Call us today on 020 7644 1755

Sigiriya - Sri Lanka's Rock Fortress and Heritage Site

Duration: Half Day

sigiriya - sri lanka's rock fortress and heritage site

Known as the “Tropical Teardrop of the Indian Ocean", Sri Lanka is renowned for its striking natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, which has attracted travellers to the island for centuries. Endless coastline, lush tropical forests and majestic wildlife reserves merge with ancient capitals, temples and shrines, creating an inspirational holiday to remember. This tour will introduce you to one of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular heritage sites – the Rock Fortress of Sigiriya.

Travelling from Colombo, we drive leisurely through Sri Lanka’s beautiful and strikingly diverse countryside before reaching the magnificent Sigiriya Rock Fortress (Lion Rock) in Sri Lanka’s central Matale District. Considered the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient world, this dramatic monument is one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka.

Rising majestically 600ft (180m) above the surrounding plains, the ancient palace fortress was constructed in the 5th century AD atop an enormous boulder by King Kasyapa to fend off a feared invasion. At the height of its glory it was a royal citadel for more than 18 years. Following the King’s death, it became a monastic retreat until the 14th century, after which it was abandoned. The site is particularly famous for its well-preserved frescoes of beautiful Sigiriyan 'Heavenly Maidens', which can be viewed halfway up the rock in a sheltered alcove, approached by a spiral stairway.

Visitors can climb the steps to see the ancient ruins of the fortress, which is considered one of the most remarkable creations in the world. Amongst the complex of ancient buildings lie landscaped water gardens, bathing pools, moats and historic ruins, which include the King’s throne and enormous stone lion paws at the entrance. These were once part of a Lion’s head, which is where the rock derives its name Sigiriya (the Lion Rock). Visitors would originally start the ascent to the summit through the lion’s mouth before it was left to ruin.

Another interesting feature of the fortress is the “Mirror Wall”, a 1000-year-old polished graffiti wall which reveals inscriptions of visitors’ impressions of Sigiriya in ancient times. These markings were believed to have been inscribed in Sinhala between the 7th and 11th Century AD.

The steep climb to the summit may seem difficult to some, but your efforts will be rewarded with magnificent views of the jungle and lush green countryside from the top. This awe-inspiring fortress in the sky is a must-see during your holiday in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka Holidays Browse all

Best Value

From £829 per person
avani kalutara resort + traders - qaryat al beri

Avani Kalutara Resort + Traders - Qaryat Al Beri

With the most strikingly beautiful of settings, amongst green coconut groves and facing the golden sands just at the...

From £829 per person
avani bentota + sheraton abu dhabi hotel and resort

Avani Bentota + Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort

Avani Bentota is set in eight acres of lush frangipanis and coconut palms by the golden sands of Bentota. This hotel...

From £829 per person
mermaid hotel and club + rove downtown dubai

Mermaid Hotel and Club + Rove Downtown Dubai

This resort is spread across two acres of lush coconut groves and tropical gardens by the golden sands of Kalutura...

From £849 per person
jetwing beach + hyatt regency dubai

Jetwing Beach + Hyatt Regency Dubai

Jetwing Beach Resort sits beside a beautiful sun kissed stretch of beach, just outside the coastal town of Negombo. The...

From £849 per person
jetwing blue + grand hyatt dubai

Jetwing Blue + Grand Hyatt Dubai

Experience a warm Sri Lankan welcome at the Jetwing Blue Hotel. Surrounded by lush tropical gardens & a golden sand...

From £899 per person
tangerine beach + sheraton jumeirah beach

Tangerine Beach + Sheraton Jumeirah Beach

The place where "space meets light", the Tangerine Beach Hotel is a heavenly fusion of modern and ancient elegant...

Talk to a specialist


Call 020 7644 1755 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 10:30 - 18:30 GMT

Related articles for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka News

Browse all Sri Lanka News

Movenpick Hotel Colombo, Sri Lanka appoints new General Manager

The Movenpick Hotel Colombo in Sri Lanka has appointed a new General Manager. George Koumendakos has taken over the role at the luxury five-star hotel in Colombo city centre, and he brings more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality sector to the position. The hotel opened in January 2016 and has 219 guest rooms and suites, a spa, a rooftop bar, themed restaurant and an infinity pool.

Vogue publishes detailed guide to Sri Lanka’s tea country

In an attempt to provide avid readers with a comprehensive guide to Sri Lanka’s stunning tea country, Vogue has recently published an article on the must-see locations when visiting the region. Writer Michaela Trimble from the fashion magazine gives readers insight into the best tea-related experiences in the island.

Shangri-La Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa, Sri Lanka appoints new General Manager

Shangri-La's Hambantota Golf Resort and Spa has announced the appointment of a new General Manager at the hotel in Sri Lanka. Moshi Perera will take over the role this month, bringing more than 20 years of hospitality experience to the role. The hotel opened to guests in summer 2016, and it has 300 guest rooms including 21 lavish suites.