Prices start from $2,370 AUD per person per twin share. Contact India Unbound for further details or trip inquiries.
Its rolling hills carpeted by tea plantations and its coasts lapped by the clear warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka reveals its beauty on this quintessential journey across this magnificent tropical island.
In this 11-day Quintessential Sri Lanka journey you will visit some of its most iconic sights and cities, experience its scenic beauty and search for the country’s famous wildlife at its national parks.
Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, also known as Lion Rock, and discover the ancient capital of Polonnaruwa, one of the country’s key locations in its cultural heritage. Enjoy a scenic rail journey to the former British hill station of Nuwara Eliya before heading to Yala National Park for dawn and dusk jeep safaris. This tour of Sri Lanka also includes visits to the World Heritage-listed Dambulla Rock Cave Temple complex as well as the city of Kandy and its world-renowned Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. You will have time to relax and explore the pleasant and charming fortified city of Galle Fort and sightsee in Colombo. This tour of Sri Lanka will give you a quintessential experience of all that this country has to offer.
Day 1 Colombo
You will be met upon arrival at Colombo’s international airport and transferred to your hotel in Negombo, a short drive away.
Day 2 Sigiriya
Drive to Sigiriya and check into your hotel. Late in the afternoon, visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, also known as Lion Rock. Set in green scrub jungle, this massive rock was a retreat for Buddhist monks in ancient times. Today it is a popular tourist attractant and one of Sri Lanka’s best know sights, with an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and beautiful frescoes painted on the rock walls. Take your time to explore this UNSECO World Heritage site and climb the about 1,000 steps up and down this impressive rock.
Day 3 Sigiriya
This morning drive to Polonnaruwa – once the medieval capital of Sri Lanka and one of the most beautiful centres in the country’s cultural heritage. Take a city tour this morning, including a visit to the ancient ruins and the Gal Vihara complex, where three gigantic Buddha statues are carved out of a single rock. Lunch today is your chance to sample traditional Sri Lankan dishes hosted by a local family at Priyamali Gemara. Later, return to Sigiriya and the afternoon is at leisure.
Day 4 Kandy
Depart today for Kandy, stopping en route to visit Dambulla Rock Cave temples and a spice garden at Matale. Thought to date back to the 1st century BC, Dambulla is also a UNSECO World Heritage site and the largest and best-preserved cave temple complex in the country. At Matale, a spice garden visit will reveal to you all the flavours that contribute to Sri Lanka’s delicious curries. Continue onto Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. Kandy is the charming, easy-going capital of the hill country with its lovely centrepiece that is Kandy Lake.
Day 5 Kandy
Begin the day with a visit to the revered Buddhist `Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic’, which houses the relic of the tooth of Buddha. This precious relic attracts pilgrims bearing lotus blossoms and frangipani each day. Later, spend time at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Peradeniya which houses over 300 species of orchids, an avenue of Royal Palms and a giant Javan fig tree.
Day 6 Nuwara Eliya
Today, travel to Nuwara Eliya on a scenic four-hour rail journey, winding through the picturesque hills and countryside, taking in the natural beauty of this country from the window of your comfortable train. Pass tea plantations, small villages and waving children as your train makes its journey. Nuwara Eliya is known as `Little England’ due to its picturesque landscape and cool climate. It was founded as a hill station retreat for British civil servants seeking to escape from the heat of the plains. Take a stroll around the town to see the many buildings that retain features from its colonial past. In the evening, drive around Lake Gregory located in the heart of the tea country.
Day 7 Yala
After breakfast, continue by vehicle to Yala National Park – the second-largest national park In Sri Lanka. In the afternoon embark on a jeep safari. This is Sri Lanka’s most visited wildlife reserve and home to elephant, wild boar, wild buffalo, crocodiles, sloth bears, monkeys and the elusive leopard.
Day 8 Galle
Wake early for a surprise jeep safari in the national park, before continuing onto Galle. Founded by the Portuguese in the 16th Century, Galle today is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in south Asia. Afternoon at leisure in Galle.
Day 9 Galle
Today you have a full day to discover Galle on your own. This charming city is a delightful place to explore with its narrow, cobbled streets, laid back cafes, boutique hotels, and artisan workshops. Spend some time picking up souvenirs, shopping for brightly coloured textiles, or indulge at one of the spas that can now be found in the city. Make sure you also see the city’s famous lighthouse and take a stroll along the rampart walls, particularly pleasant at sunset as the sun fades across the ocean.
Day 10 Colombo
Depart this morning for Colombo – the largest city and commercial capital of Sri Lanka. From the 1500s this port was used by traders from the Far East, China, India and Persia to name a few and was ruled by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. Today it is a metropolis of over two million people where different ethnic groups, religions and cultures mingle. The afternoon is at your leisure.
Day 11 Colombo
Enjoy a morning of sightseeing in Colombo, before transferring to the airport for your return international flight home.
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