As soon as you arrive, your senses are overwhelmed by Sri Lanka! The warm tropical air, the colourful wild flowers and the jungle, the striking colours of the saris adorning every woman, the variety of exotic fruits and spices, the beauty of the countryside, the mystique of countless temples and orange-clad Buddhist monks and wild elephants – this is a varied place indeed!
Our tour takes you to all the major sites of historical and cultural interest, visiting two outstanding UNESCO World Heritage sites and finishing with two days’ relaxation in one of the country’s finest beach resorts. Two nights are spent in Sri Lanka’s fascinating ‘Cultural Triangle’, where we visit one of the best-preserved ancient sites on the Indian subcontinent. Sigiriya Rock, an impregnable 5th century palace and fortress clinging to the top of an immense granite monolith soaring up 600 feet is Sri Lanka’s most remarkable sight, with amazing views of the jungle-covered plain below. The cave temples of Dambulla, another World Heritage site, highlight Sri Lanka’s extraordinary artistic heritage. Their entire walls and ceilings are completely covered by sumptuously painted, perfectly preserved frescoes and shrines, whilst hundreds of gold-coloured statues of all shapes and sizes positively glow in the darkness - truly amazing!
Kandy, formerly isolated by dense jungle, was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is today custodian of Sinhalese culture. Here we visit the Royal Botanical Gardens which also contain, in a typical colonial house, the wartime HQ of Lord Louis Mountbatten and Far Eastern Command, as well as one of Buddhism’s holiest shrines, the Temple of the Tooth.
Sri Lanka’s hill-country is remarkably beautiful. The dense jungle of the lowlands gives way to more open countryside, with charming small villages, extensive lakes and pine-covered hillsides, with a slightly cooler and less humid climate. It was here during the 19th century that the vast tea estates were created by the British. We visit one of the finest such establishments before staying in the hill-station of Nuwara Eliya, with its colonial-era racecourse, bowling green, half-timbered houses and churches. We continue with a safari in Yala, the country's best National Park, known for its herds of wild Asian elephants and leopards.
We end our tour of this remarkable country with three nights' relaxation on one of the best beaches on the west coast before cathing our direct flight back to the UK.
- A thirteen day tour taking you deep into the past to find old Ceylon, with its sacred caves, ancient temples and lost cities
- Return direct scheduled flights from London Heathrow
- Stay in charming handpicked three-star hotels.
- Spend three nights relaxing on one of Sri Lanka’s idyllic tropical beaches
- Experience superb scenery, paddy fields, rubber and spice plantations, tea estates, endless coconut groves and exotic wildlife
- Visit Kandy, Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial capital and see the Temple of the Tooth – one of Buddhism’s holiest shrines
- See the stunning Royal Botanical Gardens, created over 150 years ago
- Guided tour of the 5th century Royal Palace and Citadel at Sigiriya Rock
- Visit to the Buddhist Monastery of Dambulla and its incredible Cave Temples
- Stay in the colonial hill-station of Nuwara Eliya
- Visit the Elephant Transit Home, where elephant orphans are looked after, before being re-introduced to the wild
- Take a safari in Yala National Park, famed for its leopards and elephant herds
- Visit to a working tea Estate
- Daily breakfast and all dinners included
- Escorted by our experienced tour manager
- Scheduled flights to Colombo • Eleven nights’ half-board basis at three and four-star hotels • All transfers • Guided visits to Pinnawela elephant orphanage, Sigiriya Rock, Dambulla cave temples • Kandy city tour and Botanical Gardens • Kandyan dancing • Visit to a tea estate and spice garden • Jeep safari in Yala National Park • Galle city tour • Porterage of one item of luggage per person • Services of a Riviera Tour Manager
- Health Matters
- Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate innoculations required for Sri Lanka at least a month before departure.
- Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we enjoy several walking tours around a number of historical sites where paths are uneven and uphill. Therefore this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility.
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