Day 1 ColomboMake your own way to Colombo. Your Holiday Director will meet you at your hotel for your welcome meeting that evening. Meals included: D
Day 2 Colombo - Habarana
After breakfast, a short sightseeing tour will introduce you to the city's highlights. Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo is a bustling metropolis boasting an attractive blend of old and new. Grand colonial-era buildings and Buddhist temples rub shoulders with modern skyscrapers, fine restaurants and high-end boutiques.
We will then head to Habarana. This afternoon, we will visit Minneriya National Park, which is home to deer, leopards and elephants.
Day 3 Sigiriya & Minneriya
Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka's seven World Heritage sites and is situated in the heart of the island's Cultural Triangle. A spectacular rock fortress, the Kerala complex is home to water gardens, moats and the impressive Lion Rock - the entrance to the original fortress was through the mouth of a carved lion. All you'll see today are two huge paws but they are still an incredible sight.
Later today we'll visit the ancient Hiriwaduna Buddhist Temple before crossing a jungle rivulet by catamaran to reach a farmer's 'wattle and daub' house.
Day 4 Habarana - at Leisure
Today is free for you day to explore at your own pace. Alternatively, why not join our optional excursions This morning, you could choose to visit UNESCO-listed Anuradhapura, the first capital and the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka. This ancient buried city is full of stone carvings and sculptures, and a superb irrigation system of reservoirs and canals. Anuradhapura is also home to the oldest historically documented tree on earth - The Sri Maha Bodhi - which is over 2,200 years old and is respected by Buddhists all over the world
This afternoon you could take the optional excursion to Dambulla cave temples that contain more than 150 images of Buddha.
Meals included: B,D
Day 5 Polonnaruwa
Polonnaruwa is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s cities and you can discover more on this mornings included excursion here.
Day 6 Habarana - Kandy
This morning we head to Kandy. The aromatic Matale Spice Gardens are our port of call en route to the city. Nutmeg, pepper, cloves and cinnamon, all of which are regularly used in Sri Lankan cuisine, grow here.Meals included: B,D
Day 7 Kandy
Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and the Royal Botanical Gardens at nearby Peradeniya are a delight to explore. First planted for King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha (1747-1780), and covering some 150 hectares, you'll see towering trees, elegant lawns, flowering shrubs and exotic crops such as coffee, tea and nutmeg during our visit here. Highlights include a palm avenue planted by the British in 1905 and an enormous Java fig grown from a sapling brought over from the East Indies.
Today, you will visit Sthree Café for lunch. The Sthree Café, supported by Planeterra, works with women in the local community to increase their income, strengthen their financial independence, and help them become economically empowered. The Sthree Café employs local women from WDC's Kandy forum as well as differently-abled persons, providing them with a fair wage and the skills and training needed to work in the service sector. The café serves fresh, locally sourced, seasonal vegetarian cuisine and provides a traditional Sri Lankan dining experience.
You'll then tour Kandy, where highlights include the temple housing the famous Tooth Relic of Buddha and the Market Square. The Temple of the sacred Tooth Relic, commonly known as 'Sri Dalada Maligawa', is the most venerated place of worship for Buddhists throughout the world. Built in the 16th century, this temple houses the sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province in ancient India in the 4th century AD. Several buildings have been added to the temple complex by successive rulers, the latest being the Golden Canopy over the inner shrine where the Tooth Relic is placed. The Sri Dalada Maligawa is the most sacred temple in the whole of Sri Lanka, where thousands of people line up each day to get a glimpse of its majesty.
Day 8 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
Nuwara Eliya, which we reach by a combination of train and road, is an area carpeted in lush green tea plantations and the home of the famous Ceylon tea. During a plantation visit we'll get to see how the leaves for England's favourite brew are picked by hand and taste a cup in its purest form.Meals included: B,D
Day 9 Beruwala
We arrive in Beruwala today, where you can spend the next three days at leisure. Our hotel is located right on the beach and boasts an inviting pool and a rooftop spa. It's also just 1km from the town, where there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars and shops.Meals included: B,D
Day 10 Beruwala
A city tour of Galle today will introduce you to the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, while a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery allows you a privileged view of these endangered creatures.Meals included: B,D
Day 11 Beruwala - at LeisureToday is yours to spend as you like, you may choose to relax at your hotel or you could join an optional yoga session with an expert teacher. Meals included: B,D
Day 12 Beruwala
Today has been left free for you to spend at leisure. Perhaps spend some time relaxing on the beach or beside the hotel's pool, alternatively you may wish to book a treatment at the hotel spa.
This evening we'll gather as a group to enjoy a special farewell barbecue dinner on the beach.
Day 13 Colombo - UK
Today we'll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the UK.Meals included: B