Welcome to Virgin Lanka Tours

Virgin Lanka Heritage Tour..
Tour Plans

Ayubowan! We welcome you on arrival at the airport and transfer you to your hotel in Negombo just a short drive away. Today is a day to rest and enjoy the laid-back beachside atmosphere. Optional activities include visits to the Fish Market and Colonial Dutch Fort & Canal and Angurukaramulla Temple. Night in Negombo.

Day 01 : Anuradhapura
After a hearty breakfast we head north east to the ancient city of Anuradhapura. Founded by King Pandukabhaya in 377 BC,  Anuradhapura has a wealth of historic and Buddhist sites including giant brick dagobas, ancient palaces, huge lakes and sacred Bo Tree. There is plenty to explore and enjoy. We spend the night at Anuradhapura.

Day 02 Trinco    
Continuing our journey we drive east to Trincomalee, home to the world’s most famous natural deepwater harbour. Arriving in Trinco we pass through Fort Fredrick army camp to reach historic Koneswaram Hindu temple, perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the ocean. The original temple dates to 400 BC but in 1622 Portuguese colonialists, intolerant of other religions, destroyed the temple and pushed the remains over the cliffs into the sea. The temple was later restored and is a beautiful place of worship with stunning views. We spend the night in Nilaweli to the north of Trinco.

Day 03 Rest day
Today is a day for rest and relaxation on beautiful Nilaweli beach. Enjoy a boat ride to famous Pigeon Island with the chance of snorkelling or scuba diving in the clear tropical waters.

Day 04 Pasikuda
In the morning we board the ferry from Trinco town across the harbour to Muttur, scene of fierce fighting during the hostilities between the Sri Lankan armed forces and Tamil Tiger rebels. With Sri Lanka now at peace, the remote coastline south of Trinco is being developed with brand-new roads and bridges, making the beautiful beaches accessible to tourists for the first time in 30 years. We check-in to our hotel at Pasikuda between Trinco and Batticaloa.

Day 05 Polonnaruwa
After a peaceful night by the ocean, we head west once more for the ancient city of Polonnaruwa, seat of the 2nd Kingdom of Sri Lanka. Stretching over rolling grassland, Polonnaruwa’s ruined palaces and dagobas provide a fascinating insight into a past reign of glory. Dating to the 11thcentury, Polonnaruwa replaced Anuradhapura as Sri Lanka’s ruling city after a devastating invasion by invaders from south India. It reached its height in the 12th century. The most famous of Polonnaruwa’s rulers, King Parakramabahu1, created the vast Parakrama Samudra (Sea of Parakrama) which remains one of the finest examples of Sri Lanka’s skill at water management. We stay overnight at Polonnaruwa.

Day 06 Dambulla & Sigiriya
Continuing our adventure we arrive at Sri Lanka’s most famous landmark, Sigiriya Rock. This huge rock rising 370m above the jungle is an ancient fortress surrounded by extensive gardens, moats and ponds. A climb to the summit up stone stairways and iron walkways includes views of Sigiriya’s famous frescoes, the Maidens of the Clouds. From the top views stretch over the jungle on all sides. The summit has the ruins of the palace of King Kassapa who was besieged here. Nearby Dambulla has a fascinating series of caves filled with beautiful Buddhist statues and paintings. We spend the night at Sigiriya.

Day 07 Knuckles range
Leaving Sigiriya behind we head south east towards Sri Lanka’s mountainous escarpment and tea country. Looming before us we will see the recumbent folds and peaks of a section of mountain known as the Knuckles for its resemblance to a clenched fist. Sinhalese locals have traditionally referred to the area as Dumbara Kanduvetiya meaning mist-laden mountain range. The entire area is characterized by its striking landscapes often robed in thick layers of cloud and mist. We spend the night at Knuckels Mountains.

Day 08 Kandy
The second-largest city in Sri Lanka after Colombo, Kandy is famous for its Royal Botanical Gardens and the Temple of the Tooth. Situated in a beautiful highland region of tea plantations, Kandy was capital city of the last remaining independent kingdom of Sri Lanka after the coastal regions were conquered by the Portuguese, Dutch and British respectively. It was capital city from 1592 until 1815 when it at last capitulated to the British. The famous Royal Botanical Gardens were Lord Mountbatten’s headquarters during the Second World War. We Spend the Night at Kandy

Day 09 Kandy
Today we do a day-trip to the world-famous Pinnawala elephant orphanage near the town of Kegalle. Pinnawala was started in 1975 as a refuge for injured or orphaned elephants and today has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. Each morning and afternoon the elephants are led down to the Maha Oya river to bathe – an unmissable spectacle which is unique in the world. There are many interesting shops selling curios and trinkets. We return to Kandy & stay overnight

Day 10 Nuwaraeliya.
Leaving Kandy we climb higher and higher into the mountains until we reach Nuwara Eliya, known as Little England from the days when the British used to retreat here to escape the scorching heat of the lowlands. Situated at an altitude of 6,128ft, Nuwara Eliya was founded in 1846 by Samuel Baker, a famous explorer of the River Nile. The British colonialists enjoyed fox hunting, polo, golf and other recreations. There is a racecourse and park and nearby Hakgala Gardens has beautiful flowers and trees. We spend the night in Nuwara Eliya.

Day 11 Kithulgala
Descending down curving mountain passes we follow the Kelani River to Kitulgala, famous as the location for the filming of Sir David Lean’s classic film The Bridge on the River Kwai. Kitulgala Rest House has photos of the cast and crew who stayed here during filming.  The only trace of the bridge is the concrete foundations, although some say that that railway carriages which plunged into the river still lie here underwater. These days Kitulgala is a white-water rafting destination and also popular for the beautiful rainforest across the river. We spend the night here.

Day 14 : Mirissa
Heading west we follow the coast through Hambantota and Tangalle until we reach Mirissa, one of the most beautiful beach areas in Sri lanka. It is the perfect place to spend a few hours swimming and relaxing. We spend the night in Dikwella.

 

Day 15 : Sinharaja
Driving inland we reach world-famous Sinharaja rainforest. This hilly virgin rainforest, part of the Sri Lanka lowland rainforest eco region, was saved from the worst of commercial logging by its inaccessibility, and was designated a World Biosphere Reserve in 1978 and a World Heritage Site in 1988. The reserve's name translates as Kingdom of the Lion. This is a treasure trove of endemic species, including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals.We spend the night in Deniyaya.

   




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