Sri Lanka- The Essence of Paradise
À partir de 1.125 €

Sri Lanka- The Essence of Paradise

Forfait vacances
créé: mardi 25 juin 2024
Ref ID: 9426165
Total prix À partir de 2.249 €
créé: mardi 25 juin 2024

Day 1: Airport – Dambulla – Minneriya Or Kaudulla Or Hurulu – Sigiriya

Upon arrival at the Bandaranaike International Airport in Katunayaike, you will be warmly welcomed by your National Tourist Guide with the words “Ayubowan” which means may you attain a long life in the traditional language of the island, Ayubowan is the customary form of greeting in Sri Lanka. Thereafter, you will be escorted to your vehicle and proceed to drive to Sigiriya in the ‘Cultural Triangle’ (160km / approx. 3.5 hrs). En route, you might like to visit the Dambulla Cave Temples. (Entrance fee of USD 10.00 per adult approx.) Famous for its rock paintings and is among the best-preserved monastic temple cave complexes in Sri Lanka. Dambulla’s origins as a place of worship dates back to the reign of King Valagamba in the 1st century BC, who took refuge in these caves when driven out of Anuradhapura by Chola invaders. Once he regained the throne, the king had the interior of the caves transformed into magnificent rock temples. More paintings and statues were added over time by later kings. Continue your drive to Sigiriya. Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and rest awhile. You might want to venture on safari jeep with your naturalist guide to either, Minneriya National Park (20km / approx. 45 mins), Kaudulla National Park (16km / approx. 30 mins) or Hurulu Eco Park (19km / approx. 30 mins) and (which park, all located nearby will depend on where the most elephants have gathered during the time of travel which your safari driver and naturalist will be aware of), (35km / approx. 45 mins). *Note that during the months of May till October, the game drive will be at either Minneriya or Kaudulla National Park. Whereas, during the months of November till April, the game drive will be at either Minneriya National Park or Hurulu Eco Park. (Entrance fee of USD 35.00 per adult & jeep charge of USD 40.00 per half day safari approx.) During the wet season, the elephant herds disperse from Minneriya and Kaudulla, moving towards the nearby Hurulu Forest Reserve and are scattered amongst the tall grasses and scrub jungle vegetation. A variety of birds found in the dry-zone including Indian Roller, Sri Lankan Junglefowl, Indian Peafowl, Blue-tailed and Green Bee-eaters along with raptors such as Changeable Hawk Eagle, Crested Serpent Eagle, Shikra may also be seen. The Gathering of Elephants’, which is ranked among the world’s top wildlife viewing spectacles runs from June – October each year. Each afternoon, around 150 - 200 individual elephants come out of the forest in to the open to graze on the fresh green pasture by the water’s edge at Minneriya and Kaudulla national parks. You have excellent opportunities here to observe the social dynamics of the Asian Elephant as the large bulls in musth compete among each other and seek the females within the herd, while young calves with carefree abandon get up to their mischievous antics often to the displeasure of its alert mothers within the herd. Water birds such as Painted Stork, Asian Openbill, Woolly-necked Stork along with raptors such as White-bellied Sea Eagles and Grey-headed Fishing Eagles are abundant around these large man-made lakes. As the sun sets, exit the park by 1800 hrs and head to your lodge for the night. Accommodation- Sigiriya Village (Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 2: Sigiriya – Sigiriya Rock Fortress – Polonnarua – Sigiriya

You might want to leave your hotel with a packed breakfast and make an early morning start to climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress which is a 3-minute drive from the hotel. (Entrance fee of USD 35.00 per adult approx.) Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka's single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation. Top of this rock contains ruins of an ancient palace complex, built during the reign of King Kasyapa (477AD – 495 AD) and surrounding rock is the Royal Garden. Ruins of various chambers, stairways and pools can be seen at the top of this rock. There is a stone stairway leading from the base to the top of the mountain. About halfway to the top, there is a giant pair of lions paws which is in fact are the remains of a huge head of a lion whose open mouth served as the entrance to the royal palace. Surrounding the palace complex are the ruins of a garden complex consisting of two moats and various pools, some with water fountains still functioning after 1500 years. Return to your hotel in Sigiriya. Rest awhile before considering heading out on a tour of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa (65km / approx. 1.5 hrs each way). (Entrance fee of USD 30.00 per adult approx.) Polonnaruwa took its place in history after King Vijayabahu I defeated the invading Cholas and moved the capital from Anuradhapura to Polonnaruwa. It is renowned for its well-preserved 12th century ruins and impressive stone culture. Exploring Polonnaruwa, which is today a UNESCO World Heritage site, one can see Brahmanic monuments built by the Cholas and the monumental ruins of the fabulous garden-city created by Parakramabahu I in the 12th century. Afterwards, head back to your lodge in Sigiriya. Accommodation- Sigiriya Village (Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 3: Sigiriya – Matale – Kandy

Today you will journey towards the central highlands of Kandy with a stop visit to a spice garden in Matale if you would wish to (100km / approx. 3 hrs). (No entrance fee, on complimentary basis.) Sri Lanka has been famous for centuries for its trade in spices and spice gardens. A visit to one of these herb and spice gardens provides a visitor with a firsthand experience of how these amazing treasures are grown and prepared. Some of the herbs and spices grown can include Sandalwood, Margosa, Cocoa, Citronella, Almond, Jasmine and Coconut and spices such as cloves, pepper, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and saffron are grown in these gardens. Continue your drive. Upon arrival in Kandy, check-in to your hotel. Known as the “Cultural Capital” of Sri Lanka and a UNESCO world heritage site, Kandy was established in the years 135AD by King Wickramabahu and was named Senkadagalapura at the time. In 1592 Kandy became the official Capital of the last Sinhalese Kingdom as the coastal areas were conquered by the Portuguese invaders. The hill capital remained a stronghold despite constant invasions by the Portuguese and the Dutch during the 16th , 17th and 18th century and also by the British (most notably in 1803) which were repelled thanks to the hilly landscapes, and guerilla tactics of the Sinhalese forces. The last ruling dynasty of Kandy was the ‘Nayaks’ of Kandy while the Kingdom preserved its independence until it finally fell to the British in 1815, mainly due to the lack of support of the noble families. The British deposed the last king, Sri Wikrama Rajasingha, and all claimants to the throne, thus ending the last traditional monarchy of Sri Lanka. Rest awhile before paying a visit to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic in Kandy if interested. (Entrance fee of USD 10.00 per adult approx.) This sacred temple was built in the 16th century AD and is located adjacent to the Royal Palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy and overlooks the expanses of the Kandy Lake. Referred locally as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic is the most revered site in the country. This temple complex houses the sacred tooth relic of the Lord Buddha, and with strong political sway to who holds possession of the tooth, as it was believed that the possessor of this sacred relic had the right to rule the country. Afterwards, you might like to witness a traditional dance show. (Entrance fee of USD 10.00 per adult approx.) The best way to experience the music and dance culture of Sri Lanka, especially the Kandyan traditions is to witness a cultural dance show in Kandy which provides an insight into the array of dances and playing of drums linked to Sri Lanka’s ancient traditions with the participants dressed in their decorative costumes. Each costume, dance and act signified a story, and the performances will take one on a visual and sensual journey through time and space. Performances such as fire walking and fire breathing as well as Kandyan drumming and devil dancing will be showcased in this show. Thereafter, head back to your hotel for dinner. Accommodation – Thilanka Hotel (Superior Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 4: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya

After breakfast, you will depart for the quiet town of Nuwara Eliya (85km / approx. 3 hrs). En route, stopover at a restaurant for lunch before continuing your drive. Situated in the central highlands of the island, Nuwara Eliya is also known as “Little England” due to the cold climate, endless gardens of flowers and strawberries along with vegetables, and colonial style buildings and holiday homes. The salubrious climes are a contrast from the humid heat in the lowlands. The breathtaking views of the valleys, and mountain ranges as well as the lush greenery make Nuwara Eliya one of the most visited places by local and foreign tourists alike. One of the picturesque attractions of the town is Lake Gregory, which is nestled at the bottom of a small hill. A leisurely walk around or boat ride on the lake are some of the popular activities at Lake Gregory. A leisurely stroll around the beautifully manicured gardens in Victoria Park is always a pleasure. The park comes alive with an abundance of blossoming flowers around the period of March to May, as well as August and September. You can also visit a Seetha Aman Hindu Kovil, as the majority of residents who work in the tea fields are Hindus of Indian descent who were brought in to work during the period of British rule. Reaching Nuwara Eliya, a visit to the hill country will not be complete without a visit to a tea factory and estate. (Entrance fee of USD 5.00 per adult approx.) You can stroll through the beautifully manicured tea fields and thereafter head to the tea factory where the magic of converting raw leaves into black tea happens. An art developed during the British colonial period; some machines used date back over 100 years. The creation of black tea is an art form which has remained relatively unchanged for over a century. Take a walk around the town centre, passing the Victorian post office, the old Hill Club and golf course before a stop at Holy Trinity Church, a quaint building constructed by the British in the mid-19th Century. Continue to your hotel, where the rest of the day is at leisure. Accommodation- Heaven Seven Nuwara Eliya (Deluxe Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 5: Nuwara Eliya – Horton Plains – Hakgala – Nuwara Eliya

You might like to make an early morning start with a packed breakfast to Horton Plains National Park (30km / approx. 1.5 hrs each way). (Entrance fee of USD 35.00 per adult & jeep charge of USD 40.00 per half day safari approx.) Sri Lanka’s highest elevated national park lies approximately 7,000 feet above sea level and comprises of cloud forests and open grassland and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a guided walk along the nature trails to a viewpoint known as World’s End with spectacular views of the surrounding countryside. On the walk back you can stop over to see the impressive Baker’s Falls in full flow. Sambar, Sri Lanka’s largest species of deer are encountered regularly in the plains close to the entrance while the shaggy coated Bear Monkey (Highland race of the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey) is occasionally seen within the forested areas. Many species of endemic birds can be found in the park including the Sri Lanka Whistling Thrush or Arrenga, and Sri Lanka Bush Warbler. Further, a specialty in the park is to see the two endemic species of lizards found exclusively in this eco system, and nowhere else in the world. The Rhino Horned Lizard with its signature horn on its nose, and the tiny Pygmy Lizard. Both are special rarities in the park, along with many rare and endemic plant species, and endemic flowers which are found in the park. If you are truly lucky you might catch a quick glimpse of the elusive leopard, which is much larger and has a thicker coat than its lowland counterparts. This national park is truly an ecological treasure and one of the most important natural sites in Sri Lanka. The weather can be cold and windy, and it is advisable to wear warm clothing during the visit. Afterwards, return to your hotel to rest awhile before driving to Hakgala Botanical Gardens for a stroll if it be of interest to you (15km / approx. 25 mins each way). (Entrance fee of USD 10.00 per adult approx.) Situated 10km from Nuwara Eliya, this quaint garden is a serene and quiet place to visit and explore the variety of flowers and trees which are thriving there. The name Hakgala dates to the legend of Rama and Sita, where the monkey god Hanuman was sent by Rama to fetch to find a particular medicinal plant. As Hanuman forgot which herb it was, legend states that he brought a piece of Himalaya’s back in his Jaw, hoping the herb is grew on it. The gardens grow on a rock called Hakgala which literally means “Jaw Rock”. The gardens are also a good place to see the endemic highland variety of the Purple-faced Leaf Monkey also known locally as the “Bear Monkey” due to its shaggy and thick coat. Return to your hotel in Nuwara Eliya for dinner. Accommodation- Heaven Seven, Nuwara Eliya (Deluxe Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 6: Nuwara Eliya – Kosgoda – Unawatuna

After breakfast, check-out of your hotel and head towards the southern coast of Unawatuna (280 km / approx. 7 hrs). En route, you might like to make a stop visit to the Turtle Hatchery in Kosgoda. (Entrance fee of USD 8.00 per adult approx.) The Green Turtle, Leatherback Turtle, Hawksbill Turtle, Olive Ridley and the Loggerhead Turtle are among five of the world’s seven species of sea turtles that nest on the beaches of Sri Lanka. Kosgoda remains one of the main nesting sites for these marine turtles on the west coast and the hatcheries collect the most recently laid eggs and re-bury them in protected areas to protect them against poachers. Once the eggs hatch, the baby turtles are kept for a day or two in a tank prior to being released back into the ocean. Upon arrival in Unawatuna, make a stop at a restaurant for lunch before checking in to your overnight stay. Accommodation- Agnus Unawatuna (Deluxe Sea View Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 7: Unawatuna – Balapitiya – Galle – Ambalangoda – Unawatuna

After breakfast, enjoy an exciting boat safari on The Madu River located in Balapitiya, a small, picturesque coastal village with golden soft beaches (55km / approx. 1.5 hrs). The Madu Ganga boat ride which lasts between 1-2 hours, takes you through the estuary of the river which comprises of dense mangrove forests and 64 islands. A variety of birdlife can be seen along with troops of Toque Macaques and Bengal Water Monitors where fully grown specimens can get to over 6 feet in length. One of the islands has a Buddhist monastery which is decorated with some sculptures and artwork, the highlight being a 150-year-old book made of palm leaves. You can see the local villagers extract cinnamon oil from the trees. If traveling in the early evening, you may also see the prawn fishermen at work in their canoes lighting lanterns to attract the shellfish towards their traps. (Boat safari charge of USD 25.00 per boat approx.) After the boat safari, on your way back to Unawatuna, you might want to visit a Mask Museum in Ambalangoda en route (5km / approx. 15 mins). (Entrance fee of USD 20.00 per adult approx.) Ambalangoda is famous for the production of traditional Sri Lankan masks which are hand-carved and hand-painted, which are worn by performers in southern forms of dance such as Kolam (masked dance-drama), Kandyan and Sabaragamu dances. The Ariyapala & Sons Mask Museum displays a wide collection of masks used in low country dances, where one can also see how they are being made in the workshop adjoining the museum. Upon request and subject to availability, a cultural dance performance can be arranged by the Bandu Wijeysuriya School of Dance which is a minute’s drive from the mask museum. Afterwards, head back towards Unawatuna with a stop visit to the coastal town of Galle Fort if you fancy a stroll along the splendid colonial ramparts and explore it’s maritime climate (40km / approx. 1 hr). The once sleepy Galle Fort is now a vibrant and bustling area with a distinctively Mediterranean feel to it with excellent examples of colonial architecture and well-preserved fortifications. Explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site by taking a leisurely stroll along the Ramparts with its panoramic views. You can explore its narrow streets and laneways bustling with jewelry shops, numerous cafes, restaurants and luxurious villas. The Main Gate built by the British in the 19th century and the old gate which is inscribed with the Dutch East India Company’s coat of arms, the18th century-built Clock Tower, Meeran Jumma Mosque and the nearby Lighthouse, the Anglican All Saints Church and the Dutch-reformed Church are some of the key sites that you will visit. For those who have more time to explore the region, then a visit to the National Maritime Architecture Museum is recommended, which was formerly a Dutch warehouse where ship’s provisions and valuable cargo were stored. The Galle National Museum which displays a collection of archaeological artefacts recovered from the south of the island is another site worth visiting. Afterwards you will drive back to your hotel for dinner. Accommodation- Agnus Unawatuna (Deluxe Sea View Room) or similar Meal Plan- Half Board Basis

Day 8: Unawatuna – Airport

Today after checking out, journey to the airport for your return flight home (160km / approx. 2.5 hrs).


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Total prix À partir de 2.249 €
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Résumé du voyage
2 Adultes
nuits 7
Cette idée inclut
Destinations 8
Tours 1
Résumé de la tournée
End time
Langues du guide

Accommodation in suggested hotels on said meal plans as per itinerary or similar..

Services of a French-speaking Tour Guide throughout the tour..

Transport in a comfortable Car for 2 pax or Van for 3 – 6 pax with air conditioning throughout the tour..

Bottled Drinking Water..

All experiences and entrances of activities mentioned in the itinerary..

All Govt Taxes..


Airfare and Visa..

Personal Travel Insurance..

Tips and Gratuities..

Activities not mentioned in the itinerary..

Meals not mentioned in the itinerary..

Alcoholic and other beverages..

Expenses of a personal nature..

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