14 Days | 13 Nights
This itinerary takes you around the island to give you a glimpse of its most sought-after destinations. Visit Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle and Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth. Get stunned by the magical beauty of the hill country where emerald tea fields and looming mountains set a fascinating backdrop. Go on a wildlife safari at one of the famed National Parks in Sri Lanka. Also, go on a thrilling whale watching excursion and sight the acrobatic movements of marine giants. Take a leisurely stroll around Galle’s 17th century Fort, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Round-off your holiday by enjoying some sea and sand time in Southern Sri Lanka.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a conveniently located hotel and relax.
The cultural triangle, which consists of the ancient cities- Anuradhapura, Kandy, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla bear witness to architectural wonders that never fail to fascinate the onlooker. Some of these cities were once mighty kingdoms dating from as far back as and even before the 5th century BC. Today, they are treasured historical sites that bring to life sacred historic sites, gigantic statures and tales of yore. The archeological sites, protected as World Heritage Sites, are a glimpse into the island’s millennia-old history.
Go hot air ballooning over Kandalama, Sigiriya and Dambulla
Revel in bird’s eye views of the island’s most scenic landscapes and collect memories of a lifetime. Your hot air balloon adventure starts early in the morning and will last about almost four hours. Probably nowhere on earth merits a hot air balloon ride quite like the scenic Sigiriya-Dambulla area, where you will spot wild elephants, herds of water buffaloes, lush paddy fields, placid lakes, patches of jungles and historic sites scattered with ruins. However, the exact route of your flight cannot be predicted, as this is dependent on the prevailing winds. Upon landing, enjoy a lavish breakfast.
Visit the Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Marvel at the ancient rock fortress of Sigiriya, a king’s palace built atop a massive rock, high in the sky. Considered as the Eighth Wonder of the World, Sigiriya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. The rebellious King Kashyapa (477-495AD) reigned from this mighty rock fortress. You will climb up to the summit of the rock and witness ancient moats, ponds, walkways and ruins what once used to be regal gardens and courtyards. Also, you will walk through the corridors that lead to the famed frescoes wall adorned with intricate arts of the concubines of the palace.
The first kingdom of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura boasts ancient Buddhist temples, ruins of massive palaces and sprawling gardens. It is home to the most revered tree which is also the oldest historic tree in the world-the Jaya Sri Maha Bodhi planted in 288BC. The sapling was taken off the Bodhi tree under which Buddha was enlightened. Ruwanweliseya stupa, the eight feet structure of Buddha-Samadhi statue, Aukana Buddha statute and Isurumuniya are some of the attractions in Anuradhapura.
Another ancient capital of Sri Lanka, Polonnaruwa is a maze of age-old artefacts including stupas, ruins of ancient structures and tombs. The intricate statute of King Parakramabahu is one of the key attractions in Polonnaruwa. Said to be the first stupa built in Sri Lanka, Thuparamaya also stands amidst the calm environs of the ancient city. Another important site is the Nissankalatha Mandapaya or King Nissankamalla’s Council Chamber, which is an ornate structure of traditional Sri Lankan architecture.
Savour a Sri Lankan meal
Rice and curry is a staple in the island. A traditional Sri Lankan meal comes with warm scoops of steamed rice and a handful of flavour some curries and sides. Relish a wholesome meal of rice and curry and enjoy the flavours of the island.
Home to the revered Temple of the Tooth, Kandy is a resplendent city in the hill country and also a must visit destination in Sri Lanka with many historical accounts to explore. The Temple of the Tooth is one of the most venerated Buddhist places of worship in Sri Lanka as it houses the scared tooth relic of Buddha. Also, the beautiful royal palace complex is a reflection of the skill and dexterity of the craftsman. The renowned Esala Perahera or procession is also associated with the Temple of the Tooth.
Visit the Royal Botanical Gardens
Known as Sri Lanka’s biggest botanical garden, Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden is a delightful place in Kandy. Sprawling over 147 acres, the garden is home to more than 4000 species of plants and 300 species of orchids. Wander amidst its stunning greenery and immerse yourself in horticultural delights. You can also spot various avian inhabitants, endemic reptiles and over 18 species of mammals.
The scenic Udawatta Kele Forest Reserve is an oasis of green hidden in the middle of Kandy town. With looming trees and dangling vines, the reserve is a great place to walk around and experience nature. You will walk past The Lover’s Walk, Marble Seat, ruins of a Buddhist monastery as well as a vantage point that offers a sweeping view of Kandy and beyond. It is said that the members of the Royal family had used the forest for recreational activities and the pond in the forest had provided a great bathing venue for them.
Explore a hilltop temple- Bahirawakanda
Riddled with myth about a gnome that once resided in the mountain, Bahirawakanda is a great place to explore when in Kandy. You have to climb up to the top to visit the Sri Maha Bodhi Maha Viharaya. However, the pristine white statue of Buddha, which is 88ft in height is the top attraction. A spiral stairway extends behind the statue leading to viewing decks at different levels, providing stunning views of Kandy
Ceylon tea is the refreshing brew that placed the name of the island on the world map. Tea was initially panted in the central hills of the island by James Taylor, a Scottish planter. Witness the painstaking process of tea manufacturing-from processing tea leaves to packing the final product.
Enjoy fresh strawberries at a local strawberry farm
Walk through a strawberry farm and pick your own strawberries. Although there are three varieties of strawberries, you will see the ever-bearing category, which yields a harvest throughout the year. You can also get your hands on strawberry based product such as jams from the boutique of the farm. (Please note that we aren’t bearing the expenses of the merchandise).
Enveloped in emerald green, Nuwara Eliya with its hackneyed reference “The Little England”, is one of the most scenic towns of the island. You will visit the Lake Gregory where you can enjoy its lively ambience and take in the pretty views. Hakgala Botanical Gardens is yet another stop, which is a charming world of exotic flora and fauna. You will also visit the Galway Sanctuary, which is home to many migrant and endemic birds.
Although a less visited historical site in Sri Lanka, the serene village of Buduruvagala is the site of the tallest solid rock-carved, standing Buddha statue in Southern Asia. The ancient carvings of Buduruvagala belongs to a time between the 7th and 10th century AD.
Go on an evening game drive at Yala National Park
Yala National Park is believed to have the highest concentration of leopards on earth. Comprised of five separate blocks covering 14,100 hectares, its varying habitats – consisting of lush jungles, plains, rocky outcrops, forest, rivers, mangroves fresh water lakes, and coastal lagoons – provide homes for many species of animals including sloth bear, elephants, monkeys, sambar, deer, buffalo and crocodiles.
Go on a morning game drive at Yala National Park
Explore the Galle Fort, a UESCO World Heritage Site in Sri Lanka. The ramparts and bastions of the Fort are a great testament of its extensive maritime history. After exploring the Fort, you will criss-cross the picturesque streets within the Fort and catch a glimpse of ancient Dutch and English churches, chic eateries, art galleries and craft boutiques. Next, you will stop by to visit the Old Dutch Reformed Church-an iconic monument of colonial era. You will walk further down and explore the Gothic style All Saints Church as well. You will also visit the warehouses of the Dutch East India Company, the Old Dutch Hospital, the Court Square and the Sri Sudarmalaya Buddhist Temple. Next, you will spend some time at the National Maritime Museum, which is a treasure trove of history
Enjoy some great time by the beach and get your tan on!
One of the hottest beach destinations in the island, Hikkaduwa is full of life. Apart from its showstopper-sandy beaches, Hikkaduwa is also home to majestic coral reefs, so it makes an ideal spot for snorkelling. Seenigama Vihara Temple is also just a few kilometers outside of Hikkaduwa. Located on a little island just a couple of meters off the coastline, the temple is a charming place to visit. You will visit a turtle hatchery, which is home to baby turtles that are either rescued or handed over.
You will leave for the Airport (Bandaranaike International Airport), Depending on the Departure Time or continue with one of our Tour Packages, or continue with your own itinerary for rest of your stay in Sri Lanka
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