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- from $5,756 PP
- 11 Nights
- 11hrs from London / 19hrs from NYC
Few itineraries can match this ultimate Indian Ocean adventure, combining the charisma and excitement of Sri Lanka with the truly magnificent paradise scenes of the Maldives. Spend an initial 8 nights in Sri Lanka, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, traveling through the fascinating Cultural Triangle, the stunning tea-laden Hill Country, and take in the island’s bubbling former and current capitals, Kandy and Colombo. Your adventures will include a cycling tour through the UNESCO-protected ruins of Anuradhapura, a bracing climb of Sigiriya’s Lion Rock, the world’s greatest train journey from Kandy through to Hatton, and two nights at a luxurious tea estate with a private butler service catering to your every whim. You’ll then fly across to the Maldives for three nights in true paradise, relaxing on the white sand beach at a luxurious private island resort.
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- 11 nights in 5-star accommodation
- Daily breakfast throughout plus other meals as per itinerary
- Private road transfers and sightseeing with driver-guide in Sri Lanka
- Private English speaking site guides for major sightseeing in Sri Lanka
- Regional flight from Colombo to Male
- Shared resort speedboat transfers to and from Maldives resort
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Pannala: Arrive into Bandaranaike International Airport, transfer to rural lodge
Your idyllic Indian Ocean journey begins with your arrival into Colombo’s International Airport. You’ll be greeted at the airport and introduced to your private driver-guide, then transferred to your hotel, a peaceful rural lodge approximately 20-minutes’ drive away. Take the night to relax and unwind after your long flight: indulge in a massage or spa treatment, take a refreshing dip in the pool, or stretch your legs with a stroll through the centuries-old tropical gardens.
Day 2 Thiripanne: Morning tour of Anuradhapura
At a leisurely time this morning, you will head on by road into Sri Lanka’s ‘Cultural Triangle’. This broad low-land area in the center of the island encompasses the ruins of Polonnaruwa, the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the cave temples of Dambulla, and the legendary Lion Rock of Sigiriya. You’ll be heading to a luxurious rural estate in Thiripanne, a short distance from Anuradhapura, which will be a drive of around 4 hours.
On the way you will stop at the Dambulla Cave Temple complex which encompasses carvings, paintings, grottos, and meditation spaces, much of which date back over 2,000 years. At the top of the caves you’ll enjoy a magnificent view of the scrub and jungle which pan on all sides, picking out the immense Sigiriya lion rock on the horizon.
Day 3 Thiripanne: Morning tour of Anuradhapura
This morning you’ll head into nearby Anuradhapura for a gentle, immersive cycling tour of the ancient city. In its 4th century heyday, Anuradhapura was among Asia’s largest and most impressive cities. As Sri Lanka’s spiritual capital for over a millennium, the city was home to over 10,000 monks and you’ll find the expansive site littered with colossal dagobas and monasteries, and many ruins of the ancient city itself.
Cycle (or walk, should you prefer) through more than a dozen alluring archaeological sites, along the way passing through tranquil paddy fields and rural villages. Highlights will include the Abayagiri Dagoba, the largest Buddhist monument in the world, and the scenic Elephant Pond where you will stop to enjoy a delicious picnic lunch.
Return to the estate in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day relaxing among 58 acres of private grounds, home to over 100 birds species of bird, with hikes, cycling routes, and numerous quiet corners for bucolic relaxation. Further trips to the Buddhist relics of Mihintale, and the leopards of Wilpattu National Park are all possible; onsite activities include cooking classes, agricultural tours, nature walks, and a super luxurious spa.
Day 4 Kandy: Transfer to Kandy, via Sigiriya
After an early breakfast you will travel down into the center of the Cultural Triangle. Arrive at Sigiriya, the icon of Sri Lanka, to begin your climb before the heat of the day begins to set in. The full climb will take around an hour, entirely on purpose-built steps or stairwells, so easily achievable for anyone with a moderate level of fitness. The final section up to the rooftop palace ruins is on a sturdy but exposed stairway, which can be daunting but is worth it for the magnificent views up top. The best of the frescoes and carvings come before this point however, so many choose to finish the climb at the ‘Lion’s Paw’, before coming back down to enjoy the wide water gardens and small museum also found within the grounds.
You will then head on to Kandy. Stop en route at a lush spice plantation just outside the city where you will enjoy a guided walk and tour, followed by a mouth-watering lunch of Sri Lankan ‘rice-and-curry’. Arrive Kandy in the mid-afternoon and have the rest of the day to relax.
Day 5 Kandy: City tour of Kandy and guided forest walk
Kandy is Sri Lanka’s former capital, and erstwhile seat of its ancient kings. This is a bustling and picturesque city, ringed by hills and centered around the placid Bomgambara Lake. This morning you will meet a private guide for a half-day walking tour which takes in the city’s key historic and cultural sites as well as providing an orientation to the busy central streets and enticing market areas. You will also take in the sacred Temple of the Tooth, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the, said to house a relic tooth of the Buddha.
In the afternoon you’ll be taken up to the Udawatta Kele forest sanctuary, which sits high on a ridge behind the Temple of the Tooth. Enjoy a short walk on the forest trail, keeping a keen eye out for macaques, colorful birdlife, and a variety of tropical flora. Finish the walk at a wonderful viewpoint over the city, with cool refreshments provided by your guide.
Day 6 Hatton: Scenic train journey to Tea Trails
From Kandy you will take a truly unforgettable train journey through Sri Lanka’s stunning hill country. Said to be one of the world’s greatest train journeys, this 4-hour run passes through scenery of mountains, tea plantations, and charming hill villages. Your driver-guide will travel ahead with your luggage – leaving you free to relax and enjoy the views – and meet you when you disembark at Hatton, right in the heart of Sri Lana’s tea-growing hill country. Continue by road to your luxurious tea estate lodgings set around Castlereigh Lake. You have the rest of the day free to relax and drink in the truly stunning scenery.
Day 7 Hatton: Guided plantation walk & free day to enjoy Tea Trails
This morning you’ll meet the tea estate’s resident planter for a walking tour of the grounds. Move through the fields and onto the tea factory itself, learning about all stages of tea production as you go, and finish with a tasting session of the freshest brews.
You’ll then have the rest of the day at leisure in your magnificent surroundings. At this all-inclusive estate all your food, drinks, and activities are including in your stay, so take your pick of hikes, boat tours, spa treatments, croquet on the lawn, sunbathing around the pool, or tasty snacks and refreshing drinks ordered through your private butler.
Day 8 Colombo: Transfer to Colombo; Afternoon walking tour
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast at the estate before departing on the drive back to Colombo. The drive will take you out of the hills, down through Sri Lanka’s rural plains, and into its capital, largest city, and cosmopolitan hub. In the afternoon your guide will take you on an intriguing walking tour through the historic Fort area of the capital, during which you’ll learn about Colombo’s diverse and eclectic history while taking in some delightful colonial buildings, lively markets, and impressive temples.
Day 9 Maldives: Fly to Male and transfer to your island resort
This morning you’ll be transferred back to Colombo International Airport in good time to check-in for your short one-hour flight across the Indian Ocean to Male, capital of the Maldives. You’ll then board an onward speedboat transfer to your private island resort.
Made up of nearly 1,200 islands in the Indian Ocean, just south of the Indian subcontinent, the Maldives is one of the world’s top destinations for a tropical beach holiday, especially popular among honeymooners with its breathtakingly romantic setting. The archipelago offers some of the best diving on the planet, with crystal-clear turquoise waters teeming with a diverse array of marine life and vibrant coral reefs. In fact, there are 200 different species of coral, 300 fish species, including reef fish, friendly sharks, stingrays, and sea turtles. In addition to world-class snorkeling and diving, other water sports are available too, like sailing, water skiing, windsurfing, and some of the best game fishing in the world.
Days 10-11 Maldives: Days at leisure in the Maldives
These days are yours to relax in tropical paradise. Enjoy long days on the powdery white sand beach, or sign yourself up for breathtaking snorkeling or diving trips, boat tours, or watersports. Luxury resorts here are world-renowned for their world-class spas, incredible dining experiences, and stunning beachside accommodation. Speak to your consultant about the best island resort for you – there are so many wonderful properties to choose from!
Day 12 Maldives: Departure day
Today is your last day in paradise as your luxurious Indian Ocean adventures come to an end. Join a speedboat transfer back to Male International Airport in good time to check-in for your flight home.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
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