This is an excellent itinerary for the first time visitor of Sri Lanka allowing you to explore all of the islands key attractions travelling around at a very reasonable pace. You will start in the Cultural Triangle for an insight into Sri Lanka's history and a taste of the countries main religion. Kandy will be about culture, religion and elephants whereas the Tea Country is a great place to break the journey. In Yala National Park you may spot leopard and Galle is a beautiful colonial town. You finish your trip with a few nights on the beach.
Yala National Park
DAY 1 - COLOMBO -SIGIRIYA
Arriving in the afternoon you will be met by our friendly representative who will drive you to your accommodation near Sigiriya.
DAY 2 - SIGIRIYA
You will head north to visit Anuradhapura, the island's ancient capital and a present day holy city. You can then visit nearby Mihintale, the birthplace of Sri Lankan Buddhism.
DAY 3 - SIGIRIYA
Your driver-guide will take you to visit Sigiriya Rock Fortress today followed by an excursion to see the fascinating ancient city of Polonnaruwa. For three centuries this was the royal capital of both the Chola and Singhalese kingdoms. You will be able to climb Sigiriya Rock, which can be a bit tiring, but I am sure you will appreciate the spectacular views of the surrounding area! Later in the afternoon you will take a safari in Minneriya National Park searching for the wild Indian elephant.
DAY 4 - SIGIRIYA
You will drive south towards the hill country, stopping en route to see the atmospheric cave temples at Dambulla. After your arrival in Kandy you will see an early evening performance of traditional Kandyan dance followed by a visit to Sri Lanka's most revered Buddhist temple to witness the evening puja ceremonies.
DAY 5 - KANDY
You will have an early start to visit Pinnewala elephant orphanage in time for the babies` feeding and the spectacular herd's river bathing. Before returning to Kandy you can relax in the peaceful Botanical Gardens.
DAY 6 - NUWARA ELIYA
You will take the morning train through fantastic mountainous scenery to the hill station town of Nuwara Eliya. Your driver will meet you at the station a few miles outside Nuwara Eliya and take you to your hotel. En-route you will visit a tea factory in the area. After your arrival at your bungalow you have time at leisure.
DAY 7 - NUWARA ELIYA
Day at leisure
DAY 8 - YALA NATIONAL PARK
Today you will head south to Yala, a long but scenic drive down from the hills and through villages and paddy fields before you arrive at your hotel on the edge of the national park.
DAY 9 - YALA NATIONAL PARK
In the morning and late afternoon you will join safaris into Yala National Park. You are likely to see spotted deer, wild boar and elephant in addition to a wide variety of birds. If you are really lucky you may also spot sloth bear or leopard! (With on average one leopard per square kilometre Yala has the highest density of leopard in Asia!)
DAY 10 - BENTOTA
This morning you will drive to Galle where you will have a tour of the old town, taking in the fort ramparts and the area within - fascinating colonial buildings dating back to the time of the Dutch East India company. After your tour you will continue to Bentota for a few nights on the beach.
DAY 11 - BENTOTA
Day at leisure
DAY 12 - BENTOTA
Day at leisure
It will be a bit of an early start this morning for your transfer to the airport and your flight home arriving in the UK the same day.