- Cinnamon Lodge style
Guests stay in spacious chalet rooms, dotted about the grounds.
- A rock with a view
Ascend Sigiriya – aka Lion Rock – to see the palace ruins, and the view!
- Off she went with a trumpety trump
Elephants in Minneriya National Park
Stay and Explore
Explore Sri Lanka from Cinnamon Lodge
Sri Lankafrom £1,499 per person 9 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £71 if not required
- VIP door to door
- Save £
- All Inclusive
Let the beautiful island of Sri Lanka seduce you…
The unspoilt tropical island of Sri Lanka is a perfectly proportioned paradise with pristine, palm-fringed beaches, mangrove lagoons, paddy fields and lush rainforest. Strategically positioned between the continents, the island has been fought over for centuries and has a rich cultural and spiritual heritage. In National Parks elephant, buffalo and all manner of primates roam free, and rainbow-hued birds and delicately painted butterflies add flashes of colour wherever you go.
8 nights in hotels and 2 in flight
23 meals: 8 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 8 dinners
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners
- Welcome drink
- Local expert
- Services of a visiting representative
- Use of audio headsets on selected guided tours
- Free Wi-Fi on board coaches
- Porterage at your hotel
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK Branch and additional cancellation rights on overseas holidays for over 50s, or a price reduction if not required (cover is subject to medical questions)
- Return flights and transfers
- Buddhist Monk’s alms giving
- Minneriya National Park Safari
- Dambulla Gold Cave Rock Temple
Day 1 UK to Chilaw
After taking Saga's included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, fly to Sri Lanka.
Day 2 Chilaw
Upon arrival at Bandaranaike International Airport, you will be met by your Saga Tour Manager and make your 90 minute transfer to the Anantaya Resort and Spa (4Q) for an overnight stay. Dinner is included at the hotel. Sri Lanka may be small, but travel is mostly done on local roads busy with bicycles and tuk-tuks and often at a relaxed pace. Therefore you’ll spend your first and last nights at the Anantaya Resort & Spa so you can relax after and before your flights. D
Day 3 - 7 Chilaw to Habarana
After breakfast at your hotel transfer by coach to Habarana for a six-night stay at Cinnamon Lodge (4Q) in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle.
Cinnamon Lodge is surrounded by 37 acres of lush grounds which are home to 100 species of large tree and teeming with birds, exotic insects and troupes of macaques and grey langur monkeys that scamper around outside your accommodation.
During your holiday, search these expansive gardens for some of the 60-odd species of dry-zone birds on a escorted bird and butterfly watching tour, or join a excursion to the Minneriya National Park where between June and September you can witness ‘the gathering’ of 100s of elephants, deer and water buffalo in the drying Minneriya Tank – a reservoir dug by an ancient civilisation. The terrain in the park varies from grass and scrubland to ecologically-driven teak plantations and in addition to spotting larger beasts you might see great flocks of cormorants sweeping across the horizon and diving for food in the lake.
Another included excursion takes you to the the Dambulla golden cave rock temple, which is by far the most impressive temple of its kind in Sri Lanka. Beautiful icons, a legion of statues and mural-covered walls dating back centuries lie under a windswept rock 340 metres above sea level. To visit the shrine you must climb up a flight of 150 steps, then you can admire the spectacular view and tour the caves at leisure. As you'll need to leave your shoes behind to enter the temples, a thick pair of socks will make exploring them a little more comfortable. Please note: You need to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders, as shorts or sleeveless shirts are not considered acceptable attire and you will not be allowed to enter.
Food and its preparation are pillars of Sri Lankan society and on a spice identification and cookery demonstration you can learn about the island’s indigenous spices, how they are prepared and then cook and devour a specially spiced meal in the company of the hotel’s resident chef. You can also sample locally grown Ceylon teas and learn the art of making ‘yard tea’ on a tea tasting session and prepare a multi-dish traditional meal in the home of a local family which you then offer to Buddhist monks at the village temple. This is an important tradition in Sri Lankan culture and it’s an honour to be allowed to participate.
Enjoy an in-depth talk by your tour manager at the beginning of your stay to add context to these and other excursions and give you a deeper understanding of Sri Lanka, its history, culture and religions. B, L, D
Day 8 Habarana to Chilaw
Enjoy breakfast and lunch at the hotel and take advantage of the hotel facilities before you transfer back to the Anantaya Resort and Spa (4Q) for an overnight stay. B, L, D
Day 9 UK to Chilaw
After breakfast travel to the airport for your return overnight flight. B
Day 10 UK
Arrive in the UK for your included UK door-to-door travel service.
Anuradhapura is the most famous of Sri Lanka’s ancient cities and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Established in the 3rd century BC the city flourished for some 1300 years. After its abandonment at the end of the 10th century, it lay hidden and submerged by jungle until its discovery. With its rich archaeological and architectural heritage its buildings include dome-shaped dagobas, or Buddhist temples, such as the notableRuwanweli Seya, and Jetavanarama. The city’s most famous relic is the Sacred Bo Tree, grown from a branch of the tree under which the Buddah attained enlightenment, planted 2,250 years ago and among the oldest trees in the world.
Optional on 9 nights itinerary
Dambulla golden cave rock temple
Another optional excursion takes you to the the Dambulla golden cave rock temple, which is by far the most impressive temple of its kind in Sri Lanka. Beautiful icons, a legion of statues and mural-covered walls dating back centuries lie under a windswept rock 340 metres above sea level. To visit the shrine you must climb up a flight of 150 steps, then you can admire the spectacular view and tour the caves at leisure. As you'll need to leave your shoes behind to enter the temples, a thick pair of socks will make exploring them a little more comfortable. Please note: You need to wear clothes that cover your knees and shoulders, as shorts or sleeveless shirts are not considered acceptable attire and you will not be allowed to enter.
Optional on 9 nights itinerary
Minneriya National Park
Join an optional excursion to the Minneriya National Park where between the months of June and September you can witness ‘the gathering’ in which 100s of elephants, deer and water buffalo congregate in the drying Minneriya Tank - a reservoir dug by an ancient civilization. The terrain in the park varies from grass and scrubland to ecologically-managed teak plantations and in addition to spotting larger beasts you might see great flocks of cormorants sweeping across the horizon and diving for food in the lake.
Optional on 9 nights itinerary
You will find the ruins of the ancient Sinhala civilisation at Polonnaruwa, which became Sri Lanka’s capital between the 11th and 12th centuries. Highlights include the ruins of the king’s council chamber, the Royal Citadel and the Vatadage Relic House. Another will undoubtedly be the Gal Vihare where unknown artists carved four separate images out of a granite cliff face: the great reclining image of the Buddha entering nirvana is 14-metres long and is generally held to be the most impressive of the sculptures. Also of interest are the reservoirs – they are so large that one, the Parakrama Samudra, is bigger than Colombo Harbour!
Optional on 9 nights itinerary
The Lion Rock at Sigiriya
This excursion takes you to Sigiriya’s famous ‘Lion Rock’ which was the brief capital of King Kassapa I some 1,500 years ago. Two colossal paws still stand either side of ancient limestone steps, a reminder of the lion figure that once guarded the entrance to the lofty palace gardens on the summit of this 370-metre-high granite rock. Cuts and grooves carved out of the rock face will give you an idea of the size and shape of the original lion structure. Sigiriya is also well known for the Maidens of the Clouds, paintings of 21 beautiful women found on a sheltered ledge.
Optional on 9 nights itinerary
Pre-holiday extension, including breakfastsBefore your tour, stay at the Arabian Courtyard Hotel and Spa (4Q) in the heart of Dubai’s Al Fahidi historical area (available only when flying via Dubai). Restaurants serving foods from around the world, a health club and swimming pool mean there’s plenty to keep you entertained at the hotel, while your central location gives you easy access to the Dubai Museum, The Creek, Heritage Village, the Textile Market and Meena Bazar. The hotel’s Arabian heritage theme extends to its rooms and suites, all of which offer free Wi-Fi, phone, satellite television, safety deposit box, Mini bar, Tea/coffee making facilities, iron & ironing board. Single room supplement (per person, per night): from £48. Alternatively, upgrade to the JA Ocean View Hotel (4Q+), for a supplement. With 342 comfortable and well-equipped rooms, some of which have sea views, and great facilities including an outdoor swimming pool and spa and fitness amenities your stay will be a relaxing addition to your Sri Lankan adventure.
Sri Lanka's 'Gold Coast'
Post-holiday extension, half board
Depart Cinnamon Lodge (4Q+) on day 9 of your main holiday and travel to Uga Bay (4Q+) where you can enjoy three nights. Return to spend one night at Anantaya Resort & Spa (4Q) before your return flight.
Enjoy a 3-night stay at the elegant beach resort of Uga Bay (4Q+) on Passikuda Beach. Accommodation consists of 22 ground-floor Beach Studios with views of the Indian Ocean and beach access and 22 second-floor Ocean Studios with airy balconies and uninterrupted views of the sea. You could also upgrade to a luxury two-bedroom suite with private plunge pool or a detached Beach Villa with private garden, plunge pool and secluded beach access. All guests have access to the resort’s gym and spa, inviting infinity pool and watersports at an addition fee or can relax in the calm, shallow sea and empty sands of Passikuda Beach. There’s also a catalogue of exciting excursions to the best sites on Sri Lanka’s east coast that you can join, including a morning visit to a Hindu Temple, joining a local village family in religious rituals and a visit to the isthmus bound city of Batticaloa, with its commanding Dutch fort and many churches.
Anantaya Resort & Spa QQQQ
You will stay at the Anantaya Resort on the first and final night of your holiday on a all-inclusive basis. The hotel is sandwiched between a long, golden sandy beach and a lagoon haunted by local and migratory birds. This beautifully located hotel has a buffet-style restaurant serving local and international dishes, and an à la carte restaurant (extra charge). There is a bar, and a pool bar – the large pool is ringed by loungers and swaying palm trees, and overlooks the beach. Swimming in the sea is not recommended on the west coast, but you can go kayaking on the lagoon, use the fitness centre or pay a visit to the spa (extra charge). The large, air-conditioned hotel rooms have balconies overlooking the sea, each has a television, telephone, hairdryer, tea and coffee-making facilities, a safe and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Cinnamon Lodge QQQQ+
Spend six-nights all inclusive at the Cinnamon Lodge in the heart of Sri Lanka’s cultural triangle. Set at the edge of a natural lake in 37 acres of wooded grounds it makes a peaceful base. Hotel facilities include an open-sided restaurant and fine dining, an open-sided bar where Saga customers receive a 10% discount on branded alcohol, a veranda, outdoor swimming pool, spa with sauna and steam room (Saga guests get a 10% discount on treatments), tennis courts (extra charge) and butterfly garden. Stay in one of the two-storey air-conditioned chalets dotted around the grounds and linked to the communal areas by paths which are lit by night. Rooms include a television, telephone, tea and coffee-making facilities, complimentary Wi-Fi, minibar, hairdryer and safe. At night there is a program of entertainment including traditional dancing and live music.