16 Day Sri Lanka Coast & Train Journey

Summary

Explore the highlights of Sri Lanka on this 16 day adventure. From the bustling city of Colombo, your journey takes you to the ancient architectural wonders of Sigiriya and to the natural heritage areas of Minneriya.  Travel onwards through the beautiful green interior, staying on a colonial tea plantation and immersing yourself in Buddhist spirituality at the multitude of temples and shrines scattered throughout the country.  The beaches of Trincomalee and Passikudah welcome the sun-seekers and adventure lovers with abundant marine life and various water sports to enjoy.

Price

From £2,555 per person based on per person sharing

Best time to go

Sri Lanka truly is a year around destination - provided you plan along with the two monsoon seasons they experience. The North & Eastern coastal regions are influenced by the north-eastern monsoon which typically brings rain between October and January. The driest season in the region is from May to September. 

During October and the first weeks of November, there is a cusp period when rain and thunderstorms can occur across the island. 

December to mid-April is considered the peak season for overall weather and also for visitors to the area. The shoulder seasons however also provide great weather with the advantage of avoiding the crowds. 


Day 1: UK Departure

Overnight flight from London to Colombo.

Day 2:  Uga Residence (BB)

Transfer from Colombo airport to Uga Residence and have the afternoon at leisure.

Colombo is Sri Lanka’s vibrant commercial hub and by far the most populous city. With its large natural harbour, a popular stop on historic trade routes, the then port of Kalamba attracted a range of traders from the Portuguese and Arabs to the Dutch and British who later settled in the area. There are many cultural influences throughout the city and the colourful street markets, colonial buildings, museums and galleries can easily be explored on foot. In addition, there are many lovely temples and the Viharamahedevi Park to explore.

Day 3: Ulagalla (BB)

This morning transfer to Colombo Railway Station for your first class train to Habarana Railway Station. Transfer to the hotel to check in and afternoon at leisure.

Once the ancestral estate of nobility, the Ulagalla resort forms a central hub for visitors to Habarana and its surrounding attractions. The luxurious villas offer panoramic views into the lush vegetation where the natural bird life can be observed.

Day 4: Ulagalla (BB)

After breakfast, climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982, Sigiriya is Asia’s best-preserved city of the first millennium and shows complex urban planning around the base of a rock, combined with sophisticated engineering and farming in the palace that is built on the summit. Visitors have been recorded to Sigiriya for hundreds of years as is visible by some of the earliest known graffiti at the area. Built by an obsessed Monarch in the 5th century, the design and construction are truly amazing.

In the afternoon visit the Minneriya National Park by jeep. The park is most popular for elephant sightings as these gentle giants feed on the grasslands surrounding the natural reservoir. The endemic purple-faced Langur and Toque Macaque are also found in the park. Fauna species include 24 species of mammals, 160 species of birds, 9 species of amphibians, 25 species of reptiles, 26 species of fish, and 75 species of butterflies.

Day 5: Ulagalla (BB)

A day at leisure to enjoy the resorts facilities or remaining sights in the area. Head to Anuradhapura’s Buddhist Abhayagiri Monastery & Dagaba that offers insight into the days gone when kings ruled the lands. With the arrival of peace in the kingdom, the monastery was made a place of learning and meditation for over 5,000 monks who lived here. Alternatively, spend the afternoon at leisure on the private deck with plunge pool, or enjoying the expert services of the Spa.

Day 6: Jungle Beach (BB)

Transfer two hours by road to Trincomalee. Afternoon at leisure.

Trincomalee is best known as a superior beach destination. The Jungle Beach Resort is ideally located to enjoy the best of the surrounding location with a variety of adventure activities to enjoy. Whether you choose to explore the ocean on a snorkelling trip, visit the nearby temples or simply spend the day at leisure – your every need is catered for.

Days 7 & 8: Jungle Beach (BB)

A day at leisure to explore the surrounding activities and beach.  Activities include:

  • Water sports – snorkelling, diving, sailing & jet skis
  • Visit the legendary hot springs of Kannya
  • Visit Koneswaram - the ‘Temple of a thousand columns’ perched on a cliff top and a place of pilgrimage for both Hindus & Buddhists
  • Enjoy a Spa treatment at your hotel

Day 9: Uga Bay (BB)

Transfer two hours by road to Passikudah. Afternoon at leisure.

A superb beach location on the East Coast of Sri Lanka known for its long shallow beach allowing visitors to wander out into the water for kilometres with a water level rarely higher than a few inches. The unique location also offers some of the best scuba diving opportunities.

Days 10 & 11: Uga Bay (BB)

Spend the day at leisure on the beach or exploring the colourful underwater world. There are various shipwrecks for divers to explore, including the World War I shipwreck of the HMS Hermes. The very first purpose-built aircraft carrier in the world, she was bombed by Japanese aircraft and sunk in the sea off of Batticaloa. The dive is reserved for experienced divers, as the vessel lies at a depth of 44m (145ft).

Non-divers can enjoy the fantastic Spa facilities, relax on the beach and enjoy exploring the nearby temples, markets and sights by bicycle or day tour.

Day 12: Taylors Hills (BB)

Transfer four hours to Kandy by road. Visit Temple of the Tooth and afterwards take a short Kandy city tour.

The Temple of the Tooth is a well revered holy place and is home to the relic of the tooth of Buddha in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy.  The relic is held in high regard and it is believed that whoever holds the relic, holds the governance of the country. The relic is bathed once weekly, the water of which is believed to then hold immense healing and spiritual powers.

Kandy is the perfect location from which to explore the surrounding area, best known for tea production that put Ceylon on the map many years ago. Named for James Taylor who introduced tea production to Ceylon, the luxurious hotel offers sumptuous accommodations in delightfully decorated rooms.              

Day 13: Langdale by Amala (BB)

Transfer to Peradeniya Railway Station and travel thirteen hours by Expo Rail in an Expo cabin to Nuwara Eliya.

The lovely Langdale by Amara is perched on the side of rolling mountain scape with exquisite views out onto the surrounding countryside. With a distinctly colonial atmosphere, there are a number of activities to enjoy including tennis, golf and visits to the nearby highlights that include the Hakgala Botanical Garden, Horton Plains National Park and Gregory Lake.

Day 14: Langdale by Amala (BB)

After breakfast, visit the local tea plantations. Nuwara Eliya is a mountain station at 1,868 m (6,128 ft) of altitude, in a splendid landscape and was built entirely during the 19th century and its architecture mimics that of an English country town.

Day 15: Walawwa Resort & Spa (BB)

Transfer five hours by road to Negombo beach.

Ideally located for your last night in Sri Lanka, the Walawwa Resort and Spa is a luxurious boutique hotel in tranquil surroundings. Spend a few hours luxuriating in the spa or simply lounge by the pool. What better way to unwind and reminisce on the memories of an unforgettable adventure.

Day 16: Departure

Transfer to Colombo airport for your day flight to London.

 

Inclusions

All flights, transfers, accommodation, meals and activities as specified.

Exclusions

Transfers, meals and activities not specified, visas, insurance, gratuities and items of a personal nature.

 

Cleveland Collection tailor makes all itineraries to include highlights of your choice. Speak to one of our travel experts to create your perfect holiday based on your travel requirements

 

*We try to keep our 'from prices' as accurate as possible, but please do be aware that when travelling at peak times such as Christmas and school holidays, prices shown will vary considerably.

 


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