Welcome to Sri Lanka – a charmingly beautiful country where 9 days of culture, nature and beautiful remote beaches awaits you.
Upon arrival in the airport you will be met by our representative and transferred to Negombo. Negombo is approx. 20 minutes drive from the airport embracing slow life and beachfront location. For newly arrived travellers it is often a welcomed alternative to the hectic and happening Colombo.
Check in to your hotel and rest for a few hours before capturing the streets of Negombo on a city tour. You will visit the colonial remains of the Dutch period, a Buddhist temple and a catholic church. You will get close to slow life in the local fishing village; walk the lively fish market, and the bustling bazaar.
Optional: Do a Boat trip through the Dutch canal, lagoon and sea.
Please note: If you arrive late in the night on your day 1 the city tour will take place on your day 2 before you depart for Sigiriya.
Having acclimatized to a new country and new customs, you are ready to venture inlands to the ancient scapes of Sri Lanka.
Start with a slow breakfast and enjoy a cup of hot Sri Lankan tea. Then transfer to Sigiriya where you will check in to your hotel.
Late in the afternoon/early evening when the sun cools down a bit, start your excursion to Sigiriya. Climb the 5th century Sigiriya Rock Fortress – an UNESCO world heritage site, built by King Kashyapa (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.
Driving time: Approx. 200 km / 4-5 hours.
From a rock fortress to a rock temple – another day of cultural explorations in striking landscapes awaits you.
Have your breakfast and transfer to Dambulla, which is about an hour's drive from Sigiriya. Here you will find the World Heritage Site of Dambulla Rock Temple – the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples. Built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. the complex of five caves holds over 2000 sq. metres of painted walls and ceilings. This makes it the largest area of paintings found in the world. It contains over 150 images of Buddha of which the largest is spanning 14 metres and is a colossal figure of Buddha carved out of rock.
Stop for lunch in town and late in the afternoon you will visit Minneriya National Park. Covering 8890 hectare, the park consists of mixed evergreen forest and scrub areas and is home to Sri Lanka's favourites such as sambar deer, leopards and elephants. However the central feature of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank (built in 3rdcentury AD by King Mahasena). During the dry season (June to September), this tank is an incredible place to observe the elephants that come to bathe and graze on the grasses as well as the huge flocks of birds (cormorants and painted storks to name but a few) that come to fish in the shallow waters.
Driving time: Approx. 1 hour per way
After breakfast at your hotel, you will proceed from Sigiriya to Northeast coast town Trincomalee.
The city is well known for its natural harbour and with its location in the beautiful and magnificent bay of Trincomalee it is one of the finest natural harbours in the world. In the Northern outskirts of the city, the small fishing villages of Uppuveli and Nilaveli are considered to be some of the finest beaches in Sri Lanka – broad and almost deserted as they are. Also in the area you will find the hot springs at Kanniyai, said to possess therapeutic qualities. You will find the Koneswaram temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, and the Swamy Rock also known locally as lover's leap.
Before driving towards your resort you will stop at the town market to take in the local fisherman life. You may get close to the small alleys in between the shops, which are actually homes of the fishermen. These alleys open up to the sea and you will find fishermen families working to sort the fishes in the nets or drying them in the sun during the day.
Then off you go to your resort, check-in and enjoy a laidback evening.
Overnight: Resort in Trincomalee.
Driving time: Approx. 125 km / 3-4 hours.
A quiet breakfast is served, ensuring you a good day ahead.
Your destination is the Pigeon Island National Park, which has its name from the Rock Pigeon that has colonized the island. The national park contains some of the best remaining coral reefs of Sri Lanka and is one of the only two marine national parks of Sri Lanka. The national park is situated 1 km off the coast of Nilaveli, a coastal town in Eastern Province, encompassing a total area of 471.429 hectares. Pigeon Island was designated as a sanctuary in 1963 and 2003 re-designated as a national park.
Overnight: Resort in Trincomalee.
A totally free day with no plans. A free day for your to relax and enjoy the beach, to explore the surroundings by foot. Or to participate in the in house activities such as trying your hands on local cooking. Just ask for activities and ideas at your resort.
Overnight: Resort in Trincomalee.
Prepare to leave the beach life behind in exchange for the charmingly beautiful hill country with Kandy as your destination.
Have your breakfast and steaming hot Sri Lankan coffee before you check out from your resort. Your onwards transport will be an exploration in its own right with magnificent views beyond your windows, just as you may visit the Spice Garden in Matale on your journey to Kandy.
Upon arrival check in and relax so you are ready for your afternoon city tour. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings and now an UNESCO 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 – a tranquil place in the heart of the city.
In the evening visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic – a golden roofed Buddhist temple that houses Sri Lanka's most sacred Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. And though it is not possible to see the actual tooth as it is kept in a gold casket shaped like a stupa, you will feel the sacred ambience and take in the colours, the gilded gifts and the shrines that comprise the temple complex.
Late in the evening you will experience a Cultural Show. Some find this funny, while others find it spectacular. You will see the traditional Sri Lankan drummers stirring up a rhythm and decoratively dressed dancers showing their amazing moves. You will see fireworks and fire stunts in a show that truly has something for all.
Driving time: 175 km / 4-5 hours
After a day in the hill country it is time for a bite of the bustling city life in the capital of Sri Lanka.
After your breakfast you will drive towards Colombo and upon arrival check in to the posh area of Colombo 7 to relax. Your home is tucked away in a small alley in a charming colonial house. Just nearby is the local green park and you may do a walk and have lunch at one of the fine restaurants in the area.
To make this laid back day more relaxing you will get a body massage with acupressure technique carried out by blind people trained in the techniques. They will not talk a lot, but their hands, perform the magic on one's body to give that perfect freshness after a long journey.
Later, hopefully still light in mind and body after the treat, enjoy your evening by strolling around the city, bite into the last bits of the Sri Lankan cuisine or do a bit of last minute shopping.
Driving time: 100 km / 2-3 hours
Enjoy a bit of breakfast and check out from your home and from the country that you have explored for the past 9 days. Your backpack full of memories and your mind of impressions from a heart-warming and extremely beautiful country.
Your driver will drop you at the airport so you can head for new explorations.
Driving time: 40 Km / 1 hour.