Sri Lanka - The North

Sri Lanka · West Coast Sri Lanka · Negombo
The ancient royal city of Anuradhapura
Elephant's Pass & Jaffna Island
Sigiriya Rock
To the offers

A Journey Through the North of Sri Lanka

Welcomed with a warm “Ayubowan”, you will be greeted with open arms. Reconstruction has made significant progress, and peace has been prevailing since 2009. Open your hearts to this lovable and hospitable people, marvel at vast green rice fields, water buffaloes, deep blue bays, and colourful temples. While the Tamils in the north are Hindus, Central and South Sri Lanka are predominantly Buddhist. Experience a country with an impressive history, peaceful religions, and an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

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Sri Lanka - The North in Detail

Tour 9 Days / 8 Nights

Day 1: NEGOMBO

Welcome at the airport and transfer to the hotel. In the afternoon, visit the Dutch garrison town founded in 1672 with the remains of the famous fort. In the evening, enjoy a drink by the sea at sunset. Overnight in Negombo. (No meals)

Day 2: NEGOMBO – ANURADHAPURA

(approx. 170 km, about 4.5 hours)

Anuradhapura, the oldest royal city of Ceylon, was the religious and political centre of the country until 1000 AD. See the ruins of the palaces, monasteries, monuments, the Dagobas, and the famous “Bodhi Tree”. Then, visit Mihintale on the hill, one of the oldest Buddhist sites on the island, with the Dagoba from the 2nd century AD, the origin of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Overnight in Anuradhapura. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 3: ANURADHAPURA – MANNAR

(approx. 115 km, about 3 hours)

Travel to the island of Mannar at the former land bridge to India. Today, this connection consists of a chain of islands and sandbanks, passable only by small fishing boats. Mannar is known for its numerous Baobab trees, the fort built by the Portuguese in 1560, the mosques and churches, and for pearl fishing. In the afternoon, stroll through the town and relax on the beach. Overnight in Mannar. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 4: MANNAR – JAFFNA

(approx. 130 km, about 3.5 hours)

On the way to Jaffna, visit the Catholic Roman “Church of our Lady of Maddhu”, an interesting contrast to Sri Lanka’s main religions. You will reach the Giants Tank “Yodha Wewa”, one of the largest freshwater reservoirs in the country, built by King Dhatusena in the 5th century AD. Soon after, you will cross Elephant’s Pass, a bridge connecting the mainland to the island of Jaffna. The evening is at your leisure, for example, for a walk through Jaffna’s old town. Overnight in Jaffna. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 5: JAFFNA

Visit one of the most colourful Hindu temples: the Nallur Temple. Then, take a ferry to the island of Naga Deepa. The close proximity of Hindu and Buddhist temples here offers a unique opportunity to explore the different architectures. Conclude the day with a trip to the northernmost tip of Sri Lanka to the lighthouse at Point Pedro. Overnight in Jaffna. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 6: JAFFNA – TRINCOMALEE

(approx. 250 km, about 6 hours)

Travel to the east coast. Along the way, pass by the open-air war museum of Puthukkudiyriuppu, where you can see the war equipment of the Tamil freedom fighters, from small devices to adventurous tank and submarine constructions. Arrive in Thiriyai in the early evening. Here, explore a Buddhist Dagoba about 2000 years old, located on a small hill. Enjoy the expansive view over the land down to the ocean. Overnight north of Trincomalee. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 7: TRINCOMALEE – SIGIRIYA

(approx. 95 km, about 3 hours)

Explore the ancient harbour of Trincomalee and the Koneshwaram Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, located on a hill. Attracting hundreds of pilgrims daily, this temple, about 2500 years old, offers a wide view over the sea and Trincomalee Bay. Then, travel to Sigiriya and climb the famous “Lion Rock”. Passing the “Cloud Maidens” – colourful frescoes of female beauties – you ascend to the 200 m high plateau, where the remains of King Kassapa’s fortress, built in the 5th century AD, are located. Overnight north of Sigiriya. (Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)

Day 8: SIGIRIYA – POLONNARUWA – MINNERIYA – SIGIRIYA

After breakfast, visit the ancient royal city of Polonnaruwa from the 12th century AD. Explore the archaeological park with countless remains of residential buildings, palace and park complexes, as well as partially well-preserved stupas, temples, and the four Buddha statues carved into rock at Gal Vihara. In the late afternoon, arrive at Minneriya National Park. A jeep 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 9: SIGIRIYA – DAMBULLA

(approx. 15 km, about 30 minutes)

Today, visit the rock caves of Dambulla, accessible by a gentle climb about 160 m high. This former retreat of King Walagama is home to countless Buddhist wall paintings and sculptures. The journey continues according to your booked onward services. (Meals: Breakfast)

Programme subject to change.

Getting There

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Location

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

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