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Welcome to Sri Lanka and the start of your holiday! Upon arrival at the airport, you will be met by our representative and transferred to the hotel in Habarana, where we will check you in.
Our sightseeing today takes in Anuradhapura, the fascinating ancient city and one of Sri Lanka’s most important archaeological sites. It contains vast artificial lakes, temples, statues including the Samadhi Buddha, dagobas (solid hemispheres topped with spires), royal baths and museums. We also visit the holy Sri Maha Bodhi tree under which Prince Siddharta attained enlightenment. It is also the oldest historically documented tree on earth.
Today we visit Polonnaruwa-where you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya – where 4 splendid statues of the Buddha in ‘Upright’, ‘Sedentary’ and ‘Recumbent’ postures carved out of rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, king Parakramabahu’s statue, and the Parakrama Samudraya lake. We proceed to Sigiriya and climb the 5th century Sigiriya rock fortress, built by King Kashyapa (477-495 AD). The ‘Lion Rock’ is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 meters from the scrub jungle. We also visit the frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya.
This morning we leave for Kandy visiting the Dambulla Rock Temple en route. Dambulla is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples with over 2000 sq. meters of painted walls. The ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. You will also visit a spice garden in Matale, where you will tajke part in a cooking lesson at the Spice Garden and then enjoy the fruits of your labour! On arrival in Kandy we check you into the hotel.
This morning we visit the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala, home for about 89 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. Thereafter proceed on an afternoon visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, built by a Sinhala king and expanded by the British to the full 147 acres it is today.We then have a sightseeing tour of Kandy. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar. This evening we visit Temple of the Tooth Relic and enjoy traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Today we head to Nuwara Eliya, with a stop along the way at a tea plantation and be told all about the process of manufacturing tea. You can also see how tea is graded. Taste a cup of pure Ceylon tea in the factory. On completion, proceed to 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 morning we drive you to Unawatuna for your beach stay, where you will stay at the Cantaloupe Aqua Hotel in Aqua Zen Rooms. .Free day.
The next few days are yours to enjoy at leisure in Koggala, an ideal tropical beach with its sparkling warm blue seas and a lush fringe of palm trees, all bathed in warm golden sunshine.
Today our arrangements in Sri Lanka end with a departure transfer to the airport and many amazing memories.