Welcome to Virgin Lanka Tours

Virgin Lanka North Tour..
Tour Plans
You will be transferred to the beach resort in Negombo which is our starting point.  Negombo has a well-established beach resort and fishing village surrounded by a lagoon and the Indian Ocean. You are free to relax. Feel free to spend your time enjoying the interesting coastal town of Negombo.You can visit the fishing village and return to your hotel. Dinner and overnight stay in Negombo

Day 1 : Anuradhapura
We set off for 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 here.

Day 2 : Jaffna  
Jaffna was cut-off from the rest of Sri Lanka during the long years of civil war. Today, connected by new roads and causeways, this ancient city is enjoying a revival. Historically it has been occupied by everyone from the Portuguese and Dutch to the British and more recently by Tamil Tiger rebels and even, briefly, by Indian peacekeeping forces. With the end of hostilities in 2009, Jaffna has seen widespread construction and has become a favorite destination for Sri Lankan's from Colombo and other southern areas fascinated to see what this northern tip of their island looks like. We check-in to our hotel for a 2 night stay.

Day 3 :Jaffna
Today we visit Chundikulam bird sanctuary while passing through areas formerly torn by fighting between the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka’s armed forces.  Chundilulam is situated where the Jaffna peninsula joins the mainland. It is a famous haven for migrant birds. We spend a 2nd night in Jaffna.

Day 4 : Trinco
Heading back south across former No Man’s Land we arrive at Trincomalee with its world-famous deepwater harbour.  Trinco was a British naval base during World War II and a war cemetery for sailors and servicemen who perished during hostilities with the Japanese is situated just outside town.  Passing through bustling Trinco town we visit 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 5 : Habarana
Heading inland and south west from Trinco we arrive at the crossroads town of Habarana near the center of the country. Habarana is well-known as a base for safaris in Minneriya National Park famous for its huge herds of elephants. For those who fancy it there is the option of an elephant ride. We spend the night in Habarana

Day 6 : Sigiriya
A short drive through the jungle from Habarana brings us to 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 7 : Knuckles Mountain 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. Singhalese 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 Knuckles Mountain Hotel.

Day 8: 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.

Day 9 : 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.  You can have lunch overlooking the river and watching the elephants playing in the water. There are many interesting shops selling curios and trinkets. We return to Kandy & stay overnight.

Day 10 : Mahiyangana.
Leaving historic Kandy we strike out for the east driving through lush mountain terrain. We pass the huge Victoria Reservoir then climb steadily higher until winding down to the eastern plains on the famous 18 hairpin bend pass. Passing through the town of Mahiyangana with its famous Buddhist temple we arrive at Dambana, ancestral home to Sri Lanka’s indigenous Vedda people. As the sun sets we enjoy traditional Vedda dancing.

Day 11 : Ella
We start early to watch the sun rise over beautiful Sorabora Lake near Mahiyangana. This is the perfect place for an early morning walk. Driving on to the mountain town of Badulla we stop to see the cascading Dunhinda waterfalls. Following the route of the British colonial railway which runs from Badulla to Colombo we arrive at picturesque Ella, nestled in a nook in the mountains with views looking south towards the distant Indian Ocean. We stay the night here.

Day 12 : Arugambe
Winding our way down from Ella we pass famous Ravana Ella waterfalls then turn east on the road to Monaragala, a vast rock rising above the jungle and paddy fields. The road runs into wilder and wilder country until at last we reach Arugam Bay, a remote beach resort which is said to have the best surfing in Sri Lanka. The best months to visit are May to November. Along with long stretches of unspoilt beach there are many local attractions including mangrove swamps, Buddhist shrines and Lahugala National Park with its herds of migrating elephants.  Relax and enjoy the beautiful beach. We stay the night in Arugam Bay.

Day 13 : Yala National Park
Back on the road again we drive round the vast perimeter of Yala National Park, the second-biggest national park in Sri Lanka. Reaching our next base at Tissamaharama  we set off in jeeps to search for Yala’s famous leopards.  As well as having one of the highest leopard densities in the world Yala is home to elephant, sloth bear, spotted deer and an amazing variety of birds. We stop for a tea break at Patanangala beach which was devastated by the Boxing Day 2004 Tsunami.  Evidence of the devastation remains to this day. We spend the night in Tissamaharama.

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.

Day 16 : Rathnapura
Descending through beautiful winding passes we reach Ratnapura, the City of Gems. Ratnapura is the center of Sri Lanka’s precious stone mining including rubies and sapphires. All along the roadside you can see miners working under makeshift wooden structures.  This is also an area of rice, fruit, rubber and low-country tea plantations. After a visit to a gem museum we leave the main road at Kuruwita and head to beautiful Bopath Ella waterfall where the water flows in the shape of the leaf of a Bo tree. Legend has it that a treasure trove is hidden in the waterfall. We enjoy a scenic hike and stay the night here.

Day 17 : Negombo
Leaving beautiful Bopath behind we drive north west through rubber plantations and pineapple farms back towards Negombo and the airport.  You have the option of extending your holiday to enjoy extra nights in Negombo by the beach or we will take you to the airport for your onward flight.

   




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