The Sri Lanka Travel Specialists
The Classic Island Tour includes the best that Sri Lanka can offer - ancient cities, tea-growing hills, wildlife parks and Indian Ocean beaches and the finest hotels. You can explore the island at your own pace, in a car or minivan, with your personal driver-cum-guide. Note that we can tailor this itinerary according to your preferences, so feel free to ask for modifications.
Upon arriving in Sri Lanka, transfer to a convenient hotel close to the international airport. Relax and unwind after your flight, preparing yourself for the adventure ahead.
Sri Lanka's famous cultural triangle offers plenty to fire both mind and body over the next three days. Explore the lion rock of Sigiriya; Dambulla’s Buddhist Cave Temples, and the ancient kingdom of Polonnaruwa, which was Sri Lanka’s royal medieval capital between the late 11th and 13th century. After visiting Polonnaruwa museum, which will provide an overview of this ancient city and its heritage, move onto exploring the ruins themselves. You might also consider a safari at Minneriya National Park when you visit Polonnaruwa.
The journey from the cultural triangle to Sri Lanka's hill capital – the small lakeside city of Kandy – will occupy most of the morning. Visit the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy where a sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha is enshrined since 4th Century AD. The temple has decorative walls, a golden roof and fine woodwork. Religious services with traditional music and drumming are held daily at dawn, mid-day and in the evening where guests can participate. You might also want to see Kandy's Botanical Gardens.
Travel on into Sri Lanka’s tea-growing highlands. You might like to enjoy the “Tea Experience”, which involves a visit to a plantation to observe the process, starting from the plucking field where it all begins with the picking of “two leaves and a bud” to the factory where the processing begins. Temperatures in Sri Lanka's hill country are akin to an early English summer's day and you can go trekking, cycling, canoeing or just soak up the magnificent scenery. An all-night climb up Adam's Peak is another that we could offer by special request.
Head southeast to Yala National Park. En-route visit Buduruvagala to see Sri Lanka's tallest rock-cut Buddha statue (51 ft. in height) and other Mahayana Buddhist statues that date back to the 8th-century AD. Yala National Park consists of scrub plains, lagoons and rocky sections and is probably the best place to see all of Sri Lanka's Big Three: Elephant, leopard and water buffalo. If you wish to limit your journey consider Uda Walawe game park instead.
Travel along the beautiful south coast to your preferred beach hotel for your last four nights. Experience the beautiful sandy beaches, turquoise seas, rural fishing villages and the southern heritage. Mirissa Water Sports offers sailing, fishing, coastal cruises, river trips, sea kayaking, snorkelling and boating. A day trip to the historic town of Galle on one of the days is also a must.
Nestled amongst acres of beautifully manicured gardens, this colonial manor house, or Wallawwa, is now a luxurious boutique hotel. This old and new concept provides guests with unrivalled setting and style just 15 minutes from the airport. 18 bedrooms, Asian fusion cuisine, Z spa and The Wallawwa’s swimming pool – all set amongst one of the finest private gardens in Sri Lanka.
Vil Uyana spreads over scenic flatlands close to Sigiriya rock. This immensely tranquil development reawakens the efforts of ancient Sinhala kings who developed and irrigated this area. Large cabanas, luxuriously appointed, blend seamlessly into a rural landscape of marshes, lakes and paddy fields.
The Kandy House is a brilliant boutique hotel offering stylish and private accommodation, personal service, and delicious food - all in a stunningly beautiful natural setting. The manor house, has been refurbished to blend the old with the new- light white interiors, polished hardwood floorboards, Jack wood staircase, Dutch style antique furniture and careful injections of colour.
The luxurious Norwood Bungalow commands a fine view of the Bogawantalawa Valley. Enjoy a traditional English cream served by authentically-dressed butlers, many descended from butlers of the colonial period. One of five wonderful tea-estate bungalows in the acclaimed Tea Trails collection in the south-west highlands.
The Fortress is a luxurious boutique hotel with a prime location on the broad sands of Koggala, only a few miles south of the historic city of Galle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
An atmospheric wildlife hotel with well-appointed cabanas on the fringes of Yala game park which is highly regarded by upmarket package tourists and by independent travellers.
Red Dot selects only the best accommodation in Sri Lanka, in its particular price range. Please suggest which of the three categories might most appeal to you. (You can tick more than one box).
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