Sigiriya Rock
Ancient Royal Cities Anuradhapura & Polonnaruwa
Safari in Minneriya National Park
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Marvel at the Highlights of Sri Lanka - the Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Known as the 'Tear of India', not only for its geographical shape but also for its tumultuous history, Sri Lanka has witnessed countless kingdoms since the arrival of the Tamils. Travellers on this journey through 'Royal Sri Lanka' will experience nearly 2000 years of diverse reigns and changes in throne occupancy.

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Sri Lanka Highlights - Standard Hotels

8 nights, double room, half-board
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8 nights, double room, half-board
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Sri Lanka Highlights in Detail

Tour 8 nights / 9 days

Day 1: NEGOMBO

Pick-up from the airport and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, explore the Dutch garrison town founded in 1672, featuring remnants of the famous fort. In the evening, enjoy a drink at one of the numerous beach restaurants while watching the sunset over the sea. Overnight in Negombo. (No meals included)

Day 2: NEGOMBO – SIGIRIYA

(approx. 150 km, about 4.5 hours)

Travel to Sigiriya to climb the renowned Sigiriya Rock. Passing the 'Maidens of the Clouds' - colourful frescoes of female beauties - you ascend to the 200m high plateau, where the ruins of King Kassapa's fortress, built in the 5th century AD, are located. Overnight in Sigiriya. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3: SIGIRIYA – ANURADHAPURA – SIGIRIYA

(approx. 60 km, about 1 hour each way)

Visit Anuradhapura, the oldest royal city of Ceylon, which was the religious and political centre of the country until 1000 AD. View the ruins of ancient palaces, monasteries, monuments, the Dagobas and the famous 'Bodhi Tree'. Then, visit Mihintale on Mahinda's mountain, one of the oldest Buddhist sites on the island, featuring a Dagoba from the 2nd century AD, marking the origin of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Overnight in Sigiriya. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4: SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA – MINNERIYA – SIGIRIYA

Polonnaruwa, the second oldest royal city of Ceylon. Explore the archaeological park with numerous remains of residential buildings, palace and park facilities, as well as partially well-preserved stupas, temples and the four Buddha statues carved into rock at Gal Vihara. After lunch, travel to Minneriya National Park. In an ancient jeep, embark on a safari through the park on narrow paths to spot birds, deer, and the free-roaming herds of elephants. Overnight in Sigiriya. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5: SIGIRIYA – DAMBULLA – KANDY

(approx. 90 km, about 3 hours)

Visit the rock caves of Dambulla, accessible by a gentle climb to about 160m height, featuring countless Buddhist murals and sculptures. On the way to Kandy, the capital of the last Sinhalese kingdom until 1815, explore the enchanting spice garden in Matale. A guide will introduce you to the secrets of spice plants, and you may purchase local products. In the afternoon, visit the 'Temple of the Tooth' Sri Dalada Maligawa, which houses a tooth of Buddha in a golden shrine, still a pilgrimage site and monastery today. In the evening, enjoy a performance by the Kandy Dancers. Overnight in Kandy. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6: KANDY – NUWARA ELIYA

(approx. 80 km, about 4 hours, mountainous route)

In the morning, stroll through the markets and merchant halls of the city centre. Discover typical colonial buildings and winding alleys. Next, visit the Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, a magnificent park dating back to 1371, home to the world's second-largest tree, a fig covering about 1600 sqm. Continue to Nuwara Eliya, also known as 'Little England'. Visit the typical English colonial town with the old post station and the Country House Hill Club, displaying numerous hunting pictures and fish trophies. Overnight in Nuwara Eliya. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 7: NUWARA ELIYA – BANDARAWELA/ELLA

(approx. 130 km, about 3 hours without train ride)

After breakfast, visit a tea factory and plantation. Experience the journey of Ceylon tea from plant to cup. Then, a short drive to Nanoya and a train ride on the famous 'Toy Train' to Ella. Upon arrival, your driver will take you to your overnight hotel in Bandarawela/Ella. (Meals: Breakfast)

Day 8: BANDARAWELA – UDAWALAWE

(approx. 85 km, about 3 hours without hiking)

This morning, embark on an easy trekking tour to 'Little Adam's Peak' (1 – 1.5 hours), named after the sacred Adam's Peak (Sri Pada – where Lord Buddha's footprint is preserved) due to the similarity between the two mountains. Enjoy a beautiful hike through the hilly nature of this area with a magnificent view from the summit (1141 m). Walk through the tea plantations past waterfalls and observe the farmers in the fields. Afterwards, drive to Udawalawe National Park. Experience a three- to four-hour safari through this magnificent nature reserve. With a bit of luck, you might see crocodiles, elephants, deer, water buffalo, and many birds. Overnight near Udawalawe National Park. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 9: UDAWALAWE - WEST COAST

After breakfast, either continue with your onward programme or transfer to your hotel on the West Coast or to the airport. (Meals: Breakfast)

Programme subject to change.

Getting There

Additional information

Location

Sri Lanka Highlights
Sri Lanka, West Coast Sri Lanka, Negombo
Bandaranaike International Colombo Airport (CMB)
approx. 128 km / 154 min

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