Your holiday summary

Holiday type Escorted tours
Country Sri Lanka
Travel type Fly
Price range From £0
Travel partner Riviera Travel
Duration 12 nights
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0330 333 6751

Sri Lanka

During its two thousand year history, Sri Lanka has attracted countless invaders and visitors from nearby India, the Arabs, the Portuguese, Dutch and finally the British. The 145 years of British rule left an indelible mark on Sri Lanka’s culture and institutions – from a deep love of cricket to the red pillar-boxes still found on street corners. Today, this island of spices and gems is a blend of Buddhist culture, ancient cities, wildlife rich lowland jungles, home to leopards, elephants and monkeys, a mist-shrouded hill country and tropical palm-fringed beaches.


  • Return direct scheduled flights from London Heathrow
  • Eleven nights half-board basis at three and four star hotels
  • Visit Kandy and the Temple of the Tooth
  • Visit to the Royal botanical gardens
  • Guided tour of the firth century Royal Palace and Citadel at Sigiriya Rock
  • Visit to the Buddhist monastery of Dambulla and its Cave Temples
  • Stay in the colonial hill-station of Nuwara Eliya
  • Visit the Pinawella elephant orphanage
  • Take a safari in Yala national park
  • Daily breakfast and all dinners included
  • Escorted by our experienced tour manager
Not included
Visa & Health

All British passport holders will require a visa prior to travel to Sri Lanka. A Tourist Visa will cost US$20 per person and the Visa will need to be applied for online using an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) System. This can be obtained by logging on to . Here you will need to complete the online application form and submit it accordingly. The majority of the application form requires personal information. You will also be asked to provide the address of your accommodation in Sri Lanka, which will be the first hotel of your tour:

Gateway hotel, 234-238 Colombo-Negombo Road, Seeduwa, Sri Lanka. Tel: 0094 112 253771

Please ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months after the intended return date and there are at least two completely empty pages.Please note that without an approved ETA you will denied entry to the country.

Visa costs are subject to change without notice and are non-refundable.

Please consult your GP regarding the appropriate inoculations required for Sri Lanka at least a month before departure. Whilst the travelling schedule shall pose no problems for people of any age in normal physical health, we would point out that we enjoy several walking tours around a number of historical sites where paths are uneven and uphill. Therefore this holiday may not be suitable for clients of greatly impaired mobility.
Day one

You should arrive at the airport to take your flight to Colombo.

Day two

After your lunchtime arrival we stay for one night at the nearby four star Taj Gateway hotel with dinner.

Day three

Firstly visiting the Pinnawela elephant orphanage. Established in 1975 with just seven orphans and since boosted by a scientific breeding programme, there are now over 75 elephants of all ages. Next it’s the cave temples of Dambulla, a UN World Heritage site. Located within an immense granite outcrop, this series of five caves are richly adorned with preserved frescoes and over 150 Buddhist statues.

The paddy fields are studded by water buffalos accompanied by wiry, loin-clothed farmers, extensive coconut groves, pineapple fields, working elephants with attentive mahouts astride their necks and everywhere the dense jungle interspersed by huge lakes. We stay two nights in Sigiriya, at the three star superior Sigiriya Village hotel with dinner. This hotel features spacious one-storey chalets spread among landscaped gardens as well as an open-air restaurant, bar, Ayurvedic spa and large pool with views towards Sigiriya Rock .

Day four

This morning you visit Sigiriya, or the ‘Lion Rock’. It is a massive 600ft granite tower with sheer cliffs on all sides crowned by the remains of a 1,500 year old royal palace. The entire site is encircled by a moat and ramparts enclosing a variety of water gardens, the remains of numerous buildings and caves. As you approach Sigiriya rock, you see some of the finest ancient murals in the country – the ‘cloud maidens’ are found under a fold of rock and show in exquisite detail a procession of jewelled women bearing offerings of lilies and lotus flowers. Facing us is the imposing final entrance to the palace above: in ancient times the colossal head of a lion (hence ‘Lion Rock’) was built in brick and plaster, visitors entering through its mouth. Today, just the two front paws remain, their claws menacingly extended, still guarding the palace. It should be noted that there are steps to the top of Sigiriya rock, but should pose no problem for those with normal mobility. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure to enjoy our hotel’s pool and facilities.

Day five

This morning we leave Sigiriya for Kandy, Sri Lanka’s last Royal capital. Sri Lanka is noted for its spices so on the way to Kandy we visit a garden with many indigenous plants such as pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. You stay two nights with dinner at the historic and colonial-style three star Hotel Suisse, located overlooking the lake right in the heart of Kandy and surrounded by gardens. The hotel has a ‘faded grandeur’, with a colonnaded lobby, bar, billiard room, restaurant and a pool.

Day six

Kandy’s crowded and bustling streets teem with daily comings and goings: the many white-uniformed children returning from school and the myriad of shops. The centre is dominated by a lake and the Temple of the Tooth, said to hold Buddha’s tooth. This is Buddhism’s most sacred shrine on the island and during our visit, you may be lucky enough to witness one of the many ceremonies. You also visit the Royal botanical gardens. Planted over 150 years and covering a huge 150 acres, the gardens hold thousands of plant species and examples of mature tropical trees. Strolling through lawns, shady avenues and immaculately kept flower beds, we see exotic birds and the commemorative trees planted by Edward VII, George VI, Princess Anne and the Queen. Other highlights are the Avenue of Royal Palms and ‘Bat’ Drive where you can spot the large fruit-eating ‘Flying Foxes’ hanging upside down. The gardens also house Lord Mountbatten’s HQ from the second world war. Kandy is famous for its traditional dancing and so this evening we experience a colourful and hugely skilful display of this ancient art.

Day seven

After breakfast you leave Kandy, driving through increasingly mountainous scenery to Sri Lanka’s premier tea-growing areas. Winding ever upwards, the lush tropical jungle gives way to tall pine forests and then box-like tea bushes begin – few at first and then seemingly covering every fold of the landscape like a huge green carpet. You visit one of the best-known tea estates to see how our favourite drink is rolled, dried and graded, followed by a cup of Ceylon’s finest. Nuwara Eliya, the main hill station, is nearly 7,000 feet above sea level and called ‘Little England’ due to its spring-like climate, parks and golf course. You stay at the four star Grand hotel, similar to an English manor house, originally the summer home of Sir Edward Barnes, a Governor of Ceylon. It is famed for its classic 19th century public rooms and English inspired flower beds and lawns. Even high tea is served.

Day eight

You say goodbye to Sri Lanka’s hill country this morning on your way to Yala national park in the south of Sri Lanka, staying two nights at the three star superior Safari hotel with dinner. The hotel is located a 45 minute drive from the national park and features a pool, bar and restaurant overlooking the Tiffa lake.

Day nine

An early start this morning, accompanied by the unique sound of a tropical ‘dawn chorus’. As the morning mist disappears with the rising sun you explore the jungle and its range of wildlife in 4x4 vehicles. The normally elusive leopard offers the park’s most exciting game viewing and Yala has a high concentration of these big cats. They are the island’s top predator so are far less shy than elsewhere in the world. Yala is also known for its elephants, saltwater crocodiles, wild boar, sloth bears, monitor lizards and a huge variety of birdlife. After a late breakfast you can relax by the hotel’s pool before having the option to go on a second, early evening safari.

Day 10

After breakfast you return to the west coast, via guided tour of the UN World Heritage site of Galle, with its 16th century Dutch fort. You soon arrive at the three star superior Palms hotel in the beach resort of Beruwela for a three night stay with dinner.

Days 11 and 12

Two days to take it easy at your hotel and enjoy the palm-shaded beach and pool.

Day 13

You transfer to the airport for the return flight, arriving home later the same day.
Colombo airport - Gateway hotel - four star

Managed by Taj Hotels and located just five minutes from the airport. Set in 38 acres of tropical grounds, the hotel has a large swimming pool and overlooks the wide Negombo lagoon. The main restaurant serves Indian, Sri Lankan and international cuisine and there’s also a bar, fitness room, tennis courts and a beauty salon. The 113 comfortably-furnished rooms are all air-conditioned, with en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, satellite TV, safe, minibar and tea/coffee-maker.

Sigiriya - Sigiriya Village hotel - three star

Set within spacious grounds with views of the Sigiriya Rock from the swimming pool area. The high-ceilinged, open-sided main dining area overlooks the gently sloping lawns and the large pool. There are nature trails through the 40 acre grounds, a separate small vegetarian restaurant, an ayurvedic spa and you can try yoga. The 107 rooms are in chalet-style bungalows and are spacious, mostly on two levels and decorated in typically Sri Lankan motifs. They are all air-conditioned, en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, safe, tea/coffee-maker and patio with garden view.

Kandy - Hotel Suisse

Located right in the centre of Kandy, overlooking the lake. There’s a buffet restaurant serving international and Sri Lankan specialities, a bar and billiard room and a swimming pool. The 93 rooms are air-conditioned and have an en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, cable TV, minibar and tea/coffee-maker.

Nuwara Eliya - Grand hotel - four star

Located in large tended gardens just outside Nuwara Eliya. With English-style half-timbered look, chandeliers, polished floors and fireplaces. The original building was the residence of Sir Edward Barnes, governor of Ceylon in the mid-1800’s. There’s a main restaurant overlooking the garden, a cosy wood-panelled bar and billiard room and tea is served in the lounge or on the lawn depending on the weather. The 156 rooms are slightly old-fashioned, in keeping with the ambiance of the hotel, and include an en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, TV, safe and minibar.

Yala - Safari hotel - three star superior

Located overlooking Tissa lake. The 53 rooms have an en-suite bathroom, hairdryer, TV and balcony with garden, pool or lake view.

Beruwela - The Palms resort - three star superior

Located along Beruwela beach on Sri Lanka’s west coast – the perfect place to relax and unwind after your tour. Set in spacious tropical gardens which lead down to the long sandy beach, this hotel boasts a main restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, an open-air coffee-shop and a speciality fish restaurant. The eight acres of spacious grounds are well looked-after and feature a large pool and plenty of quiet sunbathing spots. All 100 rooms are air-conditioned, with private balcony or terrace, shower/wc, safe, minibar, hairdryer, tea/coffee-making facilities and cable TV.
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