Colombo, Caves & Kandy
Highlights: One night in Colombo, one night in Sigiriya, two nights in Kandy, one night in Nuwara Eliya, one night in Udawalawe National Park, one night in Colombo
Discover once-in-a-lifetime experiences, awe-inspiring sights, and the unique culture of Sri Lanka on this eight-day tour.
The vibrant sights and sounds of Sri Lanka will captivate you from the moment you land in Colombo. Explore the famous sites of Colombo or simply relax with a cocktail overlooking the Laccodive Sea. Pay a visit to Naramwela Town and Dambulla Rock Temple en-route to Sigiriya with its famous ‘Lion Rock’ fortress.
Discover the Royal Palace and Gal Vihara in Polonnaruwa before taking a jeep ride and short canoe trip to the village of Kayanwala for a cookery demonstration and lunch. Carry on to Kandy – home to the Temple of the Tooth relic – stopping at a spice garden in Matale along the way. Visit Kandy Lake, take a tuk tuk ride and call into Geragama Tea Factory.
Enjoy a scenic train trip through tea plantations and waterfalls to the ‘Little England’ style hill resort of Nuwara Eliya. Travel on to the Udawalawe National Park, one of the best places to spot the Sri Lankan elephant, leopards, and the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear. Spend your final night in Colombo enjoying a city tour before your flight back to the UK.
From £1,399 pp based on 2 people sharing for 7 nights. Flying from regional airports. Year round departures. All overseas transfers included. Save up to £285 per couple.
Day 1 – Colombo
Welcome to Sri Lanka! Airport arrival and transfer with the remainder of the day at leisure. Your hotel is located on the seafront and is a short walk from Galle Road and many of the city highlights. Choose to head out and explore, take a dip in the pool, or enjoy a cocktail whilst you watch the perfect sunset over the Laccodive Sea.
Day 2 – Colombo to Dambulla to Sigiriya
Bidding farewell to Colombo this morning, enjoy a drive inland to Dambulla, stopping en route at a fruit and vegetable market in Naramwela Town. Dambulla Rock Temple is an incredible ancient complex of caves which date back to the 1st-Century BC. The five caves contain over 150 images of Buddha including an impressive 14-metre carved statue.
After exploring this ancient site, the tour continues to Sigiriya and the famous ‘Lion Rock’ fortress. Built over 1500 years ago, this beautiful citadel stands 200 metres high in the middle of verdant jungle and was an important stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. It can be viewed from miles around and is definitely one of Sri Lanka’s most iconic and famous sites. You’ll be able to view the world-famous paintings of the Heavenly Maidens which stand in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway.
Overnight: Sigiriya with Breakfast
Day 3 – Sigiriya to Polonnaruwa to Kandy
This morning explore Polonnaruwa. This fascinating 11th-century city is home to many interesting ruins and famous monuments including the Royal Palace and the Gal Vihara. Polonnaruwa was once the capital and is also the second most ancient city in Sri Lanka. It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From Polonnaruwa take a jeep ride and short canoe trip to the village of Kayanwala. Here, at Kayanwala village you’ll take part in a cookery demonstration in the mud brick home of a local woman and enjoy a freshly-prepared lunch of curry, dhal, spiced rice, pickle and more. En route to Kandy, stop off at a spice garden in Matale to see the different herbs and spices which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed.
Arriving into Kandy, you can enjoy a cultural performance of traditional Sri Lankan music and dance this evening.
Overnight: Kandy with Breakfast and Lunch
Day 4 – Kandy Temple of the Tooth
This morning, join a sightseeing tour of Kandy – the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings. The first stop will be at the Temple of the Tooth Relic. Legend has it that one of Buddha’s teeth was taken from him as he lay on his funeral pyre. It was then smuggled into Sri Lanka in 313AD. It now attracts daily pilgrims who come bearing lotus flowers and frangipani. After driving around the Kandy Lake – built by the last Sinhala king, visiting the local bazaar and a gem museum you’ll take a Tuk Tuk ride up into the surrounding hills. This afternoon, stop at a working tea factory at Geragama. Geragama Tea Factory is located in close proximity to the city of Kandy and was established in the year 1903, manufacturing ‘Low Grown’ and ‘Long Leaf’ tea.
Overnight: Kandy with Breakfast
Day 5 – Kandy to Nuwara Eliya – Scenic Train Trip and Tea Plantations
This morning offers free time before transferring to the railway station for a scenic train trip. Passing kilometre upon kilometre of verdant tea plantations that hug the winding mountain passes, you’ll see waterfalls, suspension bridges and tea pickers on your journey up to Nuwara Eliya – Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka’s tea country producing a significant share of the world’s best tea.
This afternoon, take a beautiful drive through Nuwara Eliya – an area known locally as ‘Little England’.
Overnight: Nuwara Eliya with Breakfast
Day 6 – Nuwara Eliya to Udawalawe National Park – Udawalawe NP Jeep Safari
Today the tour heads south to Embilipitiya, your base for exploring Udawalawe National Park. This national park is probably one of the best places to spot the famous Sri Lankan Elephant, the biggest of all the Asian Elephants. It is thought that there are around 400 elephants here. The park is also home to the elusive leopard, the Sri Lankan Sloth Bear and lots of types of deer. Take an afternoon game drive here before returning to the hotel for the night.
Overnight: Udawalawe National Park with Breakfast
Day 7 – Udawalawe National Park to Colombo – Colombo City Tour
This morning pay a visit to the Gem Mine and Museum at Ratnapura. Sri Lanka is famous for its gem industry and is home to 40 out of the 85 types of gems in the world.
Arriving to Colombo, commence a city tour seeing the Fort area in the north of the city, famous for its government buildings and interesting shops. You’ll see the stunning Gangarama Temple and take a stroll along Galle Face Green, a popular spot for kite flying and games of cricket.
Overnight: Colombo with Breakfast
Day 8 – Colombo to UK
Today offers free time for you to independently explore the city, before you check out of your hotel and transfer to the airport to board your flight back to the UK.