Day 01 – Airport | Negombo
After your overnight flight, arrive at Bandaranaike International Airport in Colombo (approx. 1245hrs), meet up with your English-speaking driver / guide who will travel with you for the duration of your time in Sri Lanka. Transfer the short distance (20-30mins) to Negombo. The rest of the day is free for you to relax at your hotel alongside the Indian Ocean, in the garden or by the pool. In the evening explore Negombo by bike – Approximately 5 km (vehicle will be available).
“Dubbed Sri Lanka’s ‘Little Rome’, this beach town located just a few kilometers away from the Bandaranaike International Airport and is full of surprises. It is an historically interesting location owing to the strains of Dutch-influenced architecture that remain intact in the town’s landscape, not to mention the ancient Dutch Fort as well as several churches constructed during the Dutch Colonial era that are thronged by pilgrims daily. Among other amazing sightseeing options are the sunsets, bustling fish market as well as hand-made catamarans used by local fishermen that set sail in the evenings”
Day 02 – Negombo | Sigiriya
After breakfast visit the fish market, colourful harbour area, Dutch canals, Fort and temples by vehicle. Transfer to hotel in Sigiriya (Approximately 3 ½ hours’ drive). Arrive and check before an afternoon Bike ride to Hiriwadunna Village – Approximately 10 km (vehicle will be available).
“Habarana is wonderful area in the north-central part of the island and Hiriwaduna village is in the countryside. It is a non-commercialized area and is a wonderful place to experience ancient Sri Lankan lifestyle and traditions, food and customs. Arrive at a village house and witness some traditional cooking tips and see the Chena cultivation followed by an authentic Sri Lankan Lunch.”
Day 03 – Sigiriya area
Breakfast at the hotel before a visit to Sigiriya Rock Fortress by bike – Approximately 22 km (vehicle will be at disposal).
“Sigiriya Rock Fortress is a 5th century ‘Fortress in the Sky’ built by King Kasyapa – it is perhaps the most fantastic single wonder of the Island. It is also known as Lion Rock because of the huge lion that used to stand at the entrance to the fortress. Within its triple-moated defence, the huge rock rises to a sheer height of almost 500 feet. On its summit are the foundations of what was once a great and sumptuous palace and gardens complete with swimming pool. On one of the stairways, the only known ancient work of Sinhala secular painting survives in the form of frescoes of life-sized damsels in all the freshness and delicacy of their original colours.”
Return to your hotel to relax before an afternoon bike ride to Minneriya National Park for a jeep safari – Approximately 30 km (vehicle will be available).
“Minneriya National Park is 8,889 hectares in extent and is famous for its large population of elephants in herds of 100 to 150 roaming in the jungle and seen in the catchment area of the Minneriya Lake. About 300 wild elephants, wild buffaloes, wild boar, spotted deer, sloth bear, sambar, leopards, crocodiles, jackals, 9 kinds of amphibians, 25 kinds of reptiles, 160 species of birds, 26 varieties of fish, 78 varieties of butterflies are recorded in the park.”
Day 04 – Sigiriya | Kandy
After breakfast at the hotel, ride to the Spice Gardens in Matale – Approximately 65 km (vehicle will be available), stopping on the way to visit the Dambulla Cave Temples – walk up many steps (800-1000). They were built by King Walagambahu in the 1st century B.C. and it is a World Heritage Site. It is the most impressive of Sri Lanka’s cave temples. The complex of five caves, with over 2000 square meters of painted walls and ceilings are the largest area of paintings found in the world.
“Since time immemorial, this emerald isle has remained popular for its exotic spices, world over. To those who bear an interest in these rich elements that stirred the interests of many nations, the spice gardens located in Kandy, Matale and Mawanella offer wonderful opportunities to view these spices up-close. The gardens are not only delightful spots for a stroll midst the fragrant greenery but also offer interesting perspectives into the local spices, as you learn about the diverse variety of spices available in the country as well as on how they are grown and processed.”
Proceed to Kandy by vehicle or bike – Approximately 33 km. Arrive and check in at the hotel and relax for the rest of the day.
“Often referred to as the hill capital of Sri Lanka, Kandy offers a diverse variety of experiences to its visitors ranging from history, culture and simple scenic beauty coupled with a touch of urbanity. It was the last Sinhalese Kingdom that fell under British rule in 1815. The journey to this mellow weathered city can be quite enjoyable, particularly by train owing to the scenic delights that lie alongside. The city’s colonial architecture has been preserved well even in the backdrop of rapid urbanization.”
Day 05 – Kandy sightseeing
After breakfast go on a sightseeing tour of Kandy. It was the last royal capital and it is one of the most charming towns in Sri Lanka, famous for its gorgeous setting beside a lake, cradled by hills and surrounded by the sinuous lines of tea plantations. It is home to the gold-roofed Temple of the Tooth, with its guardian elephants, a deeply significant Buddhist site that contains a tooth of Buddha collected from his funeral pyre and draws thousands of pilgrims from across the world. Visit the temple and the Garrison Cemetery, both in the area alongside the lake. Have free time to relax before going to watch a cultural dance show in the evening.
Optional visit to Visit the Botanical Gardens of Peradeniya – Started in 1374 as a pleasure garden of the kings of Kandy, 147 acres in extent, it has more than 4,000 species of rare and endemic trees and plants as well as flora from the tropical world. This is a haven not only for scientists but to every nature lover too. The Spice Garden, Orchid House, lake area with the surrounding large bamboo plants and the avenue of trees are all attractive areas.
Day 06 – Kandy | Nuwara Eliya
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the railway station to travel by train to Nuwara Eliya (approx. 3-4hrs) through the tea plantations and hills (Peradeniya Junction to Nanu Oya near Nuwara Eliya) and then 9 km cycling to your hotel. Arrive and check in at the hotel. In the evening, ride your bikes around Nuwara Eliya and do sightseeing – (vehicle will be available).
“Also known as the Hill Country capital of Sri Lanka, the city has a picturesque landscape and temperate climate and is known as the “Little England of Sri Lanka”. It is at an altitude of 1,868 m (6,128 ft) and is one of the most important locations for tea production in Sri Lanka. The city is overlooked by Pidurutalagala, the tallest mountain in Sri Lanka. Nuwara Eliya is known for its temperate, cool climate — the coolest area in Sri Lanka.
Day 07 – Nuwara Eliya | Horton Plains |Nuwara Eliya
Very early in the morning, leave for Horton Plains by bike with packed breakfast. Approximately 32 km of cycling uphill most of the way – (vehicle will be at disposal) to the National Park for a 6 mile (approx.) walk to “World’s End” and the beautiful Bridal Veil ‘Bakers Falls’. This is Sri Lanka’s highest plateau, 7200 ft above sea level in the centre of the mountain country. This ‘Fen’ is a very scenic region with an astounding variety of scenery from mountains to grasslands, from marshes to trout streams. Sri Lanka’s best-flavoured high grown teas are grown in the surrounding areas. There are spectacular views (subject to weather conditions) from ‘Worlds End’ where the plateau plunges a thousand feet in a straight sheer drop.
Return to hotel by bikes – Approximately 32 km (vehicle will be available). The rest of the day is free for you to relax.
Day 08 – Nuwara Eliya | Udawalawe
Breakfast at hotel. As you leave Nuwara Eliya, stop at the Seetha Amman Temple which is very colourful and see the circular depressions in the rocks, said to be an elephant footprint. Continue the journey by bike and see the Rawana Waterfalls on your right-hand side by the road – from here, the bike ride is mostly downhill to Udawalawe. Approximately 127 km (vehicle will be available). Check in to your hotel and relax for the rest of the day.
Day 09 – Udawalawe National Park and ETH visit
Enjoy a morning jeep safari in search of elephants, monkeys, deer, crocodiles, rare leopards and sloth bears, flying squirrels and many birds including birds of prey in a private jeep.
“Udawalawe is a small town located in the southern part of the Ratnapura District in Sri Lanka, close to the district’s boundary with the Hambantota District and Monaragala District. The town is the main entry points to the Udawalawe National Park which is a major National Park in Sri Lanka which is renowned for its high population of wild Asian elephants. The park covers an area of 230,821 hectares and was declared in 1972. This park has a good elephant population of about 500. Wild Buffalo, Spotted Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Sambar Deer, Hare, Mongoose, Crocodile and 30 species of Snakes are recorded.
Return to the hotel and relax by the pool before an afternoon visit to the Elephant Transit Home run by the Born Free Foundation. Watch the baby elephants at feeding time – a highlight for many people when visiting Sri Lanka.
“The Elephant Transit Home is a lively place. Feeding the calves with milk every three hours is a recurring job throughout the year. The small elephant calves are fed once every two hours and the ETH turns into frenzy if the feeding times get delayed! Getting them adapted to milk powder and a new environment is a special programme that calls for utmost patience – there is also the opportunity to donate here.”
Day 10 – Udawalawe | Dickwella
Breakfast at hotel before cycling to Dickwella, with stops on the way to relax and have a cold drink – Approximately 85 km (vehicle will be available).
“Dickwella is a small coastal market town in the Matara district in Southern province of Sri Lanka. It is located 22 km east of the city of Matara. Dickwella is noted for its long sandy beach which is protected by headlands, reefs and sand-bars, making it safer for swimming.”
Day 11 – Dickwella
Breakfast at hotel. Free day to relax on the beach, alongside the Indian Ocean. Depending on the time of the year, optional whale watching can be arranged (November to March).
Leisure at the hotel (vehicle will be available).
Day 12 – Dickwella | Galle
Breakfast at hotel. Thereafter continue the bike ride to Galle – Approximately 85 km (vehicle will be available), stopping at Dondra Lighthouse on the way – the Southernmost point of Sri Lanka.
“Galle Fort in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. The fort has a colourful history, and today has a multi-ethnic and multi-religious population. The heritage value of the fort has been recognized by the UNESCO and the site has been inscribed as a cultural heritage UNESCO World Heritage. Look down on to Galle Cricket Ground from the Fort Walls.”
Day 13 – Galle | Bentota
Breakfast at hotel.
Continue the bike ride to Bentota – Approximately 60 km (vehicle will be available).
“Located in the Southern coastal line some 60km south from Colombo, the pride of this small town is its beautiful beaches with warm water. Optional snorkelling, windsurfing or jet-ski/ water-ski ride in the Bentota lagoon are subject to availability. Souvenir shopping for traditional batik work or local-made handicrafts, brassware or semi-precious gemstones can be found in the town.”
Day 14 – Bentota | Colombo
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Colombo by vehicle. (Approximately 2 ½ hours’ drive). Arrive, check in at the hotel and relax before an evening Colombo city tour by bike – Approximately 8 km (vehicle will be available).
“Colombo is located on the west coast of the island, the capital of the country. It is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings and ruins. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the East-West sea trade routes, Colombo was known to ancient traders 2,000 years ago.”
Day 15 – Colombo | Airport
Breakfast in hotel. Check out from the hotel and drive to the Colombo International airport by vehicle (Approximately 45 minutes’ drive) in time for your international departure.