Classical Sri Lanka
Highlights: Wattala – Colombo – Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Habarana – Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Kandy – Dambulla cave temple – Nuwara Eliya – Royal Botanic Gardens – Yala National Park – Bentota – Madu Ganga
Prices from £1,299 pp for 8 Nights, bed and breakfast basis.
Other departures: Manchester – from £1289, Birmingham -from £1315, George Best Belfast City – from £1495, Glasgow – from £1445, Edinburgh – from £1459, Newcastle -from £1445
Wattala – Hotel Pegasus Reef or similar 4*
Dambulla – Thilanka Resort And Spa or similar 4*
Kandy – Oak Ray Regency Hotel or similar 3.5*
Nuwara Eliya – Heaven Seven Nuwara Eliya or similar 3*
Yala – Hotel Chandrika or similar 4*
Bentota – The Palms Hotel or similar 4*
Day 1: Airport – Wattala/Colombo
On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality; you will be welcomed by our Viluxur holidays representative and transferred to Wattala.
(Duration from Airport to Wattala – Approx. 25 Mins)
People from all walks of life live in this area. The traditional fisher folk, large sections of the working class, many types of white collar workers, a fair number of professionals and even some richer folk live here. Churches, Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques, schools of various grades and many private dispensaries are spread throughout the area.
Check in at the hotel and spend the rest of your day at leisure by the beach/pool.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Wattala.
Day 2: Wattala – Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage – Habarana
Breakfast at the hotel.
Thereafter you will be transferred to Habarana, En route stop at Pinnawala to visit the Elephant Orphanage.
(Duration from Wattala to Pinnawala – Approx. 2 ½ Hours)
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage!
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy in the hills of central Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka wildlife department in a 25 acre coconut property near the Maha Oya River. The orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned Elephants found in the jungle.
Proceed to Habarana. Rest of the evening free time for optional activities such as 4×4 jeep safari, Ayurveda Herbal massage..etc
Check in at the hotel & overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 3: Habarana – Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Habarana
This morning the clients will visit the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya – Optional Excursion
The Lion rock was a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. The base of the rock is ringed by a moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens. The world-renowned frescoes of the heavenly maidens of Sigiriya which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway are one of the main attractions. The frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster.
Thereafter transfer to visit the Polonnaruwa Ruins – Optional excursion
Polonnaruwa rose to fame as the capital after the decline of Anuradhapura. Its period of greatness was from the 10th – 12th centuries AD. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs, veritable inland seas the most famous of which is the Prakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama, larger in size than the Colombo harbor. The monuments of this medieval city are relatively well preserved and give clear evidence of the glory of Sri Lanka’s past. See the Royal Palace complex, the Quadrangle with its concentration of ancient heritage and the spectacular Gal Vihare complex of four massive images of the Buddha, cut from a single slab of granite – a highlight of ancient Sri Lankan rock carving.
Return to the hotel for an overnight stay.
Day 4: Habarana – Kandy
Breakfast at the hotel, thereafter you will be transferred to Kandy via Matale.
(Duration from Habarana to Kandy – Approx. 3 Hours)
En-route visit the cave temple in Dambulla.
Dambulla Rock Temple – was built by king Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. 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 ceilings is the largest area of paintings found in the world. The caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock and spanning 14 meters. Visit the ancient Kandy city in the afternoon.
Followed by a visit to the spice garden where the clients will be shown as to how the finest Sri Lankan spices are grown and processed. A processing and training unit has been set up in the area and farmers are grouped in a cooperative to ensure fair prices and you will also be able to purchase spices.
Kandy a lovely city, the Hill Capital and last stronghold of the Sinhala Kings retains an aura of grandeur, which time has not affected. Encircled by hills, with a tranquil lake in its center, it is the site of the renowned “Temple of the Tooth” and the Royal Botanical gardens home to one of the best collections of Orchids. Kandy and its satellite villages are the centre of the islands handicraft industry and its traditional dances are the most spectacular in the country.
Evening city tour of Kandy by ‘’Tuk Tuk’’
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 5: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, proceed to visit the Royal Botanical Garden in Peradeniya.
Royal Botanical Gardens – was first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and was expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. Here, exotic crops such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and cinchona (quinine) – all of which later became important to Sri Lanka’s economy – were tested. Sights include a palm avenue planted by the British in 1905.
Transfer to Nuwara Eliya by Train. Witness the magnificent views in the hills.
Nuwara Eliya – is Sri Lanka’s premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing 50% of the world’s best tea. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 ft) is located here. Nuwara Eliya is the location for one of the finest 18 whole golf courses in Asia.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 6: Nuwara Eliya – Yala
After breakfast transfer to Yala.
Yala – Situated 309 kms south of Colombo, Yala is approximately 1259 kms in extent and is located in the southeastern corner of the Island. The terrain is varied, flat plains alternating with rocky out crops. The vegetation ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. The specialty here is the large numbers of Elephants. Yala is the largest national park in Sri Lanka and is the home of wild elephants, wild boar, wild buffalo, leopard, bear, deer and crocodiles. Visitors can also see large flocks of migratory and indigenous birds. Transfer to the hotel and check-in to the hotel for rest and overnight stay.
Day 7 – 8: Bentota – Airport
Breakfast at the hotel and full day at leisure. Proceed to the airport in time for the departure flight.
OPTIONAL visit to Madhu River and boat ride on the river.
Madu River which flows across Balapitiya (approx. 80kms down south from Colombo) is one of the rarely visited and unspoiled attractions any nature lover can find in Sri Lanka. She boasts of having a cluster of 64 small islands scattered along her path and the most of which are uninhabited and covered with mangroves.
Overnight stay at the hotel.
Day 9: Bentota – Airport
Breakfast at the hotel. Proceed to the airport in time for the departure flight.
(Duration from Bentota to Airport – Approx. 1 ½ Hours)