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Our 9 day, 7 night tour allows you to experience the beautiful interior of Sri Lanka, exploring the delights of Dambulla, Sigiriya Rock and the colonial cities of Kandy and Galle. Visit ancient temples of past civilisations, wonder at the beautiful botanical gardens in Peradeniya, meet the elephants at the Pinnawala Orphanage and take a safari through Yala National Park.
Depart London on your scheduled, overnight flight to Colombo International Airport.
On arrival you will be met by your local guide and transferred to Dambulla with the rest of your evening at leisure.
Depart in the morning to explore the stunning Sigiriya Rock Fortress, a World Heritage Site dating back to the 5th century AD. Also known as the 'Lion Rock', it is a citadel of unusual beauty rising 200 metres from the jungle. Following lunch continue on to the ancient city of Polonnaruwa which was once a royal capital of the Sinhalese kingdom and is over 1000 years old. It was chosen as the capital as it was advantageously positioned to safeguard against possible attacks from the southeast, as well as supposedly having fewer mosquitoes! Here you can admire the ruins of the Royal Palace and wander around the Gal Vihara, famous for its splendid carved Buddha statues. Please note: photography is prohibited in parts of the Sigiriya Rock Fortress. Prohibited areas will be clearly signposted.
After breakfast, visit the Dambulla Rock Temple, where the impressive caves contain over 2000sq metres of painted walls and ceilings which were once gilded by the ancient King to mark his place of worship. You will then travel to Kandy en route visiting a spice garden followed by lunch and check in at your hotel. Continue to the famous Temple of Tooth Relic in the afternoon - Sri Lanka's most important Buddhist relic and one of the holiest shrines in the Buddhist world. After dinner relax whilst watching an eclectic cultural show, where performers will dazzle you with ornate costumes and traditional dances.
Today you will travel to the beautiful botanical gardens in Peradeniya, boasting more than 4,000 species of trees, plants, orchids and creepers. Next, a highlight of this tour is a trip to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975 to care for abandoned and wounded elephants. Witness these magnificent creatures in close quarters and see young elephants being fed, bathed and trained by the wildlife authorities. This evening enjoy a city tour of Kandy, including the bazaar and arts and crafts centre and a gem museum. Kandy was the last capital of the ancient kings and after defending themselves for over three centuries from the Dutch and Portuguese it finally fell to the hands of the British in 1815.
Leaving Kandy you will stop in Giragama to visit a tea plantation before continuing to Nuwara Eliya where you will participate in a walking tour of the town. Your journey continues through Sri Lanka's striking scenery to your hotel near Yala.
The morning is at leisure before your exciting jeep safari around the magnificent Yala National Game Park, the largest national park in Sri Lanka with a unique ocean front setting. The park is home to elephants, wild boars, buffaloes, bears, deer and crocodiles as well as a number of migratory and indigenous birds. You may even spot a leopard!
Following breakfast, you will arrive in Galle, once the chief port of Ceylon and the centre of the Dutch regime in the 17th century. A city tour lets you discover the majestic Galle Fort and the surrounding historic buildings which reflect the Dutch heritage which once reined the country. Travel north for your final night at the world famous Mount Lavinia Hotel. This 200-year-old hotel was once the Governor's Residence when Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) was under British rule.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK.
A visa is required for entry into Sri Lanka. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote "Mercury Holidays". The cost of the visa is from £30. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of issue. We therefore recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 10 days cover||£37||£72||£104|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
The currency in Sri Lanka is the Rupee or Rs. 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 India should you wish to keep an alternative currency on you.
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! It is customary to tip your guide and driver, this is at your discretion but we recommend you allow approximately £30 for the duration of your tour.
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|11 Jan 2018||19 Jan 2018||€1594pp|
|22 Mar 2018||30 Mar 2018||€1528pp|
|05 Apr 2018||13 Apr 2018||€1704pp|
|19 Apr 2018||27 Apr 2018||€1572pp|
|03 May 2018||11 May 2018||€1319pp|
|17 May 2018||25 May 2018||€1396pp|
|07 Jun 2018||15 Jun 2018||€1429pp|
|21 Jun 2018||29 Jun 2018||€1462pp|
|23 Aug 2018||31 Aug 2018||€1759pp|
|06 Sep 2018||14 Sep 2018||€1638pp|
|20 Sep 2018||28 Sep 2018||€1528pp|
|04 Oct 2018||12 Oct 2018||€1528pp|
|18 Oct 2018||26 Oct 2018||€1649pp|
|01 Nov 2018||09 Nov 2018||€1528pp|
|29 Nov 2018||07 Dec 2018||€1594pp|
We have 2 rooms available on most tour dates for single use where no single supplement will need to be paid. But hurry, these spaces are limited and subject to availability. If however once all the places are sold out and you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
If the group tour departure dates and not suitable for you and you would prefer a more personal and flexible experience than you can choose to book a private guide for your tour at a reasonable supplement.
Please note that Yala National Park may close during September. If this does occur, the safari will take place at the Udawalawe Game Park which is located approximately 50 miles inland from Yala National Park with appropriate accommodation.
Weather and Climate
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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