Day 1: Australia – – Colombo – Negombo
Fly out of Australia today on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight headed towards Colombo. A transfer will greet you upon landing at Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport and whisk you to neighbouring Negombo.
Please note: some flights may leave the night before
Day 2: Negombo – Sigiriya (B,D)
Travel to Sigiriya today. Enroute there is a stop at the Golden Temple of Dambulla. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is made up of five caves spanning more than 2000-square metres and there are more than 150 depictions of Buddha to be found inside. Tonight, tuck into a welcome dinner with fellow travellers at the accommodation.
Day 3: Sigiriya – Rock Fortress – Village Visit – Sigiriya (B)
It is an early start for the group as you travel to Sigiriya’s most famous site: its namesake rock fortress (also known as Lion Rock). This ancient citadel is one of Sri Lanka’s most recognisable sites. The group returns to the hotel, to then head back out on bicycles or foot towards Augandawa Village. Here, you will see the temple and receive a blessing by the priest. There is also opportunity visit a local’s house. Return to the hotel by cycling or walking past paddy fields and Chena cultivations.
Day 4: Sigiriya – Polonnaruwa – Minneriya National Park – Sigiriya (B)
Enjoy a guided cycling tour of Polonnaruwa, a former medieval capital of Sri Lanka, and see its palaces, ruins and structures. The afternoon takes the group to Minneriya National Park for an incredible safari experience. The park is most famous for being the location of the elephant gathering; a convergence of hundreds of elephants that congregate around the park’s main water source during the dry season (June to September). Relax with a 20-minute head and shoulder massage at the on-site Ayurveda spa upon return to the hotel.
Please note that depending on elephant migration patterns, the safari may occur at either Minneriya, Kaudualla or Eco Parks.
Day 5: Sigiriya – Kandy (B)
Depart Sigiriya for Kandy this morning. Kandy is another of Sri Lanka’s former capitals and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. It is well-known for its beautiful lake and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic (the location of an artefact said to be one of the Buddha’s teeth). Upon arrival in Kandy there is a sightseeing tuk tuk tour that will help you get your bearings. After, make the most of free time in the city by choosing to walk the perimeter of the lake and wander between market stalls. Visit the temple in the evening.
Day 6: Kandy – Nuwara Eliya, Hill Country and Tea Planation – Kandy (B)
Make the drive into Sri Lanka’s verdant tea country today. As you ascend into the hills you’ll immediately notice the dip in temperature (so be sure to pack appropriately for this excursion!). Explore Nuwara Eliya, a city referred to as a little slice of England, and pay a visit to Seetha Amman temple, Gregory Lake and local markets. It is then onto a tea plantation and factory for a tour and to gain insight into this acclaimed export. Tip: this is the best place to purchase Sri Lankan tea if you want some as a take-home souvenir. The group returns to Kandy in the evening.
Day 7: Kandy – Negombo (B)
This morning is relaxed and there is some leisure time before beginning the drive to Negombo. The rest of the day is free time and can be spent by the pool, at the beach, or seeing Negombo’s sights.
Day 8: Negombo – Colombo – – Male, Maldives (B)
A transfer takes you to Colombo in time to catch a flight to Male, the capital of the Maldives. A seaplane transfer whisks you from Male to the atoll location of Adaaran Select Meedhupparu.
You’ll check in to this award-winning resort and settle into your home for the next five nights: a spacious Beach Villa. These hideaways have stunning views of the ocean along with a private front deck, wooden flooring, ensuites and air conditioning. Your stay at the resort is made to feel even more indulgent thanks to the all-inclusive package that covers all breakfasts, lunches, dinners and drinks for your time here.
Day 9: Maldives (B, L, D)
How to spend your first full day in the gorgeous Maldives? Make a beeline for the breakfast buffet (served in Sufura Restaurant) and then start taking advantage of the resort’s world-class facilities and amenities, be it table tennis and beach volleyball, or the swimming pool, sauna or water sport options. There are also seemingly endless stretches of private beach that invite leisurely strolls and time spent lazing in the sun.
Day 10: Maldives (B, L, D)
The entire day is yours to jam-pack with activities or simply relax.
Day 11: Maldives (B, L, D)
Another perfect day in the blissfully beautiful Maldives for you to do whatever you fancy with.
Day 12: Maldives (B, L, D)
Today is your final full day in the Maldives, so be sure to squeeze in as much unwinding time or as many activities as you can.
Day 13: Maldives – – Australia (B)
Take a seaplane transfer back to Male and then begin the return international flight journey back to Australia.
Day 14: Australia
Arrive home today.