There is so much to see on the 'Emerald Isle', including the colonial capital, ancient Buddhist cities of the cultural triangle, spectacular Sigiriya Rock, the cave art of Dambulla, the tea growing highlands and the wilds of Yala National Park you will want to make sure you see it all. Discover the historic Galle Fort, wander through quiet villages and meet the locals unwind after touring at the tropical beaches and enjoying delicious Sri Lankan cuisine.
Days 1-2 Colombo
Sri Lanka's capital city is filled with colonial heritage, and a sightseeing tour unveils the city's many charms, including a guided walk through the colour, history and atmosphere of Pettah, Colombo's vibrant market area and one of Asia's classic street markets.
Days 3-4 Anuradhapura
As an island, fishing is a major source of food in Sri Lanka. At Negombo, stop at the country's second largest fish market to see the locals at work selling fresh seafood pulled straight from the sea before a stop to learn about the production of 'Toddy' a local alcoholic drink. On arrival in Anuradhapura enjoy some free time. Rise early for an exploration of World Heritage listed Anuradhapura to discover the well-preserved ruins of Sri Lanka's ancient civilisation. See the many religious monuments at Mihintale' Mountain and the place where Buddhism began in Sri Lanka. In the evening, visit one of the most popular Buddhist sites at Anuradhapura, where locals come to worship and make merit according to ancient tradition.
Days 5-6 Polonnaruwa and Sigiriya
Leave for Habarana, stopping at a small village to get a deeper understanding of life in rural Sri Lanka, where farmers work the land according to the changing seasons. In the afternoon, take a sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa and its historical site. Visit one of Asia's most spectacular cultural sites, the Sigiriya Rock fortress. Only the fit and adventurous will want to climb the rock, but all can enjoy the superb ruins and fine views around the base. After free time to explore this region, visit the Ritigala Monastery with inscriptions dating back to the 1st century BC.
Days 7-9 Kandy and Nuwara Eliya
Visit the marvellous gallery of art in the Dambulla Rock cave temples, and a fascinating spice garden, and then continue on to Kandy for an evening at leisure. Visit the Temple of Tooth, a Buddhist temple in the Royal Palace complex that houses the Relic of the tooth of Buddha. A city tour reveals this charming highland hub, with a beautiful lake and colourful streets, including the delightful Royal Botanical Gardens and a walk through the local markets. Depart for the heart of Sri Lanka's picturesque tea country, and enjoy a walk through quaint, British-colonial Nuwara Eliya's trading centre.
Days 10-12 Yala and Tangalle
An exciting drive stops at Ella, a quiet town nestled in a valley with stunning views. A gentle walk reveals delightful vistas and leads to the lovely Ravana Waterfalls. A stop in Tissa gives you the opportunity to see local produce being made such as buffalo curd and honey. In Yala National Park where elephants are common sighting, and magnificent Leopard sightings are frequent, keep your eyes peeled during an early morning and afternoon game drive. Travel to beachside Tangalle, stopping to visit Mulkirigala Rock Monastery. At night, visit Rekawa where endangered turtles nest on the beach.
Days 13-15 Galle and Hikkaduwa
See the famous stilt fishermen on your way to Galle. Discover the remarkable history of the Galle Fort at this World Heritage site with its stunning seaside setting. Experience antique architecture and charming streetscapes on a heritage walk, with free time to explore the town on your own before an interactive cooking demonstration to learn to prepare a typical Sri Lankan meal.
14 nights accommodation
Breakfast daily. 1 lunch, 3 dinners
2 jeep safaris
Transport in air-conditioned vehicles
Western Tour leader
Local English Speaking Guide
Prices from £2400.00 per person
Other similar escorted tours available