Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a sparkling jewel in the Indian Ocean, has welcomed visitors over more than twenty-five centuries.  Natural beauty is everywhere, from sapphire sunlit seas, verdant tropical lowlands, scenically dramatic highlands, to sun drenched unspoilt beaches.  Its deep history is documented in magnificent masterpieces of architecture, art and sculpture, whilst ancient fortresses and places of worship add testimony to the rich culture.

Sri Lanka offers a holiday experience for Sigiriyaeveryone.  There is the simplicity of relaxing around the pool or on the beach at one of the many fine hotels, to journey back in time and travel by train on the Viceroy Express through the highlands, climb the steps of the mighty rock at Sigiriya and discover the fortress many regard as a wonder of the world, or choose the excitement of white-water rafting, kayaking, rock-climbing or fishing.

And if your appetite yearns for more, play a round or two of golf on Sri Lanka's challenging courses, explore exhilarating Leopardrock caves and maybe take a safari in Yala or one of the many other National Parks.  Here, herds of elephant, sambur, wild buffalo, leopard, sloth bear, spotted mouse and barking deer, many species of monkey, giant squirrel and numerous amphibians can be found enjoying a peaceful, danger-free existence.

There are also 242 recorded species of butterfly, 468 species of birds and 2250 species of flowering plants to lookout for.  And surely, after so much activity a little pampering in a Ayurvedic Spa would not go amiss. 

Colombo

Colombo is an intriguing mix of old and new, east and west.  European colonial mansions, Buddhist and Hindu temples, mosques, quaint old gem and handicraft boutiques, noisy bazaars and colourful street markets contrast with the modern steel and glass high-rise buildings, the air conditioned shopping malls and deluxe hotels.

There is much to see and do in Colombo.  Shopping is excellent and at very attractive prices.  Gems are a renowned world over good buy and so are batiks, curios, designer clothes, hand-painted ceramics and wood carvings.  So, you will be able to buy all those gifts for friends and family.  You can also visit a tea auction, the Dehiwela Zoo with its dancing elephants and the botanical gardens.  Or take time out and tee off on the sculptured lawns of the Royal Colombo Golf Course.  At night, visit one of the many fine restaurants serving an exotic array of both local and international cuisine.  And if the heart is strong, party on at one of the international nightclubs or casinos.

Southern Beaches

BeachSome of the island's finest and most accessible tropical beaches lie along the southern coast.  Some only a short drive from Colombo's city centre.  Many are fringed by colourful underwater coral reefs and offer a wide choice of premium diving opportunities with reefs, rocks and submerged wrecks.  Beruwela is adorned with a cluster of tiny, protected bays that offer year-round safe sea-bathing.

Bentotawhere sea meets river offers unending opportunities for water-sports and whale and dolphin watching excursions.  Hikkaduwa offers a magical submarine wonderland of coloured coral and jewel-hued fish in its marine sanctuary.

Ancient Cities, Nature & Hill Country

Sri Lanka's two thousand year history can be seen in the stone and plaster of an abundance of impressive monuments in ancient capitals and fortresses.
The hill capital of Kandy is set amid lush mountains by the side of the Mahaweli river.  A cultural centre, it is famous for the temple of Dalada Maligawa holds the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Duddha. 

GolfMoated, turreted and shining in its golden-roofed glory, the temple is a fine example of ancient Buddhist heritage.  Kandy is also renowned for its magnificent Royal Botanical Gardens and only a short distance outside the town is the challenging Victoria Golf Club.

The scenically beautiful hill resort of Nuwara Eliya was developed by the British in the 19th century to the design of an English country village.  Here, you can take 'afternoon tea' in style, after perhaps a round of golf on the very testing course laid out by the Gordon Highlanders stationed here in 1889.

At Sigiriya is the stunning 5th century rock fortress hideaway of the fugitive king.  This citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the scrub jungle was the innermost stronghold of the 70 hectare fortified town.  A moat, rampart and extensive gardens including the water garden, a UNESCO Heritage site, ring the base of the rock and the world-renowned frescoes of the 'Heavenly Maidens' still glowing with colour can be reached by a spiral staircase.

Polonnaruwa, a well-preserved medieval capital, has a haunting ambience of grandeur and many treasures; among them the Gal Vihare sculptures, the Lotus Bath, the Stone Book and the Parakrama Samudraya, a 12th century irrigation lake.


Dambulla

Built in the 1st century BC, Dambulla Rock Temple is
a world heritage site and the most impressive of Sri Lanka's cave temples.  The caves contain 150 Buddha images, the largest a colossal figure carved out of rock spanning 14 metres.

Please note, while every care has been taken to ensure accuracy, all tours and hotel descriptions and amenities mentioned are subject to change.