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Sri Lanka Round Trip

Tour Details

After breakfast you leave for ANURADHAPURA in order to visit a selection of the most remarkable sights. As per written records Anuradhapura has been made royal capital by the king Panduk Anhaya in 380 BC. It remained residence and royal capital for 119 successive Singhalese kings till the year 1000 AC when it was abandoned and the capital moved to Polonnaruwa. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagoba of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bo-tree. This tree was grown from a sampling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago the Buddha found enlightenment. Lunch en route.

Itinerary

Day 01 ANURADHAPURA

After breakfast you leave for ANURADHAPURA in order to visit a selection of the most remarkable sights. As per written records Anuradhapura has been made royal capital by the king Panduk Anhaya in 380 BC. It remained residence and royal capital for 119 successive Singhalese kings till the year 1000 AC when it was abandoned and the capital moved to Polonnaruwa. You will see some of the most famous as well as the tallest dagoba of Sri Lanka, remains from palaces, temples, monasteries, ceremonial baths and the temple of the holy Bo-tree. This tree was grown from a sampling of the very tree under which more than 2500 years ago the Buddha found enlightenment. Lunch en route.

In the afternoon you will pay a visit to MIHINTALE. This is the place where in the year 247 BC Buddhism originated in Sri Lanka. The message of Buddhism was brought to the Singhalese King Devanampiya Tissa by Mahinda son of the great Indian Buddhist Emperor Asoka. In a series of flights, 1840 ancient granite slap steps lead majestically up the hillside.

Day 02 POLONNARUWA

After early breakfast check-out and drive to POLONNARUWA for the visit of the well preserved remains of the city which has been the capital of the Singhalese kings from the 11th to 13th Century. The famous Singhalese king Parakrama Bahu the Great (1153- 1186) has built in the environs of Polonnaruwa an impressive irrigation system with many artificial tanks interconnected with irrigation channels. The reservoir near Polonnaruwa has been until recently, when the large dams were built in the mountains, the largest and most beautiful artificial lake. After this visit you return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

In the later afternoon you leave to Sigiriya rock. This impressive monolith which rises 200 m out of the jungle has been transformed in the 5th Century by King Kassapa into a fortress and became his capital, as he feared for his life. On top of the rock was the king's palace "The Heaven Castle", what remains today are only foundation walls of this once magnificent building and the many fortifications. What remains to be seen and is worth the difficult climb are the phenomenal frescoes of the Sigiriya Maidens. No one knows whom the seductive beauties, painted in brilliant colours on the rock walls, represent. One can think of them as heaven dwelling nymphs from a realm of radiant light.

Day 03 Kandy

In the morning after breakfast visit of the world famous Botanical Garden Peradeniya. The park dates back to 1371 under the reign of king Vikrama Bahu III when he held court here. The English put the cornerstone of the present garden in 1821. During the Second World War the garden served as headquarters of Earl Mountbatten, the supreme commander of the allied forces in Southeast Asia who became later the last Viceroy of India. You will find in the garden a very large variety of orchids, spice trees, palms, bushes, as well as tropical plants and flowers of all type.

Day 04 Nuwara Eliya

From Peradeniya the road starts steadily to ascend and at noon, shortly before reaching Nuwara Eliya, you will have climbed 1'500 m. You are now in the tea country; wherever you look, you will see tea plantations, the rich full green of thousands and thousands of tea bushes. And out of the green in regular intervals the white coloured tea factories will enchant your eyes. You will stop at one of these tea factories where you will learn how the green tea leaves become the well known Ceylon teas. Occasionally you can see a few rice fields and near some villages, vegetable plantations or gardens.

Check-in at the Hotel Galway Forest Lodge or Hotel St. Andrew's, Nuwara Eliya, for lunch and dinner at the hotel. The small resort town of Nuwara Eliya, situated at 2070 m above sea level, lies on a little lake and is surrounded by mountains covered over and over by tea bushes. At the town boundaries there are a lot of vegetable plantations and flower fields, but also along the roads of Nuwara Eliya and in most of its gardens flowers are blooming.

Day 05 Hambantota

After breakfast at the hotel you leave Nuwara Eliya to the south, passing tea and vegetable plantations, occasionally a waterfall, forests and many small villages and hamlets. From the descending road you have again and again a beautiful view to the mountains and into the valleys. After reaching the plain you will again see coconut plantations and the familiar paddy fields. The closer you get to the coast, the countryside becomes more and more barren and near to the sea, you will see along the road many salt fields from which salt is produced.

You will reach Hambantota for Lunch. In the late afternoon you have the option to do a photo safari into the Bundala game park. Dinner and overnight at the Hotel Peacock Beach, Hambantota.

Day 06 Galle

After breakfast in the morning check-out and you leave Hambantota. At Dondora you will reach the most southern point of the island and continue in westerly direction along large, beautiful, white, palm fringed beaches. You will pass Matara and you stop later for a visit to the old city of Galle The fort with its impressive great rampart is well preserved. In 1505 the Portuguese took the town from the Singhalese king and built large fortifications which they called Santa Cruz. In 1640 the Dutch stormed the fortress. They later incorporated the remains of the Portuguese fortification in an imposing new fort for the protection of the harbour and the sea routes.

Lunch en route. On the way to Colombo you will be passing through well-known resorts as Bentota, Beruwala, Kalutara. There are still a lot of things to be seen, for instance the "toddy-tapers", young men who climb high into the trees to collect the sweet, milky sap of the coconut blossom, or one of the many turtle hatcheries. - You will reach Colombo in the evening. Check-in at the Hotel Galle Face, Classic Wing or Colombo Hilton.

Day 07 Colombo

Breakfast at your hotel and end of tour.

The price includes bed and breakfast in Colombo and Hendala but full board on the tour, transport in air-conditioned car with experienced English speaking driver/guide from Hendala and  back to Colombo. The entrance fees to the sites mentioned are not included. As the operators pay the same prices as the guests, it makes sense that the guests pay these fees direct on the spot.