Day 1: Arrival Colombo
On arrival meet your tour guide displaying a signboard with your name. Assistance & transfer to your hotel.
Later commence a city tour of Colombo. A drive through the city will take you to the Fort and Pettah - the commercial area of the city and tree-lined Cinnamon Gardens. The Hindu Temple at Sea Street, lined with goldsmith's shops, the Dutch Church at Wolfendhal, 100 year old clock tower and several British built colonial buildings. The Independence Hall, B.M.I.C.H, see the replica of Avukana Buddha, the Independence Square & Gangarama Temple. O/n at hotel.
Day 2: Colombo – Anuradhapura (210kms)
Breakfast at the hotel drive to Anuradhapura, check in at the hotel.
Later visit the sacred ancient city founded in the 04th century B.C a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1982. Visit tallest dagobas of Sri Lanka, Ruwanweliseya dagoba, 2nd century BC with its famous elephant walls and the 3rd century BC Thuparama dagoba. Ruins of ancient royal palaces specially the pillars of the Brazen Palace, which once had nine storey’s, temples, the image of the Samadhi Buddha one of the finest pieces of Buddhist sculpture, monasteries, the twin ponds, guard stones and the moonstone. The ‘Sri Maha Bodhi’ or the sacred Bo tree is over 2200 years old grown from a branch of the very tree under which “The Buddha” attained enlightenment – the oldest historically documented tree in the world.
Thereafter proceed to Mihintale, where Buddhism was first introduced to Sri Lanka. The rock is dotted with shrines and rock dwellings. A grand stairway of 1840 steps made of granite slabs, 5 meters wide leads to the summit with its splendid views of the surrounding countryside. O/n at hotel.
Day 3: Anuradhapura – Polonnaruwa – Sigiriya (160kms)
After breakfast proceed to Sigiriya via Polonnaruwa.
Polonnaruwa was the 2nd capital city of Sri Lanka, built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, and which is a world heritage site. Here 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 built by King Parakramabahu the great. There are also monuments of famous places of worship such as, the Shiva temple, the Lankathilake, the Watadage, the Galpotha, the Kiri Vehera and the remains of a former temple of the Tooth.
Thereafter return to Sigiriya and explore the 5th century Sigiriya Rock fortress which is a world heritage site, built by King Kashapa (477-495 AD). The 'Lion Rock' is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town. A moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the renowned water gardens ring the base of the rock. 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. These frescoes are painted in earth pigments on plaster. O/n at hotel.
Day 4: Sigiriya – Dambulla – Matale – Kandy (92kms)
After breakfast leave for Kandy. Enroute visit the Dambulla Rock Temple. Climb up to the temple which was donated by king Walagambahu in the 1st century BC to Buddhist monks. Dambulla is a World Heritage site and is the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples. The complex of five caves with over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and the ceiling is the largest area of paintings found in the world. 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.
Also, visit a spice garden in Matale to see the different spices, which Sri Lanka is famous for. You will be introduced to different spices and shown how some of these spices are grown and processed. Thereafter continue to Kandy.
In Kandy, do a city tour. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings, which is a world heritage site. The name Kandy conjures visions of splendour and magnificence. Many of the legends, traditions and folklore are still lovingly kept alive. Drive around the Kandy Lake built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798. Visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre and a gem museum and a lapidary.
In the evening visit the Temple of the Tooth Relic and thereafter witness a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing. O/n at hotel.
Day 5: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya (75kms)
After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya. Enroute visit a tea plantation and a tea factory, where the best tea in the world is produced. You will 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. Visit Nuwara Eliya. Nuwara Eliya, because of its invigorating mountain climate and scenery, is Sri Lanka's most popular hill resort. Nuwara Eliya is also the heart of Sri Lanka's tea country producing a significant share of the world's best tea. Sri Lanka's highest mountain Pidurutalagala (8282 feet) is located here. Nuwara-Eliya also has one of the finest 18 hole golf courses in South Asia. O/n at hotel.
Day 6: Nuwara Elliya – Yala – Hambantota (200kms)
After breakfast proceed to Hambantota via Yala and Wellawaya. In the afternoon do a safari of the Yala National Park by Jeep. Yala is the largest national Park in Sri Lanka and is the home of wild Elephants, wild Boar, wild Buffaloes, Leopard, Bear, Deer and Crocodiles. You can also see large flocks of migratory in indigenous birds. O/n at hotel.
Day 7: Hambantota – Galle – Colombo (252kms)
After breakfast proceed to Galle via Matara and Weligama enroute viewing the Fishermen on Stilts.
In Galle, do a city tour, which was once the chief port of Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was named by the British. It is still well known for hand-made lace. You can also visit the Galle Fort (spanning 90 acres), which was originally built by the Portuguese and later extended by the Dutch in 1663 which is a world heritage site. Thereafter transfer to Colombo. O/n at hotel.
Day 8: Colombo - Departure
Breakfast at hotel, transfer to airport to board flight for your onward destination.