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Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

4 stars

Overview Prices starting from £1499 per person ↓

Grand Tour Of Sri Lanka

  • Sri Lanka's historic sites in the cultural triangle A wonderful opportunity to see Sri Lanka's heritage sites, cultural treasures and contrasting landscape. The tour is escorted and accommodation carefully selected for comfort and convenience.
  • A visit to Anuradhapura and the oldest tree on earth You can visit the ancient ruins of Anuradhapura, see Sri Maha Bodhi and Mihintale. Sigiryia Rock fortress and the ancient ruins of Polonnaruwa before continuing on to Kandy.
  • The Elephant orphanage and the temple of the tooth The highlights include a visit to the elephant orphanage, the temple of the tooth, a tea plantation and the natural environment of Yala national park. Visit the stilt fishermen en route to Galle and its fort.

Day 1 - AYUBOWAN!!!
On arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport you will be met by Your Travel Representative from The Holiday Place and be transferred to your hotel in Habarana.
(Airport to Habarana: approximately 04 Hours / 160 km)

Check in at hotel and at leisure.

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana- Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 2
Today after breakfast, you will visit the first capital of ancient Sri Lanka.
(Habarana to Anuradhapura: approximately 02 Hours / 65 Km)
Anuradhapura - A UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the north central part of the Island was the first capital (6th century BC - 10th century AD), the centre of the island's Buddhist civilization and undoubtedly the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. In antiquity and the interest, it is the equal of any ancient 'buried city' in the world. The oldest historically documented tree on earth (over 2,200 years old) - The Sri Maha Bodhi, brought as a sapling of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment, and the island's oldest Buddhist shrines - some dating back to the 3rd century BC, impressive white 'dagabas' (relic chambers) and monuments embellished with handsome stone carvings or sculpture, pleasure gardens, beautifully executed stone baths and ponds and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals are the main attractions of Anuradhapura. Specific places to visit are - the Brazen Palace (2nd century B.C.), with 1600 significant stone columns are the remains of a magnificent multi-storied residence for monks - an engineering marvel at the time, Ruwanweli Seya (2nd century B.C) the most famous of all the dagoba's, originally depicted the perfect water-bubble shape that modern restora ion has not been able to accurately reproduce, Samadhi Buddha (3rd century A.D.) regarded as the finest rock sculpture in the island - depicting the Buddha in a state of deep meditation, Kuttam Pokuna (twin ponds) (6th century A.D.) which were used by monks of this glorious era as a bathing pool. Thuparama (3rd century B.C.), the oldest dagoba in the island - enshrines the right collarbone of Buddha, Ratnaprasada with the best preserved Guard Stone, and Moonstone opposite, Abayagiri and Jetevanarama - a huge dagoba said to the largest brick built structure in the world.
Thereafter you will visit Mihintale.
Mihintale - was where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka and is therefore regarded as the cradle of Buddhism. On this rock are many shrines and dwellings, originally used by monks. A grand stairway of 1,840 steps made of granite slabs 15 feet wide, leads to the summit from where one could get a splendid view of the surrounding countryside.

Return to Habarana.

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana- Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 3
Today you will visit the Lion Rock, one of the seven World Heritage sites in the island.
(Habarana to Sigiriya: approximately 40 Minutes / 25 Km)
This is an ancient rock fortress and ruins of a castle, which was once the home to King Kasyapa. The entrance to the original fortress was through the mouth of a lion, however the ravages of time has resulted with only a part of the massive paws remaining today. A testiment to ancient artistry and architectural ingenuity - Sigiriya has many attractions to its visitors - its gardens (boulder, water & terraced), its artistry (the world renowned frescos), the mirror wall and the dramatic history linked to the construction of the Lion Rock. An original Lost City, Sigiriya is a must see in any visit to the Cultural Triangle.
Next set off to explore the medieval capital of Sri Lanka - Polonnaruwa.
(Habarana to Polonnaruwa: approximately 01 Hours / 46 Km)
The second most ancient of Sri Lanka's kingdoms, Polonnaruwa was first declared the capital city by King Vijayabahu I, who defeated the Chola invaders in 1070 CE to reunite the country once more under a local leader. This city is known to have been the pinnacle of the Golden Age of Sri Lanka, during the reign of Parakramabahu I, a ruler whose goal that no drop of water falling from the heavens be wasted led to the development of irrigation systems which are still utilised to this day. The greatest of these systems - the Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) is a tank so vast that it is often mistaken for an ocean. It circles the main city like a ribbon, acting both as a defensive border against intruders and the lifeline of the people in times of peace.

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Lodge, Habarana- Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 4
This morning you will leave Habarana and drive to Kandy
(Habarana to Kandy: approximately 03 Hours / 104 Km)
En route you will visit the Rangiriya Dambulla Cave Temple - which is located in the North Central Province. This UNESCO World Heritage Site which dates back to the 01st century BC is an amazing complex of 05 caves, first used as a refuge by an ancient king who on regaining his throne, commissioned magnificent carved images within the living rock. Later kings made further improvements and the caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is a colossal figure spanning 15 meters. Cave inscriptions from the 2nd Century BC are found and on the walls are many paintings most of which belong to the Kandy period (early 19th century). This temple is a perfect location to view evolution of ancient Sri Lankan art and is an important historical site due to the amalgamation of the material from many eras.
Next you will stop for a break at the Matale Spice Gardens. Here you will indulge your senses and have the opportunity to sample some of the homeopathic remedies of the East. You will also visit a Batik Factory in Matale.
Continue to Kandy and check in at your hotel.
In the afternoon enjoy a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the famous Temple of the Tooth which is commonly known as "Sri Dalada Maligawa" and is situated in the city of hills, Kandy. It is an important shrine for Buddhists as it holds the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. It is famous for its carvings and the beautiful art that is unique to Sri Lanka. The most important part of the Dalada Maligawa is the octagon (Pathirppuwa). The Sri Dalada Maligawa is the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka. Thousands of people line up each day to get a glimpse of its majesty.
Later you will enjoy a Kandyan Cultural Dance Show.

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy - Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 5
This morning, enjoy a city tour of Kandy including a visit to the Kandy Market, Kandy Upper Lake Drive, Gem Museum, Arts and Crafts Centre etc.
Spend the rest of your day at leisure.

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Citadel, Kandy - Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 6
This Morning you will visit the Royal Botanical Gardens.
(Kandy to Peradeniya: approximately 20 Mins / 10 Km)
Located 460 m above sea-level close to Kandy and surrounded from three sides by the river Mahaveli, Peradeniya botanical garden was founded in the year of 1824. One of the best and most valuable collections of Plants and Trees in the world (more than 4000 species, indoor and outdoor). Giant trees of "Ficus" family, different Bamboo and Palm trees of the world, rare Ayurvedic plants, Orchid House, spice garden, timber trees such as ebony, teak, satinwood, mahogany, tamarind and jak etc. can be seen here. Most of the honourable guests who visited Sri Lanka, for instance The Queen Elizabeth, Marshal Tito, Chancellor Henry Kiesinger and Juri Gagarin, have planted memorable trees in this park.
Thereafter proceed to Nuwara Eliya.
(Kandy to Nuwara Eliya: approx. 03 Hours / 82 Km)
En-route visit a Tea Plantation and a Tea Factory.
After arriving in Nuwara Eliya spend the rest of the day at leisure enjoying the simplicity and beauty of life in the hill country away from the sophistication of city life.
Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka's premier hill resort with a fine bracing mountain climate, Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country, producing some of the world's best tea. The mountain slopes and valleys are a carpet of velvety green tea plantations, interspersed with gushing streams and tumbling waterfalls. Red or green roofed plantation bungalows, English country style homes and hotels with lovely flower gardens, a fine 18 hole golf course and a racecourse gives Nuwara Eliya a decidedly British character

Overnight Stay at Heritance Tea Factory, Nuwara Eliya- Superior Room on Half Board Basis

Day 7
Today you will proceed to Yala.
(Nuwara Eliya to Yala: approx. 05 hours / 180 km)
En-route visit the famous Ella Falls.
Continue to Yala and check in at hotel.
This afternoon you will enjoy a game drive at the Yala National Park.
Yala National Park - Sri Lanka's most known National Park is popular for Elephant, Leopard, Bear, Crocodile and Wild Boar. 97,800 hectares in extent, this is the second largest of Sri Lanka's National Parks. Its open undulating terrain made it famous for elephants for many years, but recently the park has also received much fame through publicity by National Geographic and the Discovery TV channels, which focused on a leopard research/conservation and identification project. Claims have subsequently been made that Yala National Park has the world's highest concentration of leopard per square kilometre. Vegetation is primarily grassland and shrub jungle with patches of dense growth while several salt and fresh water lagoons are a haven for a large variety of resident and migrant birds. Areas popular with leopard are rock strewn hillocks with dense shrub in which the animals hide. 

Overnight Stay at Cinnamon Wild, Yala- Jungle Chalet on Half Board Basis

Day 8
After breakfast proceed to Galle.
(Yala to Galle: approximately 4.5 Hours / 180 Km)
En-route visit the stilt fishermen in Weligama after which will you will proceed to Galle for a city tour.
Galle- said to be the famous Tarshish of the Bible is the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka. The famous fort in Galle was originally built by the Portuguese in 1589 and named Santa Cruz. After the Dutch occupation it was destroyed and rebuilt on a larger scale to cover an area of 36 hectares. Fortified by the Dutch who ruled maritime Sri Lanka in the 17th & 18th centuries the city still retains the air of old Holland. Old Dutch churches and
Thereafter proceed to your selected beach hotel.

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Prices starting from £1499 per person ↓

Excellent tour. Great way to see so much in a short time. A good programme of events.

Mrs Katy Louise Mcmenamin, reviewing Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

Average THP customer rating

4.5 stars

4.5/5 from 12 reviews

 Day 1 to 8

Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

grand tour of sri lanka
  • Day 1Arrival in Habarana
  • Day 2Habarana to Anuradhapura
  • Day 3Habarana to Sigiriya
  • Day 4Habarana to Kandy
  • Day 5Kandy
  • Day 6Kandy to Peradeniya
  • Day 7Nuwara Eliya to Yala
  • Day 8Yala to Galle

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