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Home » Destinations » Asia » Sri Lanka » Just You: Sri Lanka
With its incredible natural beauty, ancient sights and cultural treasures, Sri Lanka has much to offer. Admire the majestic elephants of Habarana, visit Sigiriya’s ‘Fortress in the Sky’ and view the Sacred Tooth Relic of Buddha, then round off your tour with days of relaxation on the beach.
Today you’ll fly to Colombo, arriving on day 2.
Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo is a bustling metropolis boasting an attractive blend of old and new. Grand colonial-era buildings and Buddhist temples rub shoulders with modern skyscrapers, fine restaurants and high-end boutiques. A short sightseeing tour will introduce you to the city’s highlights.
Today we head to Habarana. En route we will visit UNESCO-listed Anuradhapura, the first capital and the grandest city of ancient Sri Lanka.
Sigiriya is one of Sri Lanka’s seven World Heritage sites and is situated in the heart of the island’s Cultural Triangle. This spectacular rock fortress complex is home to water gardens, moats and the impressive Lion Rock – the entrance to the original fortress was through the mouth of a carved lion. All you’ll see today are two huge paws but they are still an incredible sight. You will visit Minneriya National Park in the afternoon.
Polonnaruwa is the second most ancient of Sri Lanka’s cities and you can discover more on our optional excursion here. Alternatively, take the day to explore at your own pace.
Today we’ll visit the ancient Hiriwaduna Buddhist Temple before crossing a jungle rivulet by catamaran to reach a farmer’s ‘wattle and daub’ house.
Dambulla cave temples contain more than 150 images of Buddha, why not take the option to visit them in the morning before we head to Kandy. The aromatic Matale Spice Gardens are our port of call en route to the city. Nutmeg, pepper, cloves and cinnamon, all of which are regularly used in Sri Lankan cuisine, grow here.
Kandy was the last royal capital of Sri Lanka and the Royal Botanical Gardens at nearby Peradeniya are a delight to explore. First planted for King Kirthi Sri Rajasingha (1747-1780), and covering some 150 hectares, you’ll see towering trees, elegant lawns, flowering shrubs and exotic crops such as coffee, tea and nutmeg during our visit here. Highlights include a palm avenue planted by the British in 1905 and an enormous Java fig grown from a sapling brought over from the East Indies.
Nuwara Eliya, which we reach by a combination of train and road, is an area carpeted in lush green tea plantations and the home of the famous Ceylon tea. During a plantation visit we’ll get to see how the leaves for England’s favourite brew are picked by hand and taste a cup in its purest form.
We arrive in Beruwala today, where you can spend the next three days at leisure. Our hotel is located right on the beach and boasts an inviting pool and a rooftop spa. It’s also just 1km from the town, where there are plenty of restaurants, cafés, bars and shops. On day 12, you might choose to join an optional yoga session with an expert teacher.
A city tour of Galle today will introduce you to the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka in 1505, while a visit to the Kosgoda Turtle Hatchery allows you a privileged view of these endangered creatures. This evening we’ll gather as a group to enjoy a special farewell barbecue dinner on the beach with unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks.
Today we’ll transfer to the airport for our return flight to the UK.
Located along the banks of Beira Lake in Colombo, the Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo features an outdoor pool, a spa and wellness area, tennis, squash courts and also a gym. All rooms are stylishly appointed and have a flat-screen TV, safety deposit box and tea and coffee-making facilities, Wi-Fi and air conditioning.
The 4-star Habarana Village by cinnamon is wonderfully situated and borders a stunning lake. Hotel facilities include a restuarant, bar and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, mini-bar, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.
The 4-star Cinnamon Citadel in Kandy is an ideal base from which to discover this fascinating ancient city while also providing plenty of opportunities for relaxation in a peaceful setting.
Surrounded by vast tea estates, the Blackpool Hotel has the style of ancient colonialism but with modern touch. The hotel has an outdoor warm water pool, lounge, bar and restaurant. The 57 rooms are decorated with traditional Sri Lankan design and feature air conditioning, TV, safe, free Wi-Fi and private bathroom facilities.
The 5-star Cinnamon Bey is situated in Beruwela. Hotel facilities include a restaurant, spa, bar and a swimming pool. Bedrooms have private facilities, air-conditioning, hairdryer, mini-bar, tea/coffee-making facilities and a TV.
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