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Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

  • Route:
  • London Heathrow
  • Colombo
  • Anuradhapura
  • Passikudah
  • Dambulla
  • Kandy
  • Nuwara Eliya
  • Udawalawe
  • Tissamaharama
  • Mirissa
  • Colombo
  • London Heathrow
TOUR PACE:
17 DAYS from £1954pp

Tour Highlights

  • Tours of Colombo, Kandy & Galle
  • The beautiful beaches of Nilaveli and Mirissa
  • Explore Sigiriya Rock Fortress & Dambulla Rock Temple
  • Visit the ancient capital, Anuradhapura
  • Discover the tea plantations of Nuwara Eliya
  • Safari through Udawalawe and Yala Parks
Book Now

or call us on 0800 408 0506

Grand Tour of Sri Lanka

Journey to the heart of this captivating island, boasting an incredible variety of highlights from undiscovered pristine beaches in the East, to ancient civilisations and sacred pilgrimage sites in the Cultural Triangle. Journey high up into the tea plantations of Sri Lanka's hill country and then down to Udawalawe and Yala to experience Sri Lanka's stunning wildlife, and discover the country's rich history in Colonial Galle and the capital, Colombo.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1: UK to Colombo

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Colombo.

    Day 2: Colombo

    On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel in Colombo for a welcome dinner.

    • Dinner

    Day 3: Colombo

    Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, is a bustling, cosmopolitan city whose colonial history is still very much evident along wide, shaded boulevards and among its Victorian churches and tumbledown cafes. An introductory half-day city tour visits the vibrant temples and bazaars of Pettah, selling seemingly everything from traditional jewellery to Ayurvedic medicines. A trip to the Old Dutch hospital is a highlight of the newly restored Fort complex, home to some of Colombo's chicest restaurants, cafes and shops. After lunch rest of day at leisure.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 4: Colombo to Anuradhapura

    Today you will leave the capital and head north to the ancient city of Anuradhapura, the spiritual heart of the Cultural Triangle. On route, visit the somnolent village of Mihintale and its nearby sacred mountain peak and temple complex. Ancient monastic dwellings and meditations spots are connected by beautiful old stone steps amongst rocky hills.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 5: Anuradhapura to Passikudah

    Recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Anuradhapura's city ruins are one of South Asia's most evocative sites and contain a rich collection of crumbling temples, vast monasteries and elaborate palaces. Marvel at the sacred Bodhi tree, the oldest authenticated tree in the world. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before travelling east to Passikudah.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 6: Passikudah

    Today has been left at leisure for you to relax and enjoy Passikudah's powder-white sands and emerald-blue waters on Sri Lanka's laid-back, less-visited east coast.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 7: Passikudah to Dambulla

    This morning, journey to Sri Lanka's second ancient city. Scattered over gently undulating woodland, explore the monumental ruins of the ancient garden city of Polonnaruwa. Afterwards, continue on to the scenic town of Dambulla where you will spend the next two nights.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 8: Dambulla and Sigiriya

    Undoubtedly a highlight of the tour is today's excursion to the awe inspiring Sigiriya rock fortress. The ancient city of Sigiriya is a World Heritage Site and the city ruins lie on the slopes and summit of the imposing granite peak, towering above the jungle below. Climb up steps carved into the rock face to see the fortified palace and brilliant frescoes or enjoy the spectacular views of ancient citadel and jungle from the lily-pad-covered moats that surround the rock. Return to your hotel for lunch and to enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

    • Breakfast & Dinner

    Day 9: Dambulla to Kandy

    After breakfast, visit the Dambulla Rock Temple, where the impressive caves contain over 2000 square metres of painted walls and ceilings which were once gilded by the ancient King to mark his place of worship. After some time to explore here, a stop will be made at a typical Sri Lankan spice garden to observe how a variety of spices are grown. You will arrive into Kandy this afternoon and head to the famous Temple of the Sacred Tooth. The golden-roofed temple houses Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic - a tooth of Buddha; you will arrive in time for 'pooja' when the heavily guarded room housing the relic is open to both pilgrims and travellers alike.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 10: Kandy

    Cradled amongst misty hills, the small city of Kandy exudes history, culture and beauty with its calm centrepiece lake surrounded by rolling forested landscapes and colourful houses. Explore the famous botanical gardens of Peradeniya, full of exotic palms, colourful orchids and home to over four thousand species of trees and plants. Then enjoy a tour of the city followed by a day at leisure.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 11: Kandy to Nuwara Eliya

    This morning you will journey to Nuwara Eliya, often referred to as 'Little England' due to its plethora of colonial bungalows, well-tended hedgerows and pretty rose gardens. The picturesque mountain town is blessed with a salubrious climate and breathtaking views over the surrounding valleys, meadows and peaks. Sri Lanka is one of the world's largest exporters of tea and Nuwara Eliya has been the capital of this industry since the 19th century. En route to your hotel, you will make a stop at a tea plantation to observe the rich traditional process and inhale the heavenly scent of the prestigious Ceylon tea brand.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 12: Nuwara Eliya to Udawalawe

    A morning tour of Nuwara Eliya begins today, driving through the lush green tea plantations dotted with the colourful saris of the women working in them. Lunch will be served in a local village, Ella, with far reaching views over the misty landscapes beyond before continuing to Udawalawe.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 13: Udawalawe to Tissamaharama

    Udawalawe national park is renowned for its elephant viewing opportunities against the stunning backdrop of the surrounding hills. Rising early this morning, embark on a jeep safari to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. As well as being home to over 250 elephants, deer, water buffalo, monkeys and a variety of bird species can also be found in the park. Just outside the park is the Elephant Transit Home, an inspirational project started to rehabilitate orphaned elephants. After this visit, depart for Tissamaharama to enjoy lunch and the rest of day at leisure.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 14: Tissamaharama and Yala National Park

    After some free time this morning, a jeep safari in the nearby Yala national park awaits. Covering a vast 1200 square kilometres, Yala is Sri Lanka's largest national park boasting a uniquely stunning ocean front setting. Journey through the heartland of wildlife, home to elephants, sloths, deer and, with the highest density of leopards in the world, you may even be lucky enough to spot one of these beautifully elusive animals.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 15: Tissamaharama to Mirissa

    Departing Tissamaharama, you will travel to the sleepy coastal resort of Mirissa. The idyllic crescent of beach, fringed with coconut palms is the perfect place to crack open a coconut and relax on the soft golden sands by the calm turquoise waters.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 16: Mirissa and Galle

    This morning will be at leisure for you to further relax or choose an optional whale watching excursion. The south coast of Sri Lanka is arguably the best place in the world to see planet earth's largest ever creatures, the Blue Whale. Alternatively, visit the nearby Hikkaduwa preschool to see a charity project funded and supported by Mercury Holidays. Late this morning you will travel to Galle, a fort area and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This national treasure has been inhabited by the Portuguese, Dutch and British, all of whom left their distinctive marks visible in the walled Galle Fort and through the sleepy streets strewn with colonial buildings, restaurants and small boutique shops.

    • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

    Day 17: Mirissa to UK

    After breakfast transfer to Colombo airport for your flight back to the UK.

    • Breakfast
    Your Meals
    • Included Breakfast will always be served at your accommodation each morning during the tour.
    • Included Lunch and Dinner, where included, will be served in local restaurants or at your accommodation.

    Important Information

    Visas

    British passport holders are currently required to obtain a visa in order to travel to Sri Lanka. Further to visa advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.

    Insurance

    You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:

    Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
    Up to 17 days cover£42£79£135
    For all persons 86 years and over, please contact us for insurance prices. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.

    Payment

    If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.

    Flight Information

    Your flight is to Colombo Airport is with Sri Lankan Airlines (UL), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 3. Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage and hand luggage that you are permitted to carry one item of hand baggage (max 5kg - 56x36x23cm) in addition to one small personal item on-board the aircraft. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.

    Airport Extras
    If you wish to arrange Airport car parking or accommodation at preferential rates, we recommend you book this in advance with Holiday Extras - Tel. 0871 360 2000, quoting HX313.

    Health and Vaccinations

    It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.

    Physical Accessibility

    This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot, and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. Please note there are approximately 1,300 steps to Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.

    Group Size

    The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 30. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.

    Tour Guide

    This is a fully escorted tour with local guides throughout ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

    Currency Information

    The currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee, LKR. The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Sri Lanka. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in Sri Lanka should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.

    Personal Expenses

    You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £200 will be sufficient for the durations of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are! It is customary to tip your guide and driver, this is at your discretion but we recommend you allow approximately £58 for the duration of your tour.

    Tour Dates & Prices

    Depart UKArrive UKPrice
    2017 Dates
    11 Oct 201727 Oct 2017£1999pp
    25 Oct 201710 Nov 2017£1949pp
    08 Nov 201724 Nov 2017£2059pp
    22 Nov 201708 Dec 2017£2059pp
    2018 Dates
    17 Jan 201802 Feb 2018£2149pp
    31 Jan 201816 Feb 2018£2359pp
    28 Feb 201816 Mar 2018£2099pp
    04 Apr 201820 Apr 2018£1949pp
    18 Apr 201804 May 2018£1949pp
    02 May 201818 May 2018£1699pp
    16 May 201801 Jun 2018£1849pp
    30 May 201815 Jun 2018£1849pp
    13 Jun 201829 Jun 2018£1949pp
    27 Jun 201813 Jul 2018£1949pp
    29 Aug 201814 Sep 2018£2049pp
    12 Sep 201828 Sep 2018£2049pp
    26 Sep 201812 Oct 2018£2049pp
    10 Oct 201826 Oct 2018£2049pp
    24 Oct 201809 Nov 2018£2049pp
    07 Nov 201823 Nov 2018£2149pp
    21 Nov 201807 Dec 2018£2149pp

    Travelling alone?

    We have a limited amount of rooms with no single supplement on this tour.

    Tour Map

    Grand Tour of Sri Lanka Route Map

    Tour Dossiers

    2017 Dossier

    2018 Dossier

    Extensions

    • Sri Lanka
      Extend your tour with a Sri Lanka Beach Stay4 nights from £293pp View
    • Kerala
      Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay4 nights from £344pp View
    • Kerala
      See the Highlights of Kerala4 nights from £367pp View
    • Maldives
      Extend your trip with a Maldives Beach Stay4 nights from £746pp View

    Here to help

    • Get in touch with one of our experts on Sri Lanka
    • 0800 408 0506 (free)
    • (mobile friendly)
    • Request a call back

    Travel Advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office
    For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information you can visit their website at https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice.

    Hotels and Accommodation

    Ramada Colombo

    Ramada Colombo

    Hotel Palm Garden Village

    Hotel Palm Garden Village

    The Calm Resort

    The Calm Resort

    Amaya Lake

    Amaya Lake

    Amaya Hills

    Amaya Hills

    Grand Hotel

    Grand Hotel

    The Grand Udawalawe Safari Hotel

    The Grand Udawalawe Safari Hotel

    Mandara Rosen

    Mandara Rosen

    Mandara Resort

    Mandara Resort

    Extensions

    Extend your tour with a Sri Lanka Beach Stay

    Sri Lanka

    Tour route

    • London Heathrow
    • Colombo
    • Anuradhapura
    • Nilaveli
    • Dambulla
    • Kandy
    • Nuwara Eliya
    • Udawalawe
    • Tissamaharama
    • Mirissa
    • Colombo
    • Sri Lanka Beach Stay
    • London Heathrow

    Extend your stay with an extension to the wonderful beach resort of Kalutara on the west coast of the country. Indulge in a calming massage or relax by the beach before returning to the UK.

    View

    Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay

    Kerala

    Tour route

    • London Heathrow
    • Colombo
    • Anuradhapura
    • Nilaveli
    • Dambulla
    • Kandy
    • Nuwara Eliya
    • Udawalawe
    • Tissamaharama
    • Mirissa
    • Colombo
    • Kerala
    • London Heathrow

    Extend your tour with a relaxing beach stay in the Indian State of Kerala. Relax in the popular resort of Kovalam, known locally as the paradise of the south, amongst the coconut groves for which the town is famous.

    View

    See the Highlights of Kerala

    Kerala

    Tour route

    • London Heathrow
    • Colombo
    • Anuradhapura
    • Nilaveli
    • Dambulla
    • Kandy
    • Nuwara Eliya
    • Udawalawe
    • Tissamaharama
    • Mirissa
    • Colombo
    • Highlights of Kerala
    • London Heathrow

    Why not continue your trip beyond Sri Lanka with a mini tour of the beautiful Indian state of Kerala from 319pp. This 4 night extension includes a tour of Cochin, one of India's major ports and trading centres and an overnight trip on an authentic Keralan Houseboat.

    View

    Extend your trip with a Maldives Beach Stay

    Maldives

    Tour route

    • London Heathrow
    • Colombo
    • Anuradhapura
    • Nilaveli
    • Dambulla
    • Kandy
    • Nuwara Eliya
    • Udawalawe
    • Tissamaharama
    • Mirissa
    • Colombo
    • Maldives
    • London Heathrow

    Indulge yourself with a fabulous extension to the Maldives. Arriving at Male airport you will be transferred to your hotel by speed boat for four nights of pure bliss. Enjoy spectacular views of the bluest seas from all directions whilst you unwind and relax on this island of paradise.

    View

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    Kerala Explorer

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