Itinerary 2: Classical Sri Lanka
Sigiryia rock fortress
Polonnaruwa ancient city
Tea plantations or Nurwara Eliya
Yala National Park
Galle Fort visit
Itinerary 2 - Classical Sri Lanka
Day 1: Thursday 27 September. Depart from UK.
21.30 Depart London Heathrow Terminal 3 on Sri Lankan Airlines Flight UL504.
Day 2. Arrive Colombo - Sigiriya
On arrival at Bandaranayake International Airport, you will get your first taste of warm Sri Lankan hospitality. A representative from NKAR Travels and Tours will welcome you at the airport and transfer you to Sigiriya.
Check into hotel and relax.
Day 3. Sigiriya – Minneriya – Sigiriya
Sigiriya, the 5th century rock citadel of King Kashyapa and World Heritage Site, not only boasts of ancient Sri Lankan engineering and urban planning supremacy but also acclaims to be one of the finest monuments of art and culture. Surrounded by ramparts and moats, the Lion Rock – resembling the mythological ‘City of Gods’ – is coated in frescoes that relate to Gupta style paintings found in Ajanta caves of India.
On completion, start a gentle cycle ride through the small village. Along the way you’ll make a few stops: to visit a children’s nursery (outside school holidays) and meet villagers. At one point, you can watch as local people prepare a delicious Sri Lankan lunch for you. This is a great way to meet people and see how they live.
Day 4. Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa - Kandy
After an early breakfast proceed to Polonnaruwa. It is another “World Heritage Site” was the Capital of Sri Lanka from 11th - 13th Centuries, contains some splendid and spectacular statues. Lankatilake, Tivanka and Thuparama are the most beautiful and largest Image Houses and Tivanka has the best examples of frescoes of the Polonnaruwa period. Rankoth Vehera and Kirivehera are well preserved large stupas, and Gal Vihare – a rock shrine, has four Buddha statues, two seated, one standing and one reclining and Parakrama Bahu statue are examples of Sinhalese stone carver. The Vata-dage is a unique creation of the Sri Lankan artists. The medieval capital, Polonnaruwa Was fortified with inner & outer moats and inner & outer walls. The Parakrama Samudra is on the western side of the city. The Royal Palace, Audience Hall and other Buildings in the inner city were enclosed by another tall wall.
After lunch, we will start a soft trek from Rattota which will takes approximately 2 – 3 hrs to
finish. This is a trek that features many peaks in the region as well as paddy fields and village
houses on the way. On completion continue to Kandy and check in to hotel.
Day 5. Kandy – Nuwara Eliya
The hill capital is another “World Heritage Site”. It was the last stronghold of the Sinhalese Kings during the Portuguese, Dutch and British rule and finally ceded to the British in 1815 after an agreement. To the Buddhists of Sri Lanka and the World, Kandy is one of the most sacred sites as it is the home of the “Dalada Maligawa” - Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha.
Continue your journey to hotel and relax in the afternoon. At the Hill Club – the colonial masterpiece of architecture – you will be met by a local priest who will unfold some interesting takes surrounding the British colonial influence in Sri Lanka, an aspect which could be witnessed across local society even today. This will not only be an explanation of history surrounding the island, but also will be an enthusiastic session where you will get the opportunity to listen to his wise words while sipping away a fine glass of Cognac.
Day 6. Nuwara Eliya – Yala
After breakfast sightseeing of Nuwara Eliya - The ‘Little England’ of Sri Lanka, is set against
beautiful backdrops of Mountains, Valleys, Waterfalls and Tea Plantations. It is supposed to be one of the coolest places in the Island, but it is just like an English spring day, although the temperature does drop at night. All around Nuwara Eliya you will see evidence of the British influence, houses like country cottages or Queen Ann style mansions.
The Victoria Park, in the middle of the town, is a lovely place for a stroll or a picnic and is also good for Birding as you get some rare birds in this park.
Afternoon you will proceed to Yala via Ella. Check in to hotel and relax.
Day 7. Yala – Ahangama
* Yala National Park will be closed during the months of September and October due to the
drought that engulfs the area. Wildlife authorities also take the opportunity to examine animals in the park during this period. However, we would still visit the open block (Lunugamwehera National Park) of the park during this period in order to obtain the typical ‘Yala’ experience.
On completion proceed to Ahangama. En route stop at Hambantota to take part in a series of village games. Here, you will get the opportunity to interact with locals – a definite highlight of your trip.
Day 8. Ahangama – Galle – Negombo
Afternoon proceed to Negombo. Visit Galle fort en route which was first built in 1588 by the
Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th Century from 1649 onwards. It is an historical, archaeological and architectural heritage which even after more than 423 years, maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by the archaeological department of Sri Lanka. The fort has a colourful history, and has a multi–ethnic and multi-religious population. The heritage value of the fort has been recognised by UNESO and the site has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Day 9. Fri 5 October. Transfer to Airport. Fly to London Heathrow
This morning you will have a breakfast meeting where you will be presented with unforgettable memories of your island visit. NKAR representatives will join to discuss your FAM Trip and aspects to look forward to. In the afternoon, proceed to the airport for the departure flight.
The intended itinerary, shown below, may be subject to change according to local conditions and availability.