Drive along the famed South Coast of the Island, and discover ancient ruins, historic temples, thriving nature reserves and picturesque lakeside cities with our Culture, Nature & Safari package. Among the most popular Sri Lanka holiday deals, this tour offers ardent travellers the chance to satisfy their wanderlust in the tropical island with visits and stops at some of the most famous tourist attractions!
Discover a tropical paradise unlike any other, with a round-trip around the island starting in its capital, Colombo. Make an inland loop that covers everything from heritage sites, cultural and natural attractions in Sri Lanka. Discover a paradisiacal world of verdant landscapes, charming lakeside cities, historic temples and much more! Experience close encounters with friendly jumbos or if your really lucky you might catch a glimpse of the elusive Ceylon leopard. Enjoy spectacular cultural shows and spiritual experiences over nine unforgettable days while traversing the country. Groups vary in size but are typically made up of about six to 10 travellers
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
Comfortable and light clothing is the most suitable for travelling in Sri Lanka. Visitors should not wear sleeveless shirts, shorts, short skirts or skimpy clothing when visiting temples, religious or official buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a temple or private house. Sun protection, sunglasses, a hat and mosquito repellent can be very useful during your stay. Clients arriving in early morning flights will be transferred to the Gateway Hotel to wait in a comfortable environment until the last tour participant has arrived.
An Aitken Spence Travels agent will greet you at Colombo Airport and transfer you to your accommodation for check-in.
After breakfast do a city tour of Colombo. Vibrant, bustling, and colourful, Colombo offers a stunning contrast to the rest of the country. Here, skyscrapers tower over historic colonial buildings with their old world charm still intact. Visit the famous Pettah bazaar, Hindu and Buddhist temples such as the Gangarama and Sri Kailawasanathan Swami Devasthanam Kovil, and some of the city’s residential areas such as Cinnamon Gardens, where you find prestigious addresses such as the Prime Minister's Office, Independence Hall, Colombo Town Hall, and the National Museum.
Afterwards, proceed to Dambulla.
Start your day with the excursion to the Sigiriya Rock Fortress, which dates back to the fifth century BC. Built by King Kashyapa, this one time royal abode features the terraced gardens and cisterns, the moat, the ‘Mirror Wall’ and the lovely frescoes of the ‘’cloud maidens’ among the other remnants of this once thriving city. Pass through the lion’s ‘belly’ and climb to the top via a spiral staircase that snakes its way around the rock. From the summit, enjoy breathtaking views over the surrounding landscape and beyond.
In the afternoon, discover the well-preserved ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. Built 1,000 years ago, it features a large artificial lake, which is still in use and feeds a network of irrigation canals. Admire the Gal Viharaya with its four statues of the Buddha carved out of the rock, the Audience Hall, the Lotus Bath, and the statue of King Parakramabahu and much more.
Continue to the Golden Temple of Dambulla to explore this 2,000 year old sacred pilgrimage site carved deep inside a mountain. This complex which is made up of five caves is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that features painted walls and ceiling and contains more than 150 images of the Lord Buddha, deities and Sri Lankan kings. Each cave dates back to a different era and tells its own story, with defining aspects such as frescoed ceiling with more than 1,500 images of Buddha.
Enjoy an eventful start to the day with a visit to a spice and herb gardens in Matale, where one will be able to learn about the various spices that is grown in the area. Visitors will also get the chance to watch a live cookery demonstration, where you will also be able see how the produce is incorporated into the traditional Sri Lankan cuisine.
Afterwards, proceed to the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens, where one will be able to enjoy a blissful break surrounded by verdant greenery. Stroll along well tended pathways, manicured lawns interspersed with colourful blooms. You will even be able to see a tree planted by King George and Queen Mary in 1901. The highlights of the site include the orchid house and the giant Jawa willow tree.
Kandy is a picturesque city, which embodies a rich sense of vibrant culture, history and heritage complemented by lush hills and famed tourist attractions. Top sites which ours guests will be visit includes Sri Dalada Maligawa, which houses the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha. Other notable structures include the Royal Palace and the National Museum. Contemplate in peace the magnificent period architecture and experience the tranquillity of the atmosphere. Cap off the day with a night at a dramatic cultural show, which features 12 folk and traditional dances accompanied by ceremonial drums and a drum orchestra. And prepare for a sizzling fire walking performance as well!
Savour Sri Lanka’s most famous product with a visit to a tea plantation and factory. Observe how the world’s finest tea is made. From how the delicate tea buds are plucked, processed and graded to the packaged product. Other attractions located around this charming upcountry destination include the Lovers’ Leap waterfall the Victoria Golf Course, one of the finest golf links in South Asia and Sri Lanka’s highest mountain, the 2,500 metre Piduruthalagala, which overlooks the picturesque town.
Drive in the south-easterly direction passing through tea plantations, verdant landscapes – including a nature reserve – and remote highland towns such as Ella. Continue towards the temple of Buduruwagala, where more than 1,000 years ago seven statues of Buddha and other revered figures were carved into a rock. Begin the descent from the central highlands and continue to Yala National Park for an exciting safari. Over the next three to four hours, explore this vast natural wilderness, which opens to the vast Indian Ocean, a truly wild and exotic aura. It rugged terrains include grassy plains, deciduous forests and sand dunes, home to an abundance of wildlife such as
elephants, boars, buffalo, sloth bears, deer, crocodiles, and the endangered Sri Lankan leopard.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast at the hotel is followed by a scenic drive to the city of Galle.
Straddling a beautiful bay, Galle is a multicultural city with a rich colonial heritage, having been colonised by the Portuguese, Dutch, and British. The Dutch-built fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it features a labyrinth of tightly packed alleys and lined with historic buildings, chic cafes, restaurants and concept stores. Continue north along the coast to Kosgoda, and make a stop at the Turtle Hatchery, and take a brief tour of the facility. View the huge tanks filled with newborn but lively hatchlings. Towards the evening one can also take part in releasing the turtles to sea.
Transfer to Colombo Airport after breakfast to connect with your outward flight.