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Sri Lanka - Pearl of the Indian Ocean

Join us on this enchanting escorted tour to the tropical island of Sri Lanka where thanks to our Sri Lankan tour leaders and your own personal driver, you will be able to learn about the myths, legends, gemstones, and spices of this tropical island, all through the eyes of a local.

Formerly known as Ceylon, Sri Lanka has something for the most discerning of travellers, there are UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore, ancient Buddhist temples to discover, you can climb the mighty Sigiriya Rock, taste traditional Ceylon tea in one of the many plantations, spot elephants bears and leopards in the National Parks and then when it’s all done you can relax on one of the islands many golden beaches.

Duration: 21 days

Holiday Type:
Escorted Motorhome Tours

Holiday Hosts

Departure dates:

  • 5 Nov, 2021 from
    £4,499  per person
  • 19 Mar, 2022 from
    £4,699  per person
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Highlights

  • The coastal city of Negombo including a city tour by Tuk Tuk
  • Wilpattu National Park including morning and afternoon game drives
  • The ancient fortress of Sigiriya Rock
  • Nuwara Eliya and a visit to a tea factory with a tea tasting
  • Kandy tour including the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Botanical Garden and Cultural Show
  • Yala National Park including a half-day safari
  • Morning tour of Galle
  • A 4 night beach stay at the end of the tour

Route Map

What's Included

  • International flights to Colombo
  • All transfers
  • Three nights in a 4 star hotel in Negombo/Waikkal including breakfast
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners
  • 13 days in a 4/5 berth motorhome including fuel, gas and driver
  • 12 nights pre-booked campsites
  • Negombo City Tour with Tuk Tuk
  • A morning and afternoon game drive in Wilpattu National Park
  • Excursion to Sigiriya Rock
  • Kandy tour including the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, the Botanical Gardens and Cultural Show
  • Visit to a tea factory with a tea tasting
  • Half-day Safari in Yala National Park
  • Morning tour of Galle
  • Four nights at a 4 star hotel in Bentota

Itinerary

Days 1 - 4: Negombo

Depart on your overnight flight to Colombo, where on arrival you will be met by your local tour leaders and transferred to your hotel in Waikkal, north of Negombo, the remainder of the day is yours to relax before a Welcome Dinner in the evening.

On the following day you will be transferred to Negombo for an included city tour by Tuk Tuk. See the remains of the 17th century Dutch Fort which now houses a prison, there’s Negombo Lagoon which is lined with fishermen’s huts and which feeds into the Dutch-era Hamilton Canal, plus there’s the Neoclassical St. Mary’s Church that was completed in the 1920’s and features a ceiling decorated with vivid religious paintings.

Days 5 - 6: Wilpattu National Park

Distance: 130km (81miles)

After a relaxing breakfast, your motorhomes will be delivered to the hotel ready for you to start the first leg of your journey to Wilpattu National Park.

Wilpattu National Park consists of a complex of lakes called ‘Villus’ which are surrounded by grassy plains, set within scrub jungle. Many of the `big game’ found in Sri Lanka including elephant, sloth bear, water buffalo, and spotted dear can be seen here, though the biggest attraction at Wilpattu is the Leopard which you can try to spot on two included game drives.

On the following afternoon you could take an optional excursion to see the Angampora ‘Sri Lankan Martial art show’ where combat techniques, self-defence, sport, exercise, and meditation are combined to create a fascinating show.

Days 7 - 9: Habarana

Distance: 97km (61miles)

Habarana is the hub for many main attractions in Sri Lanka. After your morning’s drive from Wilpattu, it is from here that you can take an optional tour to experience a traditional Sri Lankan village where a walk along the village path will bring you to a “Wewa”, a typical village lake. The village homes are totally different to the built up urban areas of Sri Lanka: the small houses are surrounded by green woods and it is common to spot ‘watch huts’ in the fields from where at night the men from the village keep a lookout for wild elephants and wild boar.

An early morning start the following day for your included excursion to Sigirya. For many people travelling to Sri Lanka the highlight is a visit to Sigiriya Rock, designated as a world heritage site in 1982. Sigiriya is famous for its palace ruins that sit on top of a massive 200 metre high rock which is surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures.

The rock itself is a lava plug left over from an ancient long extinct volcano and is renowned for its ancient frescoes, which are similar to those found in India at the Ajanta Caves although it is generally agreed that the Sigiriya Frescoes exhibit a uniquely Sri Lankan style.

The choice is yours on how to spend your last full day in Habarana: relax or take an optional sightseeing tour of Polonnaruwa which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, Polonnaruwa is a world heritage site where you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya where four splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures are carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, king Parakramabahu’s statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya Lake built by King Parakramabahu the great.

Days 10 - 12: Kandy

Distance: 91km (59miles)

Nestling in a valley surrounded by verdant hills, Kandy was the last capital stronghold of the Singhalese Kings. Rich in history and traditions, the Temple of the Tooth attracts devotees and pilgrims worldwide and is the focal point during the magnificent Procession or Peraheraduring the month of August.

Kandy’s attractions are its traditional arts and crafts, the lush botanic garden at Peradeniya, the folk dances as well as its busy and colourful streets, shops and eateries. An iconic colonial monument, the Queens Hotel sitting close to the lake of Kandy, still retains its old colonial charm.

On the included tour of Kandy, you’ll start at the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens which are situated in the Central Province of Sri Lanka and where approximately 2 million people visit each year. The gardens are notable for their collection of orchids and it is also home to various species of plants, spices, medicinal plants, and palm trees.

Later you will visit the Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa), the most important shrine in the Sri Lanka, which houses a tooth of Buddha taken from his funeral pyre in 543 BC. It is renowned for its daily 'Thewawa' ceremony when each evening, the day's worship culminates when the casket containing the tooth relic is put on display to devotees who have travelled from all over the Buddhist world.

Days 13 - 14: Nuwara Eliya

Distance: 80km (50miles)

Today as you drive to Nuwara Eliya make sure you allow time to stop at some waterfalls that you’ll encounter on your journey. Nuwara Eliya is located in the hill country of the Central Province of Sri Lanka. The city is considered to be one of the most important locations for tea cultivation and is well known for its cool climate, the coolest area in Sri Lanka. Many of the buildings date back to the colonial period and many private homes have maintained their old English style lawns and gardens.

No trip to Nuwara Eliya would be complete without a visit to a tea factory and on our included tour you will be able to see the process of how Ceylon Tea is produced.

Days 15 - 16: Yala

Distance: 140km (88miles)

After making the relatively short journey to Yala, you will have time to relax before joining an afternoon game drive to Yala National Park which is composed of a variety of habitats, from thorny scrub to dense forests, lagoon, and ocean. Here you can find elephants, leopard, bears as well as crocodiles that can be spotted basking along the banks of lakes. Yala protects a rich avifauna from predating eagles to brightly feathered kingfishers as well as migrant birds that flock here during the winter months.

Days 17 - 20: Bentota

Distance: 240km (150miles)

For those that wish to, you can take an optional second game drive into Yala National Park before heading to Bentota; the motorhomes will be dropped off before checking in to your beachside hotel for the next four nights and where we will have the Farewell Dinner.

The next morning we head to Galle which was once the chief port of Sri Lanka and is now best known for handmade lace. Here you can visit the World Heritage-listed Galle Fort which spans 90 acres, and which was originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663. This walled city has stood since the early sixteenth century through the Colonial periods of the Portuguese, Dutch and British. In present times it is proclaimed as an Archaeological Reserve and has been identified as a living World Heritage Site.

Available Excursions:
Day 21: Depart Bentota

Transfer to Colombo Airport for your flight home.

Additional Information

Price per person is based on two people sharing, prices for solo travellers are available on request.

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