Days 1 - 2
Resting on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, Galle (Pronounced ‘gawl’ in English) is the best example of a walled city built by the Portuguese in South Asia in the 16th Century. It was extensively fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century. When you enter the old city gates of this World Heritage Site you can’t help but notice the grand colonial houses and boutique shops and of course the beautiful beaches on the fringes of town. Attracting many luxury travellers from around the world, the town is also a favourite with cricket fans who rate the Galle International Stadium to be one of the most picturesque cricket grounds in the world.
Udawalawe National Park
Days 2 - 3
Situated about 165 kilometres from Colombo, the Udawalawe National Park has become a popular tourist destination and the third most visited game park in Sri Lanka. It was originally built to provide a sanctuary for the wild animals displaced by the construction of the Udawalawe Reservoir in 1972 on the Walawe River. It covers nearly 30 000 hectares, and is home to herds of Sri Lankan elephants, water buffalo, monitor lizards, sambar deer, leopards and indigenous water birds. Open-top safaris led by experienced guides through the savannah-type landscape are the ideal way to view the wildlife, with most visitors being assured of enjoying a special treat of viewing young and adult elephants at the water holes.
Days 3 - 4
Nuwara Eliya is a beautiful mountain station town in the Central Province of Sri Lanka. Sometimes referred to as ‘Little England’, the city is well-kept and features British-style red-brick walls, mock-Tudor half-timbering, and a very English country club. The surrounding areas offer breathtaking views of valleys, meadows, mountains, and greenery, and most importantly a wonderful break from the heat and humidity of the coast. Tea Estates, waterfalls, and mountains complete the picture. Visitors can take guided tours of the tea plantations, meander through the roses, take the picturesque path to the ‘Lovers’ Leap’ waterfall, and walk through orchids and giant cypresses at the Hakgala Gardens. Other highlights include the Seetha Amman and Nuwara Eliya Buddhist Temples, and the Galway's Land National Park.
Days 4 - 5
The second major city in Sri Lanka (the other being Colombo) lies at the centre of the Kandy Plateau, an area of beautiful tropical tea plantations. A magnificent must-see feature of the area is Kandy Lake, to the north of which lies the golden-roofed Temple of The Tooth (a UNESCO World Heritage Site and important place for Buddhist worship, as it is said to house a tooth relic of Buddha). Other fascinating places to visit include the Ceylon Tea Museum, the Buddhist Publication Society, the Ayurvedic centre in the Amaya Hills nearby, the Kandyan Art Association and Cultural Centre, where craftspeople can be seen at work, and the Kandy Muslim Hotel, which offers the finest spiced curries served with naan or Rotis.
Days 5 - 6
Colombo, a commercial and tourist hub on the west coast of Sri Lanka. The vibrant canal city boasts golden beaches and a photogenic promenade, gorgeous temples, and chic restaurants among impressive skyscrapers. Must-see attractions include the grand and atmospheric Asokaramaya Buddhist Temple, and Hindu Sri Ponnambalam Vanesar Kovil, known for its exquisite interiors. A historic Dutch quarter beckons to be explored - the Dutch Hospital and Dutch Period museum are quite fascinating, and the artisan colonnaded craft stores lend a special air to the area. Nature lovers will enjoy walking through the beautiful Talangama Wetland which fringes the city or taking a short break from the city bustle in the Viharamahadevi Park, known for its delightful flowering trees and local snake charmers.