DAY 1 – LEAVE FROM EUROPE
Arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport and welcome by our representative. Transfer to a hotel in Habarana or Sigiriya. Full day relax at the hotel. Dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast visit the ancient historical site of Anuradhapura. Sri Lanka’s first capital is situated in the dry zone. It is one of Sri Lanka’s premier ancient cities. Visit the sacred Bo Tree, temples, Brazen Palace, Samadhi Buddha, Kuttam Pokuna, an Mihintale (12 kilometers from Anuradhapura) – a rock dotted with shrines and dwellings – a grand stairway of 1,840 steps made of granite slabs that leads to a summit with a splendid view of the countryside and Aukana Buddha statue. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana or Sigiriya.
After breakfast visits the ancient historical site of Polonnaruwa: The island’s medieval capital rose to fame after Anuradhapura’s decline. The largest of its many reservoirs, the Parakrama Samudra, is larger than the Colombo harbor. Attractions: Remains of the King’s council chamber, the Royal Citadel, the Kumara Pokuna, the Royal Pavilion, the Vat adage Relic House , and Gal Vihare. In the afternoon visit Dambulla cave temple: Like Sigiriya, Dambulla is a vast isolated rock mass, which houses a rock temple (formerly caves). Some of its frescoes are over 2,000 years old – and there is a colossal figure of the recumbent Buddha caved out of the rock, some 14 meters long. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Habarana or Sigiriya.
After breakfast visit Sigiriya: This rock fortress was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. In a sheltered pocket, approached by a spiral stairway, are the famous frescoes. The summit of the rock, with an area of nearly one hectare, was the site of the old palace – the outer wall of which was built on the very brink of the precipice. The UNESCO-sponsored Central Cultural Fund has restored Sigiriya’s 5th century Water Gardens to be former glory. Afternoon relax at the hotel or optional excursion to Minneriya National Park. Dinner and overnight stay at the hotel in Habarana or Sigiriya.
After breakfast leave for Kandy. En route visit the Nalanda Gedige, a Spice Garden and a Batik factory in Matale. In the evening watch a cultural performance by traditional Kandyan Dancers and drummers, visit Kandy city: Sri Lanka’s hill capital is, perhaps, its most beautiful town. It is 488 meters above sea level, and next to Colombo, is Sri Lanka’s most visited place. The focal point of the town is the golden-roofed Dalada Maligawa, where the sacred tooth relic of the Buddha is enshrined. Kandy is an exiting place for shopping, with souvenirs in wood, copper, silver, brass, ebony, and bronze. Ceramics, lacquer work, hand-looms, batiks, jewelry and rush and reed-ware can also be purchased. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.
After breakfast visit the Victoria reservoir and the ancient Bambaragala Temple. In the afternoon, visit the old Embekke Devale and Gadaladeniya Temple in the vicinity of Kandy. Both are not frequently visited by tourists and remain a testimony to the veneration of the Buddha by the villagers. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Kandy.
After breakfast leave by train from Kandy to Nanu Oya station, where you will be picked up and transferred to Nuwara-Eliya. Visit a Tea Plantation and a Tea Factory. Set in the heart of tea-country, this beautiful town is where the British succeeded in creating an English countryside, with homes in styles from Georgian to Queen Anne. Well-kept lawns with hedges, an Anglican church, and the famous golf course and beautiful parks given the place an air of nostalgia. Situated 1,890 meters above sea level, the air is cool and fresh – a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of Colombo. Acres and acres of tea with its lush green foliage extend miles across the hills, and no visit to the hill country is complete without a visit to a tea estate, and the chance to purchase some of the world’s finest flavored tea. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Nuwara-Eliya.
After breakfast leave for Colombo or Negombo. Close to Nuwara Eliya is Horton Plains, Sri Lanka’s highest and most isolated plateau. Nature lovers will revel in this wide, patna-grass covered plain, the haunt of many wild, yet harmless, animals and the home of many species of birds. Bridle paths will take you to the precipice known as World’s End – a sheer drop of 1,050 meters. If you wish to visit this, we suggest that you spend a second night in Nuwara Eliya or in Haputale. Dinner and overnight stay at a hotel in Colombo.
Breakfast at hotel. Free time till departure to the airport.