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 just half the size of England but packs a real punch
With a good guide you may spot a leopard or black-coated sloth bear whilst divers, surfers, cricket and golf lovers will be in paradise.
Daytime temperatures average 27°C all year round.
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 few days spend some time in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, with opportunities to explore the Old Town and get acquainted with local delicacies.
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.
The final week is spent relaxing in a beachside resort where you can be as active or inactive as you choose.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Ancient site of Polonnaruwa
Yala National Park
World Heritage Site of Sigiriya
Itinerary in brief
Colombo x 1 night
Pinnawala x 2 nights
Kandy x 3 nights
Yala National Park x 2 nights
Kogalla x 6 nights
Return economy flights from UK to Sri Lanka
Accommodation for 14 nights in standard rooms on a bed and breakfast basis
Entrance fees to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, Polonnaruwa, Yala National Park and Sigiriya
Use of english-speaking chauffeur guide
Day 1 – Depart UK
Depart UK and fly to Colombo international airport.
Day 2 – Arrive Colombo and explore the city
Arrive in Colombo, transfer to your hotel then explore the city at your own pace. Overnight in Colombo.
Day 3 – Pinnawala elephant orphanage
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before transferring inland to the elephant orphanage. Established in 1975 this centre provides you with the opportunity to get up close to the elephants, including calves. Overnight in Anuradhupura.
Day 4 – Guided tour of Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa
Spend the morning exploring Sigiriya with your guide. Sigiriya, also known as Lion Rock, is a rock fortress built in the 5th century consisting of 1,200 steps. Then drive to Polonnaruwa to see one of the best planned archeological relic sites in Sri Lanka. Overnight in Anuradhupura.
Day 5 – Visit Dambulla caves and drive to Kandy
This morning visit the Dambulla cave temples which tower over the surrounding plains and contain ancient statues and paintings then climb the temple with your guide. After lunch drive south to the old colonial town of Kandy. Overnight in Kandy.
Day 6 – Explore Kandy
After breakfast explore the World Heritage Site of Kandy, the last capital of Sri Lanka before the country was brought under British rule. Visit the town and market, an arts and crafts centre, gem museum and lapidary. After lunch visit the splendid Royal Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya, home to over 4,000 species of plants spread over 147 acres. Overnight in Kandy.
Day 7 – At leisure in Kandy
Today is at leisure for you to relax or explore as you wish. A variety of walks and cycle routes are available as well as visits to local tea factories.
Day 8 – Yala National Park
After breakfast, journey south east to the gates of Yala National Park for an adventurous camping experience with Leopard Trails. Yala is Sri Lanka’s most popular wildlife attraction and offers excellent game viewing of elephant, leopard and water buffalo in particular. Enjoy a game drive this afternoon. Overnight at Leopard Trails.
Day 9 – Yala National Park
Start the day with an adventurous jeep safari into the Yala National Park. Game drives normally take place at 6am and 3:30pm when the animals come to the waterholes and are more visible. You will be accompanied by an experienced guide/tracker to help you spot as many animals as possible. Overnight at Leopard Trails.
Day 10 – Beachside relaxation at Kogalla
Leave Yala this morning and head east along the coast to your resort in Kogalla. En route you may wish to stop off at Marissa which is famous for its whale sightings. Overnight at Kogalla.
Days 11 to 15 – Kogalla
Enjoy a further five nights at Kogalla, soaking up the sunshine and relaxing on the beach at your resort. Overnight at Kogalla.
Day 16 – Leave Sri Lanka and fly home to UK
Leave the resort this morning and transfer back to Colombo airport in time for your flight back to the UK.