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Discover ancient and modern Sri Lanka on this 12 day trip across the island’s southern and central provinces. Take in majestic panoramic views from the top of Lion Rock before embarking on a safari at Minneriya National Park. Embark on a tour of Sri Lanka’s cultural capital, Kandy and venture into the heart of tea-country, admire Dutch colonial architecture at Galle Fort before relaxing at the long, soft and golden beach stretch of Koggala. Continue discovering vibrant capital Colombo.
Our Highlight itineraries cover the key attractions at a relatively quick pace. Enjoy them as they are or extend them to create your perfect holiday. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
On arrival at Colombo Airport, you will be met by a representative of GetAboutAsia and transferred to your hotel.
Spend the day at leisure.
This morning you will be collected from your hotel by your driver to commence your exploration of Sri Lanka. Travel by road to Sigiriy and climb the Sigiriya Rock Fortress.
The 5th century rock citadel of King Kasyapa and World Heritage Site - Sigiriya - doesn't only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering & urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art & culture. Step through the gigantic 'Lion Paws' overlooking the symmetrical royal gardens below to comprehend the absolute splendor that once dominated this rock fortress. Surrounded by ramparts & moats the Lion Rock, resembling the mythological 'City of Gods', is coated by frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India. Walk in the shade of an eminent 'mirror wall' embracing the Western face of Sigiriya representing an artistic hundred meters laminated with graffiti. Wander into the well-fabricated museum downstairs for a journey of yesteryears.
Today continue to Polonnaruwa and enjoy a city tour of the historic city.
Explore ancient Polonnaruwa. Strewn across a long stretch of woodland, the well-preserved ruins of this UNESCO World Heritage site stood as an immense royal capital from the 8th century until 1310 CE.
The undisputed highlight of the site is the Quadrangle; a compact group of some of the finest shrine and temple ruins in Sri Lanka, all bound in by a surrounding wall. At the heart of the city you’ll find the remains of the Royal Palace, while the northern end is home to larger structures including the towering Lankathilaka Shrine, the iconic granite Buddha statues of the Gal Viharaya, and the Tivanka Image House with its carvings of playful dwarves and exquisite frescos. The small scale architectural models at the Polonnaruwa Archaeological Museum, located close to the Royal Palace, offer a fascinating insight into how the city might have looked in its heyday.
This afternoon visit Minneriya National Park and experience a jeep safari.
If you're up for a serious rumble in the jungle, then Minneriya is your Colosseum! Spreading over 8800 hectares, this is a sanctuary for elephants. Minneriya is home to herds of deer and ample birdlife, but its spotlight remains between swaying trunks & flapping ears. Park your jeep on the bank of the reservoir and switch off its engine. Watch carefully as herds of elephants roll on to the grass-covered banks to feed on tender shoots. In fact, this is the largest elephant gathering in the world - over 300 at a time - which has garnished the park to become a magnet for wildlife enthusiasts across the globe.
Enjoy the morning of exploration at the iconic Dambulla Rock Temple. Tucked within a rocky hillock, the temple stretches over a complex of five ornately decorated shrine caves which house 157 beautifully preserved Buddha statues and brilliantly coloured frescoes.
Venture into the first cave to take in the imposing 14 metre Buddha carved directly from the cave wall. At the statue’s feet is Ananda, Buddha’s most favoured disciple, at his head sits Vishnu, who is said to have used his divine powers to create the caves. The largest of the caves, known as the ‘Cave of the Great Kings’, houses an impressive collection of 16 standing and 40 seated Buddha statues. Look above you to admire striking 18th Century ceiling frescoes depicting important scenes from Buddha’s life and Sri Lankan history. Watch out for drops falling from the natural spring – it’s said to have healing powers and is used in sacred rituals.
Travel with your guide to Kandy, stopping off in Matale en-route to drop by a fragrant spice garden. Learn how Sri Lanka’s renowned native spices are grown and witness a mouth-watering live cookery demonstration.
On arrival in Kandy, enjoy free time to relax for the rest of the day.
Situated 500 metres above sea level, this sacred Buddhist city is famed for its elegant Dutch colonial architecture, traditional dance and easy going atmosphere. The city’s most revered cultural attractions are the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and Esala Perahera, a ten day festival which sees elephants, drummers and dancers take to the streets to celebrate the sacred tooth relic each year.
The Kandy dining scene offers a good mix of Sri Lankan, Western and distinct Indian influences. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.
Start your day wandering the shade-dappled paths of Peradeniya Royal Botanical Gardens. Discover the traditional spice garden and the Orchid House, where over 300 varieties of orchid bloom. Stop for a picnic lunch among the lush sprawling lawns.
After lunch, tour the colourful streets of Kandy with your guide, starting with a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic to see the revered Buddha tooth in its ornate two storey shrine. Close by, the National Museum offers a fascinating insight into the Sri Wickrama Rajasingha era with over 5,000 well-preserved artefacts waiting to be discovered in the Palle Vahala (Queens Palace.)
In the evening, unwind and enjoy a live Kandyan dance performance. Blending elaborate costumes with frenetic dance moves and pulsating, infectious tribal drum rhythms, this unforgettable explosion of colour and sound is Sri Lanka’s most iconic performing art. Legend has it that the dance was originally developed as part of an exorcism ritual performed by Indian shaman visiting the island. It quickly became popular under the rule of the kings of Kandy and was eventually incorporated into religious ceremonies and festivals across Sri Lanka, never losing its strong ties with the city.
Journey to Nuwara Eliya in the heart of the island’s picturesque tea country, stopping by at a tea plantation and tea factory on the way. Observe at first hand the manufacturing process which creates a tea revered for its unique flavour.
Perched on a mountainside 2,000 metres above sea level, the quaint Nuwara Eliya evokes an English country town with its red brick walls and mock Tudor architecture. Wander the town centre admiring the colonial buildings and soaking up the fresh mountain air, before stopping off at Victoria Park, where rare native and migrant birds can be spotted throughout the year.
Travel to Koggala and enroute stop at Galle Fort and stroll the winding narrow streets.
Nestled on the shores of the Indian Ocean, this 36 hectare UNESCO World Heritage Site is the largest intact Dutch fort in Asia and one of the best preserved examples of 17th century colonial fortifications in the world. The refreshingly quiet and traffic-free streets of the Dutch quarter are lined with elegant colonial-era villas and towering churches. Enjoy a leisurely wander, stopping to admire the stunning ocean views from the fort walls.
Venture into the heart of the town to experience Galle’s unique fusion of modern and ancient, where jewellery and book shops abound and alfresco cafes are half hidden behind magnificent towering columns
Continue to Koggala and check into your hotel. Evening free at leisure.
Spend the days at leisure.
Koggala is a small coastal town at the south coast of Sri Lanka and is home to one long stretch of stunning beaches. Your driver will be available to discover and explore the area of Koggala.
Continue your road journey to Colombo. This afternoon enjoy a city tour.
A dynamic and multicultural capital, Colombo is changing rapidly, yet there's still plenty of evidence of old world charm to be found in its colourful and hectic streets. The chaotic energy of the Pettah Bazaar shopping district is unlike anywhere else in Sri Lanka, while Slave Island, with its ornate temples and colonial-era railway station is a fascinating place to spend an afternoon wandering. The city's dining scene is as diverse as its population and includes a full range of European and Asian dishes. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.
Today you will depart for the airport for your onward flight.
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Standard:||from AU $1,656|
|Superior:||from AU $1,852|
|Deluxe:||from AU $2,347|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels/lodges each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available on this itinerary.
•All breakfasts at your hotel each morning.
•All airport transfers.
•All transport on tour.
•All itinerary attractions including fees or permits.
•Professional tour guides for all airport pickups, day tours and activities.
Availability of accommodation and season.
"Our driver was great and looked after us so much it was like having a parent to look after us. Everything was great and we were very glad to have had breakfast included too. To narrow down our top 3 favourites; well we absolutely loved the Spice Garden, Ella Rock and Horton Plains, (we got to pat a deer it was beautiful)Oh and our first two accommodation places we had upgrades! The most beautiful rooms!! Thanks again for all the organising and chopping and changing. We will recommend Getaboutasia Much appreciated." — Mrs Fiddler and Mr Bade, Melbourne , October 2017
"All Hotels were of a high standard with lovely rooms, pleasant and friendly staff and good facilities. Our Leader/Driver was magnificent. His knowledge of history, towns, culture, attractions and wildlife was excellent as was his driving! His friendliness and advice/recommendations was welcomed as was his punctuality and cleanliness of his vehicle. Many thanks for organising this trip." — Mick and Ross, Warrandyte, April 2017
"Everywhere we went was amazing but even though it was my second trip to Sri Lanka I still found Sigiriya Rock absolutely breathtaking and adored staying at Sigiriya Village Hotel. And the safari at Yala National Park was mind blowing. We saw so many animals, but highlights were the elephants, crocodiles and even a leopard from ten feet away! . I would definitely recommend both Sri Lanka and Get About Asia to anyone interested in exploring a new place on their own terms." — Miss Fryer and Miss Bourke, Arana Hills Brisbane , November 2015
"Sri Lanka is an incredible country with so much to offer. From ancient temples and culture, to hill country and mountains to fabulous beaches. This was one of the best countries I have visited and I have seen a lot. The local staff was really great and driver/guide was fantastic. We had a wonderful and safe trip with GetAboutAsia. " — Randolph, Canberra, ACT, April 2015
"We loved the time we spent in Hill Country (Nuwara Eliya and Ella). The scenery was just incredible, and such a contrast to other areas of the country with vast expanses of lush, green, tea plantations and mountains." — Rachel & Andrew, Manchester, May 2014