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Anuradhapura, Sigiriya, Kandy and Pinnawela

Duration: 3 Days

anuradhapura, sigiriya, kandy and pinnawela

A jewel in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is renowned for its striking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, which has attracted avid travellers to the island for centuries. Endless coastlines, lush tropical forests and wildlife sanctuaries merge with ancient capitals, temples and shrines, offering an inspirational and unforgettable holiday. This tour will show you some of the island highlights.

Day 1:
After an early start from your beach resort, we drive north to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka first capital from the 4th century BC until the beginning of the 11th century BC. Established in 377 BC, this sacred city is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, boasting well-preserved ruins of temples, palaces and Buddhist shrines. This tour will give you a fascinating insight into Sinhalese history, culture and Buddhism.
The city highlights include the sacred Sri Maha Bodhi Tree, the historic 'tree of enlightenment', which is believed to be the oldest documented tree on earth. We will also visit Kuttam Pokuna (twin pool/ponds), the ancient granite baths built by the Sinhalese for Buddhist monks during the 3rd century, as well as the magnificent Buddhist Stupas. These gigantic dome-shaped brick structures contain Buddhist relics and remains – a similar idea to the Egyptian Pyramids except the Buddhist remains are cremated, not entombed. After this fascinating tour, we continue onwards to Sigiriya for an overnight stay.

Day 2:
After breakfast we will climb the magnificent 5th century rock fortress of Sigiriya, which towers 600ft above the breathtaking countryside.  We then proceed to the historical hillside city of Kandy, stopping along the way at a wood carving centre and a spice garden, where you can learn all about the varied spices Sri Lanka is renowned for. In the evening we visit the famous 17th century Temple of the Tooth, which reputedly enshrines the sacred relic of the tooth of the Buddha. This is one of the holiest places of worship and pilgrimage for Buddhists around the world. You will also get the chance to see an exciting cultural show after the tour.

Day 3:
After breakfast we will explore the sacred city of Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital and the last royal capital of the Sinhala kings. Due to its ancient historical and cultural importance, the city was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Situated amidst the hills of the Kandy Valley, this is one of the most scenic cities in Sri Lanka. Tour highlights include the Upper Lake Drive and the Gem Museum, and you will also have time to browse the bustling marketplace and local handicraft shops.
After a walk through the beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, we will make a final stop at Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage where you can help bottle-feed the babies and watch the elephants bathe in the river. This is a wonderful experience not to be missed during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Tour includes: half board accommodation on a twin sharing basis, air conditioned transportation, an English speaking chauffeur guide and entrance fees as per itinerary. Optional extras: elephant ride and cultural show.

 

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