From £3,345 per person
Includes B&B, H/B or AI accommodation, a/c transport with chauffeur guide in Sri Lanka, return speedboat transfers in Maldives, entrance fees & activities, and taxes.
Arrive Colombo airport and greeted by your dedicated Tikalanka chauffeur guide.
Drive up to Dambulla in the island’s Cultural Triangle.
Three nights stay at Heritance Kandalama, which was designed by Geoffrey Bawa, Sri Lanka’s most celebrated contemporary architect. The hotel was the first luxury eco-hotel built in Asia (Green Globe 21 certified) and it is set in its own 250-hectare jungle retreat with unimpeded views across wetlands to Sigiriya rock fortress.
Guided tour of the historic temples and exquisitely carved statues of the medieval capital of Polonnaruwa, with visits to the Quadrangle, Northern Monuments, Royal Citadel Group and Southern Group. Bicycles are available to hire for your own self-guided tour, if preferred.
Jeep safari in Minneriya National Park, which forms an ‘elephant corridor’, along with Kaudulla NP, for the vast herds roaming the eastern region of the country from Trincomalee through to Wasgamuwa, Maduru Oya and Gal Oya NPs further south. The park is home to a variety of animals such as elephants, leopards, toque macaques, purple faced langurs, sloth bears, sambar and spotted deer, and about 160 bird species, including many endemics. Minneriya is home to the ‘gathering’ between August and October, when large herds of elephants congregate around Minneriya Lake to seek the last available water at the end of the dry season.
Early morning ascent 200-metre high ‘Lion Rock’ at Sigiriya to view the surrounding countryside at dawn – a very special experience indeed. The unique rock fortress of Sigiriya is a national icon, despite its origins as a usurper’s pleasure palace housing erotic frescoes! Guided tour of the rock palace and ornamental gardens.
At leisure for the rest of the day.
Suggested activities (not included in price):
- Guided tour of Anuradhapura, the first capital of ancient Lanka in the 3rd century BC.
- Climb to the hilltop temple of Mihintale, the cradle of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
- Explore the enigmatic forest monastery and cave hermitage of Ritigala.
- Early morning (06.00) field session of the ‘Monkey Tour’ run by The Smithsonian Primate Research Station at Polonnaruwa.
- Visit Popham’s Arboretum, which is the island’s only ‘dry zone’ Arboretum, home to a great variety of trees, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and mammals.
Climb gently up the granite massif at Dambulla to visit the most impressive cave temple complex in Sri Lanka, with five ornately and intricately decorated caverns under a vast overhanging rock.
Continue south to Kandy, one of the principal points of the Cultural Triangle and the seat of the last Sinhalese kingdom.
Two nights stay at The Kandy House, which is a charming and an historic Burger raj colonial estate bungalow dating back to 1804 and sensitively restored to its previous grandeur. This stunning manor house has individually designed rooms and lush tropical gardens, with a secluded forest pool, enveloping the property.
Experience the Buddhist puja (blessing ceremony) at the Temple of the Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most revered religious relic.
Guided walking tour of Kandy, which will take in the Hindu temples, the lake and the municipal market.
Visit the beautifully kept and well-presented Peradeniya Botanic Gardens.
Leave Kandy and drive through Sri Lankan ‘jungle’ and spectacular mountain scenery to Dickoya in the western Hill Country.
You will stay as guests for two nights at Camellia Hills, which is a five-bedroom boutique hotel overlooking Castlereagh Reservoir on a mountainside amidst emerald tea bushes and pine forests. A contemporary interpretation of a tea planter’s bungalow, the bedrooms, inside and outside living spaces, and infinity pool boast stunning hill country views.
The fresh mountain climate makes venturing outside a breeze. Trails through neighbouring tea estates, patches of dense forest and to gushing waterfalls promise striking panoramas at every turn, and picnics can be packed up for enjoying in many of these drama-fuelled locations. The islands on the reservoir proffer further picnic potential, and you can island hop by boat. The lush forest edges and the surrounding hills are home to wild leopards. At the local Leopard Research Station, you can learn all about this elusive hill-dwelling sub-species that manages to exist in this fragile environment. Many more live in the nearby Peak Wilderness Sanctuary, a vast region of protected forest which is also home to sacred Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka’s fourth highest mountain – a place of pilgrimage for Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus alike.
All inclusive accommodation comprises of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner; beer, house wine, house gin/vodka/whisky/arrack with mixers, soft drinks and tea/coffee throughout the day; and a tea factory tour daily at 16.00 (please note that tea leaves are not plucked on Sundays and public holidays so the factory process does not take place on Sundays/Public Holidays).
After a leisurely morning, drop down to Kotugoda close to the airport.
One night stay at The Wallawwa, which is a boutique hotel housed in a colonial-era mansion villa, offering sumptuous and tastefully furnished bedrooms and suites, Asian fusion cuisine, ‘Z’ Spa, library, and signature swimming pool, providing an ideal place to recuperate or relax amidst startlingly peaceful surroundings.
After the hour and half's flight from Sri Lanka to Maldives, arriving at Malé, enjoy an exhilarating 25-minute speedboat ride to Angsana Ihuru for five nights on the "Dine" all-inclusive package.
Surrounded by dazzling white talc sand and the bluest of waters teeming with astonishing soft corals and fish sparkling in brilliant colours around the stunning house reef, the exquisite beauty of this 5-star tropical haven is yours to enjoy. The thatched-roofed villas are well-spaced around the circumference of the island, and each villa contains a private garden and veranda with dining and sitting areas including a Maldivian swing. Although modern facilities are provided in the villas, utmost care is taken to ensure the resort remains environmentally friendly. The sister property, Banyan Tree Vabbinfaru, is a 5-minute, complimentary boat transfer away and this resort’s amenities and facilities are available throughout your stay at Angsana Ihuru, including dining venues, snorkelling around the magnificent house reef, daily Manta Ray feeding and reef restoration programmes.
Guests have access to the following activities and services: canoeing, cookery class, diving (5-star PADI accredited aqua centre), guided excursions, library & games, snorkelling, spa, stand-up paddle boarding, Top Cat catamaran sailing, volleyball, wake boarding, water skiing, wi-fi, and windsurfing.
Your “Dine” all-inclusive package comprises of breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner; standard beverages at the restaurant and bar; in-room mini bar replenished daily; Destination Dining discount of 20%; Spa Body Massage discount of 20%; non-motorised water sports; Kids Club entry.
Speedboat transfer back to Malé for your flight home.