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Holidays to Sri Lanka, with Escape Worldwide
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A fascinating week-long itinerary with your private guide, taking in the cultural, historical and scenic best of beautiful Sri Lanka. There are tea factories, spectacular waterfalls, UNESCO protected sites and tales of mythical kings and princesses.
2019/20 package holidays escorted tours of Sri Lanka Prices are per person based on two sharing.
Prices include flights, transfers and accommodation, and are subject to availability. Flights from Heathrow - other departures also available, call for details. Holiday code: T0919W.
Discover Sri Lanka
7 night Escorted Tour
from £1829 per person
Discover Sri Lanka Tour prices
Day 1: UK to Colombo
Depart from the UK on your overnight flight to Sri Lanka.
Day 2: Colombo
On arrival in Colombo your chauffeur guide will meet you; afterwards commence your Journey through this amazing island. Your first stop and a chance to stretch your legs is at Kadjugama, the Cashew Nut town of Sri Lanka. Purchase some of Sri Lanka's finest nuts. A great gift for someone back at home or to keep as a snack whilst travelling around the island. If you like to taste some tropical fruit, your driver will suggest a stop where you could taste some Pineapples. Sri Lanka is well known for its sweet pineapples.
Check in at the hotel in Cultural Triangle. We suggest you take it easy today. Relax at the hotel and enjoy the call of a monkey and the song of the birds. Stay: The Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar).
Day 3: Cultural Triangle
In the morning visit a Sri Lankan Village and learn all about typical village life - a great experience. Please note due to time constraints optional touring cannot be combined. Optional Visit to Hiriwaduna Village which includes Catamaran Boat Ride and Bullock cart ride.
Optional - Visit Anuradhapura. This was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. It is the home to two World Heritage sites and many places of historical and archaeological interest can be visited. Sri Maha Bodhi (Sacred Bo-Tree) was brought as a sampling of the tree under which prince Siddhartha attained to enlightenment and it is over 2,200 years old and is the oldest historically documented tree in the world. At Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C), the 1600 stone columns you see are all that is left of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks. Ruwanweliseya (2nd century B.C) is the most famous of all the Dagobas. It originally depicted the perfect 'bubble shape" that modern restoration has not been able to accurately reproduce. 'Samadhi' Buddha statue (4th century AD) is one of the most famous statues, depicting the Buddha in a state of 'Samadhi' or deep meditation. Isurumuniya rock temple (3rd century B.C) is well known for its rock carvings of 'The Lovers'. Kuttam Pokuna - twin ponds (6th century AD) was used by the Buddhist monks as a bathing pool. Thuparama Dagoba (3rd century B.C) is the oldest Dagoba in the island, which enshrines the right collarbone of the Buddha.
Optional: Jeep Safari at Minneriya National Park to see wild elephants. Home to the largest gathering of elephants in the world. (seasonal from Aug Oct). With the dry season kicking in during these months many elephants traverse to the shores of Minneriya reservoir from across the region to soak up, mate, mingle and, essentially, to graze on the tender grass that grows on the banks. This amazing phenomenon is known as "The Gathering and is considered the Sixth Greatest Wildlife Spectacle of the World
Late afternoon visit the Dambulla Rock Temple. Climb up to the temple, which was donated by king Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls and the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 meters.
Also you may get a chance to visit the Dambulla Market one of the biggest vegetable market in Sri Lanka and great place to connect with locals. If ever you're looking to buy a truckload of bananas, this vast wholesale market south of the centre offers a fascinating look at the vast range of produce grown in Sri Lanka. What you see being carted about with manic energy will be sold in Colombo the following day. Stay: The Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 4: Cultural Triangle
In the morning transfer to Polonnaruwa (Approx. 1 ½ hrs). Polonnaruwa, was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and is a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya -where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures are carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, king Parakramabahu's statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.
Optional En-route Tour; Visit to the Monkey Field Research Station knows as a Monkey Camp, which was made famous by the movie Monkey Kingdom which describes and showcases the lives of Torque monkeys in Sri Lanka.
Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. Stay: The Paradise Resort & Spa (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 5: Cultural Triangle to Kandy
Stop at an exotic Spice Garden in Matale where you can be treated to a garden tour to understand the taste and aroma of the world famous spices. Arrive into the last stronghold of Sinhala Kings & World Heritage Site the Hill Country capital of Kandy. Explore the city's Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and experience a Pooja Ceremony and in the evening enjoy a superb performance of Kandyan dancing and drumming. Stay: Hotel Topaz (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 6: Kandy
Enjoy a personalized city tour of Kandy. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Wander around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798 and the streets of Kandy getting a feel for this wonderful city and explore the local markets.
Visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens. This botanical garden was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. Set in 147 acres it provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Optional Excursions in the Evening
Optional: Enjoy a wonderful evening in Rahjus company at his wonderful hilltop cottage overlooking the Hunas range and get an insight in to contemporary art. Rahju is a half-Norwegian, half-Sri Lankan artist who has been living and working professionally in Sri Lanka for the last 30 years. He lives a reclusive, alternate life on his hill, spending most of his time painting in his private studio. You will get the opportunity to appreciate Rajhus paintings while he discusses about them individually
Or Optional: Visit the ruined temples at Gadaladeniya, Embekke. (approx. 45 minutes drive from Kandy town) Gadaladeniya temple, famous for its beautiful stone carvings and is a perfect example of the glorious ancient architecture and craftsmanship. Best seen in morning as the sun rises above the rocky plain and sheds its golden rays on the temple.
Embekke temple, famous for its extraordinary wooden carvings, located about 8 miles from Kandy. Constructed wholly of various types of local wood, this three-storied is home to some rare, intricate specimens of traditional, Kandyan era wood carvings. Thereafter visit a Brass shop, which is located near by the temple. Every Sri Lankan family owns a collection of traditional brassware, often a treasured heirloom passed down generations. Sri Lanka's brassware industry, now very much a part of the country's culture and national crafts, is widely believed to be a colonial Dutch import, although it is also possible that it arrived from the Indian subcontinent or was brought by the Arab traders who first visited the island. Stay: Hotel Topaz (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 7: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya
Optional: Confirmation of train tickets will be provided 14 days prior to the train journey as reserved seating tickets are limited. In the event the reserved confirmed tickets are not available for purchase or if the train is postponed or cancelled the guests will be transferred by vehicle to the destination. Train journeys in Sri Lanka are an absolute must. Take the most magical train journey through Sri Lanka’s tea country. A fabulous way to see Sri Lanka’s hill villages, tea country and see the daily lives of the local people. Your driver will take your luggage and meet you at the station. Its hassle free!
Arrive at Nuwara Eliya dubbed the Little England of Sri Lanka is located in the thick, misty hills of this paradise isle. The colonial atmosphere remains preserved, resembles a British countryside complete with rose gardens, hedges and red-roofed bungalows. Get an insight into tea production and see how Ceylon tea is made. Nuwara Eliya also has one of the finest 18 hole golf courses in South Asia. Rest of the day is at leisure. Stay: St Andrews Hotel (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 8: Nuwara Eliya to Yala
Take a scenic drive through the hill country and stop off at the spectacular waterfall Rawana Ella which according to the great epic Ramayana the mythical King Ravana of Lanka kidnapped Princess Sitha of India and kept her hidden somewhere close to this waterfall. It really is a site to see.
Its Safari time! Yala National Park - declared as a Game Park in 1938 and is 965 sq. kilometres in extent. According to the Leopard Research, Yala Block 1 probably has one of the highest densities of Leopards in the world. Yala therefore offers one of the best chances in Asia to see Leopards. You may also see Elephant, Sloth Bear, Sambhur, Spotted Deer, Wild Boar, Stripenecked, Brown & Ruddy Mongooses, Black-naped Hare & several civet species. In the water holes you may see Mugger Crocodile, Painted Stork, Lesser Whistling Teal, Black-headed Ibis, Eurasian Spoonbill, Great, Median & Little Egrets & the rare Black-necked Stork. Leopard, elephant, crocodiles, bears, deer, amazing birds.they are all here in Yala National Park.
Please note Yala National Park usually closes for 4-6 weeks in September/October, during this period a safari of the Bundala National Park or Udawalawe National Park will be offered as an alternative. Stay: Jetwing Yala (or similar)(breakfast included).
Day 9: Yala to UK
Continue to Sri Lanka’s jagged south coast consisting of delightful coral-protected bays and headlands and offers a greater diversity of beaches than the west coast. Stunning tropical sandy beaches, rural fishing villages, untouched wilderness and a vibrant cultural heritage makes the southern coastal belt an ideal holiday experience for those wishing to escape the larger tourist centres. Thereon proceed to Galle.
Galle is thriving. The fortified old town is enjoying an artistic renaissance and the beautiful beaches around it are dotted with luxurious villas and classy boutique hotels. The revival of Galle, in fact, has quietly influenced its coastline, which has regained its confidence and which has become a favoured retreat for intelligent, independent travellers. Wander on the ramparts and through the streets of the UN World Heritage Site Galle Fort. Considered one of the best examples of a living fortified city built by Europeans in South and South East Asia. There is so much to discover and it is best to do it on foot.
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK (breakfast included).
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