For those with limited time or for those who just want an introduction to the country, our Highlights of Sri Lanka tour visits the key places in the Cultural Triangle, Kandy and Tea Country and gives you an insight into this fascinating country. If you'd like to spend longer exploring Sri Lanka, view full information of the two week 'Best of Sri Lanka' tour. Alternatively, extend your holiday with some relaxation time on the beach.Day 1 Arrive Colombo to SigiriyaArrive in Colombo and meet your personal chauffeur guide who will be your travelling companion throughout your tour of Sri Lanka. Drive inland to the Cultural Triangle (approximately 4.5 hours drive), a melting pot of heritage, culture and wildlife and home to a wealth of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress, one of Sri Lanka’s eight World Heritage Sites. Check-in to the all-suite luxury boutique hotel, Elephant Corridor for two nights. Day 2 Visit Polonnaruwa This morning, leave for Polonnaruwa via Habarana, Minneriya and Giritale (approximately 2 hours drive). Passing through Minneriya National Park, it is likely that you will see wild elephants, sometimes in large herds. This is the site of the ‘Elephant Gathering’ between July and October, where up to 300 elephants can be seen gathering around the tank in the late afternoon. Polonnaruwa is another World Heritage Site and contains the well-preserved monuments of the mediaeval capital of Sri Lanka, located amongst undulating woodland. Return to the hotel.Day 3 Sigiriya to Kandy After breakfast, visit Dambulla, another World Heritage Site and home to marvellous cave temples whose walls are covered with murals exceeding 21,000 square feet. This visit involves a 10-15 minute walk uphill with wonderful views at the top. Then head south towards Sri Lanka’s hill country. On the way pause to visit a famous spice garden and to see some of the island’s best batiks at an authentic arts and crafts centre where there is the option of a rice and curry lunch (Sigiriya to Kandy is approximately 3 hours drive). In the afternoon, either do part of the sightseeing around Kandy planned for the next day or check-in to the Kandy House for a two night stay. This small and tranquil, Walauwa mansion is located in the hills four miles from the centre of Kandy.Day 4 Kandy, Botanical Gardens and Elephants Set out for a full day’s excursion. Kandy was the last capital of the Sinhalese kingdom and is today still an important cultural and spiritual centre. The centre of town is close to a picturesque lake and is a delight of antique and gemstone shops, a bustling market and numerous restaurants. The Royal Botanical Garden at Peradeniya contains more than 5,000 species including over 150 palm trees. At Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, (approximately 1 hours drive), see more than 65 elephants, including baby elephants born in captivity. The best time to see them is at feeding time and bathing time in the river. In the evening, join the crowds to visit Kandy’s famous Temple of the Tooth located within the Royal Palace complex. This is one of the most sacred sites for Buddhists, containing the tooth relic of Lord Buddha. Day 5 Kandy to Tea Country After breakfast leave for Nuwara Eliya (approximately 2 hours). Today’s drive is one of the most scenic in the country as you pass through tea country with the mountains carpeted in tea, numerous waterfalls and tea pickers. Stop at a tea factory to see the processing. The hill town of Nuwara Eliya is the centre of ‘Little England’. In this quirky market town, enjoy a stroll in Victoria Park, wander alongside ponies on the ‘high street’ and enjoy strawberries and cream from the local market gardens. Continue on for an overnight stay amongst Tea Country at Warwick Gardens, a unique Edwardian-style tea estate bungalow. Day 6 Tea Country to ColomboAfter breakfast, leave for Colombo (approximately 6 hours drive). The tea plantation scenery continues this morning and includes two very high waterfalls, the St Clair and the Devon. There is a stop at the Tea Centre for a cup of tea chosen from more than 100 different blends. At Kitulgala see the location of the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ and tropical rainforest. Arrive in Colombo in the evening for an overnight stay at the luxury boutique hotel, Park Street. The restaurant here is popular with Colombo residents for its delicious modern continental and Asian cuisine.Day 7 Departure from Colombo or extend your visitAfter breakfast, leave for the airport for your onward flight or for a beach extension to this touring holiday.Prices from £1950 per personOUR PRICE INCLUDES• Return scheduled flights with British Airways or Sri Lankan Airlines to Colombo in economy class• Breakfast and accommodation sharing a twin or double room• Private English-speaking chauffeur-guide in an air-conditioned Japanese car throughout the itinerary• Entrance fees to the monuments listed aboveOUR PRICES DO NOT INCLUDE• Visas• Meals, except as specified above • Drinks, gratuities and personal expenses• Camera fees where applicable• InsuranceHOTEL LIST FOR THE ABOVE ITINERARYSigiriya, The Elephant Corridor, this unique boutique hotel is set in 200 acres of land with spectacular views. 21 extremely spacious suites each have their own plunge pool (Deluxe Suite)Kandy, Kandy House, a beautiful boutique Walauwa mansion four miles from the centre of Kandy. The eight bedrooms are very unique in space and style (Deluxe Room)Tea Country, Warwick Gardens, a boutique tea estate ‘bungalow’ hidden in scenic mountains. Bedrooms are spacious with luxuriously fitted bathrooms (Deluxe Room)Colombo, Park Street, a luxury boutique hotel on a leafy street in the heart of the city. The 12 rooms are airy and spacious and the restaurant is popular with Colombo residents for al fresco dining (Deluxe Room).
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