Discover Sri Lanka – join us on this holiday of a lifetime and explore the beautiful landscapes, ancient temples, amazing wildlife and relaxing beaches of Sri Lanka.
We’ll immerse ourselves in this rich culture with wonders at every turn; from the walled city of Galle, to the spectacular Lion’s Rock fortress in Sigiriya.
An excursion to the ancient city of Anuradhapura will be a particular highlight, with its temples, landscaped gardens, ceremonial baths and the sacred ‘Bo Tree’, the oldest human-planted tree in the world.
We’ll also get to experience local life as we visit traditional villages, take a ride in a tuk tuk, and enjoy an authentic Sri Lankan cultural performance. And to top it all off, we’ll have time to soak up the sun on this tropical island’s gorgeous white sand beaches.
What You’ll Love
- Immerse yourself in the beauty & culture of Sri Lanka on this 13-night guided holiday.
- Tour the ancient city of Anuradhapura & its sacred ‘Bo Tree’, one of the oldest in the world.
- Discover Kandy City by Tuk Tuk visiting the markets, Lake, Aniwatta Residencial area and Kandy View Point
- Savour the flavours of the region on a day trip to an authentic tea plantation & factory
- Take a safari drive through Yala National Park to see native water buffalo, leopards & crocodiles
- Enjoy plenty of free time to take advantage of the Island’s stunning, sandy beaches
- Includes 12 nights on a half board basis (4 & 5* hotels)
- Return flights & transfers
Subject to availability. Single supplements apply. To check latest availability, call 0131 608 1238 quoting “DC Thomson Travel”
Day 1 – Travel To Sri Lanka
We begin our Sri Lanka holiday as we fly to Colombo.
Day 2 – Negombo
Following our arrival in Sri Lanka, we will be transferred with guide assistance to our hotel in the coastal town of Negombo, just north of Colombo. After check in at our hotel, we can settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.
Join us for dinner! Meals are included each night of our stay in Sri Lanka.
Day 3 – Negombo & Habarana
This morning, accompanied by our expert guide, we discover Negombo, formerly a cinnamon trading centre and now a thriving fishing village. We explore this village very early in the morning before breakfast, as it is the best time to witness the locals selling their fresh catch. After breakfast at our hotel, we will discover more of Negombo on a guided tour, before departing for Habarana on a journey that will take approximately four hours (150km). Along the way, we take in views of the lush tropical countryside from our coach. Our Sri Lanka adventure has begun!
We arrive at Habarana and check into our hotel, which will be our home for the next three nights. Let’s enjoy a leisurely evening to relax, unwind and discover our surroundings.
Day 4 – Sigiriya & Polonnaruwa
We begin to uncover more of Sri Lanka on a full-day guided excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Sigiriya, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The spectacular ‘Lion’s Rock’ fortress is a large ancient rock palace surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens. The climb up has over 1,200 steps, with a narrow staircase. There are several platforms where we can take a break along the way and admire the views. Marvel at the beautiful collection of Water Gardens, painted frescoes and ancient graffiti, all on show at what is one of Sri Lanka’s crowning glories.
In the afternoon we discover more, on an excursion to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, the medieval capital of Sri Lanka. This UNESCO World Heritage site includes the Royal Palace complex and Gal Vihara rock temple of the Buddha. The entire landscape of the region is punctuated by huge man-made reservoirs and veritable inland seas, the most famous of which is the Prakrama Samudra or the Sea of Parakrama.
Later we return to our hotel, where we can spend the evening relaxing after our day of exploration.
Day 5 – Anuradhapura
After breakfast, we leave Habarana for the day and set off on an excursion to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, famous for its temples, landscaped gardens, and the sacred ‘Bo Tree’ which dates from around 245BC and is the world’s oldest known tree. Anuradhapura was the ancient capital of Sri Lanka for more than a thousand years from the 5th century BC and hosts many Buddhist monuments dating back over 2000 years.
Let’s see more of Sri Lankan traditions and discover another lifestyle, as we visit a local village. We’ll savour the tranquil rural setting as we embark on a bullock cart ride past lush paddy fields, shops and mud thatched houses. After our adventure, we make our way back to our hotel for a well-deserved rest.
Day 6 – Dambulla Cave and transfer to Kandy
This morning we say farewell to Habarana and transfer by coach to Kandy, an attractive bustling city that is encircled by hills and has a tranquil lake at its centre. En-route we experience more of Sri Lanka’s treasures with a visit to Dambulla Cave Temple, which has been a sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries and contains a fascinating array of Buddhist mural paintings and statues of Buddha. The drive will take approximately three hours (96km).
On arrival in Kandy, we uncover more history and culture with a visit to The Temple of The Sacred Tooth Relic, a centre for the Buddhist faith. This 16th-century temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha, which was brought to Sri Lanka from ancient India in the 4th century. After the visit we depart for our hotel, which will be our base for the next two nights.
Day 7 – Peradeniya & Kandy
On today’s tour, we revel in the beauty of The Royal Botanic Gardens in Peradeniya, home to exotic plants such as coffee, tea, nutmeg, rubber and Cinchona. The gardens feature an arboretum, an Orchid House and a colony of flying foxes.
After we visit the gardens, we uncover more delights with a Tuk-Tuk ride around Kandy, one of the best ways to discover this city! During our adventure, we pass the British Garrison Cemetry, Aniwatta Residencial area, Kandy Market, Kandy Lake and finish with picturesque scenes from the Kandy viewpoint. The Tuk Tuk ride will take around two hours, after which we return to our hotel to relax and reflect on our day of sightseeing and discovery.
Day 8 – Nuwara Eliya
This morning, we leave Kandy and set off for Nuwara Eliya on a drive of approximately two and a half hours (80km). En-route we visit a tea plantation and tea factories. On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, we’ll have a guided tour of the town before checking in to our hotel. The town’s name translates as “City of Light”, but it is also known as “Little England” as it was a popular destination for 19th century British colonialists who indulged in pastimes such as fox, deer and elephant hunting, polo, golf and cricket. The colonial history of the town can still be seen in buildings such as the Queen’s Cottage, General’s House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, and Town Post Office.
Let’s relax more, as we settle into our hotel and admire our magnificent surroundings. Nuwara Eliya lies in the heart of Sri Lankan hill country and is the home of the famous Ceylon Tea. Situated at an altitude of 1868m, the city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka, and enjoys a temperate highland climate. The rolling mountains are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, and beautiful waterfalls dot the landscape.
Day 9 – Ella Waterfalls & Yala National Park
This morning we transfer onwards to Yala and en route we stop at Ella Waterfalls for a refreshing break. Today’s journey will take approximately five hours (185km).
Let’s experience more, on a jeep safari drive in Yala National Park, the second largest national park in Sri Lanka and home to elephants, leopards, bear, water buffalo, crocodiles, as well as countless other animals and birds. The park has also been featured on Discovery and National Geographic documentaries, which focused on leopard research and conservation. After our adventure, we continue to our hotel for an overnight stay and evening at leisure.
Day 10 – Game Drive, Galle & Weligama
After breakfast, we experience one more game drive in Yala National Park and a second chance to spot the elusive Leopard! Cameras ready for action!
After our exhilarating safari, we depart for Weligama. The drive will take approximately four and a half hours (205km). En route, we will experience more with a guided tour of Galle, and explore the 17th century Portuguese and Dutch Fort in which the central city is contained. We stroll through the streets to admire the Dutch-influenced architecture, old British residences, and mosques with their Arabic flourishes before proceeding to the beachside resort of Weligama.
We can take it easy for the rest of the day and evening, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying the ocean air.
Day 11 – Weligama
Relax more ! We have two full days at leisure in the delightful setting of Weligama. We can enjoy long walks on the beach, snorkelling, swimming and souvenir shopping, or simply chill out as we near the end of our unforgettable visit to Sri Lanka. Our expert guide will be happy to tell us about local attractions and activities.
Day 12 – Weligama Transfer to Colombo
After a leisurely breakfast, we transfer by coach to our hotel in Colombo where we’ll spend our last night in Sri Lanka. The drive will take approximately three hours (147km). The rest of our day is at leisure.
Day 13 – Depart Colombo
Departing Colombo, we will reflect on a treasure trove of memorable moments from our Discover Sri Lanka tour.
Day 14 – Arrival Home
We arrive home, following our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sri Lanka.