About the journey

Journey back in time as your chauffeur/guide transports you to a plethora of ancient temples, frescoed caves, fortresses and holy sites in some of Sri Lanka’s oldest and loveliest cities.

Accompanied by your driver and English-speaking guide, we take you on a personal tour of some of the most sacred sites and cultural experiences that Sri Lanka has to offer. Discover the benefits of being able to stop as you please for refreshments or to take photographs of wildlife. As a VIP you will journey at your own pace from coastal plain to jungle-covered highlands in this outstanding Cultural Tour.

Our carefully planned itinerary takes account of the summer climate as we include the cooler climate in the mountains around Kandy. We know you will appreciate travelling in your own private air-conditioned vehicle! Out tours offer time to relax by the pool at your chosen hotel, or take in a few optional extra trips to a Spice Garden, a Cultural Show and reserved seats at the Dalada Perahera Festival, if appropriate.

As long-established tour operators we procure the services of the very best tour guides in the UNESCO World Heritage Cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Nights will be spent at some of our handpicked hotels where we can assure you of the highest standards and very best facilities.

At the end of your whirlwind Cultural Holiday, we recommend an extended stay at one of Sri Lanka’s luxury beachfront hotels before returning home. Relax by the pool, encounter local wildlife and join in some wet and wild watersports to round off your memorable Cultural Holiday in Sri Lanka.

Itinerary

Day01
From Colombo to Anuradhapura we introduce you to the beauty and diversity of Sri Lanka with a stop at Yapahuwa Rock Fortress along the way.

Day02
Join your personal guide around the highlights off Anuradhapura before visiting the sacred Mihintale mountain.

Day03
The UNESCO listed city of Polonnaruwa welcomes you after a visit to the Ritigala ruins. Overnight in Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla.

Day04
Climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress and admire Buddhas, cave paintings and ornate rock carvings followed by an afternoon visit to Dambulla Cave Temple.

Day05
Head towards Kandy, pausing at the Hindu Nalanda Temple and the Aluvihara Temple in Matale. Optional extra trips include a Spice Garden, Cultural Show and reserved seats at the Dalada Perahera Festival.

Day06
Explore the monastery at Gadaladeniya, Lankathilaka Viharaya Temple and Embekke Devalaya.

Day07
Transfer back to the airport, or indulge in a few days at the beach as a relaxing grand finale.

Day01

Anuradhapura

Get tantalizing glimpses of Colombo and the Indian Ocean coastline as you fly into Bandaranaike Airport. Soon you will be drinking in the sights and sounds of Sri Lanka from the comforts of your chauffeur-driven car as you journey 6-7 hours to Anuradhapura. Your driver/guide will point out the sights along the journey and will be delighted to answer all your questions. A stop at the Yapahuwa Rock Fortress will be your introduction to the ancient temples and cities of Sri Lanka. Known locally as “Fire Rock” for its dark red colour, you can climb the ornamental staircase and see the Tooth Temple guarded by carved lions. Admire frescoes, pottery and Buddha statues in the cave temple along with religious artifacts in the museum. Arrive at your chosen hotel in Anuradhapura and settle in for an exciting two-night stay in this ancient holy city.

Day02

Anuradhapura

After breakfast you will be eager to venture into the city and enjoy a tour of the city highlights with an English-speaking guide. The main sights in this World Heritage City include the sacred Bo Tree at the Sri Maha Bodhiya Temple, the 1st century BC Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, the Dagoba at Thuparamaya and the Brazen Palace built in 164 BC for King Dutugamunu. Your afternoon will include a visit to the sacred mountain of Mihintale on a 2.5 to 3 hour drive, taking in the local scenery.

Day03

Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla

We recommend an early breakfast for this full day of sightseeing. Stretch your legs with a stop at Ritigala to see the ruins of a Buddhist monastery and the ancient rock inscriptions. Join your local tour guide for your jaw-dropping Polonnaruwa experience taking in many temples and religious sites. You will appreciate this ancient city has the finest collection of ancient Sinhalese art and architecture in Sri Lanka. Highlights of this former royal city include the Lankatilaka Temple, the Shiva Dewalaya and the beautiful Sandakada Pahana moonstone. Your 3.5 to 4 hour drive will terminate at your comfortable hotel of choice in either Sigiriya, Habarana or Dambulla.

Day04

Anuradhapura

Sigiriya Rock Fortress is our first destination where you can climb the steps carved out of the rock in this awesome World Heritage Site. Enter the Lion Gate to what was once a royal residence decorated with cave paintings and carved decorations. Return to your hotel and relax before your driver collects you once again and transports you to the nearby Dambulla Cave Temple, carved out of a series of caves. Admire the many Buddha statues (there should be 153 to find!) and the wonderful frescoes before returning to your hotel for a pleasant evening.

Day05

Kandy

After breakfast, your driver will transport you to the lake city of Kandy. On the journey visit the Hindu Nalanda Temple and the Aluvihara Temple in Matale. If there’s time, you may want to detour to a Spice Garden and see where many medicinal plants and trees produce cocoa, coffee and spices. Whole nutmegs make a cheap souvenir gift to take home! Get your first sights of Kandy, before checking in at your chosen hotel. You can opt for a quiet evening after your 3.5 to 4 hour drive, or attend a Cultural Show of costumed dancers, traditional music, drummers and fire walkers. Those fortunate enough to be visiting during the Dalada Perahera Festival, held in July or August, may want to take up our offer of optional reserved seating for this annual pageant at the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

Day06

Kandy

Kandy is surrounded by many wonderful cultural sights and we have chosen some of the best for you. Visit the monastery at Gadaladeniya, the famous Lankathilaka Viharaya Temple and admire the beautiful wood carvings at Embekke Devalaya. Total driving time to see these amazing sacred sites is 2 to 2.5 hours. Your driver will once again provide a door-to-door personal service to and from your Kandy hotel.

Day07

Airport

Enjoy a last breakfast in Kandy before heading for the airport at Colombo, a journey of 2 to 2.5 hours, depending upon traffic. You need to arrive at least 3 hours before your scheduled flight departure time. Say a fond farewell to your driver/guide who will by now be more like a family friend!

Past travellers tell us that 7 days of cultural sights and religious highlights pass all too quickly, so you may want to consider extending your fabulous holiday with a few days on the beach. Your driver will be happy to transport you to one of our handpicked luxury beachfront hotels. You can complete your cultural holiday by relaxing at the pool, snorkelling and diving, taking a boat trip, dolphin watching, kayaking and maybe even visit to a Turtle Hatchery before your return home.

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