Splendours of Sri Lanka

Resort: Splendours of Sri Lanka
Operator: Cox and Kings
Destination: Sri Lanka
Price From: £2495.00

Overview

This introductory tour combines the Cultural
Triangles ancient cities with scenic hill
country, man-made marvels and abundant
wildlife. Finish the tour with a relaxing
2-night stay on a palm-fringed beach.

Itinerary

Day 1: Fly to Colombo

Overnight flight from London (regional connections available) to Colombo with Sri Lankan Airlines. (N)

Day 2: Chilaw

Land in Sri Lanka’s cosmopolitan capital and transfer to the Anantaya Hotel (or similar) in Chilaw for 1 night. This evening get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3: Anuradhapura

Drive to the region of Anuradhapura for a 3-night stay at the Forest Rock Garden Resort (or similar). En route stop at Wilpattu National Park for an afternoon wildlife safari in search of leopards and sloth bears. The park is the oldest and largest wildlife park in Sri Lanka and is characterised by its open grasslands and dense jungle scrub. As well as leopards and sloth bears, you may also be able to spot elephants, mugger crocodiles and an array of endemic birds. (B, D)

Day 4: Wilpattu National Park
Anuradhapura

Rise early to explore Wilpattu when the wildlife is at its most active. Return to your resort for breakfast and to rest before taking a further safari in the afternoon. (B, L, D)

Day 5: Anuradhapura

Explore Sri Lanka’s first ancient capital, Anuradhapura, which was established around the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi tree, said to be the oldest tree planted by hand in the world. The city was the capital for nearly 1,500 years and has a beautiful array of Buddhist shrines and relics waiting to be explored. Return to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure. (B, D)

Day 6: Habarana

Continue your exploration of Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle by transferring to Habarana for a 2-night stay at the Cinnamon Lodge. This afternoon learn authentic local cooking techniques and dishes with an interactive culinary class. (B)

Day 7: Sigiriya Polonnaruwa

Visit one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic sights this morning – the Unesco Sigiriya rock fortress that dramatically rises 370-metres from the central plains. A climb to the top offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Continue to Polonnaruwa, an impressive archaeological site packed with ancient structures including tombs, temples and stupas. (B)

Day 8: Dambulla Kandy

Morning visit to Dambulla, home to Asia’s most impressive and well-preserved cave temples. Admire the many Buddhist murals and statues, some of which date back as far as the first century BC. Leave the Cultural Triangle towards the beautiful hill station of Kandy and stay 2 nights at the Cinnamon Citadel. Afternoon orientation tour before enjoying a traditional and colourful Kandyan dance performance. Nearby you will find one of Sri Lanka’s holiest sites, the Temple of the Tooth, said to contain a tooth relic of the Buddha. The evening Puja ceremony held here is a fine spectacle where prayers and music fill the air. (B, D)

Day 9: Kandy

Kandy is set on the shores of a beautiful man-made lake and the area abounds in rich and varied plant life. After a leisurely breakfast, stroll through the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens and admire the flora, butterflies, birdlife and most notably, the impressive collection of exotic orchids. Spend the afternoon at your leisure – maybe explore Kandy’s bustling markets or just relax at your hotel. (B, D)

Day 10: Nuwara Eliya

This morning drive the scenic route towards the hill station of Nuwara Eliya. En route visit a historic tea planation where you can observe the tea pickers in the fields and learn about the process of tea production. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, stay 2-nights at The Blackpool. Situated at 2,000 metres above sea level, Nuwara Eliya attracted the British in the 18th century and their legacy is still visible. (B, D)

Day 11: Horton Plains

Early morning visit to Horton Plains National Park, situated on Sri Lanka’s highest plateau (this excursion involves a 2.5-hour walk*). Horton Plains is inhabited by large populations of monkeys and sambar deer and offers one of the best vantage points to view the spectacular Central Highlands. The rest of the day is at leisure. (B, D)

Day 12: Wadduwa

Drive to Wadduwa. Stay 2 nights at the Blue
Water Hotel, a luxury hotel with breathtaking
views of the Indian Ocean. (B, D)

Day 13: Wadduwa

Day at leisure to relax on the beach. Farewell dinner with the group. (B, D)

Day 14: Fly to London

Transfer to Colombo and fly to London with
Sri Lankan Airlines. (B)

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