10 nights. January 2021 - November 2022. From £1919.00.
Sacred sites & stunning scenery
Discover one of the world’s most enthralling island paradises on a tour that combines enchanting landscapes, a safari and an ocean-side stay. Begin your tour in the colourful Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, then head to Dambulla’s Golden Temple and ancient Polonnaruwa. See the ancient fortress of Sigiriya (Lion Rock) towering above the jungle, and enjoy a journey into Sri Lanka's verdant Hill Country. Enjoy an unforgettable train ride to the nation's tea capital, Nuwara Eliya, and a safari in Yala National Park, before a visit to colourful Galle and a stay in an Indian Ocean beach resort complete your wonderful holiday.
What's Included10 nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation in Katunayake (1 night), Dambulla (2), Kandy (1), Nuwara Eliya (1), Yala (2) and Beruwela (3)
Return flights to Colombo
Train travel to Nuwara Eliya
Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager
Holiday HighlightsWatching the sun set over the Indian Ocean
Enjoy elephant feeding time at Udawalawe Transit Home
Dambulla's stunning Royal Rock Temple
Climb up to the fortress atop Lion Rock
UNESCO-listed Polonnaruwa, Sri Lanka's 10th-century capital
A visit to a spice garden and tea plantation
Explore colourful Colombo, and enjoy lunch at the Cricket Club Café
Time to enjoy lakeside Kandy and a visit to the Temple of the Tooth
The unforgettable train ride to Nuwara Eliya - "little England" and Sri Lanka's tea capital
A relaxed safari in Yala National Park - home to elephants, buffaloes, leopards, bears, deer and crocodiles
Unwinding at the Indian Ocean resort town Beruwela
PLEASE NOTE: Price is per person and based on two people sharing a twin/double room. Single room supplements and upgrades are not included.
Day 1Your holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Colombo.
Day 2Meet your tour manager on your arrival, and then transfer to your overnight hotel. This evening, see your first stunning Sri Lankan sunset.
Day 3After breakfast, you'll journey east across the central plains. In the afternoon you’ll arrive at the World Heritage site of Dambulla, where the Royal Rock Temple is one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights. A vast complex of caves filled with carved and painted images sits above the town, and provides panoramic views over the surrounding countryside. After your visit, you'll continue into Dambulla to your next hotel.
Day 4A memorable day begins with a morning trip to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the UNESCO-listed former Sri Lankan capital. Explore the Royal Palace complex, the ancient ruins of the Quadrangle, and its Hindu and Buddhist shrines. Spend the afternoon at the amazing rock fortress of Sigiriya, an ancient Royal retreat boasting beautiful moated gardens, painted frescoes and the archaeological treasures of Lion Rock, which towers some 180 metres above the jungle plains and is visible for miles. The energetic can climb up to see the frescoes and the mirror wall (which once shone with a coating of beeswax polish), while others will be content to keep their feet on the ground and explore the beautiful gardens and fascinating museum.
Day 5Travel south into Hill Country, for a visit to the Isiwara Spice Garden where the secrets of Sri Lanka’s typical flavours will be revealed. Enjoy a cooking demonstration, and learn aearn about ancient healing traditions at an Ayurvedic centre. This afternoon you’ll arrive in the gorgeous city of Kandy, which is stunningly setting amid verdant hills. One here you'll take an exhilarating tuk tuk ride through the bustling streets and along the shores of Kandy Lake to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (which is said to house one of Buddha's incisors). Later this evening, enjoy a cultural show of traditional dance and drumming.
Day 6On one of the most memorable days of your holiday, transfer to the train station for a scenic journey through the Hill Country. Pass tea plantations, tumbling streams and plunging waterfalls as you head to the beautiful hill station of Nuwara Eliya, a former colonial retreat that retains its English heritage. Take in its relaxed atmosphere with a park or lakeside stroll.
Day 7Learn about the growing and picking processes as you explore a tea plantation, and then head to the train station for the beautiful journey to the idyllic hill village of Ella. Stroll along the disused railway track to Rawana Falls, or just take in the views. This afternoon you'll continue to Yala National Park, home to elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears and – most famously – leopards.
Day 8This morning's included safari will be a three-hour trip into the park's protected scrubland and forest, in the company of a driver-guide, and a quest to see big cats and other wildlife in their natural habitat. You'll also have the option to join a further, late-afternoon jeep safari.
Day 9Today you'll see the elephants of the Udawalawe Transit Home, where orphans are prepared for release back to the wild, at feeding time, then journey to the gloriously colourful, exotic coastal town of Galle. The ancient fort walls of this Dutch colonial gem protected its historic old town from the worst of 2004's tragic tsunami, and today it has returned to its vibrant, bustling best. Take a tuk-tuk ride through the fascinating streets within the walls, or enjoy stroll around the battlements themselves. Later this afternoon, we'll drive north along the sun-kissed shores of the ocean to the beautiful beach resort of Beruwela, where you'll spend your last three nights.
Days 10 and 11Rest and relax after your tour, making the most of the hotel, the beach and your surroundings. During your time here, there'll also be the opportunity to explore Sri Lanka's bustling capital, Colombo, its restored Fort area and the ancient street markets of Pettah, and to enjoy an included lunch at the Cricket Club Cafe, surrounded by cricket memorabilia dating back to the 1940s.
Day 12Bid farewell to Beruwela, today, and transfer to the airport to catch your flight home. You'll arrive back in the UK this evening, at the end of a wonderful Sri Lankan adventure. Back to top
Small group toursGroup sizes on each departure on this tour are restricted to a maximum of 24 people. The usual group size is between 16 and 20. As a result you'll be able to travel in smaller vehicles, enjoy experiences and encounters (and in some cases even stay in wonderful little places) that are denied to larger groups.
Passports and visasBritish citizens require machine readable passports when travelling overseas. A visa is also required for entry to Sri Lanka. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. Your passport must contain one blank page and be valid for six months beyond the entry date to Sri Lanka. The current visa charge is £25 for British Citizens.
Foreign Office Travel AdviceVisit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
Hotel transfer timesThe transfer time from the airport to your first hotel is approximately one hour.
On your flightAll outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.
Luggage allowanceYou are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
Special requirementsIf you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Disabled accessThe majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made. In many developing countries access is sometimes not as easy as at home. Should you have walking difficulties, getting around monuments and attractions may be harder and, in some cases, impossible. Should you have any concerns whatsoever please do contact us prior to travel.
Travel vaccinationsRequirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Itinerary changesOccasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotelsShould circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Road ConditionsIn developing countries road networks are continually being improved and expanded, which can mean that, from time to time, roadworks and rough road surfaces can extend journey times. Some journeys are made on winding mountain roads and passes, which may also make for slow travelling - although the scenery is usually worth it! Many roads do not have separate pavements or safety barriers, and great care should be taken when crossing or walking alongside roads. Back to top