Sophisticated Sri Lanka
This tour encompasses much of the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, taking in a number of the ancient historic sights and ends with a relaxing few days on the beach. Transport is with your own chauffeur-guide, who will remain with you for the entire tour, leaving you for a few days while you relax on the beach at the end of your holiday. The hotels are all fantastic, laid back, low key and unpretentious. Below is suggested itinerary, but if there are other places you would like to visit, or if you would like to upgrade your accommodation just let us know and we can help organise your perfect holiday!
Day 1: London & Colombo
Fly direct from London Heathrow on Sri Lankan Airlines arriving in to Colombo. On arrival you will be met your private driver and from this point onwards the services of a fully qualified and experienced chauffeur/guide and Mini-Van will be at your disposal. The routing includes sites, hotels and excursions as mentioned, as well as 100 kilometres per day where no journey or excursion is specified. If you require extra mileage then you will be able to pay an additional surcharge, which should be agreed in advance with either the guide or local travel representative. All additional costs for the driver, such as food and accommodation are included.
The journey from Colombo airport to your hotel takes around 45 minutes. Your hotel is a unique luxury six bedroom boutique hotel set amidst large gardens and a coconut grove. The hotel blends traditional and contemporary Sri Lankan architectural and includes design elements that compliment the property’s heritage. All of the rooms are spacious and come with air conditioning. The hotel also has a swimming pool and offers excellent hearty local food in a relaxing lakeside setting.
Day 2: Colombo & “Cultural Triangle”
This morning you will check out of the your hotel near Colombo and you will transfer by private car to your next destination, Sri Lanka’s Cultural Triangle. The journey will take approximately 4 hours. The ‘Cultural Triangle’ is the area roughly between Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, with the rock fortress of Sigiriya roughly in the centre. This was the cradle of the ancient irrigation civilisation of Sri Lanka that flourished from 2500 to 800 years ago. It’s a wonderful region to visit – monuments spanning the entire period of 1700 are in abundance and in close proximity. There are many large lakes and ancient reservoirs, or ‘tanks’ as the British prosaically christened them. They are often spectacularly beautiful and attract all kinds of wildlife.
Your hotel is conveniently located in the heart of this region and all of the main historic and cultural sights are only a short drive away. You will be here for a 6 night stay on a half board basis.
Day 3: Day at Leisure.
Day 4: Sigiriya Rock Fortress
One of Sri Lanka’s most famous and iconic sites, the ancient rock fortress at Sigiriya is considered by many locals to be the 8th Wonder of the World. Providing stunning views from the summit, and a chance to visit the famous frescoes of the Sigiriya Maidens, the climb to the top is mostly by way of a steep and, at times, arduous staircase that is best attempted either early morning or late afternoon.
Day 5: Afternoon Safari – Minneriya National Park
A short afternoon safari through one of Sri Lanka’s most popular reserves provides one of the best opportunities to see Asian elephants in their natural setting. The Minneriya National Park attracts huge numbers of elephants to the Minneriya Tank during the dry season and is the site of the famous annual ‘Gathering’, which occurs during August and September each year and heralds the arrival of the largest concentration of Asian elephants in the world.
Day 6: Dambulla Cave Temple
A really special World Heritage site, the cave temples at Dambulla can trace their origins back over 2200 years, to the arrival of Buddhism on the island. Carved from granite and enjoying some fantastic views across the surrounding landscapes, the caves are home to no fewer than 157 different statues of Buddha, as well as some of the finest religious murals ever discovered in Sri Lanka.
Day 7: Local Farming Village
This morning you will visit a number of local farms and learn firsthand about the life and work of the villagers, who cultivate a variety of crops including sweet potato, manioc and millet. Meet the farmers and their families at home, have a go at some of the agricultural techniques used, and enjoy snacks and a home -cooked lunch that (apart from the papadums) comes entirely from the land. This is truly off the beaten tourist trail so you can be sure of an authentic taste of rural life. Travel this morning is by tuk tuk and tractor as well as on foot.
Day 8: Cultural Triangle & Tangalle
Today you will fly to Hambantota in the south of the island. On arrival you will be transferred from the airport to your next destination. Your hotel is located just outside Tangalle in the heart of a nature sanctuary and next to the beach. The property has sixteen spacious suites that are scattered across the hotel’s extensive tropical gardens. It also has an oceanfront restaurant and two swimming pools.
Days 9-14: Tangalle
Days at leisure to enjoy the hotels beachside location.
Day 15: Tangalle to Colombo
You will check out of your hotel and travel to Colombo airport by private car, the journey takes around 4.5 hours. On arrival at the airport you will check in to your return flight to Heathrow.
What is included?
- International flights (and domestic flights if applicable)
- Superior class accommodation, itinerary as described
- Local transfers in a private air-conditioned vehicle
- Fully escorted by an English-speaking guide
- Entrance fees unless otherwise stated
- ATOL and ABTA protection for your financial security
- RB Collection ‘VIP Experience’ service
From £3,435 per person based on double occupancy