08 nights 09 days tour
Negombo/Colombo, Pinnawala, Habarana, Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, Dambulla, Matale, Kandy, Nuwaraeliya, Bentota, Colombo / Negombo
Welcome to CYRIL TOURS exciting itinerary for your upcoming trip! Please note that the time given is only for travelling, and we have carefully planned the itinerary to ensure that you get the most out of your trip. The costing has been done for the hotel given, but if you need hotels in the “Recommended Hotels” category, please inform me. It's worth mentioning that some hotels in the “Recommended Hotels” category can be expensive. But we have selected the given hotels as they are of high quality and will provide you with the best experience during your stay.
AIRPORT – PINNAWALA - HABARANA
DAY 01 - Upon arrival at Colombo International Airport or from your hotel, we will embark on a journey to visit the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, where we will witness the feeding of baby elephants. The orphanage, located approximately 2.5 hours away from the hotel in Negombo or 3 hours from Colombo, provides a unique opportunity for individuals to closely interact with these majestic creatures. Established in 1975 by the Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka, the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage serves as a sanctuary and breeding ground for abandoned elephants in the country. Today, it boasts one of the largest elephant herds in captivity in the world, with more than 85 elephants residing on the 24-acre preserve near Kegalle, situated halfway between the commercial capital of Sri Lanka, Colombo, and Kandy.
The primary objective of the orphanage is to offer nourishment, care, and a haven to orphaned baby elephants discovered in the wild. In 1978, the Department of National Zoological Gardens took over the management of the orphanage, and in 1982, the breeding program was launched.
Enjoy an overnight stay at a hotel depending on your preference.
HABARANA - SIGIRIYA - POLONNARUWA
DAY 02 - Breakfast in the hotel and leave to visit to Sigiriya the “The Lion Mountain” in the morning. Sigiriya present a unique concentration of fifth- century urban planning, gardening, engineering, hydraulic technology and art. In 470 AD Kashyapa the son of a non-royal consort of the king, took over the kingdom after committing patricide. He built his magnificent palace on the top of this 200meters high rock fearing the wrath of the crown prince Moghallana. The architectural wonder is famous for pleasure gardens, extensive moats and ramparts and mainly it’s well-preserved rock paintings, of the beautiful “Cloud damsels” seen half up the rock and the “Lion stairway” that provides access to the summit. The complex of the fortress on the plains around the rock extends over 15 hectares.
Polonnaruwa the Medieval Kingdom from the 11th to 13th century. The great ruler King Parakramabahu 1st (1153-1186) reign was the highest peak of the agricultural development of the island with the subtitle of “Granary of the East” with the development of a vast and complex irrigation systems connected to “Sea of Parakramabahu”, the largest reservoir builds in the history of Sri Lanka. Ethnic harmony prevailed between the Sinhalese and the Tamils during this period. Buddhist and the Hindu temples located in the same complex and many other ruins symbolizes this fact. The palaces, huge granite sculptures and the massive tanks and complex irrigation systems built by the great kings convey the extent of development that existed in this middle history period. On the way back to hotel visit Minneriya safari .
In the evening you can have a famous “Ayurveda herbal massage” is done by well experienced therapists. No chemicals, only herbs. (Optional)
There is a local traditional dance performance which you will enjoy in the town in the late afternoon, which is performing traditional upcountry dances and fire-walking etc. (Optional)
End of the day return to hotel for overnight stay.
HABARANA - DAMBULLA - MATALE - KANDY
DAY 03 - After breakfast checkout from the hotel and proceed to Kandy, en route you visiting the Golden Rock Cave Temple of Dambulla. Dambulla is renowned for its cave temple, which were built by King Valagambahu in the 1st century BC in gratitude for the shelter he sought in the caves when fleeing from Indian invaders. Sighted on gigantic granite outcrop, which towers more than 160m above the surrounding land, the caves are completely covered by ancient frescoes depicting religious and secular scenes. Protected within the caves are hundreds of statues of Buddha, many carved out of the rock itself, of which the largest is the 15m long Dying Buddha.
While continuing to Kandy, on the way (in Matale) you will have a chance to visit a spice plantation that grows a variety of spices such as cinnamon, pepper and nutmeg, for which Sri Lanka was renowned and initially colonized by the Portuguese, Dutch and British. You could also visit the Batik factory and watch the production of artistic fabric. Continue to Kandy. Check into hotel in Kandy.
Kandy, the distinguished ancient hill capital of Sri Lanka, is located approximately 116km away from the bustling commercial capital of Colombo. Renowned for its rich Sinhalese history, culture, religion, and pageantry, Kandy is a city steeped in historical significance. It was the seat of the Kandyan Kingdom, the last independent state in Sri Lanka that successfully resisted the attacks of three European invaders for over two centuries. The Kandyan monarch was revered by the islanders as their own ruler, and Kandy was considered the final stronghold of independent Buddhist philosophy, providing spiritual fortitude and virtue to its people.
Kandy is an ideal location for walking tours, with its elevated position providing a refreshing and cool climate that encourages long walks. The city boasts narrow streets adorned with historic buildings and bustling crowds, providing a visually rich experience for visitors. The Municipal Market offers an array of exquisite displays of fresh fruits, vegetables, textiles, and clothing, while the man-made lake serves as a stunning centerpiece in the heart of the city.
KANDY CITY TOUR
DAY 04 - After breakfast leave to visit the Royal Botanical Garden of Peradeniya, initially a royal park in 1821 under British rule it became a botanical garden. Here exotic crops, such as coffee. Tea, Nutmeg, Rubber and Cinchona (quinine) – an all of which were to become important to the country’s economy were first tested. The botanical gardens are fantastic with and excellent Orchid House, and a wide variety of plant species from all over the world. For keen gardeners, at least a morning is recommended to visit garden, possibly longer.
Experience the awe-inspiring Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha, also known as the Sri Dalada Maligawa, which houses one of the most revered relics of Buddhism - a tooth of the Buddha collected from his funeral pyre. Built within the Royal palace complex, this gold-roofed temple is the sole surviving relic of Buddha and has played a significant role in local politics since ancient times. According to tradition, whoever holds the relic holds the governance of the country, prompting ancient kings to protect it with utmost care.
As the former capital of the Sinhalese kings from 1592 to 1815, Kandy's strategic location amidst the mountainous terrain and difficult approach made it an impregnable fortress. Today, the city has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in part due to the temple's historical and cultural significance.
When planning your visit to the temple, kindly note that appropriate attire is essential. To show respect, please refrain from wearing caps and shorts. It is advisable to dress in a long-sleeved, light-colored shirt or blouse, a gown. Skirt, or pants that are longer than knee-length. Additionally, shoes and slippers are not allowed inside the temple premises and must be left outside. However, wearing socks is permitted.
At the end of the day return to the hotel for overnight stay.
KANDY – PERADENIYA - NUWARELIYA
DAY 05 - After enjoying breakfast, we will proceed towards Nuwara Eliya, also known as "little England" due to its picturesque beauty resembling that of a typical English countryside. En route, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a brief train ride, subject to availability, while your vehicle travels ahead to pick you up from a predetermined railway station. This optional activity requires a reservation of seats one month in advance, and confirmation at least six weeks prior to the tour.
Upon arrival in Nuwara Eliya, we will visit a factory to learn about the tea-growing and processing methods that have made Sri Lanka one of the world's foremost tea exporters. Afterward, we will check into our hotel, situated 1900 meters above sea level, to enjoy a cool and comfortable overnight stay with dinner provided.
(Optional) Experience the beauty of an up country train journey with a unique opportunity to embark on a brief train ride from Kandy to Nuwara Eliya. Immerse yourself in the scenic views of Sri Lanka's lush green landscapes, glistening waterfalls, and tea plantations along the way. As your vehicle travels ahead of you, it will await your arrival at a predetermined railway station. The train journey offers limited seats, making it essential to reserve your seat precisely one month ahead. To ensure a hassle-free journey, it is advisable to confirm your reservation at least six weeks before the scheduled travel date. Don't miss out on this exclusive opportunity to explore the stunning up country vistas of Sri Lanka.
In the evening, you are free to explore the charming city of Nuwara Eliya at your own leisure.
Nuwara Eliya is a charming town nestled in the central highlands of Sri Lanka, renowned for its stunning landscape and temperate climate. The name "Nuwara Eliya" derives from the Sinhalese language, meaning "City on the plain (table land)" or "city of light". The town sits at an elevation of 1,868 meters (6,128 feet) above sea level and is considered the most significant location for tea production in Sri Lanka, with its lush green tea plantations and verdant hillsides providing a breathtaking backdrop to its serene surroundings.
Notably, Pidurutalagala, the highest mountain peak in Sri Lanka, towers over the town, adding to its scenic allure.
Nuwara Eliya was founded by Samuel Baker, the discoverer of Lake Albert and the explorer of the Nile, in 1846. During the British colonial period, the town served as a prime sanctuary for British civil servants and planters due to its agreeable climate, earning it the nickname "Little England". The colonialists indulged in their pastimes, including fox hunting, deer hunting, elephant hunting, polo, golf, and cricket.
Despite its establishment by the British in the 19th century, Nuwara Eliya is now a popular destination for local tourists, particularly during April, the season of flowers, pony races, go-cart races, and auto rallies. Many buildings in the district retain features from the colonial period, including the Queen's Cottage, General's House, Grand Hotel, Hill Club, and Town Post Office. Even new hotels are often constructed and decorated in the colonial style. Visitors can immerse themselves in the nostalgia of bygone days by visiting these historic landmarks. Numerous private homes in the area still maintain their old English-style lawns and gardens, making it an ideal destination for visitors seeking a unique and immersive experience in Sri Lanka's central highlands.
NUWARAELIYA - BENTOTA
The fastest route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala by car is approximately 175 km and takes around 4.5 hours.
Kitulgala is a small town located in the western foothills of Sri Lanka's central highlands, known for its beautiful natural scenery, lush forests, and scenic waterfalls. The town is also famous for being the filming location for the Academy Award-winning movie "The Bridge on the River Kwai".
As you travel from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala, you will pass through some of Sri Lanka's most beautiful landscapes. Along the way, you will see stunning tea plantations, misty mountains, and cascading waterfalls. Kitulgala is a popular spot for adventure activities such as white-water rafting, trekking, and bird watching, making it an excellent stop for travelers seeking a bit of outdoor adventure.
Once you reach Bentota, you will be greeted by the beautiful beaches of Sri Lanka's southern coast. Bentota is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, water sports, and vibrant nightlife. It is also home to several historic sites, including the Galapatha Temple and the Brief Garden.
Overall, the route from Nuwara Eliya to Bentota via Kitulgala is an excellent option for travelers looking to experience Sri Lanka's stunning natural beauty and outdoor activities while also enjoying the beaches and vibrant culture of the southern coast.
DAY 07 - BENTOTA
BENTOTA – COLOMBO / NEGOMBO
DAY 08 - After breakfast leave for Negombo beach resort via Colombo including Colombo City Tour. Negombo is north of Colombo, and being close to the airport (approximately 15minutes), it is also best area to stay regarding airport departures. Negombo was the first beach tourist resort in Sri Lanka.
NEGOMBO – AIRPORT
DAY 09 – After a delightful 8-night stay in Sri Lanka, we request that you make preparations to transfer to the airport at the designated time. We kindly remind you to allocate a minimum of two and half hours before your scheduled departure time for airport formalities.
Should you require any modifications, enhancements, or omissions to this itinerary, or for inquiries regarding the cost of the aforementioned tour, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our team can be contacted by completing the 'Contact Us' form on our website or via email at [email protected]. WhatsApp no +94 777 366 633
" Dear Cyril, We are fortunate to have you as a friend here in Sri Lanka. You are extremly Knowledgeable and more than ever - having an attitude of helpful nature and the willingness to solve issues on hand whilst on our tour around Sri Lanka. As I have said to you we will reccommend you to all our friends who wish to tour in Sri Lanka. My family Karen, Kalvin and Andre also liked your company and wish you and your family well. God bless you all and we will keep in touch, for sur..." Alwyn Santhumayor & family
"Thank you so much for your great service and making our honeymoon in Sri Lanka, so special and joyful. Best regards from Yuffa and Elad Abbo – Israel- 10 July 2008 " Yuffa and Elad Abbo - Israel
"Excellent tour guide Cyril is a great tour guide and is very knowledgeable. He made our entire trip super comfortable. His vehicles are clean and well maintained. He is also very flexible if changes are needed. Definitely recommend!" Berenice Coelho
"Thanks a lot for making great arrangements for the visit. The visit was very well organized with good hotels and the vehicle/ driver. I would highly recommend your agency and its services to everyone who wants to visit Sri Lanka. Anastasia - Russia, Feb 2011 " Anastasia
" Our Tour in Sri Lanka Traveling through the beautiful Sri Lanka has been great. Cyril warmly welcomed us at the airport and drove us with his always clean car in every part of the country. He provided daily information about the history and the different sites of Sri Lanka. Also, he taught us a lot about Sri Lankan culture, starting from food, traditions, animals and nature, and suggested authentic and less known places we c..." FILIPPO MASI FROM ITALY
"We had excellent 8 days tour with CYRIL TOURS. It's all credit goes to Mr. Cyril. From the welcoming at Air port to hotels we stayed,food we had and driver who was provided was excellent. We always introduce CYRIL TOURS to all who wiling to tarvel to Sri Lanka. Swaran Kaur and family Kuantan - Malaysia 2012 May 18 - 25 May" Swaran Kaur and family from Malaysia
"We found Cyril on-line and after checking with lots of other guides we decided he is the one for us, that decision was the best one we did for our trip From the beginning, in our emails, Cyril listen to us and was very helpful, he gave us information and helped us to create the best trip for us.We had 10 days trip, for our honeymoon, to many parts of Sri-Lanka. the country is amazing, green, nice people and good food.Cyril was a great driver and even greater guide, he has so much knowledge and e..." Coral and Oded from Israel
"Dear Cyril, Yes that's the one that we were calling all the time. Her name is Celia and by now she has a little sister. My dear Cyril, of course we can't forget your companion and we are always telling about you when we are talking about our trip to Sri Lanka. I wish you good luck with your company and I hope that you will have whatever you want. I want to tell also that I was very happy when I learned that you are a grandfather now. Best regards, Chris Greece 26/07/2011" Cristos Pravitas - Greece
" Dear Cyril We spent a wonderful week with you. We were so pleased to have to visited your beautiful country and we will recommend you for all of our relatives and to friends. It has been a pleasure to spend these days with you, we will never forget nice smile on your face all the time. Thank you and if one day you would like to visit Switzerland we will be raedy take you around snowy mountans! All the best, Franz family" Dr. David franz from Swiss
"We highly appreciated Cyril as our chauffeur guide. We can easily speak with him about any subject. We learnt a lot about Sri Lanka' s culture, history and way of life. He arrange everything we asked. In the airport on arrval his welcome is marvelous. His English language is superb and very clear. His knowledge and expanation about the sites are unique. More than the all he is very friendly and punctual. We will recommend him all the people who willing to come to Sri Lanka." COMBE MARTIAL AND WILD EMMANUEL FROM FRANCE