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Discover Sri Lanka's cultural heritage of ancient cities and temples on this thrilling tour

On this intriguing tour you can experience the elegance of a bygone era – Sri Lanka's colonial past – with stays in four heritage properties and discover the historic attractions of bustling Colombo, sacred Kandy, Nuwara Eliya hill station and Galle Fort.


12 nights in hotels and 1 in flight

12 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 12 dinners, including a farewell dinner

Excursions and visits

  • Colombo city tour
  • Dambulla Cave Temple and Matale spice garden
  • Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage
  • City tour of Kandy
  • Botanical garden and tea estate
  • Game drive in Yala National Park
  • Visit to the shrine of Lord Skanda and Temple of Kiri Vehera
  • Bundala Bird Sanctuary Guided tour of Galle
  • Cultural dance performance
  • Cinnamon Lodge organic farm and cookery demonstration

What our customers say More information

September 1, 2016 and August 31, 2017

View Full Itinerary

Day 1 UK to Colombo

After taking Saga’s included UK door-to-door travel service to the airport, depart in the evening for your overnight flight to Colombo.

Colombo Colombo District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 2 Colombo

Hindu Temple in Coombo

Arrive in the morning for an overnight stay at The Gateway Hotel (4Q). D

Day 3 Colombo to Habarana

Gangaramaya Temple in Colombo

Tour Colombo, then travel to Habarana. Stay two nights at the Cinnamon Lodge (4Q+). Visit the hotel's organic farm and enjoy a cookery demonstration of traditional dishes.B, D

Colombo Colombo District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 4 Habanara-Sigirya-Polonnaruwa

At leisure. Optional excursions to Sigirya Rock Fortress and Polonnaruwa in the afternoon. B, L, D

Optional excursions

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.

Sigirya Matale District Sri Lanka Asia

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!

Polonnaruwa Polonnaruwa District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 5 Habarana-Dambulla-Matale-Kandy

Buddha statues at Dambulla

Travel to Kandy, visiting the Dambulla Cave Temple and Matale spice garden en route. Continue to the Cinnamon Citadel Hotel (4Q) for a two-night stay. Evening cultural dance performance. B, L, D

Dambulla Matale District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 6 Botanic Garden and Kandy city tour

Temple of the Tooth

Today's included visits take you to see the Royal Botanic Garden of Peradeniya and on a Kandy city tour that encompasses the Royal Palace and Temple of the Tooth. You will have lunch in the Kandyan Arts & Crafts Centre. B, L, D

Pinnawala Kegalle District Sri Lanka Asia Kandy District

Day 7 Kandy-Nuwara Eliya

Nuwara Eliya

Head into the beautiful hill country. Visit a tea estate, and stay overnight at the Grand Hotel (3Q), in Nuwara Eliya, a former colonial retreat. B, L, D

Nuwara Eliya Nuwara Eliya District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 8 Nuwara Eliya-Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home-Yala

Cinnamon Wild Yala Hotel

Travel to Cinnamon Wild Yala (3Q) for a three-night stay and stop en route to see orphaned elephants at Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home. Cinnamon Wild Yara is situated at Kirinda, beside the Yala Wildlife Sanctuary. B, L, D

Day 9 Yala-Kataragama-Yala

Elephants at Yala National Park

Game drive in Yala National Park. Travel to Kataragama to visit the Shrine of Lord Skanda and the Buddhist Temple of Kiri Vehera. Lunch at the hotel. B, L, D

Yala National Park Hambantota District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 10 Yala

Malabar Pied Hornbill

Champagne breakfast at the hotel, and, if your visit is in term time, visit a local school supported by the Saga Charitable Trust, the rest of the day is at leisure, you might like to watch the wildlife from the hotel observation decks. B, D

Day 11 Yala-Bundala-Galle-Beruwala

Galle Fort

Travel to Bundala Bird Sanctuary to see aquatic birdlife. Next, tour the ancient city of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Continue to the Cinnamon Bey (4Q+) for a three-night all-inclusive stay. The hotel is set on Sri Lanka's west coast, famous for its golden sands. B, D

Galle Galle District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 12 Beruwala

Beruwala beach

At leisure, perhaps join an optional river safari. B, L, D

Optional excursions

This river safari takes you past six islands, and includes a visit to a cinnamon plantation. Cinnamon, a small evergreen tree native to Sri Lanka, has been cultivated since antiquity for the spice obtained from its bark.

Cinnamon Plantation
Beruwala Kalutara District Sri Lanka Asia

Day 13 Beruwala

Cinnamon Bey, Beruwala

Day at leisure, you might want to spend it on the wonderful beach. B, L, D

Day 14 Beruwala to UK

Temple in Colombo

Travel to Colombo Airport for your return flight, arriving for your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B

Please note

If Yala National Park is closed on government advice due to drought conditions on Day 9 of your stay, you'll visit Udawalawe National Park instead.

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