Sri Lanka tour, ‘Ancient Cities and the Tea Country’ (15 days)

Sri Lanka tour, ‘Ancient Cities and the Tea Country’. This 2 week tour of central and northern Sri Lanka takes in the picturesque ‘Hill Country’ with its famous tea plantations, the ruined cities of the famous ‘Cultural Triangle’, and the unspoilt north-east coast around Trincomalee, now open after a long time off limits during the tragic civil war. Featuring no less than 7 UNESCO World Heritage sites, our tour includes the historic walled city of Galle, the ancient capitals of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, the awe inspiring mountain-top fortress of Sigirya and its famous ‘Cloud Maidens’, the atmospheric cave temples of Dambulla, the celebrated Temple of the Tooth in the mountain capital Kandy, and the landscapes of the country’s Central Highlands including the stunning Horton Plains National Park.

As well as a hike across Horton Plains to the aptly named and truly awesome World’s End, we’ll take a jeep safari in Minneriya – one of Sri Lanka’s most spectacular national parks.  With luck, we’ll be able to see the famous ‘Gathering’, where huge herds of wild elephants congregate around, what in the dry season, is one of last remaining watering holes. Other varied activities include cycling (or tuk-tuk) visits to Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa plus a Colombo street-food tour, while optional activities on offer during our Nilaveli beach stay include whale watching, and snorkelling or diving.

This tour is available from May to October inclusive, while from November to April the itinerary will be adapted to include the sheltered South coast. For anyone with a bit more time to spare, we propose two extensions to the nearby Maldive Islands – just one hour’s flight from Colombo – comprising of either a 6 day off-the-beaten track ‘Hidden Maldives’, or a stay at an island eco-resort.

Sri Lanka tour, 'Ancient Cities and the Tea Country'