8 Days

This is an example of a 8 days trip


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Day 1

Negombo

Negombo is a modest beach town located just 10km from Bandaranaike International Airport.

Negombo was one of the most important sources of cinnamon during the Dutch era, and there are still reminders of the European days.

Dutch Fort

Close to the seafront near the lagoon mouth are the ruins of the old Dutch fort, which has a fine gateway inscribed with the date 1678.

Fish Market

Each day, fishers take their oruvas (outrigger canoes) and go out in search of the fish for which Negombo is famous.

Day 2

Kandy City tour

Kandy’s hills surrounding the city’s beautiful centrepiece lake. Delicate hill-country breezes impel the mist to gently part, revealing colourful houses amid Kandy’s improbable forested halo. City tour of Kandy, including a walk by the lake a visit to the bustling local market.

Day 3

Perendeniya Botanical Gardens

These stunning gardens were once reserved exclusively for Kandyan royalty. Today, even commoners are allowed in to enjoy the most impressive and largest (60 hectares) botanic gardens in Sri Lanka.

Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic

Home to the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, said to house Buddha’s tooth, each August the city also hosts the spectacular Perahera festival featuring dancers, firebreathers and lavishly decorated elephants.

Kandyan Dancers & Drummers

With elaborate costumes, gyrating dance moves and show-stopping, fire-breathing stunts, a Kandyan dance performance is one of the defining experiences of a stay in Kandy.

Day 4

Passikudah Beach

These spectacular back-to-back beaches, 34km north of Batticaloa, present as stark  and confusing as you could imagine. At the northern tip of the peninsula on a tightly enclosed bay, the breathtaking white sands of sickle-shaped Passikudah beach are being developed as a kind of mini-Cancun.

Day 5

Trincomalee

Trincomalee sits on one the world’s finest natural harbours. This historic city is old almost beyond reckoning: it’s possibly the site of historic Gokana in the Mahavamsa, and its Shiva temple the site of Trikuta Hill in the Hindu text Vayu Purana. It’s easy to spend a day or more exploring the ins and outs of the myriad waterfronts and the fort and its famous temple.

Day 6

Pigeon Island National Park

Floating in the great blue 1km offshore, Pigeon Island, with its powdery white sands and glittering coral gardens, tantalises with possibilities. A nesting area for rock pigeons, the island is beautiful enough, with rock pools and paths running through thickets, but it’s the underwater landscape that’s the real star. The reef here is shallow, making snorkelling almost as satisfying as diving, and it’s home to dozens of corals, hundreds of reef fish (including blacktip reef sharks) and turtles.

Day 7

Polonnaruwa

Kings ruled the central plains of Sri Lanka from Polonnaruwa 800 years ago, when it was a thriving commercial and religious centre. The glories of that age can be found in the archaeological treasures that still give a pretty good idea of how the city looked in its heyday. You’ll find the archaeological park a delight to explore, with hundreds of ancient structures – tombs and temples, statues and stupas – in a compact core. The Quadrangle alone is worth the trip.

Habarana

This small town isn’t a destination in itself, but it serves as a good base for Sigiriya and safaris to Minneriya and Kaudulla National Parks.

Day 8

Sigiriya

Rising dramatically from the central plains, the enigmatic rocky outcrop of Sigiriya is perhaps Sri Lanka’s single most dramatic sight. Near-vertical walls soar to a flat-topped summit that contains the ruins of an ancient civilisation, thought to be once the epicentre of the short-lived kingdom of Kassapa, and there are spellbinding vistas across mist-wrapped forests in the early morning.

Sigiriya refuses to reveal its secrets easily, and you’ll have to climb a series of vertiginous staircases attached to sheer walls to reach the top. On the way you’ll pass a series of quite remarkable frescoes and a pair of colossal lion’s paws carved into the bedrock. The surrounding landscape – lily-pad-covered moats, water gardens and cave shrines – only add to Sigiriya’s rock-star appeal.

Dambulla

The beautiful Royal Rock Temple complex sits about 160m above the road in the southern part of Dambulla. Five separate caves contain about 150 absolutely stunning Buddha statues and paintings, some of Sri Lanka’s most important and evocative religious art. Buddha images were first created here over 2000 years ago, and over the centuries subsequent kings added to and embellished the cave art.

From the caves there are superb views over the surrounding countryside; Sigiriya is clearly visible some 20km distant.

From here we going back to the Airport.