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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your adventure through Ceylon. Our local team to greet you upon arrival at Colombo international airport and from here we will transfer directly to Sirigiya for hotel check in. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at your leisure.
After breakfast, we depart to visit Sigiriya Rock - Climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress which is a world heritage site. The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. Visit the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya, which are in a sheltered pocket of the rock approached by a spiral stairway. From here we continue onto visit Polonnaruwa which was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, and also a world heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as the Shiva Temple, the Lankathilake, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former Temple of the Tooth Relic.
This morning we head out to enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Anuradhapura. It was the first capital and undoubtedly the grandest city of the ancient Sri Lanka, It is the home of two World Heritage sites, and many other interesting ancient sites.
This morning is at your leisure before we head to Minneriya National Park. The national park based largely around the huge reservoir and serves as an important gathering place for Sri Lanka’s large population of elephants. Aside from the elephant, Minneriya is also home to some 23 other species of mammals. The arid dry zone is a paradise for many species of Lizard and you will see them here in all their technical colour brilliance if you look carefully enough. Above all is Sri Lanka’s wonderfully varied bird population including the painted stork, the Pelican and various imposing eagle species. This evening enjoy a scrumptious Christmas Eve Dinner at the hotel.
After breakfast, we leave for Kandy. En route we visit the Dambulla Rock, a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples. These caves contain over 150 images of the Buddha of which the largest is the colossal figure of the Buddha carved out of rock spanning 14 metres. We then visit a Spice garden in Matale to see the different spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for, before arriving in Kandy to check into your hotel.
This morning we visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, home for about 90 elephants, some of which were found abandoned in the wild. The best time to visit is during the feeding times, when you will see the baby elephants being bottle-fed. We then visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, built by a Sinhala king and expanded by the British. It is 147 acres in extent and provides an amazing variety of trees, plants and flowers. The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Today we enjoy a city tour of Kandy, the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and is a World Heritage Site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence, and many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. We drive around the Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala King Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe; visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts and crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and then enjoy a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today we head to Nuwara Eliya, with a stop along the way at a tea plantation where you will learn about the process of manufacturing tea. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. We continue onto Nuwara Eliya which, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort. Sri Lanka’s highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. This evening enjoy a sightseeing tour of Nuwara Eliya including a drive through Little England.
After a leisurely breakfast and hotel check out, we travel to Galle on the south coast and check into your hotel. The rest of today is at your leisure.
Today we leave for the beach resort of Kalutara. En route we visit the Dutch Fortress at Galle which was built first by the Portuguese, then modified by the Dutch during the 17th century. During the Dutch period in Ceylon, they brought labourers from Indonesia and Mozambique to build this massive fort. Even today, after 400 years of existence, it looks new and polished.
Free day at your leisure. This evening enjoy a New Years Eve Gala dinner at the hotel.
Free day at your leisure.
Free day at your leisure.
This morning marks the end of your Sri Lankan adventure. We will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.