If you’re searching for a paradise island teeming with wildlife, incredible landscapes and a colourful culture, head to Sri Lanka.
- Return flights from Heathrow with Sri Lankan Airlines
- 11 nights on half board in4 and 5-star hotels plus 1 night in flight
- 22 meals: 11 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 10 dinners
- Travelsphere Tour Manager and Local Guide
- Overseas transfers and other transportation
- Day 1 UK/Colombo
- You'll depart on your scheduled flight to Colombo today.
- Day 2 Colombo
- On arrival in Colombo we'll transfer you to your hotel, where you'll stay overnight. After your flight, a relaxed afternoon is the perfect way to start your holiday. Why not pick a spot by the hotel's swimming pool and soak up some sun.
- Day 3 Minneriya
- Now you're re-energised and ready to go, your tour starts in earnest with a drive to Sigiriya, in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. A two-night stay here means there's time to visit Minneriya National Park today, where elephants, deer and wild boar roam and you'll see a variety of bird species.
- Day 4 Sigiriya
- You've the chance to experience local life today in a nearby village, where a walk and a catamaran ride are all included! We reach the UNESCO-listed site of Sigiriya later. This spectacular rock fortress is one of the country's main attractions, featuring water gardens, moats and the impressive Lion Gate.
- Day 5 Kandy
- Kandy is a beautiful town, and it's your next base. On the way here we're going to stop at the Dambulla cave temples, home to more than 150 Buddha images. Further on, we'll visit a spice garden in Matale. Here you'll learn how these aromatic ingredients are used in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and pick up some tips to take home.
- Day 6 Kandy
- Today's included tour takes you to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, which were laid out by British colonial rulers in 1821 and are home to more than 5,000 species of plants and trees. You'll then tour Kandy, where highlights include the temple housing the famous Tooth Relic of Buddha and Market Square.
- Day 7 Nuwara Eliya
- We're setting our sights on Nuwara Eliya after breakfast today, in the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country. Home to the famous Ceylon tea, it is surrounded by a lush green carpet of plantations, and en route to our hotel we'll visit one. Here we'll see how the leaves are delicately picked by hand and eventually turn into our favourite brew. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, settle into your hotel, then get your bearings on a sightseeing tour.
- Day 8 Nuwara Eliya
- It might be tempting to spend today lazing by the pool and soaking up the sunshine. Alternatively, if you want to discover more of Sri Lanka, come with us on an optional trip to Horton Plains National Park. At World's End you can peer over a 3,700ft sheer drop to take in fabulous views of the surrounding tea estates. There's wonderful flora and fauna to discover here too. Keep a lookout for some of the 24 species of mammal, which include the endemic slender loris, purple monkey and sambar deer.
- Day 9 Yala
- You've a great journey ahead today on a drive to Yala, where the landscape ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. Before we arrive we're going to stop at a school in Nuwara Eliya, which is supported by the Travelsphere Cares project. As you reach Yala, look out for watering holes, small lakes and lagoons. These attract the many animals that thrive here, including a sizeable elephant population, which we hope to spot tomorrow. End the day with a spot of relaxation at your hotel.
- Day 10 Yala
- This morning join our exciting safari in Yala National Park, where elephant and leopard may be spotted as well as many other species such as sloth bears, monkeys and crocodiles. This afternoon join our included guided nature walk.
- Day 11 Beruwela
- Your final destination is Beruwala, home to one of the longest beaches in Sri Lanka. You will stay here for two nights and en route you'll visit Galle, the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka. Captured later by the Dutch you'll see plenty of reminders of Dutch colonial rule among its narrow alleys, churches and monuments. You'll then visit a turtle hatchery where these endangered creatures are protected and released into the wild. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.
- Day 12 Beruwela
- You could start the day with an optional morning yoga session with an expert teacher, after which you can spend the whole day at leisure. Beruwela is a busy little town which has managed to retain its charm, so maybe explore at your own pace or stay put and enjoy the facilities of your beachfront hotel. This evening you could choose to join an optional dinner which introduces you to Arrack – a Sri Lankan spirit distilled from the sap of the coconut flower. This can only be collected by hand and is aged in oak casks. Your multi-course meal, which was developed by chef Adam Gaunt from the Flying Fish in Sydney, Australia, will be accompanied by several types of Arrack.
- Day 13 Beruwela/UK
- Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK.
Please note that the itinerary for 2020 will differ slightly from that shown here. On day 2 the welcome dinner will take place at a restaurant serving Sri Lankan food with a menu specially curated for Travelsphere. On day 3 there will be a sightseeing tour of Colombo before continuing to Sigiriya. On day 6 whilst in Kandy we have added a visit to and included lunch at Sthree Caf which promotes economic empowerment, inclusion and social reintegration. Supported by Planeterra, the Sthree Caf employs local women from WDC's Kandy forum, providing them with a fair wage and the skills and training needed to work in the service sector.