Unforgettable island discoveries
Take in sacred sites and stunning scenery as you tour the enchanting and fascinating island paradise of Sri Lanka. You'll have the chance to encounter wonderful wildlife up close, and then to round off your stay with rest and relaxation at a beautiful beach resort.
Your holiday begins with an overnight flight from the UK to Colombo.
Welcome to Sri Lanka! You'll meet your Tour Manager upon arrival, and then transfer to your hotel. This evening, see your first stunning Sri Lankan sunset.
Journey east across the central plains to visit the famous Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, and enjoy a close-up encounter with the animals at a private reserve. You'll also discover Dambulla's iconic Royal Rock Temple and its vast cave complex, before heading to Habarana for dinner and a two-night stay.
A memorable day begins with a trip to UNESCO-listed Polonnaruwa, the former Sri Lankan capital, home to the Royal Palace complex, ancient ruins, and Hindu and Buddhist shrines bordering the huge Prakama Samudra reservoir.
Spend the afternoon at the amazing rock fortress of Sigiriya, with its moated gardens, painted frescoes and the archaeological treasures of the towering 'Lion Rock'. The energetic can climb to the frescoes and 'mirror wall', and there are beautiful gardens and a fascinating museum to explore. You'll return to the hotel for dinner.
Travelling into 'Hill Country', uncover the secrets of Sri Lankan flavours at the Isiwara Spice Garden, and learn about ancient healing traditions at an Ayurvedic centre. Arriving in Kandy, take an exhilarating Tuk Tuk ride to the Buddhist Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, and enjoy a cultural show of traditional dance and drumming this evening.
A day of stunning scenery begins with a rail journey through the Sri Lankan Hill Country past tea plantations, tumbling streams and plunging waterfalls. Arrive at the hill station of Nuwara Eliya, a former colonial retreat that retains its English heritage, and take in its relaxed atmosphere with a park or lakeside stroll.
Learn about the growing and picking processes as you explore a tea plantation, and visit the idyllic hill village of Ella. Stroll along the disused railway track to Rawana Falls, or just take in the views. This afternoon you'll continue to your hotel in the famous Yala National Park, home to elephants, crocodiles, sloth bears and - most famously - leopards.
This morning's included safari will be a three-hour trip into the park's protected scrubland and forest, in the company of a driver-guide, on a quest to see big cats and other wildlife in their natural habitat.
You'll also have the option to join a further, late afternoon safari.
Your last touring day takes you to the exotic coastal town of Galle, a Dutch colonial gem whose ancient fort walls protected the historic old town from the worst of 2004's tragic tsunami. Explore the fascinating streets within, or stroll around the battlements themselves, before we continue north to Waskaduwa.
After your tour, rest and relax in the beautiful beach resort of Waskaduwa, enjoying your hotel, the beach and the surroundings, and taking in the sunsets each evening. During your time here, there'll also be the opportunity to explore the bustling capital Columbo, with its restored Fort area and the ancient street markets of Pettah.
Days 10 and 11
Bid farewell to Waskaduwa today, and transfer to the airport for your flight home. You'll arrive back in the UK this evening, at the end of a wonderful Sri Lankan adventure.
British citizens require machine readable passports when travelling overseas. A visa is also required for entry to Sri Lanka. Full details of how and when to apply will be sent out about eight weeks before departure. Your passport must contain one blank page and be valid for six months beyond the entry date to Sri Lanka. The current visa charge is £25 for British Citizens.
Passports and visas
The transfer time from the airport to your first hotel is approximately one hour.
Hotel transfer times
All outbound flights leave in the evening and land at your destination the next day. All return flights leave in the morning and land in the UK on the same day. On-board meals will usually include dinner and breakfast on outbound flights, and lunch and a snack on the flight home. Drinks are complimentary.
On your flight
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Requirements and advice can vary over time, and from person to person, so please contact your GP about eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or any other preventive measures.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Changes to your hotels