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 Sensational Sri Lanka

 Holiday Length: 12 days
 Start City: Colombo
 End City: Colombo
 Departures: Daily

 SELECT & MIX Private Holiday

Explore the incredible richness of Sri Lanka – the island Marco Polo described as a "Pearl in the Indian Ocean" – with its ancient kingdoms submerged into lush vegetation, exceptional wildlife and palm-fringed golden beaches lapped by azure waters. This memorable holiday includes it all: culture history, but also wildlife with a safari in Yala National Park. Extra nights in Galle and Kandy for some time at leisure ensures it remains easy paced holiday with plenty of time to relax. 


Day 1
  Colombo - Negombo (35 km)
    Upon arrival meet, greet, assist and transfer you to hotel in Negombo.
     
Day 2
  Negombo - Pinnawala - Sigiriya
    Drive to Sigiriya. Stop en route to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, which rescues and provides protection to many of the wild baby elephants found in the forests of Sri Lanka. The orphanage also places great emphasis on breeding and ongoing research.  Continue to the Cave Temples of Dambulla, a city which has been treasured by many kings since the 1st C BC.  discover the numerous paintings and golden Buddha statues before continuing to Sigiriya for your overnight stay. (B)
     
Day 3
  Sigiriya - Polonnaruwa - Sigiriya
    This morning climb up to the summit of the mighty Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. which dominates the surrounding landscape. Also known as "The Fortress in the Sky" it offers breathtaking views over endless rolling and verdant hills. Later, continue to ancient Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital and crown jewel of King Parakramabahu, and visit the former capital's royal buildings and Buddhist shrines. (B)
     
Day 4
  Sigiriya -Dambulla - Kandy
    This morning drive to the Dambulla Cave Temple, also known as 'The Golden Temple".  This pilgrimage site is the largest and best preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka and contains numerous statues and images of Buddha, including a colossal reclining Buddha.  Continue to Kandy and visit the Temple of the Tooth with its octagonal shape and golden room - also home to palm-leaf transcripts with a history dating back to 1687.  In the evening experience a colourful and acrobatic Kandyan performance.  (B)
     
Day 5
  Kandy
    Free time today to relax or opt for one of the Select & Mix experiences.
     
Day 6
  Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
    Morning drive to Peradeniya to board your tour train to Nanu Oya with its beautiful views of the lush rolling tea plantations dotted by the colourful saris of the Tamil women working there.  Later stop at a local tea factory to learn about the manufacturing process and sample a cup of pure Ceylon Tea. (B)
     
Day 7
  Nuwara Eliya - Ella Gap - Tissamaharama (145 km)
    Today drive to Tissamaharama stopping en route at the Ella Gap – a spectacular sight in the southern mountains where the land falls to a dizzying drop of 3000 ft into the southern sea.  Overnight in Tissamaharama, gateway to Yala National Park. (B)
     
Day 8
  Yala National Park - Weligama - Galle
    This morning depart for a Jeep safari in Yala National Park, home of the sloth bear and Asia's densest population of the elusive leopard.  Other highlights include the herd of wild elephants and birdlife in abundance, as well as wild boar, buffalo, deer and crocodiles. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle.  The abundant water supply from water holes, streams, small lakes and lagoons ensure animals and bird life remain in the park.
Later journey along the picturesque south coast to the fishing village of Weligama where you can observe the local fishermen going about their daily routines.  In chest-deep water just a few meters off-shore you will see the stilt fishermen, perched on a cross bar off a single pole planted into the sea-bed.  This is a common method of fishing amongst locals in this area.  Continue to Galle for overnight. (B)

     
Day 9
  Galle
    Morning tour of the fortified port city of Galle. Classified as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site, Galle is a veritable colonial gem - initially built by the Portuguese, expanded by the Dutch and later the British. Visit the Fort and the Old Dutch Church. Afternoon at leisure to walk along the ramparts and soak up the atmosphere of this charming town. (B)
     
Day 10
  Galle
    Today is a day at leisure to relax or to opt for one of the mix and select experiences. (B)
     
Day 11
  Galle - Colombo (125 km)
    Drive to Colombo. Sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka's effervescent capital. Drive through the busy commercial areas as well as the tree-lined residential, and the Cinnamon Gardens.  Visit Fort, the former British administrative centre and military garrison; Sea Street - the Goldsmith's quarters in the heart of Pettah; the bazaar area; a Hindu temple with elaborate stone carvings; and finally the Dutch Church of Wolfendhal dating back to 1749.  If time permits you may also see the replica of Avukana Buddha and Independence Square. (B)
     
Day 12
  Colombo departure
    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (B)
     

INCLUSIONS






  • Private air conditioned transfers and transportation
• Jeep safari in Yala National Park (non private)
• Accommodation in your choice of tourist, first of deluxe class hotels
• Professional private English speaking local guides
• Scenic train ticket Kandy/Nuwara Eliya
• Private sightseeing, activities, meals and entrance fees as per the itinerary
• Select & mix: Your choice of 3 options (included in the price)

Pick any 3 of these experiences to personalise your holiday (included at no extra cost)

 

  KANDY:
A. Attend a colourful and acrobatic Kandyan performance (day 4 evening)
B. Explore the Peradeniya Botanical Garden and its famous Orchid House (day 5 am or pm)
C. Splurge on a shopping tour of Kandy, Sri Lanka's best shopping destination. Your driver will be a disposal for half a day and take you to the best emporiums and craft centres (day 5 morning or afternoon)
GALLE:
D. Experience a fascinating walking tour of Galle Fort with a renowned guide also known as the Galle Fort Storyteller. (day 9 afternoon or day 10)
E. Take a hands on cooking class followed by lunch or dinner in a coastal village near Galle (day 10 morning or late afternoon)
F. Enjoy a bike ride in Galle countryside, exploring lagoons, mangroves, villages, temples, a coconut mill, lush green paddy fields. Great for families. (day 10 morning)
COLOMBO:
G. Take an evening street food tour of Colombo (day 11 evening)

     
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