This 14 day tour of Sri Lanka covers the Northern, Eastern and Central regions of the island. The tour is packed with beautiful scenery, awe-inspiring history & heritage of ancient Sri Lanka and most importantly plenty of time to relax by some of the best and most uncommercialized beaches in the world.
This tour has been designed to give you the best of heritage and culture of the Northern and Eastern parts of the country encapsulated with a stay by the beach on arrival. This tour consists of many visits to World Heritage sites declared by UNESCO and then a visit to Jaffna which was badly affected by the 30 year civil war but the extensive development in this area has given a ‘new look’ to the entire Northern part. From the north you return to stay in Trincomalee and Passikudah which are famous for its untouched beaches. Thereafter you will proceed inland towards the Hill capital of Kandy and finally end your tour in Colombo.
Ayubowan!! and Welcome to Sri Lanka
You will be greeted by our representative at the airport and transferred to Negombo. The drive from the Airport to Negombo will take approximately 30 minutes.
Depending on your time of arrival you could choose between doing a city tour of the Fishing Village of Negombo, walking along the golden Sandy beaches, or simply staying in by your hotel and recouping after your flight into Sri Lanka.
After breakfast, rest and relax by the poolside or on the golden sandy beach of Negombo. Indulge in some shopping in the area or with the vendors on the beach who sell a variety of colourful batik casual wear, like wrap-a-rounds, swim wear, shorts, T-shirts etc.
Visit the Old Dutch city of Negombo including a visit to the Dutch Prison, Fort, Catholic Church and the Canal where trading was once carried out using this waterway by the Dutch and Portuguese during their reign in Sri Lanka.
Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Negombo.
After an early breakfast, you will begin travelling towards the Cultural Triangle of the country with sightseeing on the way. Enroute stop at the Munneswaram Hindu temple which is an important regional Hindu temple complex in Sri Lanka. It has been in existence at least since 1000 CE, although myths surrounding the temple associate it with the popular Indian epic Ramayana, and its legendary hero-king Rama. The temple is one of five ancient temples (Ishwarams) dedicated to Shiva in the region.
The temple complex is a collection of five temples, including a Buddhist temple. The central temple dedicated to Shiva (Siva) is the most prestigious and biggest, and is popular amongst Hindus. The other temples are dedicated to Ganesha, Ayyanayake and Kali. The Kali temple is also popular with Buddhists, who frequent the complex.
Thereafter proceed to visit the Ancient city of Anuradhapura the 1st Capital of Sri Lanka for nearly 1300 years. The city’s greatest treasures are its Dagobas constructed out of small sun-dried bricks. The most renowned relic in this city is the sacred Bo-Tree which is said to have grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. Located in the North-Central part of the island which was originally founded by a King’s minister named Anuradha in 500 BC.
Anuradhapura is famous for its many Dagoba’s which were built in honour of the Kings and the High priests at the time. This day will be spent touring the ancient city and marvelling at the strong Buddhist culture which prevailed in ancient times.
Afterwards, check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Anuradhapura.
After breakfast drive to Jaffna (north of the country) which is a 6 hour but comfortable journey from Anuradhapura with sightseeing on the way. This city was under siege by terrorists due to the ethnic war for almost 30 years. The Jaffna district is predominantly Sri Lankan Tamil.
The population of the district, like the rest of the north and east of Sri Lanka, was heavily affected by the civil war. After the war, the northern region has been developed and the government of Sri Lanka is carrying out major reconstruction works thus increasing various opportunities of employment to the natives of the area.
In the evening, visit the prominent Hindu Temple in Nallur and also enjoy some refreshing ice cream served at the Rio ice cream parlour. The varieties are too many to choose from.
Check into your hotel for overnight stay in Jaffna.
After breakfast enjoy a tour of the war torn city including a visit to Nagadeepa by boat. The Nagadeepa Purana Rajamaha Viharaya is one of the sixteen most sacred places of worship by the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. Pilgrims have been coming to the Nagadeepa since about the 1st century AC to worship at its famous Rajayathana stupa.
Also visit the historic Fort built by the Portuguese. This precinct is undergoing extensive renovations and the authorities are working day and night in restoring whatever is left after the ethnic war which lasted 30 years.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
After breakfast proceed to Trincomalee (North-East of Sri Lanka) via Vavuniya with sightseeing on the way. Trincomalee was also another city that was immensely hampered with the civil war. Trincomalee which is a natural deep-water harbour has attracted seafarers, trader and pilgrims from Europe, Middle East, Africa, China, East Asia and Australasia since ancient times. “Trinco”, as it is commonly called, has been a seaport and Hindu pilgrimage centre.
Enjoy a tour of the city including a drive along the natural harbour. Afterwards check into your hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Trincomalee.
After breakfast visit the famous Fort Frederick and Koneswaran Temple inside this Fort. The Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1623. This Hindu temple was earlier known as the temple of a thousand Pillars. According to historical information, the Portuguese had demolished the old Koneswaran temple and they built this fort with the parts of that. The remaining debris was pushed down into the sea.
The famous “Lovers Leap” is located adjoining the temple. According to the some historical information, a daughter of a Dutch officer committed suicide by jumping from that point because of her broken love affair.
This fort was captured by Dutch in 1639 and later captured by the British in 1795. According to the historical information, there is another fort build by king Rajasinghe II called Fort Ostenburgh which is located inside the Naval Dockyard.
If time permits, visit the British War Cemetery where the military soldiers of the British Empire who were killed or died during World War II. The cemetery is located on the Trincomalee–Nilaveli (A6) Road, approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) north of the town of Trincomalee, on the eastern side. It is one of the six Commonwealth war cemeteries in Sri Lanka, and maintained by Sri Lankan Ministry of Defence on behalf of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Return to hotel for dinner and overnight stay at Trincomalee.
After an early breakfast proceed to Passikudah with sightseeing on the way. Batticaloa district was another area affected by the civil war. Since the end of the civil war in 2009 and the completion of Tsunami rehabilitation projects, Passikudah has become a popular tourist destination amongst locals and foreigners alike. This is because Passikudah is known to have one of the longest stretches of shallow coastline in the world. In other words, people walk kilometres into the sea because the water is only a few inches deep and the current is relatively weak compared to the rest of Sri Lanka’s coasts.
Passikudah was a war devastated town on the eastern coast but has now become a sacred haven for beach lovers from all corners of the Globe. The untouched beach in the region is the perfect getaway for beach lovers.
Check in to your hotel for overnight stay in Passikuda.
This day will be at your leisure at the resort and by the beach. If you wish to do some travelling around the neighbouring villages your chauffeur will be at your service to do so.
Also, if you wish, visit the Old Dutch city of Batticaloa for half-a-day. Batticaloa’s Old Dutch Fort was built by the Portuguese in 1628. It is actually called “Dutch” as it was captured by the Dutch 10 years later. It is a square structure with 4 bastions, bordered by the lagoon on two sides. Old canons can be seen. Nowadays, it shelters the offices of the District Secretary. There is a governmental plan to move out the governmental offices and to turn the Fort into a museum and conference hall in future.
Return to hotel for overnight stay in Passikudah.
After breakfast proceed to Mahiyangana via the Kandy road with sightseeing on the way. Mahiyangana city has the distinction of the famous visit by Buddha. Also visit the Veddah village (where indigenous people still exist). Mahiyangana is home to the Veddhas known as ‘Vannilaetto’, meaning people of the forest who are in fact on the list of the world’s primitive tribes and considered to be the descendants of the Yaksa and Naga Gothra that inhabited Sri Lanka thousands of years ago.
These primitive folk cling to a single life style by living off the hunt and gathering fruits, yams, bee honey in the jungle. They are very proud of their different traditions and heritage.
Check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Mahiyangana.
After an early breakfast proceed to Kandy, the Hill Capital of the island which is a World Heritage site declared by UNESCO with sightseeing on the way.
Enroute visit the ancient Mahiyangana Stupa located 1km south of the city center. The gleaming great white Stupa built in the shape of a bell, sits pretty atop a massive platform. The sculptures of elephant heads built onto the platform stand proudly as if to guard the Stupa.
The Mahiyangana Stupa is the most prominent cultural attraction in Mahiyangana. The region is a vast plain with the Mahaweli River running through and provides access to several National Parks, Bird Sanctuaries and aborigine lands. Sorabora Wewa Reservoir, Dambana, Ulhitiya Wewa Reservoir, Minipe Reservoir, Randenigala Reservoir, Maduruoya Wildlife Park, Wasgomuwa Wildlife Park are some of the major attractions of Mahiyangana.
Once you check in at your hotel visit the Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the tooth relic). This is one of the most prominent temples in the country. It is home to the Buddha’s Tooth and annual ceremonies’ such as the Esala Perahera and the Dalada Perahera.
After visiting the temple in the evening enjoy the Kandyan Cultural Show at the Kandyan Arts & Cultural Centre. The show features the graceful and rhythmic dancers and drummers culminating in an impressive fire walking display.
This day is at your leisure to do a more extensive city tour of Kandy around the picturesque manmade lake, or simply relax by your hotel in Kandy.
At your leisure you may proceed to the city of Kandy and enjoy some shopping in the 2nd largest city in the country which was the last kingdom during the reign of kings in Sri Lanka.
Kandy is famous for its Batik Shops and Gem Museums which are definitely worth a visit.
After an early breakfast, you will begin travelling towards the Commercial City of Colombo. Enroute visit the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. This Elephant Orphanage which stretches over a 24 Acre estate is also a breeding place for Elephants. Between 1975 and 2012, Sixty-seven animals were born here and if you are lucky, you might even be able to bathe and feed these beautiful giants.
After the Elephant Orphanage you will proceed to Colombo with sightseeing on the way. Arrive in the Capital of Sri Lanka which offers a plethora of tourist destinations that include museums, Architectural wonders, historic temples, Kovils, Mosque’s, Anglican churches built by the British empire, shopping haunts, entertainment plaza’s, wide array of fine dining restaurants and spectacular night life.
This commercial hub will be the concluding point of your tour and hence this day has been left for you to relax or indulge in some last minute shopping of souvenirs after a memorable tour of the country.
If time permits and you are up for it, it could be arranged for you to do some sightseeing around Colombo and even check the night life of the cosmopolitan city.
At your leisure you may check out of you hotel and depending on the scheduled time of your flight, proceed to the airport for a safe flight back home.
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