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TELEPHONE 1800 804 006

Escorted Tours

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 €1936pp

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

or call us on 1800 804 006

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

1
UK to Colombo

Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Colombo.

2
Colombo

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

  • Dinner
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
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
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
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
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
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. Please note: photography is prohibited in parts of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Prohibited areas will be clearly signposted.

  • Breakfast & Dinner
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
17
Mirissa to UK

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

  • Breakfast

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

We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. 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 €300pp 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, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and 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 £400 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are! Tipping is customary in Sri Lanka. Should you wish to tip, this will be collected by your guide at the end of your tour for your convenience. We would recommend approximately £3-5 per person, per day for the driver and guide and £4 per person, per day for the national guides. It is asked that if you do not tip in the local currency, please do not give coins as these are difficult to exchange.

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKPrice
2019 Dates
09 Jan 201925 Jan 2019€2485.00
16 Jan 201901 Feb 2019€2519.00
23 Jan 201908 Feb 2019€2743.00
30 Jan 201915 Feb 2019€2754.00
06 Feb 201922 Feb 2019€2732.00
13 Feb 201901 Mar 2019€2866.00
20 Feb 201908 Mar 2019€2799.00
24 Feb 201912 Mar 2019€2799.00
27 Feb 201915 Mar 2019€2799.00
06 Mar 201922 Mar 2019€2384.00
10 Mar 201926 Mar 2019€2418.00
13 Mar 201929 Mar 2019€2351.00
20 Mar 201905 Apr 2019€2351.00
28 Mar 201913 Apr 2019€2351.00
03 Apr 201919 Apr 2019€2272.00
17 Apr 201903 May 2019€2239.00
24 Apr 201910 May 2019€2183.00
01 May 201917 May 2019€1936.00
15 May 201931 May 2019€2160.00
29 May 201914 Jun 2019€2149.00
12 Jun 201928 Jun 2019€2261.00
19 Jun 201905 Jul 2019€2261.00
26 Jun 201912 Jul 2019€2261.00
28 Aug 201913 Sep 2019€2373.00
11 Sep 201927 Sep 2019€2373.00
18 Sep 201904 Oct 2019€2373.00
25 Sep 201911 Oct 2019€2373.00
09 Oct 201925 Oct 2019€2384.00
16 Oct 201901 Nov 2019€2384.00
23 Oct 201908 Nov 2019€2396.00
06 Nov 201922 Nov 2019€2396.00
13 Nov 201929 Nov 2019€2496.00
20 Nov 201906 Dec 2019€2496.00
2020 Dates
Travelling alone?

A limited number of rooms on selected dates are available with no single supplement. Once all single rooms are sold, a single supplement starts from just £629pp.

Private Tours:

If the group departure dates are not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience then you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.

Yala National Park

Please note that Yala National Park may close during September and October. If this does occur, you will visit the nearby Lunugamwehera National Park instead.

What to expect

Fact File
Currency

Sri Lankan Rupee

Average Flying time

10-14 hours

Min/Max temperature

18 °C / 34 °C

Spoken languages

Sinhala, Tamil, English

When to go

Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.

Colombo

Dambulla

Nilaveli

Nuwara Eliya

Kandy

Yala

Galle

What to pack
  • Sunscreen and hat in summer
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Camera and charger
  • Loo paper for public WCs
  • Binoculars
  • Leave plenty of space in your case for shopping!
  • Long Trousers and a top with sleeves is required when entering any religious sites
Customer Rating:
10/10
Mike Hill
8th Dec 2018

All hotels were good/excellent- generally buffet meals - occasional waiter service for a change would be appreciated. The guide is singled out for special mention for his attention to detail and planning efficiency
it was reassuring to have a good safe driver.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
M Braide
30th Oct 2018

Highly organised with attention to detail and planning. The tour was very well planned with two stops at coastal resorts to ease the pace of the tour. The driver gave excellent service. The hotels generally very good standard.
A fantastic value for money tour, with one of the best tour managers that I have ever met.
Highly recommended.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Katie Philpott
5th Oct 2018

Most of the hotels were very good quality. I particulary liked the Hotel Palm Garden and The Calm Resort.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
David Langley
4th Oct 2018

No comments

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Katrina Matthews
19th Sep 2018

Fantastic good quality 3 and 4 star hotels some with amazing views

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Leonard Goodes
15th Sep 2018

Hotels were of a high standard and represented good value for money.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Peter Williams
10th Jul 2018

All hotels were excellent. Rooms and food brilliant! All staff very good and helpful.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Theresa Robinson
20th May 2018

All hotels were excellent

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
V Easto
24th Apr 2018

Excellent Holiday.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
K Wood
29th Mar 2018

Amaya Hills Hotel - public areas excellent.
Amaya Lake Hotel - Rooms exceptional.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Owen Woodward
17th Mar 2018

Some hotels a bit dated but generally all good

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Madeleine Jordan
29th Oct 2017

The Guide, Sam did not give us much info on arriving at hotels, just gave out room keys and that was that. We had to ask for details, dinner times, leaving times, where the restaurant was. We did not have comfort stops unless we asked for them. The 1st young lad helped folk of the bottom step of the coach, the replacement didn't, didn't even say good morning. I was annoyed that Sam asked for the questionnaire several times, even though we were not given it until the last evening. Told us to open up our cases when we arrived at the airport, stated that he wouldn't get paid for the tour if we didn't give him the questionnare, even though folk said that they would complete on their return to The UK. Asked me to identify peoples cases, asked me to go onto the coach to see if the folk were on board, this before he even bothered to say good morning. Not impressed by Sam.
Very impressed with Chandraha our driver, he was excellent.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Neil And Sharon Walker
28th Jul 2017

Excellent accommodation and food. Far exceeded our expectations.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Jon & Anne Sass
28th Mar 2017

The hotels were of exceptional high standard. All in fantastic locations, rooms excellent and food and service extremely good.
Have no negatives at all, very good value.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Matthew Brosnan
15th Mar 2017

Generally very good

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
8.8/10
Jennifer Hancock
7th Dec 2016

The standard of the hotels we visited was good . We have no complaints about any hotel .

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Lindsey Freeman
27th Oct 2016

A good tour.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
Mark Symes
6th Oct 2016

Excellent tour with great guide and hotels.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
7.5/10
Carol Bickerstaff
9th Jun 2016

Newton the guide was very patient and informative and a wonderful host. The driver was fabulous and made us feel safe even when others were testing him with their bad driving. Chmi was a very pleasant young man and very helpful on the coach getting water with a smile.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
John Coyne
9th Jun 2016

Absolutely first class!! The guide was knowledgeable and a great travel companion. Excellent value given the quality of hotels and the small size of the group.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
John Coyne
31st May 2016

Absolutely first class!! Knowledgeable guides and fantastic tour companions. Exceptional value given the quality of hotels and small size of groups.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Customer Rating:
10/10
David Tyler
31st Mar 2016

All Hotels were excellent with a good range of facilities. Buffet meals were also good with a wide selection.

  • Overall Satisfaction
  • Value for money
Tour Map
Grand Tour of Sri Lanka Route Map
Extensions
  • Sri Lanka
    Extend your tour with a Sri Lanka Beach Stay

    4 nights from €312pp

    View
  • Kerala
    Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay

    4 nights from €391pp

    View
  • Kerala
    See the Highlights of Kerala

    4 nights from €525pp

    View
  • Maldives
    Extend your trip with a Maldives Beach Stay

    4 nights from €783pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Extensions

Extend your tour with a Sri Lanka Beach Stay
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 north west coast of the country. Indulge in a calming massage or relax by the beach before returning to the UK.

4 nights
from €312pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Extend your tour with a Kerala Beach Stay
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.

4 nights
from €391pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
See the Highlights of 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 469pp. 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.

4 nights
from €525pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension
Extend your trip with a Maldives Beach Stay
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.

4 nights
from €783pp
View Tour + Extension
View Tour + Extension

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