Gampola, a fabulous way to see the hill villages and to observe the daily lives of the local people. See how Ceylon tea is made and gain an insight into becoming a discerning tea taster on a Tea Factory tour, a Cultural Insight. Learn the art of picking the tender tea shoots which is generally referred to as 'plucking'. Take part in a tea plucking competition; it is not as easy as it looks but is great fun! For lunch enjoy a Regional Meal of 'lamprais', rice boiled in stock accompanied by curry and baked in a banana leaf in the oven. Continue to Nuwara Eliya, dubbed the 'Little England of Sri Lanka' and located in the misty hills of the island. The colonial atmosphere remains preserved and it resembles a British countryside complete with rose gardens, hedges and red-roofed bungalows.Buffet Breakfast, Regional Meal, Dinner
Day 8 - Nuwara Eliya – Udawalawe
This morning travel to Hakgala to take part in a unique reforestation programme by assisting with the planting of trees to help save the 'Loris', one of Sri Lanka's mystical creatures that only comes out at night. It is a slender animal with slow and precise movements that spends most of its life in trees. This will be followed by a short session conducted by a Local Specialist to learn more about this beautiful yet rather exceptional creature and how it is threatened by the destruction of its habitat and the importance of protecting it. From here continue to Udawalawe National Park, home to scenic landscapes and rare wildlife. Tour the park by jeep and observe the animals in their natural habitat. Dinner this evening will be at the hotel.Buffet Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Udawalawe – Galle
This morning visit the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home. Run by the Born Free Foundation it is a halfway house that cares for wounded adult elephants and orphaned baby elephants. Continue to another UNESCO World Heritage site, Galle. Old Galle is a unique example of a preserved 17th century colonial fortress. This afternoon take part in a walking tour of Galle Fort with its bustling community within the great ramparts, massive bastions, pepper pot towers and narrow streets that display its Dutch heritage. Peep through frangipani filled courtyards at houses, galleries and shops selling antiques, spices, pictures and hand-woven sarongs. Free time this evening to relax or explore further.Buffet Breakfast
Day 10 - Galle – Colombo
This morning relax at the hotel, stroll around the town and do some last minute shopping or take part in an Optional Experience. Later transfer back to Colombo and this evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your Travel Director and fellow guests.Buffet Breakfast, Farewell Dinner
Day 11 - Depart Colombo
Transfer to Colombo Airport for your onward flight. Buffet Breakfast