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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! Arrive Colombo, included transfer to hotel. This afternoon enjoy a sightseeing tour of Sri Lanka’s capital include; the Fort, Galle Face Green – a seaside expanse popular for informal cricket games, the Pettah – a noisy oriental bazaar, a visit to Gamgarama temple, Cinnamon Gardens and Independence Square.
Departing Colombo, drive to Giritale and check into hotel before an afternoon visit to Polonnaruwa - an 11th century city of compact size. Polonnaruwa features 12th-century stone sculptures, an old irrigation system with huge tanks, and the Gal Vihara – comprising of three enormous Buddha figures - one reclining (it’s 44 ft/13 m long), one standing and one sitting. The statues, located in a cluster along a dirt road, are revered as being amongst the most sacred monuments in Sri Lanka. There are also palace ruins, great bas-reliefs and friezes. Spend some time exploring the site, before later returning to Giritale.
Leaving Giritale, drive to Sigiriya, the elevated and mysterious 5th century fortress ruins of King Kasyapa, where you view the stunning frescoes. The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. Next visit the impressive Dambulla Rock Temple. Dambulla is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. Leaving Dambulla, the final stop of the day is a spice garden Matale en route to Kandy to see the different spices which Sri Lanka is famous for.
Today visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawela, home to about 89 elephants, some of which are baby elephants found abandoned or orphaned in the wild. The next stop visit a Tea Factory in Giragama, where you will learn the process of manufacturing tea and see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. Return to Kandy via the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, drive around Kandy Lake, visit the bazaar, gem museum and lapidary. This evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Sadly today your tour ends with an transfer to the airport for your onward flight.