Day 1 UK - Colombo
You'll depart on your flight to Colombo today.
Day 2 Colombo
On arrival in Colombo we'll transfer you to your hotel, where you'll stay overnight. After your flight, a relaxed afternoon is the perfect way to start your holiday. Why not pick a spot by the hotel's swimming pool and soak up some sun.
Tonight, you will join your fellow travellers for a traditional Sri Lankan meal in a restaurant. You will enjoy a variety of local dishes, specially chosen for Travelsphere, including rice served with a curry of fish or meat, and curries made with vegetables, lentils and fruits, accompanied by pickles, vegetables and salads, and unlimited beer and wine.
Day 3 Colombo - Minneriya
Today, a short sightseeing tour will introduce you to Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, 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.
You will then drive to Sigiriya, in the heart of Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle. A two-night stay here means there's time to visit Minneriya National Park, where elephants, deer and wild boar roam.
Day 4 Minneriya - Sigiriya
You've the chance to experience local life today in the nearby village of Hiriwaduna, where a walk and a catamaran ride are all included. Depart early from the hotel with a packed 'local' breakfast for a great walk over village paths, a tank (ancient reservoir), a bund and through forested areas. You'll cross a jungle rivulet by catamaran to reach a farmers simple wattle and daub house, where you can enjoy your breakfast.
Back on the road, we'll visit the UNESCO-listed site of Sigiriya, a spectacular rock fortress featuring water gardens, moats and the impressive Lion Gate. Explore the frescoes of beautiful maidens and the Mirror Wall with ancient graffiti.
Day 5 Sigiriya - Kandy
Kandy is a beautiful town, and it's your next base. On the way here we're going to stop at the Dambulla cave temples, home to more than 150 Buddha images. We'll also visit a spice garden in Matale, where you'll learn how these aromatic ingredients are used in traditional Sri Lankan cuisine, and pick up some tips to take home. Meals included: B,D
Day 6 Kandy
Today's included tour takes you to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Peradeniya, which were laid out by British colonial rulers in 1821 and are home to more than 5,000 species of plants and trees.
For lunch, you'll visit the Sthree Café, which works with women in the local community to increase their income, strengthen their financial independence, and help them become economically empowered. The café provides the women with a fair wage, together with the skills and training needed to work in the service sector. At the café, we will enjoy a traditional Sri Lankan dining experience as we're served fresh, vegetarian cuisine, prepared from locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
You'll then have a tour of Kandy, where highlights include the Market Square and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, one of Buddhism's most sacred places of worship. Said to have been built in the early 1700s, it houses the tooth relic of Buddha brought to Sri Lanka from the Kalinga province in ancient India in the 4th century AD. Several buildings have been added to the temple complex by successive rulers, the latest being the Golden Canopy over the inner shrine where the Tooth Relic is placed.
Day 7 Kandy - Nuwara Eliya
After breakfast, we're setting our sights on Nuwara Eliya, in the heart of Sri Lanka's hill country. Home of the famous Ceylon tea, it is surrounded by a lush green carpet of plantations, and en route to our hotel we'll visit one. Here we'll see how the leaves are delicately picked by hand and turned into our favourite brew.
On arrival in Nuwara Eliya, settle into your hotel, then get your bearings on a sightseeing tour.
Day 8 Nuwara Eliya - at Leisure
It might be tempting to spend today lazing by the pool and soaking up the sunshine. Alternatively, if you want to discover more of Sri Lanka, come with us on an optional trip to Horton Plains National Park. At World's End you can peer over a 3,700ft sheer drop to take in fabulous views of the surrounding tea estates. There's wonderful flora and fauna to discover here too. Keep a lookout for some of the 24 species of mammal, which include the endemic slender loris, purple monkey and sambar deer. Meals included: B,D
Day 9 Nuwara Eliya - Yala
Your day begins with a visit to a school in Nuwara Eliya, which is supported by the Travelsphere Cares scheme. You'll then continue by road to Yala, where you'll find the landscape ranges from open parkland to dense jungle. En route you'll visit The Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, sponsored by the Born Free Trust, where injured or orphaned elephants from around the island are brought and given treatment and care, before being relocated at Udawalawe National Park.
As you reach Yala, look out for watering holes, small lakes and lagoons. These attract the many animals that thrive here, including a sizeable population of elephants, which we'll hope to spot tomorrow. End the day relaxaing at your hotel.
Day 10 Yala
This morning enjoy an exciting safari in Yala National Park, where elephants and leopards may be spotted as well as many other species such as sloth bears, monkeys and crocodiles. This afternoon there's a guided nature drive.Meals included: B,D
Day 11 Yala - Beruwala
Your final destination is Beruwala, home to one of the longest beaches in Sri Lanka. You will stay here for two nights and en route you'll visit Galle, the port where the Portuguese first landed in Sri Lanka. Captured later by the Dutch, you'll see plenty of reminders of Dutch colonial rule among its narrow alleys, churches and monuments. You'll then visit a turtle hatchery where these endangered creatures are protected and released into the wild. Enjoy the rest of the day relaxing on the beach.Meals included: B,D
Day 12 Beruwala - at Leisure
Why not begin your day with with an optional morning yoga session before enjoying some time at leisure. Beruwala is a busy little town which has managed to retain its charm, so maybe head out to explore or just stay put and enjoy the facilities of your beachfront hotel.
This evening you could choose to join an optional dinner which introduces you to Arrack - a Sri Lankan spirit distilled from the sap of the coconut flower, which has to be collected by hand and aged in oak casks. Your multi-course meal, which was developed by chef Adam Gaunt from the Flying Fish in Sydney, Australia, will be accompanied by several different types of 'arrack'.
Day 13 Beruwala - UK
Today we will transfer you to the airport for your flight back to the UK. Meals included: B
TAILOR YOUR TRIP
Cinnamon Bey Beruwala
Updgrade to a Deluxe room at the Cinnamon Bey Beruwala for the duration of your stay. Call for details.
Extend your holiday and relax for a little longer at the beautiful beach resort of Beruwala. Includes two nights bed-and-breakfast in a 5-star hotel. Upgrade to a Deluxe room for the duration of your add-on stay. Available on all dates.