Day : 1 Arrive Negombo
Negombo is situated by the shores of a lagoon by the same name. Once a Portuguese and Dutch trading port, popular attractions here include the Old Dutch fort gate built in 1672, the Dutch Canal, and the old churches and fishing villages which surround the area. It also has a huge and rather inviting white sandy beach.
The Kotchchikade area comes to life at dusk with many handicrafts for sale, boutiques, shops, gem shops and restaurants for you to explore.
Day : 2 Anuradhapura
We make our way to Anuradhapura after taking a morning city tour of Negombo and visiting the fish market. Anuradhapura, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site was founded in the 4th century BC and was the capital of the Anuradhapura Kingdom until the beginning of the 11th century AD. Today the extensive ruins are well preserved and are an important site for Buddhists, Tamils and Hindus alike and we take a guided tour of them, learning about the fascinating history and the restoration efforts.
We also explore the site of Mihintale. Here you can discover the ruins of a hospital, a large monastry and ancient carvings. Climb the rock of Mihintale and discover an aerial view of ancient city of Anuradhapura.
Day : 3 Polonnaruwa
After two nights in Anuradhapura, we leave and begin out drive for the ancient city of Polonnaruwa. On the way we stop at Aukana Buddha, one of the reservoirs constructed during the reign of King Dathusena, where we can see a magnificent 12 metre high statue of the Buddha. Polonnaruwa remains one of the best planned archaeological relic sites in the country. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries AD, Polonnaruwa is a listed World Heritage site. Here you can see the ruins of the Royal Palace, the Gal Viharaya, and four statues of the Buddha in 'Upright', 'Sedentary' and 'Recumbent' postures carved out of rock. Polonnaruwa is laid out over a large distance therefore the best way to explore the area is by bicycle. We take a guided tour of the ruins. You may have time to explore the ruins by bike (optional).
Day : 4 Sigiriya
The following morning we head to Sigiriya, (Lions Rock), an impressive site from a distance rising 200 metres from the jungle. With hundreds of steps to climb to reach the top of the 5th century rock fortress, the view from the top over the surrounding landscape is incredible. Here you can also see the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' of Sigiriya.
Day : 5 Kandy
Our next stop is Kandy but first we will have a couple of stops along the way. In Dabulla, we visit the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples which were used by the monks as meditation locations and places of worship. Some contain statues, paintings of the Buddha and detailed frescoes. We will also make a stop at a Spice and Herbal Garden where you will get shown the locally grown flora and some of its uses in medicine and cooking.
We then introduce you to Kandy with a brief orientation tour. Kandy was the last capital of the Sri Lankan kings of the central hill regions, and of course is World Heritage listed. We will take a drive around the Kandy Lake, built by the last Sinhala king Sri Wickrama Rajasinghe in 1798, visit the Kandy town and Bazaar, the arts & crafts centre, a gem museum and a lapidary. In the afternoon you will have some free time to enjoy the city. You will find that Kandy is probably the best place to buy most of the handicrafts produced in Sri Lanka. Tonight we will take a sunset tour of the Temple of the Tooth (where legend has it Buddha's tooth is kept) and watch a cultural show featuring traditional Sri Lankan dancing.
Day : 6 Negombo
We stop at Kitulgala on the way to Negombo. Kitulgala is one of the wettest regions of the country with two monsoon regions a year so pack your waterproofs. It boasts magnificient scenery, calm rivers and local delicacies that make your mouth water. From Negombo we will take a city tour of Colombo. Colombo is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern life and colonial buildings. We'll take a sightseeing tour of Colombo driving through the Commercial area or the 'Fort', so named because both the Portuguese and Dutch had a fort here. We drive past 'Pettah', a hectic bazaar full of ancient vehicles, bargains, mosques and temples, then visit a Hindu temple and drive past Jumi-UL Alfar Jumma Mosque. We continue through the Wolvendaal Dutch Church, Hultsdorf Law courts, to the residential area of Cinnamon Gardens and on to Independence Square and Bandaranayake Memorial International Conference Hall. We can enjoy one final group meal together before the end of your adventure!
Day : 7 Depart Negombo
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights.
Your adventure of a lifetime comes to an end today. If you have a late flight or have lengthened your stay by adding post tour accommodation you will have more time to explore the sights