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Sri Lanka and the Maldives

  • Colombo, Cultural Triangle, Kandy, Tea Country, Galle, The Maldives
Sri Lanka and the Maldives Sri Lanka and the Maldives
$ 8789.373

The dream holiday pairing, this itinerary will introduce you to all of Sri Lanka’s wonderful highlights before whisking you off to the sun-drenched Maldives for six nights of blissful beach relaxation.

Flying into the capital, Colombo, you’ll soon set off to uncover the treasures of the Cultural Triangle, from the spectacular Sigiriya Rock Fortress to the ancient cities of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. Not overlooking the impressive cave temples of Dambulla, or Kandy’s legendary ‘Temple of the Tooth’.

From Kandy, you’ll journey by train up into the hills to experience life on a working tea plantation, before paying a visit to the atmospheric fortress town of Galle. Finally, you’ll hop on a flight over to the Maldives to unwind at an award-winning boutique resort.

NB. Supplement for ‘Half Board Dine Around’ at Baros is £1,665 per person / Supplement for ‘Baros Delight’ (all inclusive) at Baros is £1,545 per person

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Detailed Itinerary
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Day 1 London - Colombo

Depart London on your overnight flight to Colombo.

Day 2 Colombo
Colombo

You’ll be met on arrival and transferred to The Wallawwa, a luxurious Dutch warehouse-style hotel just a few miles from the airport. You’ll also be given a welcome pack that includes a mobile phone so you can contact your driver whenever you need.

Stay: One night in a garden suite at The Wallawwa – bed & breakfast

Day 3-4 Cultural Triangle
Cultural Triangle

This morning you’ll explore the Negombo fish market alongside a retired, characterful fisherman before making the four-and-a-half-hour journey into the Cultural Triangle. Here you’ll be staying in a boutique hotel that pays tribute to the ancient water gardens that once surrounded the Sigiriya rock fortress.
The following day sees you climbing to the top of this astonishing royal citadel. Sigiriya is a rock fortress of unusual beauty, rising 200 metres above the jungle on the monumental Lion Rock. On the way up you’ll pass the frescoes of the ‘Heavenly Maidens’, and at the top you’ll find the remains of the palace as well as sensational panoramic views. You’ll then have the afternoon at your leisure to either relax or explore your surroundings further.
The following morning you’ll visit Anuradhapura – Sri Lanka’s ancient capital first founded in the 4th century BC. Over 1,000 years the Sinhalese royal family built a fantastic array of temples, stupas, palaces, ponds and gardens – two of which are now UNESCO World Heritage sites – as well as one of the earliest and most advanced irrigation systems in the world. You’ll be able to visit the Sacred Bo-Tree; a sapling from the tree under which Buddha reputedly gained enlightenment and, at over 2,200 years old, one of the oldest documented trees in the world.
Stay: Two nights in a superior deluxe pool villa at the Water Garden – half board

Day 5 Kandy
Kandy

Rise early on day eight to visit the truly astonishing royal citadel of Sigiriya. It’s quite a climb – best not attempted in the heat of the day – up to an impregnable fortress that rises 200 metres above the jungle on the monumental Lion Rock. The view from the summit is sensational, as are the palace ruins and the sights you pass on the way; the mirror wall, for example, and frescoes of the heavenly maidens.
Your journey then continues to Dambulla and some of Sri Lanka’s most impressive cave temples. There are five of them, carved from the solid rock face, featuring 150 representations of Buddha – including a massive, impassive statue spanning 14 metres. After Dambulla you travel on to Kandy where you’ll be able to witness ceremonies in the Temple of the Tooth – named after the relic of Buddha’s tooth, now housed in the temple’s most sacred inner sanctum. The temple stands beside a magnificent lake where basking monitor lizards and a variety of birds are a common sight. Even more wonderful are the Peradeniya Botanical Gardens, spread over 147 acres.
Stay: One night in a junior suite at the King’s Pavilion Kandy – bed & breakfast

Day 6-7 Tea Country
Tea Country

From the lowland heat and bustle of Kandy you’ll board a scenic train that winds its way high into the hills where the climate is cooler – perfect for growing tea. Here you’ll have a real taste of the empire as you’ll be staying in a colonial-style bungalow on a working tea plantation. You’ll be able to play croquet, golf and learn about the process of tea-making – as well as trekking, kayaking, rafting and hot air ballooning. Your tea tour will be led by a Resident Tea Planter and include watching tea pickers at work, examining the traditional machinery and tasting the different grades produced.
Stay: Two nights in a garden suite at Ceylon Tea Trails – all inclusive

Day Galle
Galle

There are few journeys more enthralling than this. Today you’ll board a seaplane and fly from Castlereagh Reservoir to Koggala Lagoon, where you’ll be met and escorted to Galle.
The ancient Dutch fortress town of Galle – a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site and believed to be the largest lived-in citadel in the world – has retained much of its 300-year-old history and atmosphere, with quaint streets, a beautiful central square and charming mixture of churches, mosques and traditional cottages. If you like a bargain, buy the exquisite hand-made lace for which the town is famed, from the local vendors
Stay: Two nights in a Banyan room at Fort Bazaar – bed & breakfast

Day 10-16 The Maldives
The Maldives

You will be driven back to Colombo Airport for your onward flight to Male, capital of the Maldive Islands. Here you will be met and taken by speedboat across the water to the private island resort of Baros, a journey of around 30 minutes,
Set on a private tropical island in the North Male Atoll and ringed by sandy beaches and a flourishing house reef, this award-winning boutique resort is renowned for wonderfully discreet, personalised service and for its lush natural environment.

There are 75 overwater or beach villas with private decks that are perfect for lounging idle days away, three stylish restaurants all serving superb cuisine, and a spa for further relaxation and rejuvenation. Activities include island hopping, big game fishing, dolphin and sunset cruises, snorkelling at Black Coral Reef, windsurfing and canoeing. Motorised water sports can also be organised beyond the lagoon.

Baros captures the very essence of the Maldives and has become something of a legend in the islands.

Stay: Seven nights in a Deluxe Villa at Baros – bed & breakfast

Day 17 Male - London

Return by speedboat to Male Airport for your flight home.

When to go to Sri Lanka
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  • We have travelled with TUTC six times, the most recent was to New Zealand last year. The trip was very well organised as usual, with excellent accommodation and a wide variety of experiences. We had booked to go to Australia with them this year but due to Covid this was cancelled, Ultimate handled the situation very professionally and promptly refunded the whole of our deposit without any quibble.

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    DN, August 2020