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Escorted Tours

Grand Tour of Sri Lanka including

See the Highlights of Kerala


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

4 NIGHTS from €525pp

Tour Highlights
  • Authentic Keralan Houseboat Trip
  • Thekkady Hill Station Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Periyar Lake
  • Cochin City Tour
  • 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

Extension from €525pp

Tour + Extension from €2461pp

To book call us on 1800 804 006

See the Highlights of Kerala

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.

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

  • Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
17
Colombo to Cochin

Depart Sri Lanka in the morning for your flight to Kochi in India's beautiful southern state of Kerala, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel.

  • Breakfast
18
Cochin to Alleppey

Today you will board a traditional houseboat which will be both your transport and accommodation. This leisurely cruise takes you through the winding backwaters of Kerala, meandering through the beautiful lagoons, rivers and canals whilst enjoying the local food and stunning rural scenery of the surrounding villages.

  • Breakfast
19
Alleppey to Thekkady

Disembarking your houseboat after breakfast, your tour continues with a drive through the spectacular countryside. Journey on to Thekkady, a stunning area located high in the Cardamom hills containing tea gardens, rubber, coffee and pepper plantations. Following lunch, a visit to a plantation and spice market await you.

  • Breakfast
20
Thekkady to Cochin

A highlight of Thekkady is the Periyar National Park, India's largest wildlife sanctuary. Board a boat at Periyar Lake where you can view various species of wildlife and enjoy picturesque scenery. Proceed to Cochin for a city tour to see the impressive Chinese fishing nets, before taking a ride through the village roads in a tuk-tuk. You will see the Mattanchery Duch Palace and St. Francis, the oldest European church in India.

  • Breakfast
21
Cochin to the UK

Depart after breakfast for your return flight to the UK.

  • Breakfast

Important Information

Visas

A visa is required for entry into India. British Citizen Passport Holders will need to obtain an e-Tourist Visa (eTV) for travel to India. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £96 per person. The Travel Visa Company can only apply for this 30 days before your proposed travel date and takes around 10 working days to issue. It is only valid for a 30 day single entry stay from the date of arrival. When calling the Travel Visa Company they will advise you of any changes to the fees or the procedure, they will also advise you of all information they will require in order to apply for the visa.

Insurance

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

Age in YearsUp to 6465 - 7475 - 85
Up to 17 days cover£39£75£129
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 Direct 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

All flights are operated by Sri Lankan Airlines. Each passenger is entitled to 20kg of hold luggage & hand luggage of 5kg not exceeding 56cm x 36cm x 23cm in size. Flight times are for guidance only & subject to change. These timings are for the Jewels of Sri Lanka tour only and may vary. If you have booked an optional add on please contact our reservations department for more information.

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

There is no minimum number of travellers for this extension however the main tour passenger numbers will apply for the main part of the tour. If in the unlikely event there are less than the required number of people booked on your main 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, meaning that you will be met on arrival by your national guide who will remain with you for the duration of your trip. You will also be joined by a local guide in each of the cities which you visit, ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.

Currency Information

The currency in Sri Lanka is the Sri Lankan 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 these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

The currency in Kerala is the Indian Rupee (RS). The Rupee is a closed currency and officially you are not allowed to take any cash out of Kerala. US Dollars and GBP are also widely accepted in these destinations, should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you. Therefore, it is very important that you budget carefully.

Personal Expenses

Tipping is common practice and seen as a way of life in Sri Lanka. It is customary to tip both your driver and guide 200 rupees (approximately £1) per person per day.

You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any personal purchases, such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £100 - £200 will be sufficient for the duration of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!

Tour Dates & Prices

Depart UKArrive UKExtension PriceTour PriceTotal Price
2018 DATES
10 Oct 201831 Oct 2018€615€2384€2999
24 Oct 201814 Nov 2018€615€2373€2988
07 Nov 201828 Nov 2018€615€2463€3078
21 Nov 201812 Dec 2018€615€2463€3078
2019 DATES
09 Jan 201930 Jan 2019€615€2485€3100
16 Jan 201906 Feb 2019€615€2519€3134
23 Jan 201913 Feb 2019€615€2743€3358
30 Jan 201920 Feb 2019€615€2743€3358
06 Feb 201927 Feb 2019€615€2720€3335
13 Feb 201906 Mar 2019€615€2855€3470
20 Feb 201913 Mar 2019€615€2788€3403
24 Feb 201917 Mar 2019€615€2799€3414
27 Feb 201920 Mar 2019€615€2788€3403
06 Mar 201927 Mar 2019€525€2384€2909
10 Mar 201931 Mar 2019€525€2407€2932
13 Mar 201903 Apr 2019€559€2351€2910
20 Mar 201910 Apr 2019€559€2351€2910
28 Mar 201918 Apr 2019€559€2351€2910
03 Apr 201924 Apr 2019€559€2272€2831
17 Apr 201908 May 2019€559€2239€2798
24 Apr 201915 May 2019€559€2183€2742
01 May 201922 May 2019€559€1936€2495
15 May 201905 Jun 2019€559€2160€2719
29 May 201919 Jun 2019€559€2149€2708
12 Jun 201903 Jul 2019€559€2261€2820
19 Jun 201910 Jul 2019€559€2261€2820
26 Jun 201917 Jul 2019€559€2261€2820
28 Aug 201918 Sep 2019€559€2373€2932
11 Sep 201902 Oct 2019€615€2373€2988
18 Sep 201909 Oct 2019€615€2373€2988
25 Sep 201916 Oct 2019€615€2373€2988
09 Oct 201930 Oct 2019€615€2384€2999
16 Oct 201906 Nov 2019€615€2384€2999
23 Oct 201913 Nov 2019€615€2384€2999
06 Nov 201927 Nov 2019€615€2485€3100
13 Nov 201904 Dec 2019€615€2485€3100
20 Nov 201911 Dec 2019€615€2485€3100
Travelling Alone?

We have 2 rooms available on every tour date for single occupancy use, however a single supplement must be paid on the add-on part of the tour.

Hotel Change 2019 dates

Please note for ALL 2019 departure dates, your hotel in Cochin will be the 5* Hotel Casino. Please refer to your final ticketing documentation for more details.

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

Kerala

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
Other 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
  • Maldives
    Extend your trip with a Maldives Beach Stay

    4 nights from €783pp

    View
Here to help

Hotels & Accommodation

Other 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 Extension
View 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 Extension
View 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 Extension
View Extension

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