The Maldives islands are home to some of the very best scuba diving in the world. Even if you’re not a diver, snorkelling in the warm waters offers wonderful opportunities to spot a wide variety of marine life. Some resorts have their own diving schools, whilst others have their own reefs and you may even see whale sharks.
Sri Lanka is only half the size of England but packs a real punch
With a good guide you may spot a leopard or black-coated sloth bear and we can arrange a wildlife safari to help you discover some of the hundreds of different bird and butterfly species that flourish here. Divers and surfers will be in paradise, together with cricket and golf lovers. With average daytime temperatures of 27 degrees centigrade all year round, you can be assured plenty of sunshine.
This is the perfect tour for those wishing to spend half their time sightseeing and the other half relaxing on the beach. During the first week you spend some time in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, with opportunities to explore the Old Town and get acquainted with local delicacies. You will also visit an elephant orphanage and watch as the elephants feed and bathe. The orphanage has calves born on a fairly regular basis so you may well be lucky enough to see a baby elephant on your visit.
Cultural excursions in the first week also include a guided visit to Polonnaruwa to see stupas, Buddha statues and Hindu sculptures, and Sigiriya to see the 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa. We also include a day visiting the elephant sanctuary at Minneriya where the largest herd of elephants in the world can be watched.
The second week of our tour is at a beach resort on the east coast of the island where you can relax and soak up some sun. Upgrade to a beach chalet located just one step from the beach, set in gardens directly facing the ocean. Each chalet has unobstructed views of the coral reef surrounding the beach and beautiful views of the Indian Ocean.
If you would rather start with the beach and end with the culture then we would be happy to arrange this.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Ancient site of Polonnaruwa
Minneriya National Park
World Heritage Site of Sigiriya
Itinerary in brief
Colombo x 1 night
Sigiriya x 2 nights
Passikudah x 7 nights
Colombo x 1 night
Return economy flights from UK to Sri Lanka
Accommodation for 12 nights in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis
Entrance fees to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Polonnaruwa, Minneriya National Park and Sigiriya
Special service fees to Minneriya Jeep
Use of english-speaking chauffeur guide
Day 1 – Depart UK
Depart UK for Colombo airport in Sri Lanka.
Day 2 – Arrive Colombo in Sri Lanka
Arrive Colombo. After clearing customs and immigration you will be met and introduced to your English speaking chauffeur guide. Transfer from the airport to your hotel (aproximately 30 minutes).
Day 3 – At leisure in Colombo
Breakfast at hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure and free for optional excursions. A car and chauffeur are at your disposal all day.
Day 4 – Leave Colombo and transfer to Pinnawala
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer from Colombo to Pinnawala (approximately 3 hours). Visit to Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, a beautiful 25 acre estate where you can see elephants moving around freely, being fed and bathing. Over 20 calves have been born here since the sanctuary opened in 1975. Following this visit, transfer to your hotel in Sigiriya.
Day 5 – Sightseeing in Polonnaruwa and elephant-spotting in Minneriya
Transfer to Polonnaruwa (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes). Explore the ruined World Heritage Site city of Polonnaruwa with its stupas, resting Buddha statues, irrigation canals and Hindi sculptures. Then transfer to Minneriya (approximately 30 minutes), a sanctuary for elephants covering 8,800 hectares. Watch herds of elephants, often numbering over 300 at a time, feed right in front of your jeep. Return to your hotel.
Day 6 – Sightseeing in Sigiriya
Transfer from hotel to Sigiriya and climb Sigiriya, the World Heritage Site and 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa. Wander around the museum to understand how the citadel functioned. Return to hotel.
Day 7 – At leisure in Passikudah for 7 nights
Leave Sigiriya and transfer to Passikudah (approximately 3 hours 30 minutes). Check in to your hotel when you are at leisure for the next seven nights. Try scuba diving and watersports or simply relax by the pool.
Day 14 – Leave Passikudah and fly to Colombo
Leave Passikudah and fly to Colombo airport. Transfer to your hotel.
Day 15 – Depart Colombo airport for UK
Depart Colombo airport for return flight to the UK.