Glimpses of Ceylon Tour

9 nights private tour

Price from: £1789pp

Colombo 2 nights
Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla 3 nights
Kandy 2 nights
Nuwara Eliya 1 night
Negombo 1 night

Day 1: Fly to Colombo.

Day 2 Colombo: On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel with the rest of the day free to relax.

Day 3 Colombo: After breakfast, set off on a unique Colombo city tour as you travel on a open-air vintage WW2 jeep and see around 20 significant city sights before visiting a local bird sanctuary. Return to the hotel and later this afternoon enjoy an Old Colombo Walking tour, an ideal way to take in the amazing architecture and learn more about the island.

Day 4 Colombo/Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla: After breakfast you will set off for the Cultural Triangle region (approx 110 miles/3 hours drive).

Day 5 Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla: Visit the imposing Sigiriya rock fortress, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 5th century, and those feeling fit can tackle the 600 feet climb to the top. The rock was the innermost stronghold of the fortified town with a moat, rampart, and extensive gardens including the famed water gardens that ring the rock’s base. You will also see the world-renowned frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’ of Sigiriya, which are painted in earth pigments on plaster and are reached by a spiral stairway. Later, drive to Polonnaruwa, another UNESCO World Heritage Site (approx 1½ hours) and the island’s medieval capital. Visit the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya - four colossal statues carved from granite, the Lotus Bath, the moonstones and Audience Hall.

Day 6 Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla: At leisure or you can take an optional excursion to Minneriya National Park for a jeep safari (extra cost).

Day 7 Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla/Kandy: Drive to the Dambulla Rock Cave Temple, dating from the 1st century and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This impressive temple complex of five caves has the largest area of paintings found in the world and a colossal figure of Buddha carved from rock. Visit a spice garden at Matale to see how they are grown and processed before continuing to Kandy (approx 2 hours), the last capital of the Kings and another UNESCO site. Later this evening, enjoy a city tour and drive around Kandy Lake, the town bazaar, the arts and craft centre and a gem museum. Finally, visit the Temple of the Tooth and witness a cultural show.

Day 8 Kandy: This morning is at leisure to relax. Alternatively, you may wish to join an optional Cycling tour in the Hanthana Mountain Range with a visit to the Ceylon Tea Museum (extra cost). This afternoon visit the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, first built as a pleasure garden by a Sinhala king and then expanded by the British. It’s a walker’s paradise with extensive lawns, pavilions, an octagon conservatory, fernery, orchid house and numerous flower beds.

Day 9 Kandy/Nuwara Eliya: Head to the cooler climes of tea country to visit a working tea plantation and factory to see the manufacturing and grading process of tea, before sampling a cup of pure Ceylon tea. Proceed some 6,000 feet above sea level to the former colonial hill station of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka’s most popular hill resort and heart of tea country. The rest of the day is free to enjoy the colonial splendour in all its glory (approx 60 miles/3½ hours drive).

Day 10 Nuwara Eliya/Negombo: Travel to Negombo (approx 100 miles/4½ hours drive) where upon arrival you are free to relax beside the pool or on the inviting sands. If time permits we suggest staying longer in Nuwara Eliya to soak up the stunning scenery.

Day 11 Negombo/Colombo: Time at leisure before your tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey.

Alternatively, after the tour, why not extend your stay?
Options include a short stay at one of Sri Lanka’s superb national parks to view the wildlife; or enjoy further time to relax beside the sea at a glorious beach resort.

What you need to know

Departures: Daily.

Meals: Breakfast.

Tour price: The price shown for this privately escorted tour by air-conditioned car is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights, private transfers, 3* hotel accommodation, sightseeing as outlined and private services of an English speaking chauffeur guide.

Also available with 4* and 5* accommodation and air taxi transfers. Extensions also available in each destination.

Due to en route sightseeing and the nature of the scenic, winding roads, some journeys can take several hours. However, air taxis are available for some routes, cutting journey times considerably (sometimes by up to 6 hours).

Glimpses of Ceylon can also be enjoyed using "boutique" hotels such as The Wallawwa, Ulagalla, Jetwing Vil Uyana, Kandy House, Ceylon Tea Trails, Aditya and Cape Weligama. These small and more personalised properties capture the essence of barefoot luxury and attention to detail.

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Glimpses of Ceylon Tour

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